Monday, May 31, 2010

Muffin Top Madness

Happy Memorial Day!  I was able to sneak away for a few minutes between preparing our BBQ and homemade ice cream...YUM!

Well, it has been 8 weeks since I had my baby and my lovely "muffin top" still remains.  I am sure that the homemade ice cream doesn't help, but I am tired of not being able to fit into my clothes.  Oh pre-pregnancy body; why did I criticize you so?  Come back to me...I'm sorry!!!  Who came up with the term "muffin top" anyway?  The muffin tops are the best part of the muffin...and my "muffin top" is definitely not the best part of my body!!  This flabby bulge needs a new name...any ideas?

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Patience is something that I really struggle with.  Sad to say, I usually find myself becoming impatient with those who I should be the most patient kids.  A few weeks ago, Eric taught a great Family Home Evening lesson about patience and how we really need to be patient with each other as a family.  Here is a scripture from the Book of Mormon that he shared:

Alma 26:27...Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.
Sometimes as a mother I find myself a little depressed or discouraged and I want to just go away and lock myself in my room or "turn back".  But I have noticed that when I stop to ask Heavenly Father for help, He comforts me and I am able to "go amongst" my kids with more patience.  When I lose my cool in those frustrating moments of kicking, screaming, pouting, begging, whining, and fighting it only adds fuel to the fire and we all end up mad.  On the other hand, when I am patient, we have success in having a more happy family....Man, it sure is hard sometimes though!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Beatboxing to books

One of the best book investments that we have made are the Sesame Street books A-Z.  There is a board book for each letter and each book has a short story or rhyme focusing on that letter.  If you turn the book over, they all connect to make a big floor puzzle with a picture of Big Bird with an item starting with each letter of the alphabet.

My kids have all loved them and I think that it really gave them a head start to their reading because they learned their letters so fast.  Nathan can identify every letter in the alphabet.  He loves to hear them at bedtime.  Eric has started a new tradition of beatboxing while reading these books to Nathan.  There is nothing like a little rap/beatbox to put a kid to bed!  Now Nathan may have a beatboxing career ahead of him because I will catch him "a-pooh-pooh-choo"ing several times a day.  It is SO funny to hear and he even has some sweet moves to go along with it.

What are your kid's favorite books?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Neighbors and Homemade Oreo Cookies

After going to Little Bishop Chronicles, I wanted to post something funny that Nathan, my 2 year old, said:  He wanted to say the prayer the other night at dinner.  My husband was helping him and here is how it went:
Eric would say the words which Nathan would repeat.  Dear Heavenly Father.  Thank thee for the food.  Thank thee for our family.  Thank thee for our neighbors....(long pause), then before repeating the last one, Nathan looked up at Eric and asked in a cute, confused little voice "What's neighbors?"  We all started to laugh.  It was hard to get through the rest of the prayer.

Here are the homemade Oreos that we made for our garage/bake sale last weekend.  They are SO YUMMY and a definite crowd pleaser!  I usually double the recipe because we like to share them with our neighbors.

Homemade Oreos
1 box devil's food cake mix (Betty Crocker brand works well)
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs

In a large bowl combine cake mix, butter, and eggs.  Chill about 10 minutes.  Roll into small balls and place on baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.  Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting: (this makes enough for a double batch)

1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together.  Add the powdered sugar and mix.  If the frosting is too thick, add a little milk (1 tsp at a time) until it is thick and spreadable.  Spread filling on top of cookie, and then top with another cookie.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Goin' on a Bear Hunt

Today for our Thursday's Thriller, we went on a Bear Hunt.  I made some binoculars out of a toilet paper roll cut in half and taped together.  I got Nathan dressed in his hunting gear with a backpack (stocked with crackers), hat, binoculars, and a flashlight.  Then I hid a teddy bear in a dark room/cave and we were ready for our hunt.  Here are the lyrics of a fun bear hunt.  You say one line and then the kids repeat it:

Cool Bear Hunt

Chorus: We're going on a bear hunt. 
            We're going to catch a big one,
With big green eyes,
And a fuzzy little tail.

