“Can you imagine finding out your parents aren’t really your parents?”

I’m currently watching an episode of “The Ghost Whisperer” on Netflix and they said something that got me thinking. They said “Can you imagine finding out that your parents aren’t really your parents?” to which the other replied “That was my dream as a teenager!” and the other agreed.

I want to know, is this something most people think as teenagers?

This is not something I ever wished at any point in my life. Sure, I had bouts of teen angst and anger at my parents, but I never wished I was adopted. (OK, I admit, there were times when I wished I was actually a long lost princess, but I never seriously wished I was adopted!)

I’m curious to know whether most teenagers think this way, or if I’m just unique because I have sisters who are adopted. Before I was born my parents could not have children so they adopted two girls from Korea before – Surprise! – they found out they were pregnant with me shortly before their second daughter arrived.

What are your thoughts?

Blackberry Puree

I’ve been a bad blogger!
I wish I could say this was a busy week, but I honestly can’t remember what happened this past week!!!!

Today was an exciting day. Allison and I started swim lessons! They’re parent/child lessons which is perfect for her because she is terrified of the water!!! I really don’t get it, because shes been exposed to my in-law’s pool since birth! I suppose a couple months a year is not enough for a kid like her.

The swim lessons are 3o minutes long. The first 10 minutes were rough and consisted of her clinging to me for dear life and chanting “I want to get out! I want to get out!” but I didn’t let her out and soon enough she was cautiously doing what she was supposed to. I think her favorite part was when the instructor threw a GIANT ball and each kid had to “swim” to get it (parent held child while child did doggy paddle and kicked feet) – Allison had her own modified version of this. She cling to me for dear life with one arm while the other doggy paddled and her feet kicked. But you know what? I’m happy about it! It’s an improvement to what she’s been doing in the past! I’m so proud of her! She got two stickers for her sticker chart. (FYI – this sticker chart was a failed attempt to encourage potty training!!! In the end it’s become a “I ate all my food, I get a sticker now!” kind of chart! Oh well….)

Aside from swim lessons, my big mission of the day is cooking up the fruit and veggies I bought at Aldi the other day to make baby food! Up first was Blackberries. Wow…. Yuck! I guess I can’t recall if I’ve ever had blackberries before but they are not good! Very bitter, even after adding syrup as the recipe I found instructs! I plan on mixing 1 part blackberries with 2 parts of apples or pears!

The recipe I used was from www.eco-inspired-organics.com

After washing the berries I loaded them into my Magic Bullet. I used the flat blade because I can't find the cross blade. It worked great though!

Now the berries are mushed!

The next step is to remove the seeds. The directions called for a strainer... this was the only thing I had that seemed like it would do the trick! Just smear the blackberry goop over the strainer with a rubber spatula.....

(close up of the blackberry goop on the strainer!)

This is what the bottom of the strainer looked like - No seeds! I took a clean spatula and scraped the goop into a bowl.

Here's my seedless blackberry mush!

Because blackberries are not that great tasting, the recipe said to add syrup to add some sweetness. I tried natural maple syrup (in this pic) but it didn't really improve the flavor, so I added some regular store-bought syrup. Still didn't really help.... I plan on mixing this with some other fruit when the time comes to feed this to Miranda!

Ta-da! Into the freezer tray!
All that work for 7oz? Not sure it was worth it! We'll see how Miranda likes it when the time comes but I'm pretty sure I will not be making this again!

And now I have Butternut Squash cooking in the oven so that I can prep that for babyfood. Miranda loves squash! Unfortunately the shell was extremely hard and even my impressive Cutco knife had trouble getting through and I ended up stabbing myself in the palm of my hand (ouch!) so hopefully I’ll have no more knife mishaps!!!

Spring Cleaning

Spent the last two days doing some Spring Cleaning activities.

I spent virtually all of Saturday working on putting prices on crap for our garage sale this summer. Two of those big ol’ bins you get from Target plus 4 diaper boxes. Holy cow, I think I may have been a little dizzy on Sharpie fumes after all of that!!!!!

I also finished watching the TV series “United States of Tara” on Netflix.  GREAT show! I totally recommend it, though don’t watch with kids around. That was my show to watch after the kids were in bed. Lots of swearing. Not usually my kind of thing, but the plot was so compelling I could overlook the colorful language.

