Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The taste test.

Hands down mine won. There was hardly even a delay in each case. It was a total ego boost. :)
Mine's the one on the bottom and even looks better in my opinion. It's a yummy golden color. The other one is kind of gray. Anyway, I love mine and I'm glad others do as well. Oh, I also figured out mine has 9 less calories for the same size cookie! He he.

I forgot to include these photos from Monday. While the cookies were baking and I was cleaning up the kitchen, I laid River on the floor in their bedroom, expecting her to scream. Well she didn't and Flower stayed in there playing because River was in there. She wasn't paying attention to her but just liked that she was there. And Flower talks to herself the whole time she's playing so River just laid there and watched her every move and listened to her. That went on for at least a half an hour. I loved it. This has now occurred each day since then in the mornings. It's nice and gives me a chance to get a few things done. I can hardly wait till they can play together. Her has stayed clean since the new arrangement! I am loving it and she, in fact, is playing in there more! Yay. It worked!

Monday, March 30, 2009

A night with me...in detail...because I know that's what you want. :P

Sunday I talked about trying some new recipes and hoped sunday's recipe would be the winner of the week. Well it was. Therefore I've included it here. I used Italian sausage flavored(by mistake) ground turkey but it turned out great! It added a little spice to it. I also used red potatoes that I mashed myself. this recipe was found on cookinglight.com That's where I've been getting all my recipes lately. We will make these again.

Turkey Pies with Mashed Potato-Asiago Topping

(These were really like a pot pie filling/shephards pie mix)

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup minced shallots (about 3)
  • 3/4 cup frozen petite green peas
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 3 cups diced cooked turkey
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 3 cups refrigerated mashed potatoes (such as Simply Potatoes)
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely grated Asiago cheese
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 400°.
Heat oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and shallots; cook for 6 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add peas and wine, and cook 2 minutes. Add turkey, parsley, and sage. Combine broth and flour in a small bowl, and stir well with a whisk. Add broth mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in salt and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
Combine the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, mashed potatoes, and cheese in a small bowl. Spoon turkey mixture evenly into each of 6 (8-ounce) ramekins coated with cooking spray. Top each evenly with the potato mixture. Place ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Let stand for 8 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information

Calories:283 (27% from fat)
Fat:8.5g (sat 3.3g,mono 2.6g,poly 0.9g)
Calcium: 139mg
I have three new recipes to try this week. This time from different sites. I want to try two or three new recipes a week. I like to cook and it's more fun when I keep it interesting. If I find one worthy of sharing, I will.

Right now it's 7:00 and KG's geeking at John's. The girls and I are at home jamming out to music as Flower requests it such as Poke Her Face(Pokerface), Just Dance, Single Ladies, Womanizer, Piece of Meat(Piece of Me), The Gun song(Paper Planes) and Disturbia. Flower is also dancing and River is singing along with us and mesmerized by Flower's moves. It's very cute.

I have three people that I need to take cookies to so this morning I tried out a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. It's gotten raves reviews on the interweb so I reluctantly decided to give it a try. I say reluctantly because I love my recipe which I adapted from the Tollhouse recipe. I've made the same recipe since high school and love it. I get tons of compliments every time I make it. But I decided to venture out because what if there was a better one? Well this one isn't it. It's so blah. It was good but nothing to write home about...or should I say post on my blog. :) I should have known when it called for unsalted butter. There was just no flavor for me and I even added a teaspoon of salt after I tasted the dough but it didn't make much difference. I guess the positive thing is that I barely ate any dough and have only had three cookies, and that was only because I kept hoping I'd like them. Dumb. I'm just so picky with my chocolate chip cookies. It was fun to try and although I've had my eye on another one from a friends blog, I just looked at it again and it's basically the same recipe so never mind. I'll stick to the tried and true! I'm going to make mine tomorrow and taste test mine against these others to all three people that I'm taking them too, but they won't know which one is mine. I'll see which one they like and get back to you.