Look over there. 
It's a candy factory. 
Can't go over it. 
Can't go under it. 
Can't go around it. 
Guess we'll go through it.
Yum, yum, yum, yummmm. (Chorus)

Look over there.
It's a peanut butter river
Can't go over it.
Can't go under it.
Can't go around it.
Guess we'll swim through it.
(Grunts as you swim through the PB) (Chorus)

Look over there. 
It's a Jell-o swamp
Can't go over it.
Can't go under it.
Can't go around it.
Guess we'll go through it.
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle (Chorus)

Look over there. 
It's a cave. . .
It's cold in here. 
I see two big green eyes, 
And a fuzzy little tail. 
It's a bear! 
Go through the Jell-o swamp. 
Swim across the peanut butter river. 
Go through the candy factory.
Run home. 
Open the door. Shut the door. 
We went on a bear hunt, 
And we weren't afraid!

After our bear hunt, when we were safe inside again, we had some crackers for a snack.  If I were more prepared today we would have had candy, peanut butter, and 
jell-o...Oh-well.  Later Nathan, the fierce hunter, took a nap with his prey.  

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Waking up with a Smile

So this morning I was awakened for the third time and my first thought was "Crap, is it morning already?!"  I was not ready to get up and start another the not so lovely aroma of poop was seeping out of Nathan's room...Crap, crap, crap...literally!  Not a great way to start off my day.  Then, from the bassinet came the cute cooing noises from my 8 week old, Travis.  I went over there, and he melted my bad attitude with a huge grin which even turned into a little laugh.  He made my day.  

My post for today is to remind us all to is the best gift you can give sometimes :)

“If you see a friend without a smile; give him one of yours.” Old Proverb

Smiling is infectious,
You can catch it like the flu.
Someone smiled at me today,
And I started smiling too.
~Author Unknown

Thanks for your smiles Travis!

Also, I found this great link to find other blogs or to advertise your blog:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Garage Sale

With a four bedroom home and four kids we have acquired a lot of stuff/junk and have no extra space to keep it.  We started de-junking before our baby was born to make room.  Then on Saturday we had a garage sale to try to sell all of the stuff that we no longer need.  The night before, we made a bunch of cookies so that the kids could be involved with a bake sale.  (On Friday I will post the recipe for the home-made oreos that we made...YUM)  

Saturday came, and so did the rain.  It was very cold.  For four hours, we battled the rain, wind, and whiny kids.  When it was over, we had a few extra dollars in our pockets, tons of cookies left over, a van full of stuff to take to the DI, and a garage full of big items that we will try to sell online.  Was is worth it???  The triumphant part of this story is that we now have a less cluttered home (never mind that I now have to park outside because the clutter moved from our home to the garage).  

Check out The Yard Sale Queen to help you have a more successful garage sale than we did :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mommy's Tantrums

My two year old sure knows how to throw a whopper of a tantrum.  He will throw himself down, kick his legs, scream, and sometimes even spits.  What does it get him? - a lot of time alone in his room.  I'm jealous...the next time I have to change a poopy diaper, or clean the bathroom, or listen to whiny kids I am going to throw myself down on the floor kicking and screaming (I'll leave out the spitting because I would have to clean that up when I am done) and throw a huge tantrum.  My family would get so sick of me that they would send me to my room for hours and hours while the diaper got changed and the bathrooms were cleaned and everyone was happy.

OK..maybe in my dream world.  In real life the poopy diaper would get smeared all over the already dirty bathroom and everywhere else if I were to get sent to my room.  I guess that throwing a tantrum won't work; maybe I could try sucking on a seems to work for my baby :)  Here is a funny little story:
"It was one of the worst days of my life.  The washing machine broke down, the telephone kept ringing, my head ached, and the mail carrier brought a bill I had no money to pay.  Almost to the breaking point, I lifted my one-year-old into his high chair, leaned my head against the tray, and began to cry.  Without a word, my son took his pacifier out of his mouth and stuck it in mine." (Clara Null, in Chicken Soup for the Working Woman's Soul, 231)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pep-talk from President Hinckley

I think that as women, we have a tendency to get really down on ourselves and to be too hard on ourselves - I know that I am! I remember one Saturday I was feeling like I was not a very good mother and wa-wa-wa, poor me. I went to Women's Conference that night and heard a talk from President Hinckley that turned my attitude around completely. I love President Hinckley, he just had a way of making me smile and feel good about myself. Here are some parts of that talk that lifted me up. If you want to read the entire talk, it is in the November 2003 Ensign called "To the Women of the Church."

"Well, you dear women, I say thanks to you. Thank you for being the kind of people you are and doing the things you do. May the blessings of heaven rest upon you. May your prayers be answered and your hopes and dreams become realities.....You are doing the best you can, and that best results in good to yourself and to others. Do not nag yourself with a sense of failure. Get on your knees and ask for the blessings of the Lord; then stand on your feet and do what you are asked to do. Then leave the matter in the hands of the Lord. You will discover that you have accomplished something beyond price.....Walk with pride. Hold your heads up. Work with diligence. Do whatever the Church asks you to do. Pray with faith. You may never know how much good you accomplish. Someone’s life will be blessed by your effort."