Sunday’s task was to clean the bathroom! Yuck! We’re not big on cleaning in this house. As in, I’m the only one who will clean. I swear sometimes, it’s like we live in a time where the wife does all of the housework. Plus, trying to keep up with cleaning up after a 4 year old is not an easy task! So, essentially, the only time our house gets a good, thorough cleaning is before we host events. Usually that just means Allison’s birthday in April. I suppose it’s a good thing that Miranda has a September birthday! One more reason to clean! Plus, every 3 years we host Christmas with my dad’s extended family. My parents used to host, but once The Husband and I bought our house in 2009 and my parents saw how big our kitchen/dining room was, my mom enlisted us. Works for me! I’d like to be a Martha Stewart type (hence my striving to be a Domestic Goddess!) Anyway, last April I was about 4 months pregnant with Miranda and was suffering, even before the pregnancy, from horrible back pain. I asked The Husband to help me clean the bathroom and he really did not. I ended up cleaning the sink, mirror and toilet. He, after much nagging, the night before the party, swept and mopped the floor but he did a really half-assed job! I was not impressed but I had other things on my mind.

So there you have it, bathroom is now clean! I also cleaned my car! This is a once a year project for me, spring time (yay!) but again, last year due to the pregnancy, there was no way for me to clean the car. It was a total mess – papers on the floor, crumbs in the backseat, used tissues shoved in the cup holders. Just gross. So it’s now cleaned and vacuumed. The best part? I found my sunglasses!!! I wear glasses and it makes me dizzy to switch between regular lenses and prescription sunglasses, so I have some trendy glasses that I can wear over my glasses. No worries, I’m only nerdy enough to do that while I’m driving!!! If I wear them at the pool I take off my regular glasses 🙂

In addition to the clean car and bathroom, we also went on a family walk! It was great! We walked down to the park which is a few blocks away, it was kind of annoying though because there was some sort of party going on and all 4 swings were in use. It really irritates me as well when older kids use the baby swings, too! It’s not like I can put the baby on a regular swing! And here are these kids who are so big they can’t even put their legs in the holes!!! They finally left the swings so Miranda could have a turn. This baby loves the swing. 🙂  In addition to the annoying kids with the swing, while Allison was playing in the sand near the base of a jungle gym, one of those kids decided to start kicking sand at her. The Husband shrugged it off and said “Kids will be kids” to which I replied “If you caught Allison doing that she’d be getting told off right now!” I let it go until this kid took this sand bucket and started dumping it on her head! I don’t care what The Husband or this group of kids though, I called out “Hey! Please don’t dump that on her head!!!” and the kid stopped. Thank goodness. That was the time that the girl who was “supervising” them came over to actually watch them, she looked to be about 13 and there were maybe 6 small kids. *sighs* I hate when parents don’t watch their children!!!

So after that we enjoyed a dinner of burgers on the George Foreman Grill, gave the girls baths, got them to bed and enjoyed a “Supernatural” marathon!

Oh, and on another note – Won another contest today! I won a hair bow from Krazy Busy Mama Crafts! I got to choose one so I’ve requested a cupcake one I saw in her shop. I haven’t heard back on it yet, but yay! So exciting!

Until next time 🙂

Contest Queen

As of today I have dubbed myself The Contest Queen!

My friend Alyson over at Miss Free-Bee (also on Facebook Here) has got me hooked on Facebook contests!
She hosts a monthly give away on her blog, which got me started. She’s a part of my baby group (The September Snugglebugs!) on Facebook (we all have babies who were due in September 2011, we migrated from ivillage.com and have been happily settled on a private Facebook group for some time now!) She was advertising for her blog contest on the group so I entered…. And I won!

The photo in my previous blog entry features a photo of Miranda wearing a purple/blue/pink tutu. I totally won that from Lopez Creations! Epicness!

Thanks to Alyson I am also addicted to an etsy shop called My Belle Boutique. She makes and sells beautiful personalized necklaces (and now bracelets!) Well, she was having a 50% off sale, where I snatched up 2 necklaces and a bracelet (one necklace and one bracelet were gifts!) and during that sale she also had a “share” contest. Every hour was another sale for the entire day. Each sale you “shared” on Facebook got you an entry in a drawing to win $30 store credit. Over 450 entries and who goes and wins? That’s right! Me! I ordered a bracelet for myself with the names and birthstones of my family 🙂 It will be very patriotic with my red “garnet” and Allison and The Husband with their “diamonds” and of course Miranda my little “sapphire!”