Now it's 8:20 and both the girls are in bed. An hour earlier then usual but I need the time. I'm sure I'll regret it. I plan to clean the place up. It was spotless last Tuesday after our trip but has been in a state of disarray since we changed their room around. I'll surprise KG with a clean house when he walks through the door tonight. Or more likely sometime in the wee hours of the morning since he's geeking with the boys.
8:29...Damn, River's screaming, therefore Flower's not happy. Crying gets on my nerves so I do feel bad for her. I'm sure it won't be the first visit into their room.
8:40...River's crying again. I especially feel bad for Flower tonight because she's being usually quiet. She's normally a chatter box at night. I think she's totally wiped out from not having a nap today. She was wired at the office. We love our naps around here and , yes, at almost 4, she still takes one. This time I offered to take River out for a bit so Flower could go to sleep but she said, "I will handle the crying because I want her in here." She is so sweet and she loves sharing her room. I assured her it would be ok if she changed her mind and to let me know. Re-insert binky and leave the room.
8:46...crying again. I go back in and Flower immediately says,"it's ok if she cries mom. I don't want her out there." She thought I would take her this time. This is unusual for River. Re-insert binky, flip her to her stomach, leave the room.

-Are you watching America's Next Top Model? I really like Celia's look. But Allison? Really? those eyes have given me nightmares.
-I'm also liking the drama of Celebrity Apprentice. Wow, Rodman is a hot mess isn't he? So sad.
-On the Amazing Race I'm liking the Mother/son team. I can do without the red heads and how they yell at all the foreigners. So not cool.

8:50...well shiz. Now Flower is yelling that she wants a vitamin(I knew her quietness was too good to be true) which made River start crying again. This is not going to end anytime soon. Not going in there.

8:55...Now that Flower is the one that made her cry she wants her out! Little snots. I'm ignoring them both. :)

Now that it's time...I really don't want to clean. Big surprise. And there's nothing good on tivo. And I want to make more cookies since I didn't love the other ones but don't have the right stuff. :( Oh my gosh it's been quiet for 3 minutes. Is there a chance? I'm going to go peak.

9:00...They are both out! It's a miracle. It only took 4o flippin' minutes geez. Hope it lasts at least a couple of hours. Time to clean...Oooh, One Tree Hill's on the other tivo. I'll transfer it to this one and that will give me the motivation I need. Progress report later. :)

9:58...I still haven't accomplished anything but it's been quiet for an hour! Woot!

10:22...living room clean...half of kitchen clean...load of laundry done...another load started. Not bad.

11:03...watching of One Tree Hill complete. I am all caught up reading my blog list and facebook. Now I'm actually going to bed. Thanks for playing and hope you have a swell night's sleep and a rad day tomorrow.

Peace out, yo.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

New room update

River's first night in the crib, Thursday night, went awesome. She slept from 9:30 pm to 7:30 am. When KG got home at 7:30 from work she was just starting to stir. He gave her a bottle and she slept till 9:00. I'm hoping that wasn't just a fluke! Flower did well too. She woke up around 12:30 am, before I had gone to bed, crying from a dream and that made River stir but both fell right back to sleep. So far so good! :)

Well Friday night...not as good. River was asleep by 8:30 pm, maybe too early. She woke up at 1:30, starving. I took her out of bed so then Flower was upset because she wants her in her room! River fell asleep in my bed because I fell asleep feeding her. She woke again at 6:30, same pattern she had when she slept in our bed all night. She acts like she hasn't eaten in a year. Flower also came running in at 2:30 crying.

Saturday night was a little better. River went to bed at 9:00. She woke at 12:30 and I fed her. Then she woke up at some point, probably around 4 but I let her cry it out, hoping it wouldn't wake Flower. It didn't and she only cried for about 10 minutes and fell back to sleep until 7:00. I'll take it. Flower didn't wake up at all.

