Monday, December 28, 2009

Cloth Diaper Carnival V - The Hubby and Cloth

Welcome to another installment of the Cloth Diaper Carnival brought to you by Cloth Diapering Bloggers and hosted by Kim at Dirty Diaper Laundry.  This Months topic is "Hubbies/ SO and Cloth Diapers".  Make sure to visit other blogs participating by following the Linky (if I can get it up) or by grabbing the link at Dirty Diaper Laundry :)

Since I decided to use cloth diapers when I was pregnant with my first, I never had to go through "the change" with the hubby.  He was not used to disposables, just as much as he was not used to cloth diapers. Now, don't get me wrong, he had changed a couple of diapers in his day using disposables, so he wasn't totally a diaper newbie.  Actually, when it came to cloth diapers, we were equals in the changing department- both of us having no experience.  Anyway, it didn't phase him one bit when I told him cloth diapering was the way we where going. Until I told him how much money we where going to be saving. Then he bragged to everyone how smart he was to use cloth diapers. Ha Ha Ha.

It has been three years since we have started our cloth diapering journey, and the hubby has had his share of opinions and suggestions along the way.  He doesn't like snaps. They are hard for his big fingers to maneuver, so he goes for the Velcro dipes in our stash. He doesn't like pockets, as he can't fit his hand in the pocket to stuff them. He likes the old school pull over covers better than the Velcro or snap wraps as he sucks at making sure the diaper is fully covered.

Overall, I just make sure our stash is diverse enough to accommodate him in the rare instances that he changes a diaper. OK, to give him credit, he changed his share of diapers with Logan, our first. However, with Sophie, he changes maybe 5 diapers a WEEK. And if he ever had to WASH them, I don't even want to think about what he would do, or what would happen to my poor diapers!

Make sure to visit all the blogs participating in this carnival!!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday- My Little Cowgirl


Monday, December 7, 2009

A Rant On Toys

My space has been taken over by toys. There are toys in every room of my house. There are toys in both cars. There are even toys still out in the yard. And really? Do the kiddos play with all these toys? Of course not!!.So I was thinking to myself, "Self, why are there so many freakn' toys in this space o' mine that NO ONE PLAYS WITH?"

And I suddenly knew it is because of me. I buy the toys- granted, most were sweet deals that I found at yard sales, flea markets, and consignment shops. I pick the can't-pass-by freebies up off the side of the road. I say "YES!" eagerly when people offer me their kiddos' cast offs. Geesh, why am I the toy horde???

My kiddos are 3 and 1. They don't watch TV with COMMERCIALS (thank you Nick Jr), so they have no clue what is out there.  Wait, I take that back. Logan, at 3, is just starting to catch on to advertising. He has found mail order TOY catalogs and Black Friday fliers laying around and has gotten very excited about all the toys in them. But you know what? He seems perfectly happy just LOOKING AT THE PICTURES.   I am the one getting all worked up about how many of those toys to get him for Christmas, and how much they are gonna cost.  Seriously? He might have asked for one of the toys out of the tons of pictures he looked at. And for real? He could care less if he gets the $15 truck over the $150 dollar truck. Even if I can get that $150 one for $40....OK, OK, see, it's about me again.

What I have realized is that I need to change MY behavior in order to make sure that my still young kiddos are not going to think that the world revolves around toys. If I can reduce the quantity of useless toys they are surrounded with in their daily lives, than toys won't seem so important.  And hopefully they will value the toys they do play with. Logan spent last weekend at his Granny's house and I cleaned out his room. I filled two trash bags with toys and stuffed animals to bring to the thrift store. He hasn't even noticed.

And  another thing? Last week Logan was playing with an old fire truck baby toy that I had pulled out of the toy stash in the basement for Sophie.  Of course, Logan recognized it as his old toy and immediately started playing with it. He was in meltdown mode after 5 minutes. Why? Because the batteries didn't work. With out the batteries, there is no siren. With out a siren, the toy is "broken".  I told him he could make the "Woooo Wooooo"" siren  noise himself. He stared at me blankly like I was talking crazy! With all these battery operated toys, am I raising kids who lack imagination???

This really scared me! It scared me enough to decide that this Christmas we are going battery free. And on top of that, the hubby and I also decided that this year we are only getting the kiddos gifts that promote imaginative play.  So no Vtech and LeapFrog plastic battery operated learning toys for my kiddos this year. They will be learning with their new musical instruments and craft supplies. Logan will work on his imagination with his wooden parking garage and service station, and Sophie with her cloth tea set and wooden sound blocks.  And the hubby won't be running to the Mobil station at midnight on Christmas eve to spend a small fortune on batteries...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Couldn't resist taking a picture.......

The sound of the camera and the flash scared him a bit.....

But he fell right back asleep!