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Stephanie's Story

Grab a box of tissues while you watch this YouTube video and have a good read that really puts life into perspective. For today's story, I want to share a blog that is very inspirational. Stephanie writes about her daily struggles and joys as a mom. She and her husband were in a near fatal plane crash and suffered severe burns. Every time I read her blog I am reminded just how precious life is and to make the most out of what we have. The simplest tasks like buttoning her daughter's jacket is a struggle, but she has such an inspiring is good no matter what. Check out her blog here:

Do you have a favorite blog that inspires you? If so please leave a comment and share the blog!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Chicken Manicotti

I have never dared to try to make manicotti.  It just looked so intimidating to me.  That is until a few days ago when I decided to give it a try and it was much easier than I thought.  It turned out great and my family loved it.
Here is the recipe:

Chicken Manicotti
1 package manicotti shells
1 pound of shredded chicken
8 oz. cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella
2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
8 oz. can of tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350.  Boil manicotti according to directions (do not overcook - soggy pasta is nasty!) and let cool.  Mix cottage cheese, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, shredded chicken, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Stuff cooked manicotti noodles with mixture.  Top with tomato sauce and the rest of the shredded cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Spring Fling

Today Nathan, Izy (my niece), Lilah (my dog), and I went outside to finally enjoy the beautiful Spring weather.  We blew bubbles (which Lilah LOVES to chase), played on the swings, and enjoyed a popsycle.  The kids had a blast and I had a great time playing with them.....when I wasn't wiping slimy bubbles off of my floor, and scraping dog poop off of a shoe.

 Note to time don't let a 2 year old carry the bubbles outside - in the 2 minutes that Nathan had the bubbles he managed to open them and spill them all over the floor.  How he managed to open a new bottle of bubbles, I wish I knew.  Those seals on the inside of the lids are SO hard to get off...well for me anyway.  Next time I will just have Nathan open it for me.

Next note to sure to poop scoop before letting the kids out in the backyard.  Need I say more?

How can such a simple activity turn out to be such a mess?  Oh well, the cute giggles made it all worth it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day Old Child

I love this poem.  Babies bring such a neat feeling and spirit into your home because they are so fresh from Heaven!

Day Old Child
By Carol Lynn Pearson

My day-old child lay in my arms.
With my lips against his ear
I whispered strongly, “How I wish-
I wish that you could hear;
I’ve a hundred wonderful things to say
(A tiny cough and a nod)
Hurry, hurry, hurry and grow
So I can tell you about God.”

My day-old baby’s mouth was still
And my words only tickled his ear.
But a kind of a light passed through his eyes,
And I saw this thought appear:

“How I wish I had a voice and words;
I’ve a hundred things to say.
Before I forget I’d tell you of God-
I left Him yesterday.”

Here are my day old children:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Babies don't keep

After surviving Monday, my "Tuesday's Triumph" post will focus on something that has brought me joy or an accomplishment in my family.

Ahhh, heaven!  I just had a glorious nap with my 6 week old baby curled up in my arms.  There is nothing better than that!  (Well maybe holding my sleeping baby while eating ice cream which I did as well...giggle, giggle)  I know this cuddly stage won't last much longer and pretty soon he will turn into a teething monster and then a toddler that gets into everything, and then a temper tantrum two year old, and then an over-opinionated three year old, and then.......I digress, I guess that each stage has its fun things too, but I LOVE the newborn stage when they just curl up and sleep.  So today I took full advantage of this fleeting moment and left my dirty dishes in the sink and just held him for as long as I possibly could.  Downstairs I have an embroidered poem that my grandma stitched hanging on my wall.  It says:
"Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow...for babies grow up we've learned to our quiet down cobwebs...dust go to sleep...I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep!!"  
 Thanks for the advice Grandma!!  It made my day!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Yellow Baby Poop Stains....BLAAAHHH!

Monday, Monday, go away; please let me take a nap today!  Mondays...I hate Mondays. They are crazy madness. It seems like I have to get everything done on Mondays; cleaning up after the weekend, laundry because we are out of clean clothes, grocery shopping because there is no food in the house. It is just a crazy day! So for my "Monday's Madness" posts I want to combat this hectic day by posting a tip to make Mondays easier or a funny story about a "Parental Blunder", or something funny that one of my kids says or does because I could sure use a laugh on Mondays!