The doc thought feeding River rice cereal before bed would help. We started that Thursday, which is like torturing her, when we started her in the crib. It hasn't made a difference other then that night. Ugh.

I'm hoping by about two weeks a routine will set in and both of them will just get over it and SLEEP! :) I'm sure that's wishful thinking.

Here are some photos from KG's phone over the last couple of days. The first one is my absolute favorite!

Showing off River's big guns!
I love it when she chills on my back like this. We were all just hanging out on the bed in the afternoon as dad was waking up.
Flower likes to makes shapes with her hair.

KG spoke in church today. He did very well. I've always enjoyed listening to him speak, I think almost as much as he likes hearing himself speak :). He's a natural and based on all the people that said things to me and him, I think he was enjoyed by all.

Flower and I watched Dumbo together today. It was her first time and she loved it. I still like it too. It's been a long time since I've seen it. Now the girls and the boy are all asleep. :) I love Sunday afternoons like this!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hey good lookin'...whatchya got cookin?

Yesterday morning Flower helped me prepare last nights dinner. I love it when she wants to help me and doesn't get on my nerves in the process. She was so much fun. Whenever we cook or bake together we always put River in the dining room so she can be a part of the action as well.
We were making Chicken Enchilada Casserole. We chopped and got all the ingredients ready first.
She loves to nibble away at the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and olives.
She got her own can of olives.
Here's our entire cast of characters all ready to use.
The cooking began.
The white sauce had coriander and cumin. It really wasn't my favorite sauce and I would do a few things different next time.
And here it is before we dug in!
It was good but not enough flavor which is surprising for everything that went into it. I followed a recipe from Cookinglight.com. I think next time I'll adapt it a bit and do a few exchanges. I have tried two new recipes from that sight this week. They were just 'ok'. Nothing exciting or memorable. I have one more to try tomorrow night. Maybe that will be the winner of the week.

After making the dinner, Flower made Popsicles with her new Popsicle set from IKEA. It's been so long since I've seen one of these and she thought it was so cool. We used Treetops Apple-Grape juice.

We had them after her nap and they were delicious!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The look.

I have made a discovery in the past past month or so as I've been around a two of my greatest friends, as well as my entire relationship with KG. I have discovered another way of knowing just how deep and natural a connection is with someone...When the unspoken is sometimes stronger then spoken. All it takes to communicate is 'the look'. It's shared between both and goes both ways. It can be clear across a room but it's understood. The look of comfort in a really nerve wracking situation. The look of pride when they've made it through that nerve wracking situation.(These two were realized in church recently when a friend was given a new calling). The look of pure happiness at their current life situation. The look of total comfort with one another again.(The last two were realized last weekend in particular). The look of an inside joke. The look of needing to escape where I am! The look of love. The look of admiration(being happy for each other at reaching goals set for ourselves). The look of disappointment. The look of encouragement. The look of sympathy. The look of hope. The look of desire. Each look is slightly different but easily translated.

I can say I have experienced each of those things at some point or another with just three people. It always leaves my heart feeling so warm that I don't need to say anything and yet I'm being so understood, or that I'm understanding someone in the same way.

I received good news and a gift and more good news!

I got some good news today, I don't have Celiac Disease, but somehow it just leads to more frustration because now we are back to the drawing board on why my body won't absorb some vitamins. Oh well. Life goes on.

On an even more positive note, I received a surprise gift in the mail from a friend. She lives in Hawaii now. We haven't seen each other nor spoken since high school. We have reconnected on facebook, exchanging comments here and there over the last couple of weeks. So imagine my surprise to find a pretty necklace in the mail! It's a blown glass piece of which she made and turned it into a necklace. Yes, my friends, my love can be bought. I love gifts. Thanks Emi!!!
And even more good news!!! Marco and Steph are having a baby girl. I am elated. I was hoping they would have a girl. Now River and their babe will be only nine months apart. His heart is about to become mush which he so needs!

