Monday, November 28, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies. Also known as de-lishous.

Ok lovelies, you know I don't bake. Well today, I figured Id give it a whirl. Only burned two trays, so I'm considering it a success!

My grandma used to make these when I was little, and I never really appreciated them.  Probably because she used to put walnuts in them, and I didn't (and still don't) like nuts in my cookies. So I substituted the walnuts with chocolate chips and they are amazing.

2 Ripe Bananas
1 Cup Soft Butter
1 Cup Sugar
2 Cups Flour
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Cup Peanut Butter Chips
1 Cup Raisins
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts or Chocolate Chips- your choice

Preheat oven to 350. Put bananas into a blender until smooth. In a large bowl combine butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add in bananas, eggs, and vanilla. In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually add the two mixtures together. Stir in peanut butter chips, raisins, and either chocolate chips or walnuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls two inches apart onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 9 minutes or until golden brown.

They seriously taste like banana bread cookies. The hubs even liked them, and he hates raisins- so these are a winner at our house!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Our Baby Butterball- First Thanksgiving

I'm one of those Mommy's.  One who dresses her kid up in outfits and hats for holidays.

I figure I only really have a year until he learns to say "No Momma!", so I'm taking full advantage now.

Its crazy to think that last year on Thanksgiving, the hubs and I woke up on our honeymoon in Mexico. We didn't have an alarm clock, and had no where to be. It was 85, sunny, beautiful and perfect.

This year, Grayson yelled for us at 7am. He ate, then we played until we had to get dressed to run to the first of three Thanksgiving stops for the day.
It was 50, rainy and gloomy. And yet, still perfect.

I can honestly say I couldn't have dreamed a more perfect day. (Except for searing my arm on the rack in my Mom's oven...that's one way to get me to put a few quarters in the swear jar!) Here are just a few of the pictures from that day...and you tell me that hat isn't amazing.

Too much turkey = double chin. Oops!

We're truly blessed.

Now, bring on the fat man in red- Momma is ready for Christmas!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Month Two Must Haves

This month we have only had really a few new things that I would say are new cant-live-withouts. We're still loving on all of our things from month one, but these are our new additions.

(If you missed Month One Must Haves, check them out here!)

Best thing ever! Its a binky, attached to a small stuffed animal- so when they spit it out in the car it doesn't fall by their feet. Making it possible for Mommy to find it from the drivers seat in traffic. Grayson also likes to hold onto the monkey, and its the perfect size for his little hands.

The have a dribble catcher! Its just a raised area at the top of the bib, but it stops the milk from running down into the folds of the double chin. Genius!

The Lovey

Basically, a blanket with a head.  Super soft and adorable, they're really the only toys Grayson plays with.  He hugs on them, and talks to them its super adorable. In the car he usually has one under each arm and hes a happy kid.

We turn this on at night, and it makes the womb sounds and the sound of Mommy's heartbeat.  We started turning this on when we moved him into his own room and he started sleeping through the night. It also just helps to calm him down when hes upset.

Two Months Old

Dear Grayson Boy,

You're two months old. Holy cow. Mommy had to go back to work this week, and I'm so sad our special time together is over.  Now I have to share you with Grammy and least until June when I get you all back to myself!

When we took your two month pictures you were kind enough to hold up two fingers to show everyone you knew how old you were, such a smart little guy.
Here are some things from month two:
  • At your two month visit, you weighed in at 11 pounds and 6 ounces and were 23 1/2 inches long- you're growing like a weed my love. You're also starting to get some chub somewhere other than your cheeks- which you get from Mommy, sorry!
  • You give smiles away to everyone. All someone has to do is look at you and talk, and boom, out comes those two big dimples. You also talk up a storm, and as soon as we get to Grammy's or if Gram and Pap are talking to you on Skype you start blabbering away telling them all the mean things we did to you.
  • This was a big month for you. You had your two first holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving as well as your baptism. You did so well in Church, and when Pastor Doug put the water on your head you just smiled up at him and cooed. He liked you so much that currently you and him are his facebook picture.