The first necklace I bought from My Belle Boutique. It features "diamonds" for Allison (born in April) and "sapphires" for Miranda (born in September) and features their full names. The photo does not do it justice!

Pretty lucky, right? OK, so then let’s add the fact that I just found out I won another contest!
This one was from Tracie’s Giveaway Finds and got me a “Mystery Prize Package” valued at $25 from Crystal’s Sweet Imagination Boutique. Her stuff is adorable! I’m so excited to find out what’s in my mystery package!!!!

So I figure I’m not going to win anything else for a while, until I happen to stumble onto another Facebook page where I’d entered to win a $25 Shutterfly Gift Card…. Yep, won that one, too! Now I can order some prints and start my girls’ scrapbooks thanks to Baby’s Inspired Creations!

I’ve got some other entries in place. Mostly in Alyson’s Miss Free-Bee “March Gift-A-Way” over on Facebook!
In less-than-awesome, non-contest related news, my poor little Allison came down with the stomach flu Sunday night. She spent all of yesterday and today puking. We couldn’t even get water or pedialite to stay down! In the end, in an act of desperation, I gave her a small amount of expressed breastmilk because breastmilk is so amazing “it can cure cancer!” (OK, it can’t really, but it does have amazing healing properties!) Sure enough, she was able to keep that down!!! Since then she’s had a little bit of bread and has been sipping at some apple juice and water. We’re hoping tomorrow she’ll be able to stomach some more “real” food. She’s afraid to eat because she thinks she’s going to throw up again. My poor baby!

Isn't this the most pathetic thing you've ever seen? She's passed out cold on the living room floor, eyes still half open. My brother used to sleep that way, too!

As for the baby, she’s doing great and has thankfully not come down with the bug Allison has!
Tonight she enjoyed some “Squashacado” (aka Butternut Squash mixed with Avocado!) which she loved and giggled every time the spoon entered her mouth! She also had pear but really, the “Squashacado” was the highlight of her night!

Miranda loves to eat! Tonight she ate squash and avocado mixed together (Squashacado!)

Crafty Mama!

I’ve been itching to do something crafty for quite some time now and I’m finally doing it!

Over the past few months I’ve accumulated a ridiculous number of hair flowers for my girls (well, for The Little One since The Big One cries when I try to do anything with her hair!!!)

Miranda modeling one of her many flowers and headbands! One week shy of 6 months, taken today!

I’ve decided to make my own flower/bow holder. I looked around the internet trying to find an idea that I like. In the end I’ve opted to do this:
Two picture frames – One has a scrapbook paper backing with a wooden letter (“A” for Allison’s and “M” for Miranda’s.) The second frame has scrapbook paper for a background with a photograph of the girl in the center. The wooden letter will have scrapbook paper coating the top and that paper will match the background of the second frame. The frames will be hung side by side with space between them, in that space, attached to each frame, will be some ribbon to hang the bows from 🙂

Miranda's colors (possibly changing to black and white, still unsure!)

Allison's colors. She picked them out herself.

I’ve started with Allison’s. I traced around the letter “A” on the leopard print scrapbook paper and cut out with a razor blade. I didn’t cut perfectly because I didn’t want to risk cutting too small, I’d rather fix it after it’s glued on! I also didn’t get further than this because I realized, after I started cutting, that The Husband’s razor blade is dull and rusty! NOT the best idea for someone like me who is clumsy. Not good for accuracy on the paper either!

I realized after I took the photo that I put the A on the background paper that was selected for Miranda's, oops? Good thing it's not glued down yet!!!

Tomorrow we have Miranda’s 6 month well child doctor visit. I plan on stopping at Joann’s and/or Michael’s before and/or after the doctor appointment to pick up a razor blade. And maybe some more Mod Podge. (I bought matte but now I think I might want glossy!)

I Feel Pretty

When I was “young” and carefree I loved, loved, loved makeup!
I still love makeup, but ever since becoming a mom almost 5 years ago, makeup on an everyday basis has become a thing of the past. I now put on makeup if we go on a “date night” (which is rare) or for holiday’s and family get togethers.

Now, I’m not saying that women need to wear makeup, to each their own! But I however feel pretty when I wear makeup. I feel more put together and just better about myself.