Monday, November 23, 2009

********CRIB RECALLS*********

Stork Craft recalls more than 2.1 million drop side cribs due to baby entrapment. Please go to the Consumer Product Safety Commision's site here to learn more.

How to Tell When Your Toddler Watches Too Much TV

Sadly, I fell into the "TV as a baby sitter" trap with Logan when Sophie was born. It was easy to turn on Noggin' to keep him occupied while I took care of the baby. Well, Sophie just turned one, and the TV watching has gotten bad. Here are some examples of how bad.

~First thing in the morning, he runs into the bedroom demanding that Noggin'  (now Nick Jr.) be put on.
~When sitting on the toilet ready for his butt to be wiped he yells, "Ayuda me, Ayuda me, squak, squak!" (I apologize for the possible misspelling on the Spanish).
~He eats celery because the Wonder Pets do.
~He randomly says, "Mom, I think I'm falling for fall".
~He was traumatized when the Jump Arounds turned into the Freshbeat Band over night.
~He keeps saying he doesn't want to be on the Naughty List like Swiper.
~He tells people that Mommy turned Noggin into Nick Jr.
On the plus side, he is learning ;)
~Thanks to Dora and Deigo he knows various Spanish words
~Thanks to Kai Lan he know various Chinese words
~He tells any one that listens "A Cornucopia is a horn shaped basket. Cornucopia means horn of plenty"

Since he has been in school, over a month now, he watches 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening.  I don't even want to acknowledge how much he watched before he was inrolled in school! Bad Mommy. And bad Daddy too, because the Hubby falls into the trap worse than I do!

Well, thanks to Santa, the TV watching is getting under control!  A few days ago, Logan asked me, for the millionth time, if he could get a grill for Christmas. I said to him, "If all you want to do all day is watch Nick Jr, why should Santa bring you toys? You don't play with the toys you have, so why would Santa bring you new ones when all you want to do is watch TV?" He looked at me with his mouth open and said, "Turn Nick Jr off Mommy", and went in his room to play. He did not ask me for the rest of the day to watch it. Now, I have been trying to cut back on the Nick Jr. for a while, but have to hear him every 10 minutes beg and whine for it. I admit, I would give in just for quiet and to keep him out of my way while I got stuff done around the house. It's been 3 days now, and he has only asked once! I have let him watch for an hour or so while I get dinner ready. Thanks Santa :) Alas, Logan has no school all week, so it's gonna be a challenge for me not to count on the TV to keep him occupied  (and to keep my sanity)!

Picture from

Monday, November 9, 2009

Stroller Recalls

Meclaren USA recalls strollers following finger amputations. They are giving a repair kit to remedy the danger. Strollers where made 1999 and after. Here is a link to the page on the US Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday- Halloween

Finally got the Halloween pictures off the camera!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Kids Konserve Give Away Re-Draw WINNER!!!!!

I never heard  from Aymee, so the new winner of the Kids Konserve Stainless Steel Snack Containers is......

Comment #2- FOKXXY!!!!

Congrats!!! FOKXXY has been notified and has 24 hours to get in contact with me or we pick again :)

Get out and VOTE!!!!

Time to get up on my soapbox!!! Today is voting day in many states. It is a voting day that many people don't pay attention to, or maybe don't even know about.  It's not a Presidential election that's been advertised for months (ok, YEARS), and  people are not running to the polls. It is a day to vote for local and state officials and referendums.  Boring stuff. Stuff no one pays attention to unless it effects them AFTER the fact.  If you are worried about the quality of your child's education, VOTE! Many towns are having elections for members of the Board of Education. There might be a referendum on your ballot that will affect your child's school system, VOTE! Think you are paying too much in taxes? Get out and VOTE for the person you think will lower them and stop complaining!

This is the first voting day that I have not worked in years. Why?? Because today I am on the ballot. I feel that the only way I can make a difference (besides by VOTING),  is to get involved with my town government. I am on the ballot not only once, but twice. I am running to be a member of the Assessment Appeals Board, and to be an alternate to the Planning and Zoning Board. I am nervous, I am scared, and honestly, I have no clue what I have gotten myself into, but I do know that I have to start somewhere. What better way to start getting involved, than to jump right in!

You may know it's voting day in your neck of the woods if your roadsides has been taken over by lawn signs, but if you don't, you can check here .  This link even brings you to your towns web page where you can get more information by calling your town clerks office. So go to the polls and vote today and keep those poll workers awake!  They are going to have a long day today because, sadly, voter turn out during local elections is very low.

FYI- working the elections is a great way to make extra money! Contact the Registrar in you town hall for more information!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Kids Konserve Give Away Winner!!!!

With the VALID entry total at 77, the winner of the Kids Konserve Stainless Steel Snack Containers is comment # 10 Aymee!!!! Aymee did not leave an email address so she has until midnight on Monday Nov 2 to contact me ( or I will pick a new winner :)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

***** Cloth Diaper Giveaways!!!!!********

 For all my cloth diapering friends out there- add to your cloth diaper stash and enter these giveaways!!!


