Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Daddy's Home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tasty Tuesday

Why is it that today I have so many things that I would love to blog about but want to do a Tasty Tuesday recipe but when I need a topic I can't come up with one? Instead of just blogging on and on I guess I'll just have to make a list so I don't forget! Anyway thanks so much to Danielle at New Mommy Rant for my first award ever!






I pass this award onto Dana at Just Talk for having a fun blog that reminds me that life still exists beyond breast feeding and baby wearing!

and now for my recipe of the week.......

Pork Tenderloin with Onions and Dried Cranberries

I found this recipe a couple of years ago in a Cooking Light magazine and it was so awesome that my husband requests it on a regular basis. It is super easy and you can change the flavor just by varrying the types of beer and dried fruit that you use (don't worry all of the alcohal gets cooked off). My usual beer of choice is Yuengling but that is only because that is what you can usually find in our fridge!

Ingredients:

2 (1lb) pork tenderloins, trimmed

(I usually use boneless pork chops. They work well and cook in less time)

1 tsp salt, divided

1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1 tblsp. olive oil

3 cups (1/4 inch thinck) sliced onions - about 3 med. onions

1 cup light beer

1 cup ff, less sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup cranberries

1. Sprinkle pork with 3/4 tsp salt and pepper. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Add pork, cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan. Add onions to pan, reduce heat, and cook 8 min. or until browned. Remove onion from pan; sprinkle with remaining salt, and set aside. Add beer to pan; cook 1 min. over high heat or until reduced to 1/3 cup.

2. Return pork and onions to pan; add broth, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 min. Stir in cranberries, cover and cook 30 minutes or until pork is tender. remove from heat. Place pork on a cutting board, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Cut each tenderloin into 12 slices. Serve with onion mixture. Yield: 8 servings (3 pork slices and 1/4 onion mixture)


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sinfully Delicious



A couple of weeks ago I was out to dinner at a relatively new hot spot called Pier Village in Long Branch, NJ. The couple that my husband and I were out with raved about these Caramel Apples at the Chocolate Factory in the village. They love them so much that after dinner they went and purchased 6 of these tasty treats! I decided not to get one mainly because I was so stuffed from dinner but also because I couldn't imagine an apple being so good that they were not only worth bringing home but worth $7.00 a piece (oh yeah I'm cheap at times!). Of course being nearly 6 months pregnant and developing a major sweet tooth during this pregnancy the apple was all I thought about on the drive home.


It was such a great day out Friday that Madison, my mom and I took the trip to Pier Village for lunch. Once again I found myself stuffed but was wise enough to purchase a little treat for later in the day. I am happy to say it was TOTALLY WORTH IT! After about twenty minutes I decided on the Apple Pie Caramel Apple. It was absolutely huge and needed to be cut in order to eat it. It was a granny smith dipped in caramel, a white confection (don't know that is how it is listed) and then rolled in cinnamon, sugar and pie crust crumbs. Are you salivating yet. I have to admit after 1/2 the apple I had enough because it was way sweet but I hid the rest in the fridge (yep I hid it 'cause I didn't want Justin to eat it on me) and finished it off later on after dinner. If you click on the absolutely incredible picture of all the goodies at the top of the blog you will go directly to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory website. Some of their tasty treats are for sale online. Unfortunately their apples and chocolate dipped strawberries must be bought at the shop. The good news is there is a list of all their locations nationwide (I think I saw some in Canada too). If yo uhave a sweet tooth like me it will be well worth an effort to see if there is a shop near you. Enjoy!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Just Want To Read To My Kid

One of my favorite "surprise rides" to take Madison on is a trip to the library. It is nearby, we get to spend some quiet time together and it is free (provided I actually return my books on time). Lately however I feel like our library trips are becoming more and more of a hastle. There are tons of books and the library has a wonderful summer program designed for children of all ages but..... since when do libraries need to be filled with toys??? To me the library is a place you take a child for some quiet time and to help develop not only their reading skills but hopefully also a love for books. Over the past year and a half it seems like every time we go there are more and more toys to distract little ones from actually looking at a single book. It seems like the library is also becoming the new hangout for stay at home moms who would rather sip on coffee and gossip rather than read to their child(ren). Honestly while I'm on the topic of what should and shouldn't be in a library does it really need a Dunkin' Donuts inside of it?
I know that I am ranting and probably making no sense at all. It's just that every time we go to the library lately I end up getting completely flustered and find myself starting to go less and less. Our typical trip to the library starts with me loading Madison into the car and occasionally letting her in on where we are going. She is so excited and tells me she can't wait to pick out some books and how she'll be a good listener. We arrive and I slyly distract Madison so she doesn't see the huge Dunkin' Donuts right at the entrance. We then pick out a book or two for me first (so far so good) and then head to the children's section. No matter what time of day we attempt this there are always 3-4 moms sipping on some sort of coffee concoction chatting about one thing or another while their kids run around screaming and playing with a huge amount of toys that would put Toys 'R Us to shame. No books to be seen in any little hands. This is not to say that there are no other moms trying to use a library for what is meant to be used for but we are generally out numbreed. I try to get Madison interested in different books but there is no book in the world that is more interesting to a 3 year old than a bunch of kids and new toys. Within minutes she is off and playing completely ignoring me and my desire to read to her. I quickly select a few books that I know she'll enjoy at home and then try to round her up. By now she has spotted at least one donut or juice and has informed me how hungry/thirsty she is (to the point of seeming to be starved). It takes another 20 minutes or so to actually get her out of the library and back to the car many times resulting in her/I or both of us having a temper tantrum. Either way it is not a pretty sight. Once we finally get loaded into the car I'm usually completely drained and left wondering why I insist on doing this to myself. I guess my question to anyone who cares to respond is am I in the right for wanting the library to be what it once was or should I just get over it and join in with the other mommies leaving story time for home? What are your thoughts. Can;t wait to hear your comments.