Recently I’ve found a new way to feel pretty. Earrings. That’s right, earrings. I just turned 27 and I just got my ears pierced! I know, shocking, right? This wasn’t my first time getting my ears pierced though. I’ve had them pierced 3 or 4 times now. The first time I recall them getting infected and closing on me. There may have been another time with that happening. The most recent time was 11 years ago when I was 16. Those did not get infected. I had them pierced for a good year, then didn’t wear earrings for about a month and they closed. I was bummed!
My next piercing adventure was also at age 17. For my birthday my mom let me get my belly button pierced. Wow! That was an experience I do not care to ever repeat! I knew they used a huge needle. I was beyond nervous. But I wanted my belly button pierced just like Britney Spears and all of the other pop icons of my generation! During the procedure (come on, it was totally a procedure! For me this was like the equivalent of open heart surgery!!!) I asked the girl who was piercing me if the needle was out. She said “no.” Me, being the moron that I am, looked down. There, sticking out of my body, was the largest needle I’ve ever seen in my entire life! I blacked out. Dead serious. She finished up, led me out of the room, I could not see a thing. The world was completely black, I was dizzy. It was while all of this was going on that they explained to me the cleaning instructions. Needless to say, this got infected but I did not remove the piercing because I suffered for that!!! In the end, the skin around it dissolved away and there was no skin to hold it on so I took it out.
So here I am, 10 years later, finally taking a deep breath and getting my ears pierced. I know what you’re thinking, “You gave birth to TWO children! This is a simple ear piercing!” True. And I realize the irrationality of my thoughts. But really, I had 9 months to build up to the whole childbirth thing! And I went in there (at least the second time around) fully expecting an epidural!
To prevent myself from chickening out, my sister in law Jennifer came along and got a second piercing in each of her ears. I went first (eep!) and, wait for it, …… It wasn’t that bad! I may have to do this again!!!

The best part of getting my ears pierced? These days, when I don’t wear makeup (as I’ve explained above,) I still feel pretty thanks to my gorgeous “diamond” studs! I’m so excited for the day I get to wear dangles! But I’m playing it safe and giving these suckers at least three months to heal!!!

This is it! I finally got my ears pierced! My (belated) 27th birthday present to myself! (Pierced on Feb 22, 2012)

More evidence of my love for earrings and how excited I am to be able to accessorize now???

My favorite shot from a wedding I photographed back in 2006!

 

One of my favorite shots of my sister in law, Jennifer, before her junior prom. LOVE the earring shot!

 

My self taken (first) photo looks awful compared to the other two photos!

Have I mentioned that I have my college degree in photography?

Accent Quiz

I’m a sucker for online quizzes. I try to stop myself from taking them, but I can’t always.

I took this one today.

What American accent do you have?

Your Result: North Central

“North Central” is what professional linguists call the Minnesota accent. If you saw “Fargo” you probably didn’t think the characters sounded very out of the ordinary. Outsiders probably mistake you for a Canadian a lot.

What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Guess what? Born and raised in Minnesota. Been here 27 years.
It’s nice when these things are right every once in a while 🙂
However, I have never been asked if I was Canadian. Someone thought I was from Boston once, but I believe he may have been slightly off his rocker 😉

Oh, and I would also like to point out that I sound nothing like the characters from Fargo! (Well…. mostly!)

Cleaning Spree!

Today I went on a cleaning spree!

I got a late start to the day, got up a little after 9. The Husband took Allison to school today (he usually takes her) and I got up soon after, with the intention of running a few errands (grocery store – we were painfully low on milk! – as well as the library and party store.) Well… I was so sleepy that I ended up going back to bed to nurse the baby and we both fell asleep. I ended up getting up around 1:30 in the afternoon…or was it 2:30? I really should start going to bed earlier to avoid days like these, but I’m such a night owl! I get kicks of inspiration at night and it’s hard for me to stop what I’m doing because I know the spark will have gone out by morning!

Anyway, when I finally got up I did run to the grocery store. Got the basics – milk, cereal, peanut butter, bananas…. as well as tomato sauce and paste (among other things) so that we can make personal pizzas in a few days! Woohoo!

Once I was home I was determined to do something useful since I’d slept most of the day away (in addition to most of yesterday….) so I went crazy cleaning the kitchen. Dishwasher is unloaded and re-loaded. The pots and pans that have been piling up on the stove and in the sink are clean (woohoo!) as well as my Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer (I made cookies about 2 weeks ago and apparently never cleaned it out! Oops?) I even cleaned off the stove top and the inside of the microwave! I mean, I never remember to clean the stove top until I’ve got something cooking on it and then I’m not even going to attempt to clean it because I will burn myself!!!!