 Audrey's Give Aways to win a snappy nappy from La Petite Knott Creations 
(ends 11/6)

Canadian Natural Mama to win a Bummis cloth diapering package (ends 11/14)

Dirty Diaper Laundry to win a Baby Beehinds  Minkee Magic cloth diaper (ends 11/9)

The Eco Friendly Family to win a FuzziBunz One Size diaper (ends  11/5)

The Eco Friendly Family to win a Thirsties Duo and Fab Fitted diaper ends (11/1)

The Cloth Diaper Report to win a Nifty Nappy cloth diaper (ends 11/3)

And check out the Bottom Up Baby Wipes Kit (cloth wipes) at Happy Green Babies
(ends 11/16)

You can't win if you don't enter!!!! Good luck :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday- Birthday Girl

Happy 1st Birthday Sophie!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cloth Diaper Carnival 4 - How it all started......

Welcome to Cloth Diaper Carnival 4 organized by Kim over at Dirty Diaper Laundry, who also happens to also be our Cloth Diapering  Bloggers'  head honcho ;) .

This months topic is:
Where did you first see or hear about cloth diapers?

Honestly, the first time I ever heard of cloth diapers was from my mother. I remember her using old school pre-folds with safety pins and rubber pants on my little sister, and yes, this was in the late 70's. When I was preggers with my son over three years ago, I just knew I was going to use cloth diapers, and this is how I thought I was going to do it. Imagine my surprise when I got on the internet and saw how different cloth diapering is now!!!  No longer is there the need to use pins, when Snappis can be used. I am an accident prone klutz, so not having to handle sharp pointy objects is a plus!! No longer is there the need to use pre-folds when fitted diapers with snaps and Velcro can be used. And rubber pants? What a surprise when I saw some diapers didn't even need a cover at all!!

Cloth diapering was a whole new world to me. I knew NO ONE who cloth diapered, besides my mom- over 30 years ago. And she used a diaper service, which are now non-existent in my area. Everything I learned about cloth diapers I learned from the internet, from sites like Diaper Pin, and Diaper Hyena. I did research, research, and more research. The more the research, the stronger the feeling that cloth diapering was for me. 

Actually, now that I am thinking about it, it's amazing how much has changed in cloth diapering in just the 3 years since I have started! There are now even more styles and brands of diapers and covers, and a gazillion more sites to get information from! I can even go to a store and buy cloth diapers today, which I couldn't 3 years ago! The use of cloth diapers is spreading. Several mommas have caught the fever from me. Who knows, maybe 30 years from now my daughter will laugh with disbelief when I tell her that once something existed called a disposable diaper!

Until I get the Linky up, please visit Dirty Diaper Laundry to connect with other blogs participating in this carnival!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kids Konserve Coupon Code

It was brought to my attention that the coupon code earth was not working at checkout to get 15% off orders over at Kids Konserve.  Christy, from Kids Konserve has fixed this. If anyone ordered anything and did not get the 15% off, let me know and she can issue you a credit. Sorry for any inconvenience!  The coupon is good until this Saturday, and don't forget to enter the Stainless Steel Snack Container giveaway!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday- Family Picture

Ok, almost Wordless Wednesday. Logan needed a family picture to bring with him on his first day of school (which was last Thursday, YAY!!!). Well, I remembered the night before, after the kiddos where already in their jammies. Oh, and did you notice the lovely cat butt shot?! Good thing there's photo crop!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Join the Million Baby Crawl

Check it out!
Seventh Generation has launched the "Million Baby Crawl" campaign to get Washington to take notice and reform toxic chemical policies. Go to this site, and create your own crawler to say "no" to toxic chemicals in our homes. Also, support other crawlers by clicking on their baby and sending an encouraging message.

Queen of Hearts and Alice in Wonderland Costume Set GIVEAWAY!!!!

These HANDMADE costumes are absolutely beautiful!!!! I really wish the Queen costume was my size......

Queen of Hearts and Alice in Wonderland Costume Set GIVEAWAY!!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bag Lady : Sewing a Trick-or-Treat Bag

In my "spare time" (aka:  late at night when the kiddos are sleeping), I am a wild and crazy crafter.   I find an idea I like and I work with it 'til I'm sick of it. Right now, my obsession  is bags.  I have decided to start a series, titled "Bag Lady", to share my creations. Conveniently, this will also help in managing my time wisely (see post here), as I will be working on a blog post AND a project simultaneously!

So, with out further ado, here is Sewing a Trick-or-Treat Bag. These are the bags I have made so far, as modeled by my little guy. They turned out to be fairly large, but hey, he'll grow! If you are making it for a little one, and are worried about the safety factor, the pattern size can easily be adjusted, or the handles made shorter.