Tracy

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Another One Catches the Blogging Bug

video

Madison informed me this morning that she needed to sing her ABC's so I could put in on the 'puter. She is very proud of knowing her ABC's and will be so excited when she wakes up from her nap (over 2 hours so far not sure what I did to deserve it) and sees herself on my monitor. Enjoy!

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tasty Tuesday

I love, love, love this recipe! If it were a little healthier I would probably make it once a week!

Blue Cheese Pasta (it makes a creamy red sauce and does not look scary at all to most picky eaters)

Ingredients

3 tbl. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped (more if you like to kick things up)
1 15 oz. can peeled tomatoes
1 15 oz. crushed tomatoes
1 tbl. basil (or more especially if you use fresh)
1 stick butter, softened
6-8 oz. gorgonzola or blue cheese ( I usually use 8 oz. of blue because we like the sauce creamier and more pungent)
1 lb. pasta (I use penne or rigatoni)

1. Saute onion & garlic in oil about 8 minutes.
2. Stir in tomatoes and basil. Simmer 20 minutes
3. Mix butter and cheese in bowl. Add gradually to tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile boil pasta according to directions on the box
5. Pour sauce over pasta and stir.

***If you have a family that requires some sort of meat in their dinner shrimp or chicken taste great added to this dish****

Monday, April 21, 2008

What life with a 3 year old has taught me and Meme Monday

Life with any age child brings about a sorts of twists and turns. Now that Madison is 3 years old every day a little more of her babyhood disappears and is replaced by the little person that she is quickly becoming. Here are just a few things that I have learned from being the Mommy of a three year old little girl.

Piles of Laundry are not for folding they are for running onto, jumping off of or making a "cool bed"

Washing dishes are not a hastle but an excuse to splash in sudsy water

Naptime is made bearable by reading two books before hand

Getting a bath is always fun, it is the hair washing that poses a problem

Light up Cinderella shoes go great with any outfit

No music is needed to dance

A baby in utero hears, eats and drinks through Mommy's bellybutton

Any drink tastes better in a princess cup

Pink is always in fashion

Mommy's kisses make everything better

Ketchup goes with everything from french fries to strawberries and cucumbers too!(as an adult I find this one particularly gross)

I could go on and on with plenty more but these are just a few of my favorites. I also have my Meme posted from New Mommy Rant. Enjoy and feel free to add a few thoughts that you have learned from your child(ren)!

Are you a proud parent? Yes!

how many kids do you have?one and a half

what are the ages? 3years and a new one due this summer

boy(s) or girl(s)?2 girls

how old were you when you had your first child?25

was it planned?Nope she was a HUGE SUPRISE!

do you regret it?not in a million years

who do your kid(s) look like?Madison has my husband's coloring but more of my facial features

When were your kid(s) born? Madison was born January 21, 2005 and Stella will probably be born July 31, 2008

do you plan on having more?Yes- probably

do you have more than one baby daddy/momma?NOPE

do you love your baby daddy/mommaYes

are you still with this person?Yes

are you married to this person?Yes- 4 years next month

is this person a good parent to your kid(s)?The Best!!!

do you live with this person?yes

do you have a happy family?Very Happy

do your kid(s) look like you or the dad/mom? Both

do your kids have proud grandparents? Great Grandparents too

what did you want your kid(s) first words to be?D Madison was Duck now I'ld be happy with occasional quiet time

what was their first words? Duck

is being a parent hard?The hardest job in the world bu tnothing worthwhile is easy

do you put your kid(s) before everything?Absolutely

do you have a job?I am a teacher

is your child in school or grown up? Pre-school

if you plan to have more will it be with a previous baby daddy/momma?