  • You started to like you Mamaroo this month, and have started to entertain yourself when Mommy and Daddy bore you. Your favorite toys are your loveies. You have a giraffe, a monkey and a puppy and will usually be found with one under each arm. Mommy likes to call you her little toy hoarder. I think you're practicing for when Kaos and Gizmo try to steal things from you.
  • You eat like a champ, anywhere from 4-6 ounces every 3 to 4 hours. We kind of just feed you whenever you have your hungry cry.
  • You love looking around at the world, and are curious about everything.  If we go for a walk, you stay awake the whole time taking in the whole neighborhood. Even when you eat, its hard to feed you because you're too busy looking around.
  • You had your first day at Grammy's and your first Daddy-Grayson day because Mommy went back to work. The first day you were with Grammy and she said you were just awesome. I came to get you and you promptly threw up on me, and I didn't even mind. Tuesday Daddy had his first chance to spend a whole day with you without Mommy...and he said it was one of the best days he has ever had. Everyone really does love you bunches little man, you make our whole world better.
  • You're starting to reach for your toys, but you don't seem too interested yet. However, you do like looking at yourself in the mirror on your play mat.
  • You are an acid reflux baby, and its been a challenge trying to get your medicine worked out so that you feel better. We can tell when its acting up because you start to cry and kick your feet. Hopefully we'll have it 100% figured out in the next few weeks and you can go back to being our always happy little guy.
Well that's all for now my little pickle boy.  I'm so excited to see what the next month has in store for us- and for all of the rest of our days. I love you more and more each day baby boy, always and forever.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Things I Can't Do.

I commented on another lovelies blog tonight how I cant keep a plant alive to save my life. Which pretty sad with that whole Biology degree...I should at least know enough to realize they require water.

And that got me thinking, what else can't I do?

Not in the boo hoo I'm sad I can't do this spirit, but rather in the Yes! I may fail at this but I'm still AWESOME spirit!

So here's my list:

1. I cant keep a plant alive.
2. I can't free hand draw anything- as a teacher, stick figures are my friend.
3. I can't whistle.
4. I can't eat shrimp- it feels too weird in my mouth and I can't swallow it. Come to think of it, I can't eat most things that come from the sea. Gross.
5. I can't build a lawnmower. I tried once, five hours later I still had no idea. Hubs came home and had it built in 20 minutes.
6. I can't figure out Photoshop.
7. I can't sew. I've tried, my quilt was awful.
8. I can't knock down cob webs- I'm terrified that the spider will fall on me and bite me.
9. I can't bake. My hubs jokes that he's amazed I didn't burn the bean when he was "baking".  I stick to brownies because you can't tell when I burn them.
10. I can't watch scary movies, I have nightmares for days. Sometimes I have to turn off CSI because it gives me the heebie jeebies.

So there it is. I'm a failure at those 10 things (there's probably more, but I'm not trying to make myself feel bad here!). But the really cool thing is, there are so many more things that I CAN do that I'm okay with my failures. I celebrate them because they're what makes me who I am. 

What about you guys, do you have anything you're not great at but you're totally okay with? Please share so I don't feel like a total loser!

How to Make DIY Birth Announcements

Super easy, super simple, and perfect if youre super picky like me and couldn't imagine spending $1.59 per announcement.

Im over at Life with the Ellwoods guest posting on how to make these beauties:

Go check out how I made them, as well as sneek a peak at Kristens GORGEOUS little girl, Brynlee Paige!

Enjoy those new baby snuggles, Kristen!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

No More Maternity Leave

I go back to work tomorrow morning.
Don't get me wrong, I love love love my job.  I also know how lucky I am to have a teaching job in today's economy, so I'm also very thankful that I have a job to go back to.
But boy is it going to be hard to leave this guy with my Mom on Monday morning and drive up the hill.