What you will need:
material for front and back
material for sides and bottom
sturdy ribbon or webbing for handles
thread, needles, scissors, sewing machine, iron
***idea- recycle old fabric by using old tablecloths, sheets (for the back and front panels) and jeans (for the side and bottom panels)

Step 1- Make the patterns.
Front and back panel- 20x16 inches
Side panels- 22x5 inches

Bottom- 16x5 inches

Step 2- Cut the material.

Step 3- Pin, with good sides together, a side panel to the right side of the front panel,  and a side panel to the right side of the back panel, like this:

and sew.

Step 4- Pin good side of back panel to good side of the side panel that is attached to the front panel, then pin the good side of the front panel to the good side of the side panel that is attached to the back panel (this makes sense in my head, if it is confusing let me know)

(my assistant is pointing to pins) and sew.

Step 5- Pin the bottom fabric to, well, the bottom (in my experience I have found it almost impossible to line this up perfectly, but that's me...)

and sew (heads up on this- when running through sewing machine pay attention to what is getting sewn together).

Step 6: Pin down and iron top hem

and sew.

Step 7- Turn bag right side out. Should look something like this:

Step 8- Turn up, pin and iron ends of handles

and sew.

Step 9- Pin one handle to where you want it on the front of the bag, and pin the other handle to the matching spot on the back of the bag

and sew.

Step 10 (optional)- Tack all of the corners to make the bag more shapely. Sorry for hard to see pictures!
Bottomed pined to tack with about 1 centimeter stitch:

 Top pined to tack with same size stitch:

And here again is the finished product:

And with my lovely model and assistant:

Friday, October 9, 2009

Ciambotta (Italian Vegetable Stew)

Fall is perfect stew weather!! I made a great vegetable stew this week, and would like to share the recipe. I suggest making it the day before, as stew always taste better the second day, and the third day. This makes a HUGE batch!! It took me almost 2 hours to chop all the veggies. Hey, I was interrupted a lot by the kiddos ;)  I also added some extra spices - basil, parsley, red pepper flakes, and more salt and pepper then it calls for. I think I will omit the red pepper next time, however, because it was a bit too spicy for the kiddos.  Oh, and I also peeled the eggplant because I'm not a fan of eggplant skin.  I found this recipe on, which is my current favorite recipe site.

Ciambotta (Italian Vegetable Stew)
recipe by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez from Gourmet Today Cook book.

* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 2 medium onions, chopped
* 2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
* 3 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
* 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
* 1 1/4 pounds eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
* 1/2 cup water
* 1 (28-ounces) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained, juice reserved and tomatoes chopped, or 1 3/4 pounds fresh tomatoes, chopped
* 2 red bell peppers, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
* 3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
* 1 1/4 pounds zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
* 3/4 pound boiling potatoes (about 2 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces


Heat oil in a 7-to 8-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, about 10 minutes. Add eggplant and water and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is slightly softened, about 10 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes with juice and bell peppers, then reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook green beans in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan of well-salted boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Add zucchini to boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer with slotted spoon to bowl with green beans. Add potatoes to boiling water and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and add to beans and zucchini.

Add boiled vegetables to stew and simmer, stirring, until all vegetables are very soft, about 15 minutes. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

I served the stew with a home made cheese bread. YUM! Enjoy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Loss of Innocence

The kiddos and I were at a birthday party last weekend. Logan was having a blast playing with the other kids, mostly girls. I was in a bed room nursing Sophie. I heard the thunder of little feet on wood floors and the laughter as the kids came running down the hallway, past the room I was in. Suddenly, I heard the girls yell "NO BOYS ALLOWED!!", followed by a door slamming, followed by my little guy crying, "NO, let me IN". He was crying, really sobbing, and when he came into the room where I was, my heart broke. His tear streaked face showed the hurt and confusion he was feeling.

This reaction of his is new. He is used to being the only boy. He has older girl cousins that boss him around and exclude him all the time, as girls of their age do. He was always oblivious, innocent to their words and actions. Not anymore. He has become aware- aware of his feelings, and aware of the actions and words of others. He has lost a bit of innocence that is making him more of a boy, and less my baby.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

This is my living room when I spend too much time on the computer :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Using Time Wisely

I made it all the way to second grade before I received my first bad mark on a report card. I remember seeing the "U" for "Unsatisfactory" next to "Uses time wisely" (I have a freakishly weird long term memory, but can't remember anything from yesterday), and having no clue what it meant. I remember writing in my journal  that I needed to improve in Using time wisely. I thought of it as a subject, like reading or math. Even when explained to me, it didn't click. Twenty plus years later, I still find my self struggling with this!

