Friday, August 28, 2015

happy tears

For months we've been discussing whether or not we were going to start Kens in dance this year. We wanted to make sure she had an interest in it and would actually enjoy it, especially since she can be very shy. Buy much to our surprise she started asking us if she could start dance and practice her twirling. 
This past week we frantically started searching for a studio as we realized time had slipped away from us and classes were quickly filling up. Luckily we found one and then it was off to shop for all her gear and accessories. I danced for several years and I loved shopping for her first leotard and shoes. I loved dancing and have so many great memories of dancing, I couldn't wait for her to start. Last night felt like Christmas to me; I was anxious and excited for her! 
I pulled her hair back into a messy bun and secured it with one of my favorite bows. She was all sorts of cuteness!  
Once we arrived at the studio and she put her small ballet slippers on, I was sent over the edge, but was able to keep it under control until the Hubster and I got to the car. Then the happy tears started flowing. I've thought about this for a log time and have looked forward to to these activities for our kids. It's something I've always dreamt about, but it never seemed like it would get here or we would actually be doing it. A new life started tonight and I absolutely love it! 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

things i’ve learned this past month

You know that saying, ‘you learn something new everyday’? In the world of motherhood and being a stay at home mom for that matter, that saying could not be more true. Amongst all the craziness in our house I really am surprised how well we function with as little sleep we’ve been getting lately.  This morning I pulled a waffle out of the freezer for Kensi only to find the freezer was not in fact freezing. Everything was thawing. So after digging through paperwork to find the warranty we bought two years ago {always buy the’s worth it!} and hauling everything out of the kitchen freezer to the deep freezer in the garage {having a backup is also worth it!} I finally settled into the couch for my morning coffee and to watch Mickey Mouse Club House with Kens & Finn, which by the way.....Disney, please make new episodes! I’m really tired of Kansas City Mickey and hearing that a record player is an ancient device used to play music; vinyl is coming back ya know!
I wasn’t but a 1/4 of the way into my coffee when Finn let me know he needed a diaper change. Aye...did I mention it’s not even 8:30 here yet?
So to keep my sanity and humor going I thought I’d share my little list of new things I’ve learned the past couple weeks.

1. Sequins do in fact come out in poop if swallowed; as do cucumber seeds, blueberries and corn kernels.
2. Puffs and Cheeri-O’s are okay for breakfast, lunch & dinner.
3. Poor Man a.k.a. Melted Chocolate and peanut butter are a legit dessert
4. The five second rule does extend to ten or 15 seconds as long as the food is not moist.
5. Folding laundry is totally over-rated. Finn spends most days crawling around in a diaper just because I really don't want any more laundry. 
6. Amber necklaces and essential oils really do work and I don’t care how crunchy people think I am.
7. I apparently have a black cat obsession for Halloween and fall, but I don’t like real cats. Not even a little bit.
8. Baby poop stains are a real struggle, but thankfully to Pinterest this concoction works every. single. time.
9. I finally figured out the Repost app for Instagram. It only took forever because I must have been born in a barn. 
10. Pregnant brain and breastfeeding brain are a real thing. I just figured out how to take apart our countertop high chair in order to machine wash it. I've been hand washing and air drying for MONTHS! 

With that, you know how people say there’s a big difference between your first and second baby? Yeah that’s real....really real. And let's be many times did this sleep deprived mama say some form of 'real' in this post? A lot. Really a lot. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