Its so strange that two months ago I got up and went to work and my life was totally different.
Then I got up to my alarm clock at 5:45, ate, got a shower, dried and fixed my hair, got dressed, put on makeup and was out the door by 6:30. I got to work and spent my day torturing teenagers, sneaking in some science learning, chatting to my coworkers and calling parents about grades/problems/improvements.  (Yes, I call home if a kid does something good- I think its good for parents to hear those things too) 
After school I hung out, made my copies and got ready for the next day and headed home by 4. I let the pups out, changed into sweats and crashed on the couch waiting for the hubs to come home. We had dinner (some nights cooked, other nights out) and just spent the evening hanging out.

I wake up when Grayson yells "Hey, Ma! I'm hungry over here!" (usually sometime between 6 and 7). I go and get him and give him his morning bottle...then we snuggle and go back to sleep till about 9 am.  Hes my alarm clock that I cant make snooze. Once he wakes me back up, we go downstairs and play and sing and eat another bottle. We fill our days with songs, stories, walks, trips to Grammy's, or running errands.  Sometimes if I'm lucky he takes a nice nap in his swing and I can get laundry done, clean the house and make dinner. If I'm super lucky I get to take a shower and dry my hair. Daddy comes home and we eat dinner, then just spend time hanging out with the little guy until 8. That's bath time with Dad, so I get to clean up the kitchen and living room and finish up some laundry while he gets bathed, lotioned, fed and read to. Then he's put down and me and the hubs spend the rest of the night together. We rarely run errands together at night, because we don't want to mess with his schedule.  We used to eat out at least once a week, now now so much. 

It really is amazing how having a baby really does change a lot....and I don't mind it at all.

Wish me luck, lovelies, because I'm going to be one sad mommy tomorrow morning.

PS- Sorry to be a debbie downer..but how can I not be to leave this kid!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cloth Diapering

Before the bean was born, I had my heart set on cloth diapering.  It was going to be wonderful and green and easy and save us tons of money. 


You know that saying, "Want to make God laugh? Just tell him your plans"? I think Grayson also opperates under this mantra. He HATED cloth dipes. Like miserable baby times a million as soon as he was wet. I think thats why he perfected the pout at 3 weeks old.

Anywho- Im over at Nap Time is My Time today telling the world about my first epic mommy fail.

Head on over here and check it out!!
Hope you have a wonderful and much deserved vaca, Emily! I had such a wonderful time blogging for you :)

Nap Time is My Time

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holy Cow- I made a grabbable blog button!

Ask anyone, I am the most technology challenged human alive.  Seriously, my students usually have to update my computer and work my dvd/vcr combo. A few weeks ago when the hubs saw me blogging he was AMAZED that I could do it. Like he kept repeating "Wow, I'm so impressed!" over and over.

Some would say that's insulting, I'm kinda taking it as a complement.

Anywho- a few people have asked why I didn't have a blog button, and when I said I had no idea how to make one they did give me some names of people who would make them for me for a small fee. I think the prices ranged from $8-20....which really isn't bad, unless your cheap like me. When I told the hubs he told me that I could pay to have one made, because he didn't think I could do it on my own. Oh he of little faith!

So off to the blogosphere I went. I actually googled 'How to make a grabbable blog button' and got a few different sites. The first one was super easy to follow, but it didn't work in the end. 
I started by making the picture for the button.
First, I uploaded a picture to picnik (LOVE that site!!).  Then I cropped it into a perfect square (click on crop on the left hand side, then in the drop down menu that says "no constraints" choose square) and applied the settings. Then I had to resize it to 125x125 by clicking on the resize option and putting in 125 and applying that.
Your image should get pretty small, then you can zoom in by adjusting the zoom on the bottom right of the screen. It may look a little pixelated, but that's okay.
Now youre done with the basic edits, and you can proceed to add text by clicking on the text tab. Play around and have some fun, you can do whatever you would like! Then when you're done click on the Save and Share tab and save it to your computer.