Since I discovered the Blogging world in July, I have become obsessed- reading and joining blogs, entering every contest, just to get free stuff (like I need more STUFF!).  Meanwhile, the kiddos have caught up on all the shows on Nick Jr, the house has turned into clutter central (as the hubby has frequently commented on), leading to the hubby and I not jiving,  leading to Logan misbehaving. Everything has been off balance. In all fairness, this can not be blamed JUST on blogging. The INTERNET is my time thief; Facebook, email, the blogging networks, Cafemom. 

I have lost my way. I have not been living in the present moment with my family. I have not been spending my time as a stay at home mom playing with and teaching my children, like was our plan. I have neglected my sewing, reading, and all the projects I have started around the house. I am getting a "U" in "Uses time wisely".

I had to step away from the computer for a couple of days and get my priorities straight. Of course the kiddos and my family's (hehm, HUBBY's) happiness are numero uno. I still want to blog. I like connecting with long lost friends and family on Facebook. Heck, I talk to my mom more in Facebook chat than on the phone! So here it goes again, working on using time wisely.....

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

When teething, most children chew on toys. My baby girl chews on the stove.....

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kids Konserve coupon and GIVEAWAY!

Kids Konserve; packing green lunches/snacks with style and eco-cool reusable products for a clean conscience.

Fact: Each Student creates 67 pounds of trash per year! That's 18,760 pounds of trash from one average sized elementary school!!

Kids Konserve was founded by two women, both moms, who wanted to send the right message to their children about helping the environment. Realizing the amount of waste that was produced in just the one hour of school lunch, they researched products and developed the Waste-Free Lunch Kit.

What better way to teach our children about lessening their carbon footprint, than with our actions! If we pack our child's lunch with no plastic bottles and bags, no paper napkins and bags,and no juice boxes, our kiddos will have nothing to add to this trash total. They will know that they are making a difference every day!

All of Kid Konserve's products are NON-TOXIC, non-leaching, BPA, PVC, Phthalate and lead-free.

Now what I just LOVE about this company, besides their safe eco-friendly products, is their focus on environmental education. They believe, as I do, that the knowledge we give our children now will enable them to change the future.

Kids sponsors a Waste-Free Lunch Challenge in schools. This challenge gives schools the opportunity to raise money and brings awareness through teaching on how not creating waste. Over 40 schools have participated and more are signing up!

Small voices add up to big things!!!

Right now, Kids Konserve is offering you, my reader, 15% off your total purchase until 10/31/09. Visit Kids Konserve store by clicking here and show your support for this mom run, eco-friendly company and use coupon code: earth at check out.

They are also offering up a set of Stainless Steel Containers for my very first giveaway!!!

***So to enter first you must visit Kids Konserve and leave me a comment about another one of their products that I have not mentioned here, or something else you have learned from their site that I did not mention. THIS IS MANDATORY.***

After you have done the MANDATORY entry, you can enter again by doing all or some of the following. Remember to leave a SEPARATE COMMENT FOR EACH ENTRY.
Please leave your email address so I can contact you if you win. Winners will be drawn with Giveaway ends 10/31.
*Follow my blog and leave me a comment that you do
*Follow me on Twitter, leave me a comment here
*Follow kidskonserve on Twitter, leave me a comment
*Tweet this giveaway, leave me a comment. Can copy and paste this:
RT KidsKonserve Stainless Steel Containers giveaway and coupon @aMothersEarth
*Become a fan of Kids Konserve on Facebook, leave a comment here
*For 3 entries blog about this giveaway, leave 3 separate comments

Thanks, and Good Luck!!

(Comments in bold print are taken directly from the Kids Konserve website and/or press packet)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Favorite Pancake Recipe

We are HUGE breakfast eaters. Pancakes are our favorite! Tonight I am even making them for dinner. This is the best recipe I have found and I love it because you can actually make the mix ahead and store it in your fridge for up to 3 months. I think you can get 3 batches of pancakes out of one batch of mix. This recipe is from "Whole Grains For Busy People" by Lorna Sass, a cook book that I have mentioned before. Enjoy!

Pancake Mix

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 months in an air tight container.


1 large egg
1 cup of buttermilk (I never have buttermilk on hand, so I replace it with yogurt and milk to equal 1 cup. Enough milk added to the yogurt to make it not so thick. Or you can use a cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon added.)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup pancake mix

Mix all ingredients. Drop about by about 1/3 to 1/4 cup scoops onto a buttered and heated pan/griddle. This batter is pretty thick, so you will have to flatten it a bit when cooking :) I usually get about 10 pancakes out of a batch.

I almost always add other things to my pancake batter. Fruit is good- apples, peaches or bananas. I will add spices too, depending on what fruit I use. 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and/or cardamon.  I also use flavored yogurt if that's what I have in the fridge. Tonight I might add coconut and raisins (never tried this before, might be an update on the outcome!).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Today, My Toddler Taught ME

"Mommy, Daddy, wake UP!",  Logan yelled excitedly as he ran into our bedroom this morning. I felt a slight moment of panic. Thoughts ran through my head.  Is there a fire?  Where's Sophie? (as I am moving her foot from my face). Something must be wrong!  This is not his usual method of waking us. He is a fan of the silent approach. He sneaks up to either mine or the  hubby's side of the bed and does the "silent stare" until we are startled awake. The first words out of his mouth are almost always, "I wanna watch Noggin".