Today's post is a tip for those yellow baby poop stains. Right now in my life I am up to my elbows in poop between my 2 year old who refuses to poop in the toilet and my 6 week old who has at least one blow-out everyday. I have used all kinds of stain removers, and the stains remain. That mustardy poop drives me nuts! I think that if I find the solution to these poop stains, it will work for anything!

So today at the store I bought the Oxi Clean Max Force Pre-Treater Gel Stick. I have heard that OxiClean is great on stains so I wanted to give it a try. I treated the stains - one fresh and several that have already gone through the wash. I just pulled them out of the washer and drum roll please......Yeah, Yippy, Skippy, Hooray, the clothes are clean!!!! There are no more yellow stains - even on the clothes that had gone through the wash already. I am amazed! This makes my Monday a little more tolerable. Now when I hear my baby grunting followed by the explosion in his pants I will be ready!

This picture is of the worst blow-out ever. I wish I would have known about Oxi-Clean back then! How can babies still be so cute even when they are covered in poop?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

What matters?

For the "Sunday's Scripture" I want to quote part of Sister Beck's talk from the Saturday morning session of April's General Conference.  I must admit that I slept through most of this last conference because it was just two days after I had Travis...needless to say I was pretty tired!  Thank goodness that I can go back and read all that was said!  I remember that I was very drowsy during this talk - but this one quote really struck me - probably because it is just what I needed to hear.

Sister Beck quotes Eliza R. Snow.  She said "Women should be women and not babies that need petting and correction all the time.  I know we like to be appreciated but if we do not get all the appreciation which we think is our due, what matters?  We know the Lord has laid high responsibility upon us, and there is not a wish or desire that the Lord has implanted in our hearts in righteousness but will be realized, and the greatest good we can do to ourselves and each other is to refine and cultivate ourselves in everything that is good and ennobling to qualify us for those responsibilities."

I am a real baby sometimes!  There are days when I get so mad because my family didn't appreciate the dinner that I made, or no one noticed that I vacuumed, or act like clean clothes just magically appeared in their closets.  What matters?  I know that my family loves me and that they appreciate what I do for them...most of the time.  And those days that I don't get a "thank you" don't matter because I am letting such petty little things get me frustrated with those that I love the most.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Book of Mormon

My goal of "Saturday's Story" is to share my favorite books, websites, and blogs for both parents and kids.  I would also love lots of comments and suggestions to get more ideas!

My first story is my favorite book for all ages - The Book of Mormon.  It is the story of the ancient American people and is another witness of Jesus Christ.  It is the book that I go to to find comfort, answers, and joy.  One of my favorite scripture says that "Adam fell that men might be; and men are that they might have joy."  God wants us to be happy and to find joy and fulfillment in our lives.  Reading The Book of Mormon has helped me to feel that joy!

We try to read The Book of Mormon every night together as a family and my older two kids have really enjoyed reading and learning the stories that is contains.  Sometimes it is hard for my kids to understand, but I have been amazed at how much they really do comprehend.  Just last night as Kaylee and I were reading, we read a verse and she stopped and explained it in her own words.  I was amazed!

I know that The Book of Mormon is true!  Joseph Smith said; "I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book."

If you would like to learn more, go to

Friday, May 14, 2010

Peanut Butter Fingers

I thought it fitting for my first "Fabulous Food" to have a peanut butter recipe.  This is one or our favorite desserts; my Grandma’s recipe for P.B. Fingers…She used to be a school lunch lady when they would make lunch from scratch – so these are the real thing…YUM!  This recipe will make 2 cookie sheets full.

1 ½ cups butter                      
1 cup sugar                           
1 ½ cups brown sugar            
3 eggs                                    
1 Tbls vanilla                         
1 ½ cups peanut butter
1 ½ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
3 cups flour (add another ½ cup if dough is too moist after mixing everything in)
3 cups oats

Cream butter and sugars.  Add vanilla and eggs.  Add peanut butter and mix, then add all dry ingredients.  Spread on 2 cookie sheets and bake at 350 for 5 minutes.  Rotate pans and bake another 5 minutes.  Just bake to a very light brown – almost doughy.  Do not overbake!
(After I bake these I will usually cover one in plastic wrap and freeze it for the next time I need a dessert – then you just pull it out, thaw, and put the p.b. and frosting on)