Then you need to upload it to a photo sharing site, I used photobucket. Alot of people recommended picasa, but I couldn't find the URL for the photo on there, and on photobucket its super easy to find. Just hover over the image and click on the direct link and it will automatically copy to your clip board.

Now you can make two kinds of buttons, the first is just a blog button that will link to your site. The second is a grabbable button that others can copy and paste onto their blogs.

The first code is pretty easy:

<a border="0" href="yourblogURL" target="_blank"><img src="yourimagedirectlinkURL"/></a>

So you copy and paste this into the HTML section on your blog and change the items in red to fit your specific blog. You have to keep the quotation marks and when you're done it should look like this:

<a border="0" href="" target="_blank"><img src=""/></a>

Now this wont put in the option for others to grab, but it will make it appear on your blog or in a post and will link back to your blog.
If you want a grabbable blog button that code is a bit more complex. I found the one that worked for me over at The Pink Lemon Tree.
<div align="”center”">
<a href="YOURBLOGADDRESS" target="”_blank”"><img src="YOURIMAGEADDRESS"/></a>
<div align="”center”">
<form><textarea rows="”6″" cols="”19″" readonly="”readonly”"><a href="YOURBLOGADDRESS" target="”_blank”"><img src="YOURIMAGEADDRESS"/></a></textarea></form>

Here's what mine looks like:

<div align="”center”">
<a href="" target="”_blank”"><img src=""/></a>
<div align="”center”">
<form><textarea rows="”6″" cols="”19″" readonly="”readonly”"><a href="" target="”_blank”"><img src=""/></a></textarea></form>

Then just save the code and it should appear in your blog, allowing everyone to grab it.
 Easy peasy lemon squeaszy!
PS- hubs, if you're reading this I really did do this all by myself...check the bank account, I didn't pay a cent for it. HA!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Itching for Christmas

Here in our house, we LOVE Christmas.

Seriously, we are the Griswold's of our neighborhood.

Last year my husband put 5,000 lights on the front of our house and picked out a tree I called Shamu.

Cutting it was 4 degrees outside, and these two kept me out there for an hour looking for the PERFECT tree. Which I said was too large.

After he cut two extra feet off of the still touched the 10 foot ceiling. PS that window behind the tree is 4 feet wide.

All decorated with presents from Santa!

This year, we get to take Grayson out to cut down his first tree, so today I bought him his first baby snowsuit and thermal long undies.  If he's going to be in this family he's going to learn how to hang from birth I suppose.  I've also started to pull out Christmas decorations to put up when I get a chance, since its going to be a little harder this year with the Bean and all. 

Usually I make sure to wait until after Thanksgiving...we do respect the Turkey here...but this year the bird is just going to have deal with it. I can't help myself, I've already watched Christmas Vacation and Christmas with the Kranks - tis the season, lovelies!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

The other day I saw a recipie on Pinterest where you plop canned cinnamon rolls into the waffle iron for 2-3 minutes instead of baking them in the oven.

Sounds quick and easy, but how would they taste?


No crusty burnt bits, soft and gooey, and the icing melts into all the little waffle holes.

I made 5 waffles, and the hubs ate 4.5 of them before I even got a bite. Thats why he only ate 4.5, I finnally yelled STOP and got a half for myself. I would have made more, but we were out of Cinnamon Rolls- so this weeks shopping list has 3 containers on them as they would be great for a quick morning breakfast during the week.

Seriously lovlies, you gotta try these.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hoo Are You!

Im participating in Night Owl Crafting's Hoooo Are You link up...its a super fun way to get to know other bloggers and to get to answer some questions about yourself that you may have never been asked!

1. Do you type on a keyboard the correct way or do you peck like a cute little chick?

I sort of do a combo. Im a correct typer, who occasionally hunts and husband describes me as a hoverer. Apparently I hover over the keyboard instead of putting my fingers on the right keys.