"Mommy, Daddy, GET UP!", he yells again. He is now jumping around the bed. "IT'S A BEAUTIFUL, SUNNY, SUNNY DAY!"  That's it. There is no fire. There is nothing wrong. It is just a beautiful sunny, sunny day, and he is sooooo happy!

If only we could all wake up each and every day with such enthusiasm! Through out the day when I felt a case of the crankies coming on I would take a deep breath and think, "It's a beautiful sunny, sunny day!", and channel my little guys positive outlook!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wordless Wedneday- Protect Health Insurance Companies PSA

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wet Socks and Boobies

I never get a fever *knocks on wood*. Or so I thought.  Last Sunday night I felt like I got hit by a mac truck.  I was freezing, my back and head were killing me. It took everything to get the kiddos to bed. When I finally got around to taking my temperature  it was 101.5. Yikes. I popped some Ibuprofen and decided to put the Wet Sock Treatment to the test. Now, I have been recommending this treatment to EVERYBODY, since the kiddos Dr passed the info to us. The hubby has done it countless times and it has been successful every single one (he works at a Casino and is constantly catching something).  I have never tried it myself. I don't get sick *knocks on wood, again*. So, with the thought of how I was possibly going to make it through the next day feeling as I did, AND keep 2 kiddos under 3 fed and safe, I decided it was time I followed my own advice.

Before I went to bed I wet 2 cotton white socks with cold water, rang them out and put them on my feet. Over them I put a pair of dry wool socks.

That's it. Now, I am a person who does not like to be wet. Wet hair, wet bathing suit, don't like em. And I'm a Pieces, figure that one out! But trust me, if you are feeling yucky, this is that last thing that's gonna bother you! The theory behind the Wet Sock Treatment is that while you are sleeping, the socks pull the toxins out of your body, or something like that. You will actually feel it happen over night with heavy sweating. I did.

When I woke up the next morning the fever was gone. I felt better, but not 100%.  Maybe 80%.  That evening when I went to breastfeed Sophie, I noticed that my right boobie was a bit painful. I realized that this boob had been a bit sore the day before, but I chalked it up as engorgement since we were at a tractor show and the excitement was too distracting for Sophie to breastfeed. Now it really hurt, and it was bright red, and when I touched it there was a noticeable lump. I have heard of Mastitis and clogged ducts, but have never experienced either myself.  Through the pain, I tried to get Sophie to empty it. She, being almost one and on the road to weening herself, had other ideas.

After she went to bed, I dug through my breast feeding supplies and found Breast Therapy Warm or Cool Relief Packs.
I have no clue where I got these from, whether from the hospital, a shower, or just bought myself at some point. They were still in the box. After taking a hot shower (helped a little with the pain), I put one of the packs in the microwave to use the heat to help me pump and drain the boob. The other pack I put in the freezer to apply after the pumping.

After a painful sleep, I called my doctor in the morning to see if she could take me. She could, but by the time I got there most of the pain and redness where GONE! My doctor was a bit confused as the fever and body aches where a sign of Mastitis, an infection that needs antibiotics to get rid off. Since I did the Wet Sock Treatment there was NO FEVER (I had to explain this to her, and momentarily felt like a crazy lady). She prescribed me some Dicloxacillin to be "safe". Well, I am very hesitant to take antibiotics while breastfeeding. The hubby is allergic to all the "cillians". I had to stop breastfeeding the little guy at 7 months when I got Lyme's Disease, due to his projectile vomiting after feeding. Sophie, after 11 months of boobies, I did not see taking well to going cold turkey if she too showed signs of an allergy. Since I seemed to be getting better on my own, I decided to wait and see how I felt the next day before taking any antibiotics. If I was feeling pain again, or was even close to a fever, I would take them and pray that Sophie had no reaction. Lucky for me, and Sophie, the next day ALL pain and redness where gone, and still no fever. Yeah! Antibiotics avoided!

For more info on the Wet Sock Treatment visit here. It explains how it really works.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Take Action: Our Children's Education- from Preschool to College

The town I live in is small. So small, that we don't even have a high school. We have one school that goes from 3 year old preschool to 8th grade. Yup, I said 3 year old preschool. It's FIVE days a week for 1/2 a day. The little kiddos can ride the SCHOOL BUS- in CAR SEATS provided by the bus company. Oh, and did I mention that this program is FREE. Yup, FREE, and grants make this possible. Grants that will be made more available with the passing of HR3221 when it goes before congress on Sept 17th.

HR3221, The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009, when passed, will improve the educational possibilities for our children from early childhood, all the way through to college.