Now, the main thing in the kitchen that has been driving me bananas for months is The Husband’s wine fridge. His parents gave this thing to him for Christmas two years ago. He had the genius idea to put it on our breakfast counter. Um…. No. I’ve been asking him to move it pretty much since he put it there! He loves wine (the cheap stuff) but A.) He rarely has any wine in the house and B.) that stupid thing prevented the use of about a 2×3 foot area of the counter!!!!

So tonight I decided to attempt to remove it myself. I braced myself. I lifted. I discovered that the thing is practically as light as my InStyler! Sweet! I have counter space now!

Isn't it beautiful? (Well, aside from the hideous stove! We really need to replace it! Not only is it an eyesore, but it also does not heat properly!)

This is an example of how our counter usually looks! This particular image was taken when half our house was in the kitchen because we were having carpet installed in most of our upstairs. But the fact remains - our counter usually looks something like this! (And there's that stupid wine fridge!)

To reward all of my awesome work, I treated myself to this!

Chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup and chocolate chips!

Ah, who am I kidding? Even if I had done nothing all day I still would have eaten that!!! I love me some ice cream! Besides, I’m nursing a baby, I need the calories, right? Right!

Until next time! 😀

What’s For Dinner?

We had a rough night last night. I’m a night owl and ever since Saturday morning I’ve been getting up early – as in, getting maybe 6 hours of sleep? Last night I was really feeling it, all those nights catching up to me at once!

I crashed at about 1am (early for me) soon after The Husband came home from work. I knew I was exhausted so I had baby Miranda sleep in my bed so that I wouldn’t have to get up to nurse her if she woke up!  (We pushed the bed against the wall so that we wouldn’t have to worry about her rolling out.)

Whelp, The Husband went back to work – he is scheduled for regular shifts, then goes in with another guy to do basic building maintenance whenever they can make time. He had to wait until the other guy got done working his shift at his other job, then they went back in to do work. He got home around 7am! That was around the time that Miranda woke up and decided she was up for the day. Ugh… I was still absolutely exhausted!

Well, I felt bad for The Husband since he’d worked Tuesday 4:45pm until about 12:30am… Then went back from about 1:30am until 7am (or so) – he clearly needed the sleep more than I did! So…. I took the baby out to the living room and crashed on the floor. She played nicely while Allison watched Netflix for Kids. I ended up getting up around 1 (though I didn’t really “sleep” more like I just “dozed.”)

I sent Allison to wake up The Husband around 3pm thinking he worked tonight. Well, turns out he didn’t. That’s all good and well but now I have to figure out dinner, because I only make a “real” dinner when he’s home. Not sense cooking anything even halfway “fancy” when the two picky eaters (Allison and myself) are the only ones eating!

I ended up making Spinach Ravioli that we got at Aldi, with Classico pasta sauce, meatballs and garlic toast. It was delish. We have some left overs and hopefully The Husband doesn’t eat it all before I can get at it!

 

Oh, and on another note about being tired? Clearly the poor quality of sleep I had last night didn’t really help refresh me because I ended up falling asleep for almost an hour in the rocking chair with Miranda this evening! And of course, I woke up when Allison came in and she woke Miranda up, too. *sighs*

 

Home Made Blueberry Streusel Muffins!

Today I’m trying my hand at home made blueberry muffins!
I found this absolutely adorable lady on YouTube who does baking videos. I have not had a chance to check out her other videos yet, but I’m excited to see how these turn out!!!

They are currently in the oven and I’ve got my fingers crossed. I tried one of the blueberries and it did not taste so great. I’m afraid they may have gone bad. Hopefully baking them will improve the taste!

Here’s the before!

Ready to go into the oven!

I’ll let you know how they turn out when all is said and done!

Here’s the video I worked from!

 

[EDIT]

Well, the muffin’s turned out OK. I think they taste a little funny because, like I said, the blueberries were starting to go bad apparently. The crumbly top was delish! Next time though, I think I’ll put more on the muffins! The muffin itself tasted a little off, too. Like it was missing something. I’m wondering if the recipe needed vanilla or something. I’ll try another recipe next time, but still use the crumbly top 🙂

Here’s the finished product!