All these things brighten my week. It hasn't been a bad week by any means but I am just frustrated with my ability to stick to a few of my goals. All in all though I'm doing great! Happy Friday to you and wishing you a lovely weekend.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The girls are now sharing a room!

As I mentioned in my post of our Utah trip, we went to IKEA in search of a bed for Flower. The reason for that is that is because we would be adding River to her bedroom. They would now be sharing. River has been in our room and in our bed. I never thought I'd have a baby in our bed but I love it. I love waking up to her smile and it's so much easier to feed her if she wakes up. It's made easier by the fact that KG is only in bed with me two nights a week. But my goal was that by four months, she would be in a crib and with Flower. This is perfect timing because Flower was showing signs of jealousy that she was in our room. I think it will be better for all of us.
As you can see from the before photos, there wasn't room for a crib in there unless she just didn't have a place to play. We knew that wouldn't fly. Our solution was to get her a bed that was off the ground so her play area would be underneath.
Here are the before photos.
The other reason I wanted to redo her room was because she has too much crap and it's so unorganized. I love the 'under the bed' cubbies but there was really no way to keep them organized. Our solution for that was to buy a big shelving unit with boxes that can be pulled out. We purchased the perfect one at IKEA and photos are below.

The closet is another area of irritation for me. There are just too many small things and she just shoves things in there and closes the door.
Finally, the day after we came home, the building began.
Daddy daughter building time. They were building the new shelving unit for her room.
Flower organized and lined up all the small parts for KG.
She had so much fun helping him.
Wednesday Flower spend the entire day with my sister. River had a doctor appointment and then I had a long work day so this was way more fun for her. That also allowed KG plenty of time to put the bed together. It was almost complete when she got home and she was excited!
I'll admit, when we were purchasing this bed, I was the nervous Nelly(it's usually KG), afraid she was going to fall, or that she would be afraid to use the bed because it was so high, or too afraid to come down the ladder. Well here's the big test...can she make it up the ladder? And what will she think when she gets there?
Halfway there.
Almost there.
She made it to the top and LOVES it!
She goes up and down like a champ. It really is high. I am 5'1" and can stand under the bed with a few inches to spare. She slept up there last night and had no problem.
This morning Flower and I started the massive project of organizing. We started with the closet.
Check out that absurd pile! This is what was shoved under her bed and in the closet. There are clothes, toys, books, dolls, stuffed animals, shoes. Ridiculous.
Our pile is finally gone! Much was donated, much was tossed in the trash, and much was organized in the new red boxes!
After that we took a break and then while she watched Tom and Jerry and while River slept, I went and finished it up. When KG woke up he put the crib together.
My sister is allowing us to use it and dropped it off yesterday when she brought Flower home.
River's new-to-her crib.
Peaking through the bars. She loved being in there. She laid there and babbled for a good long time.
She loves the new mobile that we got, also at IKEA. It's a bunch of fish. Really cute.
KG then helped me move out the trash, finished putting the red boxes together for the shelving unit and organized the rest of the room. We finished around 8:30 tonight!
The room is complete.
We all hung out in the new room to really enjoy it and celebrate our hard work.
This is the shelving unit. I love those boxes! She has kitchen stuff in one, Cinderella castle building stuff in one, shoes in one, purses and bags in one, princess dress up clothes in one, instruments in one. So far it's wonderful. They are harder to get out then the system in the closet we were using before so I will now be able to make sure her room is cleaned from playing with one box before I get another box out. I am of the belief that children will solo play better if things are organized and there are less toys. I'm hoping that theory proves true because she really doesn't play much in her room and rarely alone. Who would want to when it looks like the above photos though?

We got that cute light at IKEA too. It's kind of dark under the bed because the bed somewhat covers the light on the ceiling. This was a perfect solution.