Here's how:

The Early Learning Challenge Fund (Title IV), will increase grants to implement pre K programs for disadvantaged children. It also proposes more grants to aid states in developing early childhood programs.

Title III, offers grants to states for the modernization, renovation and repair of Public school facilities- Elementary, Secondary and Community Colleges. There will be extra grants available for the states that were hit hard by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Title I is called Increasing College Access and Completion and aims to do just that. There are proposals to increase the maximum Pell grant amount, and to simplify the Student Financial Aid form, among other things.

Title II covers student loan reform. Any one with student loans knows ANY reform will help there!! Especially with the increase in the fees of higher education.

To read HR3221 in full, visit, where I got this info.

It is important for us to let our Legislators know RIGHT NOW that we want them to support HR3221. Visit here, and send a letter to your Representative with just a click of the button! And join MomsRising while you're there, this organization ROCKS!

Wordless Wednesday

Dead dragon fly that I found Logan playing with.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

When I was at the flea market on Sunday I found a cook book called "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld (yup, Jerry's wife). The recipes all have a hidden ingredient of some kind of veggie puree. This one has carrot puree. Just steam some carrots and stick them in the food processor with some water until they are pureed. Since I do this for Sophie's food anyway, it's kinda convenient. I made these as a special breakfast treat. Enjoy!!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

non stick cooking spray
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy)
1/2 cup carrot puree
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons trans-fat free soft tub margarine spread (yeah, I don't buy this stuff. I used about a tablespoon of slightly melted butter and they were fine)
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt (I used a tad more to make up for the lack of margarine)
1 large egg white ( I accidentally dropped the yolk in there and it came out fine)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low sugar strawberry, blueberry, or grape preserves (I used raspberry. This is perfect for cleaning out the fridge and using those jellies that you have no clue how long they have been in there for. They are getting cooked, right, so that will kill anything>LOL)

Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.

In a large bowl, beat the peanut butter, carrot puree, sugar and margarine with a wooden spoon until well combined. Stir in the yogurt and egg white.

Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until just combined, but do not over mix- there should be some lumps in the batter.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups and drop a spoonful of preserves on top of each.

Bake until the tops of the muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center, 20-25 min. Cool on wire rack.

Store in an air tight container for up to 2 days, or wrap individually and freeze for up to a month.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

All summer I have been picking up random pieces of laundry off the ground under the clothes line. I was starting to think I needed to invest in new clothes pins. Well, the other day I looked out the window and saw this:

My cat Chloe attacking the laundry!

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Must Have For The Cook Book Shelf

I am a cook book addict. I check out every new cook book that comes into my library. Usually, I will find one recipe I like and will take the time to copy it down. Maybe, I will even get around to trying it. Well, my library books are due tomorrow and this is one that I don't want to return. I have already renewed it, twice, so it's time to say good-bye. We will meet again.....when I get my own copy.

"Whole Grains For Busy People", by Lorna Sass, is a must for anyone interested in cooking with whole grains. And not just for the recipes. The first chapter is a guide to whole grains. LOVE it. This is one reason why I need my own copy. Too much information to write down. Too many pages for my lazy butt to photo copy. There are actually charts in this cook book that show "at a glance" the different types of whole grain pastas, breads and flours. For example, the whole grain flour chart, has headers like "Easy to Grind at Home?", "Taste", and "Texture in Baked Goods". Since I try to make most of my families food from scratch, this is awesome! Sass even shares her formula for substituting white flour with wheat flour in recipes. I haven't tried it yet, but will share if it works. Wait, can I do that or is that a copy-right thing?

The second reason why I need to get this book is because of the mix and quick bread recipes. There are 'make ahead and refrigerate mixes' recipes for pancakes, biscuits, and muffins, among other things. We are a big breakfast family so I LOVE this idea. I am also a recovering Bisquick addict and am going to try the biscuit mix as a substitute.

The other recipes aren't too shabby either, and they are all easy and quick. Most call for ingredients that are already in the house, or are easy to substitute with what you do have on hand. Since my little guy is on a pasta and rice kick, these recipes have come in handy.

Well, I think I'm going to have to start typing up a couple of recipes tonight to hold me over until I get my own copy. And I think it's gonna be cold enough in the morning to try one of the oatmeal recipes for breakfast. HMMMMM, maybe Chai-Spiced Oatmeal....

FYI, I am not getting anything for this "review" if you could call it that. Nor was I asked to do this. This is just me, sharing my new cook book discovery. When you find a book you like, don't you just want to tell everybody?!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Homemade Laundry Soap

I started making my own laundry detergent a while ago. I found this recipe and it works great. I am saving money- costs less than $10 for the ingredients. The boxes of Borax and Washing Soda make at least 5 batches (I think I am under estimating here). Only one tablespoon of this soap is needed for a regular load, 2 tablespoons for a large or extra dirty load, so a batch lasts a while. I am also lessening my carbon footprint, as I am no longer buying a plastic bottle of detergent every other week. I use it in my He machine, but I do NOT use it on my cloth diapers. I am afraid that the soap might leave a build up on the diapers.