2. Typically how long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

Before Grayson Boy, 45 minutes. Now, it depends on how much time he gives me...usually 15-20 minutes. Thats usually enough time for a shower and to find some clothes, Ive given up on the blow dryer, straightening iron, and make up.  The bean thinks his Mommy is gorge with caveman hair and dark circles.
3. Do you prefer lip gloss or lipstick?
Lip gloss, if I try lipstick I always end up with it on my teeth. Besides, lip gloss tastes way better!
4. Do you take clothes to the dry cleaner or wash them yourself even if they say dry clean only?
I dont buy things that are dry clean only, because Im way too lazy and cheap to take them to the dry cleaner. If something slips by I usually take it to my Mom and she uses that dryell kit in her fancy spaceship washing machine :)
5. Do you prefer Wal Mart or Target.

Target....why is it I cant get out of that store without spending $100? I think they pump something into the air in there that makes you go shopping happy.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Name Art and A Cheater Trick

Yesterday I had a kick ass Mommy day. I baked cookies (from SCRATCH, which is a HUGGE deal in this house), I did laundry, I cleaned out/organized the buffet in the pantry, I made lunch and dinner, and I snuck in a craft project.  All while my hubs was outside getting some work done around the yard to get ready for winter, meaning I had the baby.

Where the motivation came from I do not know, but I'm not going to fight it.

The craft project I tackled was one I have been meaning to do for awhile now, the wooden letters I bought to spell out Grayson's name above his crib.  Right now his crib is right in front of the mantle, and above that is a 5 foot by 5 foot blank yellow wall- of concrete. So its nearly impossible to hang anything there, because you have to literally drill into solid rock.  But oh, lovelies, I am a determined Mommy.

Enter super industrial strength Velcro.

I bought some of this stuff:

You just stick it to the back of the object and the wall and it will hang there perfectly.

Now, onto the letters. I bought the 5 inch wooden letters from JoAnn's (with coupons of course!), a pack of foam brushes and paint that coordinated with the bedding.

I started by painting all of the letters with a few coats of foliage green paint.  Then I realized I can paint two things, dots and stripes.  The dots were easy, they were just the end of different paint brushes.  The stripes were even easier- because I have a cheater trick, scotch tape.

After the letter is painted, break out the scotch tape and cover the letter, leaving open spaces in between. Make sure that they appear even, and rub over the tape edges really well so that no paint leaks under and then just paint away.  You can vary the width, or use something like a popcicle stick as a guide to keep them uniform. Once dry, peel off the tape and you have perfect stripes!

Here's the finished product:

Now- we just have to get them stuck to the wall and we'll be set!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cheddar Bacon Biscuits = Amazing!

Who doesn't love the Cheddar Bay Biscuits from Red Lobster?

I love them, but I'm not a big fan of anything else that the restaurant serves. I don't do smells.

So when the hubs gets to go there I typically get a Caesar salad and lots of biscuits. I started thinking about how I could do them at home, and started searching for some recipes.

Thank you Rachel Ray for coming through in a pinch with a super simple recipe that I think is even BETTER than the ones at Red Lobster. Why you may ask? Because these ones have the added goodness of bacon. Mmmm.

Super easy. Start with a bag of Bisquick Complete Biscuit Mix.

After dumping that into a mixing bowl start cooking up 3-4 slices of bacon in a frying pan.  Once done to your liking, remove and let cool.  Pour a tablespoon or so of the pan drippings into the dry biscuit mix.  Chop up the bacon and add it to the mix.  Now grab the cheddar cheese and mix in about 1/2 cup of the finely shredded stuff. Add the needed 1/2 cup of water and mix to combine.  Drop on the baking sheet and bake according to package directions (450*F for 8-11 minutes).

They're beautiful and delish and I can make them at home with anything other than fish. Score!