Here she is enjoying her new space with evidence of our celebratory ice cream sandwich all over her lips. :)
Both the girls were asleep so quickly. Flower loved having River in there. I am missing River already. Two of our concerns with this new set up: 1. That River will wake in the night and wake up Flower. 2.That Flower will wake up River in the middle of the night if she wakes up to go to the bathroom or in the morning when she wakes up.
My hope is that we'll all be getting more sleep for two reasons. 1. River won't be waking up knowing I'm next to her and will feed her. 2. Flower won't be waking up in the middle of the night to join us in bed since River gets to be in our bed.
We'll see how it goes!

Always something to laugh at with this job

It has been very slow the last few days. Not that I mind. But I definitely appreciated the little ditty I'm about to share with you. It made me laugh. Move along if you don't like potty humor.

A guy I've never seen before came running up to the clubhouse and fumbled with the door, seemingly unable to get it opened fast enough. Looking very stressed he shouted, "BATHROOM?", before even making it into the office. Seeing his urgency I quickly said, "straight on back" as I pointed. He whipped around and went running without making any attempt to hide the fact that he was basically plugging his butt hole with one hand. I refrained from bursting out with laughter until I knew he was safely out of ear shot. He has now been in there for over a half hour. I'm guessing he has some cleaning up to do and I won't be going in there after he leaves to make sure it was done. I just threw up in my mouth a little. At least I had some afternoon entertainment and laughter!

**edited to add that he actually just came out and even came to the office to thank me for the use of our bathroom. Seriously?! Dude, if that was me I totally would have ducked out the back door without ever being seen again. At least he was polite. Hopefully that means he did a good clean up job. I hope underwear isn't found in the garbage! :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

River's 4 month Stats

River had her 4 month check-up today. She got three shots and barely cried. The nurse was impressed. She didn't weigh as much as I thought nor was she as long.

Her stats:
Weight: 15 pounds 12 ounces=90%
Height: 25 3/4 inches=95%
Head circumference:55 cm=55%

Her stats from 2 months old to compare:
Here stats:
weight: 13.7 pounds=97%
height: 23.75 inches=90%
head circumference=39.5 cm=70%

Her weight gain has slowed and her height has sped up.

Love this girl!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Amanda's in the states!!!

We found out last week that Amanda in China, who raised Flower until she was 21 months old, was in Utah! We were so excited. We were thrilled that KG just happened to have Saturday, Sunday, Monday off. We were overjoyed that Amanda and Flower would get the chance to see each other after two years of being apart.

Saturday morning we packed it up and headed out. We made it to Utah about 4:20 pm and went straight to the hotel. It was brand new and still smelled of new carpet. Loved it! The decor in the room and the colors were just my style and we couldn't have been happier. We had quick baths and were out the door by 4:45. We met Marco and Steph at Fuddruckers for dinner. We talked and talked and finally went to their place to play games and talk some more. It was so nice to finally get to know Stephanie and spend time with the two of them. She is a cute little pregnant lady and I can hardly wait for this baby to be born! Flower loved her. Stephanie bought her ice cream and watched her play video games. Flower dragged her wherever she could.

We had been eating Nerds as evidenced by Stephanie's tongue. :)
Flower absolutely adores Marco. She would just randomly say, "I love you Marco"
I can probably safely say the feelings are mutual.