is that person the love of your life?Yes

do you have a momma's boy or a daddy's little girl? momma's girl although she is quickly becoming just as attached to Daddy

are you looking forward to being a grandparent someday?Hopefully not for a long, long time

Baby's Name?Madison Elizabeth and Stella Mackenzie

Male/Female?females

Birthday?1/21/05 and 7/31/08

Where was he/she born?Community Medical Center

What time were they born?8:19pm

Weight/length at birth?8lbs. 9oz. 20 1/2in

Age as you're typing this survey:29

Are you a paranoid mom...?No, more of a go with the flow mom

Do you sterilize everything (like boil nipples or wash every toy)?Nope

Do you buy "sensitive skin" wipes because they're "better" for baby's skin? when the baby is a newborn

Do you worry that your baby will stop breathing in his/her sleep?past that with Madison but I'm sure I'll do it again with Stella

Will it ever end? You never stop worrying about your kids in one way or another

Do you freak out if they happen to doze off during tummy time? (SIDS!!)Never happened with Madison but if Stella does I'll be right there the whole time so probably not

Do you overdress your baby, whether it's warm or cold?no, lately we've been doind layers because the temp. varies so much throughout the day

Do you wash your baby's clothing in Dreft or other baby detergent?For Madison we used Dreft for the first year there are more options now so I'm not sure what we'll wash Stella's clothes in

Do you refuse to dress baby in anything with buttons (choking hazard)?no

Do you watch (and critique) when someone else changes baby's diaper?nope, just happy to have a break

Did you buy all of their furniture (crib, changing table, stroller) NEW?Yes, will reuse most for Stella

Do you have to wash a pacifier that fell on the floor before giving to baby?yes

Do you worry about anyone else holding your baby?depends on the person

When you leave baby with a sitter, is all you do worry about baby?Yep and Madison is not even a baby anymore

Do you jump out of bed the second baby starts fussing during the night?no.

Do you worry about making baby bleed when clipping his/her fingernails? The first time I clipped Madison's nails

Do you call your pediatrician at least once a week? Nope Never

Do you cancel play dates because your baby has a runny nose & coughed once?yes!

Do you refuse to go shopping without a shopping cart cover?Past that Point

Do you worry about toxoplasmosis? Not really

Is your baby allowed anywhere near your pets? she was when we had our dog

Do you only feed your baby organic baby foods out of fear of preservatives? I did when she was an infant but have become somewhat more leniant
Do you think you are or ever have been a paranoid new mom? Maybe a little at first but not now

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Baby Update and Need to Vent!!!!!!

I had both a level two ultrasound and a checkup yesterday. The good news....





  • I'm now 24 weeks


  • Baby Stella is developing perfectly and weighs about 1 lb. 7 oz.


  • I've lost yet another pound (total now is 19 lbs.) but the baby is healthy so the doctor didn't flip out especially since she caught me stuffing a banana in my face while I was waiting for her. She feels that for some reason my metabolism has really sped up during this pregnancy and the fact that I'm always eating is a good sign!


Now here is where the venting comes in. I'll try to cut the story as short as possible but there are a lot of factors that go along with it. Madison was a c-section and I was hoping for a VBAC earlier in my pregnancy. There are only 2 doctors in the practice that I go to that perform VBAC's so I've only been seeing the two of them. Both have been super nice but one has always seemed a little more like a doctor (the other one seems like a friend that I would have gone out partying with back in the day). Anyway at my first ob appt. I opted for the integrated screening for Downs syndrome which was not readily available when I had Madison. I was told that it included a blood test and an ultrasound at 13 weeks. At that visit I also had my 9 week ultrasound done. This ultrasound was done by a tech in my doctor's office and she warned me that the perinatologyst that I would be seeing for the integrated screening would try to schedule me for the 20 week also but there was no need because I could have it done right in my ob's office. I called the perinate's office and made my appointment. The receptionist who was VERY RUDE kept pushing me to schedule another ultrasound for 20 weeks, 24 weeks and 32 weeks. I told her that they were not necessary and she told me whoever gave me that information didn't know what they were talking about because they were necessary for my insurance to pick up the integrated. Before scheduling the next 3 ultrasounds (not a huge fan anyway because of the varying opinions on the affects they have on the fetus) I spoke to the doctor who was more like a friend (I'll call her party doc from now on). She told me to just go ahead and schedule them because she knew at least the 20 week was part of the integrated. I had the 13 week and 20 week done and was less than comfortable with the whole experience (perinatologyst and staff). It seemed more like a money making business than a doctor's office who was concerned about the baby's and my well being. At my next ob appt. I saw the party doc again. I told her how uncomfortable I was with the perinatologyst and asked her if I cold cancel the next 2 ultra's. Her response was that I was the only mommy-to-be that she ever met who didn't want to see her baby as much as possible and that the perinate has just been super busy so the vibe I was getting was probably just them being overworked. She asked me to give them another try. She also felt that it was important to keep a close eye on the baby through ultrasounds because of my lack of weight gain. I left the office that day feeling like an overly sensitive pregnant women who was overreacting to nothing so I just kept my appointments.