stuffed zucchini from the garden

This was our first year attempting a garden from our own raised beds, we planted tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, onions and beans. A few weeks into June and it just got way too hot for some of the veggies and practically charred the onions and beans. Somehow, ironically, the yellow squash got squashed and never produced a thing. Our cucumbers and zucchini have been by far the most successful. We’ve made lots of pickles and we’ve eaten our share of zucchini. Now our tomatoes have taken off and I mean literally. After we came back from our trip three of our tomato plants were sideways like they were escaping. Cages mangled and all. Luckily we still have some tomatoes left, but since we have two growing seasons here, we’re going to attempt a round 2. Wish us luck! 
 One of my favorite recipes for stuffed zucchini is my moms. When we were back in Omaha my mom and I hit the farmers market and bought the biggest zucchini we could find and made Turkish Zucchini Dolmas. That’s the actual name of the recipe from our Better Homes and Garden Cookbook circa 1961.....yes 1961.....but we make it slightly differently and for the common person we just call it stuffed zucchini. By the way, if you ever come across the Better Homes and Gardens’ cookbooks.....snatch them up, they seriously have the best classic recipes!
Last night Kens and I went out to the garden and found a huge zucchini just waiting to be stuffed for dinner. Mike had never had this recipes and I told him if he didn’t like it then he was flat out crazy. Kensi only wanted the ‘meatball’ part which was totally fine with us since she really hasn’t eaten much with the virus she’s been battling. Finn just eats everything now. Luckily, with my few tweaks everyone really loved this recipe and it can continue to be part of our summer recipe stash!

Turkish Zucchini Dolmas
(Stuffed Zucchini)
1 pound Ground Beef
1/2 cup Onion, finely chopped
3/4 cooked Rice, any kind will do
1/3 cup Milk
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 tablespoon Fresh Mint, chopped
1 teaspoon Dried Dill
2 tablespoons Fresh Basil, chopped
8 medium Zucchini or 1 extra large one
8 oz can Seasoned Tomato Sauce (I just use marinara and freeze the rest) 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
Combine the first nine ingredients in a large mixing bowl, mix well. Cut both ends from zucchini. Using a spoon, scoop out the centers to make a boat. Remove the seeds and chop centers you removed and toss into the mixing bowl and combine. Place zucchini boats in 9x13 baking dish and season with a pinch of salt and pepper and fill using the mixture. Top with tomato sauce and cover with foil. Bake at 400 degree F for 45 minutes or until zucchini is tender and beef is cooked through. 


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

back at Home

We just got back from a three week visit to Omaha and both the kiddos are battling the sniffles and fevers. Finn has been teething the last couples weeks and every few days a whole new slew of crankiness comes around. Today he’s decided to share his snotty nose with all of us and Kensi is constantly pulling all the toys away from him in hopes of saving them from the Snot Monster. 
On top of the sniffles, we’ve been getting drenched with rain the past couple days. Looking outside you would think it’s cooler temps and the perfect recipes for hot soup, but no, it’s sticky and humid and all around gross. But we still are curling up under blankets, watching movies and drinking tea....let me just bump the air down a bit.
We spent yesterday hitting the grocery store to restock on stuff for the house. Aside from sparkling water, citrus fruits and lettuce, we also took advantage of all the school supply deals. We restocked on as many art supplies as possible. With Kensi into all things art we try and keep water colors, crayons, colored pencils and drawing paper in the house at all times. I say 'try' because we go through it like toilet paper. 
As I’m typing this afternoon, I’m actually typing at the cutest little desk that was given to us from Mike’s grandmother. We currently have it sitting in our dining room, which makes for the perfect spot as I can still hear and be near the kidlits playing in the other room. It’s in need of some love and I can’t wait to polish this sweet piece up. I’m thinking of doing a soft sand with a quick stain and dressing it up with fun hardware. Excuse me while I shop Anthropology for a little bit. 
Speaking of shopping, I’ve been browsing through some of my favorite stores and I cannot tell you all how excited I am for fall! I’ve been working on a few things to cozy up our home and I’ll share them with you very very soon! I’m such a nut, I keep checking into Baby Gap just to see if they’ve released their fall and halloween jams. Kensi and I are so excited and to be frank...having Kens and Finn in matching jams is seriously so stinking cute, I think my heart is going to explode! However, until those super cute jams come in stock I’m spending my time looking for some cute early fall favorites. I love the color purple and Kensi is obsessed with Rapunzel, which makes some of the pieces extra fun and easy without her putting up a fight. 

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