Spread thin layer of smooth peanut butter on top – it is easier to do when the crust is still a little warm.
Then put chocolate frosting on top:

½ cup butter
½ cup  evaporated milk
½ cup cocoa
3 ½ to 4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla


Thursday, May 13, 2010

City Construction

For today's Thrilling Thursday my 2 year old son, 1 year old niece, and I got down on the floor and constructed a mini city.  First we made roads with masking tape.  Then we got out blocks, boxes, and Little People's sets for the buildings.  We constructed a school, a farm, a zoo, and several block houses.  Nathan had fun building the houses and putting little figurines inside and my niece, Izy, had fun being the demolition crew and knocking them down.  Nathan didn't quite get the concept of driving his cars on the roads, and it didn't keep his attention as long as I would have liked,but we had fun while it lasted.

 I think that this activity would work better with older kids.  I am going to try it again this afternoon when my older two kids come home from school.  I think that I will totally shock them and let them play with it before they get their homework and piano practice done....And I will even go one step further and play with them like the quote from yesterday said.  I was a little bummed when Nathan didn't want to play with me anymore so I will try it again later.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Getting delirious

I LOVE this thought so I thought that this would be perfect for my first "Wednesday's Words" post.

"I want my kids to see my eyes shine when I play with them.  I want to enjoy their play as much as they do.  I want to crouch down on the floor ad get delirious over the seemingly simple things that delight them.  I want to look at the world through their eyes.  I want to be theirs while I can. 

"I know that no matter how much I write about the funny things I want to remember, no matter how many pictures I take and stash in photo albums, no matter how much I will time to slow down and beg my kids to quit growing so darn fast, this time with young children will still slip away.  But the joy that I let myself feel while I'm in the moment with my kids will not fade with the years like the pictures and the memories; it will become part of me.  It will become part of my children." 
- Shawni Eyre Pothier; "A Mother's Book of Secrets"
It seems like the moments that I remember the most are the times when I get "delirious" with my kids.  Sometimes we just have to let our inhibitions go out the window and get down and really play.  It is so fun to just act like a kid...why don't I do it more often?

Why PB & J?

Ok, here goes...before I begin this Blog I feel like I need a little disclaimer:  I am not an excellent writer (thank goodness for Spell Check!) nor am I an expert mother.  "So why devote some of my precious free time everyday to writing about motherhood" you may's why:

About a month ago my professional licence as a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant expired and I was unable to renew it because I have not been working in that field for 5 years.  I was very discouraged because that was my career. That is what I wanted to be "when I grow up".  That is what I went to 4 years of college for- spending countless hours and money on.  That is what I loved to do and found fulfillment in helping others.   My plan was to be home with my kids while they are young and then to go back to work...not anymore.

So I now want to make motherhood my career.  When people ask what I do for a living I want to proudly say that I am a Mother.  I want to spend my time enjoying motherhood and finding fulfillment in helping my kids through our day-to-day routine.  I want to study and learn so that I can keep my "licence" up to date and be the best mother that I can for my kids....That is what I want; not what I am.  Most of the time I am a mom trying to keep my head above water by getting the essentials done and living for nap and bed times.  I am not finding contentment and joy as often as I would like...I am in a rut!

A few days ago, my 2 year old and I were eating his favorite meal for lunch - peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (which we have about 4 times a week).  As I was gagging mine down, I thought that I am sick of this lunch-time rut of PB & J and my bad attitude rut as a mother. So I incorporated the two.  I want to take a bite out of my Parental Blunders & spread more Joy in my career as a mother.  I know that each day won't be perfect and blissful, but I am hoping that by focusing more on my career as a mother through this blog, I can have those perfect and blissful moments more often in my day to help me find joy in motherhood.

So here is how I am going to post and organize my writing for now:

  • Monday's Madness - my parental blunders/bloopers and tips for avoiding them the next time.
  • Tuesday's Triumphs - my joyful/funny moments as a mom.
  • Wednesday's Words - advice and quotes from experts that I find as I pull out my parenting books that have been collecting dust over the years.
  • Thursday's Thrillers - fun activities to do with my kids.
  • Friday's Fabulous Food - I love to eat but I hate to cook because I never know what to make.  I will post a yummy new recipe to help us get out of our PB & J ruts.
  • Saturday's Story - good reads for kids and moms.
  • Sunday's Scripture - a motivating scripture or thought from a church leader.

Well, so begins my journey.  Please, please, please help me along the way by posting comments and suggestions.  I hope that this blog will not only help me to be a better mom, but other parents as well.