Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm Famous!

OK, not really. But a photo of mine made it onto the cover of a book!
I really love photography. It's not something that I spend a ton of time on.
Between kids, pregnancies and life in general, I haven't devoted a lot of time to that hobby.
But a year or so ago, I started uploading photos to a stock photography website.
Every now and then, I make a little $. I rarely get to see when and how my photos are used.
But, it's fun for me and something that I can do on my own time table without pressure from real clients.
Well, last week, someone bought my photo for a book cover and emailed me to let me know how and where it was used.
It's a book about traveling with kids. I've never read it, so I can't recommend it one way or another, but I'm sure I'll order a few for myself, just because of the cover.

Here's the link if you're interested in checking it out:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chocolate Balloon Cups

image courtesy of

I saw THIS RECIPE quite a while ago on BAKERELLA.
We finally tried it yesterday.
It was fun and in the end turned out well.
But, before you go trying the recipe, let me first say,
Follow The Directions!!!
I know, you're probably smarter than me and when you read a recipe, you do what it tells you.
I just thought it looked so easy and fun, that I jumped right in and didn't read carefully.
3 things Not to Skip:
- wash the balloons
-spray lightly with cooking spray
- let the chocolate cool
If you Do Skip, just for the entertainment value...
the balloons will POP and you'll have liquid chocolate sprays all over your kitchen,
and your child who is trying to help.

p.s. we didn't actually make the pudding recipe. we just filled our cups with ice cream.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I used to be lifeguard...

but it's different when it's your own child...

Sunday evening C & E were setting up a board game while I finished dishes.
I heard E coughing in the other room.
It quickly turned to gaging.
I left the dishes to find E barely breathing.
And, then it turned into only one tiny gasp of air every few seconds.
My husband ran into the room and grabbed the phone to call 911 while I attempted to do the
Heimlich Maneuver for a Child. I thought I was doing it just right, but it didn't seem to be working very well.
I just couldn't seem to get a good thrust.
That's when I realized that my gigantic belly was in the way! Duh! I had completely forgotten that I was pregnant.
I switched with my husband who said 911 was not answering???
I tried calling and got a recorded message???
My husband's attempt at the Heimlich finally dislodged the small chess piece that was causing the choking, along with some blood.
Don't ask me where it came from. I can't even remember how to play chess.
E seemed to recover quickly, with just a sore throat for about a day.
I think the chess piece must have cut his throat a little.

So, this got me thinking about 2 things:
1) What would I have done if 911 never did pick up?
2) What would I have done if E ended up passing out because of the lack of air?

I searched around and thought I would share the answers with you. These are things that every parent should try to be prepared for.

1) I decided to ALWAYS have the Fire Dept. and the Sheriff's Office phone #s on the refrigerator and in my cell phone.

2) Know the Heimlich & CPR. Like I said, I used to be a lifeguard and have been a swim instructor for years. But, if you don't keep current, you forget. And, I found out that the recommended guidelines have changed a bit over the years.

Sometimes I wonder how kids survive to adulthood!

One more thing I found out:
 the #1 choking hazard for children (after food) is

Monday, August 23, 2010

Being 2 means...

 having lots of

                             UPs                                  &                      DOWNs

Friday, August 20, 2010

After school snack

Per my neighbors suggestion,
I decided to have a special something for my kids when they got home from their 1st day of school.
What would it be? A little trinket? Homemade cookies & milk?
In the end, I got lazy and tired and never made it to the store.
So, I had to create something out of what was in our kitchen.
They ended up with Oreo shakes & whipped cream on top!

It was a hit. Especially since my 2nd grader, "Hates school!"
Not something I realized could happen before becoming a parent...
I though kids started hating school in Jr. High!?!?

Do you have any 1st Day of School rituals?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I have mixed feelings about summer break being over.
Sometimes it's nice to have extra time with your kids.
I mean, they won't be kids forever, right?
At the same time, it's nice when school starts again and a schedule is established.
Plus, grocery shopping with 3 kids, while 8 months pregnant... not fun!

The 2 year old definitely does not like being left behind!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mini Water Cycle

One last science project before summer break is over!

C & I made a mini water cycle.

First, get 2 bowls, one bigger than the other. Preferably the smaller one will be heavier than the larger one.
Place the small bowl inside the larger bowl.
Put water into the larger bowl, being careful not to get any water into the smaller bowl.
Cover both bowls with plastic wrap.
Put a rock or some sort of weight onto the center of the plastic.

Set outside or near a window.
Pretty soon (depending on the weather) you'll get some evaporated water in the smaller bowl.

And, that's your mini water cycle!

*This experiment could also come in handy if you're ever stranded on a deserted island,
with no fresh water source...
and you happen to have 2 bowls and some plastic wrap*

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Birthday Cake

So, my now 8 year old, requested a cheesecake for his birthday.
Doesn't sound too hard, I thought.
Then, he adds, "decorated like Leonardo the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle."
Great. No idea where to start.
First of all, you usually don't frost a cheesecake.
Secondly, I'm not an artist! (at all)

Here's what I came up with.
He was pretty happy with it, and that's all I cared about!

I mixed up the cheesecake batter and then mixed in some green food coloring.
After it cooled, I added the mask and smile.
Pretty easy. Not super professional looking, but it worked!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Need a Boost?

This is a powerful video message for all the mothers out there.
And, it's also only a couple of minutes long...
which is also good for mothers!

Heavenly Peanut Butter Fudge

Or maybe it should be called, "Hellish."
It's probably a ton of calories...
I missed our annual family camping reunion last week.
Again, due to the hugeness of my belly.
I got to thinking about all of the awesome food I would be missing.
So, I gave grandma a call and got her Peanut Butter Fudge recipe, a staple item at the reunion.
You may want to share this with a neighbor, if you find yourself devouring the entire pan!

1 cup 1/2 & 1/2 (i used whole milk cause i was too lazy to go to the store - not quite as rich, but still great)                         
2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
1 T. Light Karo Syrup
5 HEAPING T. of Peanut Butter (don't hold back!)
3 T. Butter
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup Walnuts (I used peanuts)

Put the 1/2 & 1/2, sugar, salt & Karo Syrup  into a pot and heat until simmering. Let simmer and stir frequently for around 15-25 minutes.
After 15 minutes have passed, test to see if it is ready for the next step.
To test, fill a cup or shallow bowl with cold water. Add an ice cube or two to make it nice and cold.
Get a small spoonful of the simmering mixture and submerge it in the water. Then, use your finger to try and mold it into a little soft ball. If it doesn't work, try simmering for a few more minutes. Keep trying until you get that nice soft ball.
Remove from the heat, and add the remaining ingredients.
Mix it and whip it with a wooden spoon for a while.
Pour into an 8x8 greased pan.
Let cool before cutting into squares.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Labeled Cups

I finally got sick of washing tons of cups every day!
I found some cheap ($.60) cups the other day and labeled them with each boy's name.
Now, they use the same cup all day long.
No germ swapping and less dish washing!
Why did I wait all summer to do this?