1 Bar of Fels Naptha Soap (I have found this soap in the hand soap aisle and the laundry soap aisle of the grocery store)
1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Washing Soda (not the same as baking soda)
1/4 Cup Oxy Clean powder (optional, I don't use it)
Oil for scent (I use lavender oil, but I'm out right now)

Large spoon
Something to store final product in

Grate the soap using the holes on the grater that are this size, or close:

After grating 1/2 the bar, I stop to check on Sophie.......

                                                                 ......and to switch grating arms.

When done grating, soap will look like this:


Add rest of ingredients. It will look like this when done:

Sophie will look like this when done:

I store my final product in this:


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Take Action : What's for Lunch?

One of the goals of this blog is to inform. I hope that by bringing up and informing on issues that I feel passionate about, I can incite in my readers that same passion. If I can get just one person to act, I feel I have made a difference in the lives of future generations. So blah, blah, blah, here it goes....

Today, that issue is nutrition. More specifically, the nutrition of our children as provided and protected by the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 and the Richard B. Russel National School Lunch Act of 1946. Both of these Acts are now up for review, and both contain parts that will expire Sept 30th of THIS YEAR (that's just weeks away, people!) without Congressional action. It is important to know what is going on, especially when our children are at stake! Congress meets on Sept 8th to discuss this, just a few days away!!

The objective of the Child Nutrition Act, according to the Act itself, is "to safeguard the health and well-being of the Nation's children, and to encourage the domestic consumption of agriculture and other foods, by assisting States through grants-in-aid and other means, to meet more effectively the nutritional needs of our children". To read the Child Nutrition Act (CNA) in it's entirety click here. Yeah, it's long and technical, but in a nut shell, the CNA includes the implementation of:

The School Breakfast Program
The School Milk Program
The Special Nutrition Programs for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), including the WIC Farmers Market Program, School Wellness Programs, and the Program to Promote Breastfeeding.

Are you still with me?  The Richard B. Russel National School Lunch Act of 1946 can be read in it's entirety here, but again, in a nut shell, it includes the implementation of:

The National School Lunch Program
Nutritional promotion and education
The Reduced/Free Lunch Program
The Summer Food Service Program
The Child and Adult Care Food Program
The After School Snack and Meal Programs

So what's the deal? All of these programs EXCEPT National School Lunch, The School Breakfast, and School Milk Programs are set to expire on Sept 30th, without Congressional action. Now I highly doubt that the other programs dissapear, but they are up for review and could be modified. There are several issues that are of focus, including:

The need for the implementation and enforcement of policies to guarantee that school meals are following recent updates to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans

The need for an increase in the funding received by States to cover the increase in food costs, and to cover the higher price of healthier foods in school meals.

The proposed elimination of the "Reduced" lunch program. Groups such as the School Nutrition Association, are stating that even the "reduced lunch" price is too much, suggesting that there be only "free" and "paid" lunches. Read more on this here.

The need for the strengthening of the School Wellness Program and the support and strengthening of the WIC program with the assistance of Congress. For more details on this click here.

The need for the strengthening of policies to support farm to school initiatives. Farm to School is a program that forms a link between local farms and schools to provide healthier food for school menus, and to improve nutrition through education. For more info, click here.

Ok, now if you are still reading this, you probably want to know what YOU can do to see that these issues are considered on Sept 8th. Here are some ideas:

Take part in "A Time for Lunch" National Day of Action Eat-In on Labor Day, Sept 7th. An Eat-In can be as basic as a group of people having a picnic in a public place while having a "sit-in". The purpose of this Eat-In is to get REAL food into schools. You can find an Eat-In near you, or host your own by visiting There is also a petition here you can sign.

Visit to send a form email to your Legislators. This is as easy as typing your name and clicking to send!

Go to to get your Legislators email address or phone number and give them a piece of you mind. They work for YOU!

Hope that wasn't too borring!!!!! Let me know what you think. I know there are more aspects to these Acts and proposed changes than I touched on. This was just the Cliff Notes.

Where I got my info, and where you can go if you want more:
The National Farm to School Program
National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA)
Child Nutrition Act of 1966
School Nutrition Association
Healthy Schools Campaign
Frame Works Institute
Frac101: Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act
United States Department of Agriculture

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wordless Wednesday- Cliff Walk, Newport RI

The Cliff Walk is a 3.5 mile public access walkway that goes along the Newport, Rhode Island shoreline. You get a great view of the Atlantic Ocean, and a peak into the backyards of historical mansions. We only walked the part of the Walk that is stroller friendly.

The Breakers, also known as the Vanderbilt's summer "cottage".