Sunday we slept in till 10:30! All of us. It was wonderful. We lounged a bit and left for lunch at noon. We went to a really good restaurant, new to us, called Noodles and Company. We liked it a lot. Then we finally went in search of Amanda! She was staying at her friend Stephanie's house. Steph was a gracious host and welcomed us and fed us and we had a great time. We arrived at 1:00 pm and invaded her home until 10:00 pm. We had such a lovely time getting to know them and reconnecting with Amanda. It was really touching that when we pulled up to the house Amanda came to the car. She peaked in the window and Flower turned to me and got the biggest smile and twinkle in her eye and said, "Is that my Manda?!" You could see it in her eyes that she 'knew' who this was. There was an immediate connection there. She always calls her Amanda when we talk about her but when she lived in China she called her Manda so I think it's very cute that she reverted back to that as soon as she saw her. We were so comfortable all day and just really enjoyed everyone's company. Stephanie was very easy to be around and we have lots of stuff in common. Stephanie's sister and her husband were in town from Boise as well so she had a big dinner, also inviting her other sister that lives in Utah. When I found out she had a sister and parents in Boise I asked her what her maiden name was. She said Sipe. I recognized the name but just couldn't place it. It wasn't until her Utah sister came over and she said, "Oh Kristen's here" that it clicked. I went to high school with Kristen so it was really fun to meet her husband and cute daughter. It was just a really great day. I am so grateful that we were able to come and see Amanda and spend time with her like this.She has grown her hair out since last we saw her and it's very flattering on her. I love it.

As we were leaving Amanda put this hat on Flower. She didn't waste anytime turning into a ham. She was pretty pleased with herself and she had us all laughing.
We call this her Chinese face, getting those eyes as squinted as possible without being closed. :)

When we got back to the hotel we went for a swim. It was River's first! She actually loved it. Thankfully the water was a great temperature. KG and I had gone to Target earlier in the day and found this swimsuit. I fell in love with the apples. So cute. She apparently loved it as much as we did! With those eyes I can see why people ask us if she's Asian. :)
Flower loves her Strawberry Shortcake suit that someone gave her as a hand-me-down. It was her first time wearing it and she could hardly wait!
This is probably the funnest time I've had with Flower in a pool. We laughed and laughed and she was more confidant and trusted me so I was able to throw her around and have fun without her screaming and being scared. Lots of fun.

While in the hot tub we met a really nice guy from New York who happened to be LDS. We told him all about Amanda and China and all the things she does there. He was very interested in all of it. Then he and KG got into a great conversation about paintball. He has seven kids and that's one of the things he loves to do with them. He was also a bishop and did that with his ward youth. Super nice and interesting guy.

Monday morning we took it easy. River was sound asleep on the bed as we were getting ready.
We went to the new Draper Temple. I liked it much better in the photos I had seen because it looked white. Although I love how square it is, it's not my favorite color, being grey. The overcast and snow didn't help.

The windows are neat though.
It's also in a neighborhood with castles for homes. Geez.
That is one house in the center and this photo makes it look small. It also wasn't the largest one there, just the easiest to photograph. Nothing like making you feel inadequate right before you go into the temple. :)
From there we went to IKEA. We went with good intentions of getting a new bed for Flower. I will write a separate post on that. However, what we neglected to think about was how we'd get it all home! Once we got out to the car, in a blizzard mind you, we realized we were in trouble! Poor KG was out in the storm loading and unloading the car several times to make things fit. We had to switch River's car seat to behind me so we could put the seat behind him down. The girls were basically in a cave and unable to get out once in.
KG and I couldn't even see each other unless we leaned forward.
But hey, he made it work! The funniest is when he got it all in the first time and then tried to get in his seat. He had put his seat all the way forward not taking into account he would need to sit in it. His head was touching the visor and his gut was hanging over the steering wheel. I could not stop laughing. Dang me for not getting a photo. He had to get out and start all over. No easy feat since there were three boxes, the lightest box being 180 pounds!!! There was also two good sized bins and our luggage. We were jam packed! Through all of that it wasn't even stressful because he's always so calm. I love my big strong man.
After that madness we went to Marco's work for one last visit and chatted for a bit. We were finally on the road by about 4:00 pm. We made it home by 9:30. Not bad!

I am so grateful for this trip. I needed the getaway with my family and it was made even better by those we spent time with. It's so awesome to reconnect with people and feel like no time has passed. We are so lucky to have amazing friends in our lives and especially ones that adore our children! The whole trip really meant a lot to me.

Let's kick it.

can you dig it?

My photo
i love life. i love my family. i love adventures.

past ramblings

peace out