Did I loose you yet? If not fast forward to yesterday. My 24 week ultrasound was scheduled at 8:45. I was in an out in 10 minutes. Pretty much uneventful besides the tech's need to shake my belly in order to have little Stella open her hands so the tech could count the number of fingers she has. Like any mother I want a perfect baby but last time I checked the number of fingers a baby has is not life threatening so I really saw no need for the obsession. More concerned about shaken baby in the womb. Don't think its possible but the thought went through my mind. At 10:00 I had my o.b. appointment down the street. I got there early and was seen pretty much immediately by my doctor (not party doc). She asked me if I had my level 2 yet because there was no information in my file on it. I explained yes and that I actually just came from yet another one. She asked if there was anything wrong with the baby that would have made me need another one and I explained the whole perinate/party doc. situation. The anger in my doc's eyes was obvious and she kept saying over and over again how "frustrated" she was. Considering she is a professional I thought this choice of words got her point across clearly without crossing the doctor/patient line. She then asked me what the perinate discussed with me after the ultrasound and I explained that I hadn't seen him at my last two appointments. Just the ultrasounds and then I was done. This infuriated her even more because she explained that we are paying to see a specialist every time we go there not just to get an ultrasound. Basically the perinate is committing fraud (my words not hers) because everytime a patient goes to his office he is sending a claim into the insurance company for being seen when he really isn't. Ahhhhhh!!!!!

By the end of my appt. my doctor told me to go home and immediately cancel the next ultrasound that was scheduled. At this point there is no need for anymore and if the need arises her office is perfectly capable of handling it. Needless to say I love this doctor and will give birth on whatever day she chooses as long as she performs the c-section. She is the first medical professional that has made me feel like I was not an overly sensitive pregnant woman and that my intuition about the perinate was correct. I know your head is probably spinning because I've just rambled on and on. I wish I had a point to this story but the truth is I just needed to rant. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Goodbye Winter!

Tasty Tuesday - A Day Late But Sooo Worth It!

This is a recipe that I found in a Cooking Light magazine. It instantly became one of my family's favorites and always reminds me of springtime with its fresh salsa. I usually use tilapia because it is readily available at the food store and is also one of the few fishes I am aloud to eat while pregnant. Any white flakey fish will do though. Enjoy!

Tilapia with Coconut, Mint and Chive Relish

Relish:
1 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
3/4 tsp salt, divided
3/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup chopped sweetened flaked coconut
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced (I like spice but not too hot so I usually only use 1/2 of one jalapeno)
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. peanut oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds

Fish:
2 tsp. grated lime rind
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. peanut oil
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
6 (6 oz.) tilapia or red snapper fillets
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Cooking Spray
6 lime wedges

1. To prepare relish, place cucumber in a colander; sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt. Toss well. Drain 30 minutes. Rinse and drain. Pat dry.

2. Preheat boiler

3. Combine all relish ingredients except peanut oil and mustard seed. Heat 1 tsp. oil in skillet over med. high heat. Add mustard seeds and saute for about 30 seconds (until seeds start to pop). Add to relish.

4. To prepare fish, combine rind and next 4 ingredients; rub evenly over cut sides of fillets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Place fish skin sides down (if there are skins), on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; cook 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve with relish and lime wedges.

Yields 6 servings (1 fillet, 1/3 cup relish, 1 lime wedge)

New Contest!


Green and Clean Mommy has posted a new contest. She is holding a raffle for 2 BPA free sippy cups. There is also a list of several BPA free sipppy cups included. The highlight of my day was when I saw a cup that I used to buy for my daughter on the list and I didn't even realize it was BPA free! Click on the button to the left to check out the blog.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dining Green



Last nigth after eating an oh so delicious hibatchi dinner and walking around Pier Village, Justin, a couple of friend's and I decided to stop in a restaurant/bar for a couple of cocktails before heading home. Don't worry just water with lemon for me.
I was enjoying myself but was just the slightest bit board being the only completely sober one so my eyes starting roaming around as my thoughts drifted to what my next blog would be about. Wouldn't you know that my next topic was right in front of me! On the door along with all the restaurant's other accolades was a sticker exactly like the button to the left of this blog! It was boasting that the restaurant that I was now in was a member of the Green restaurant Association. Naturally this peaked my interst becuaw I have never hear of this association before. As soon as I got home my fingers started typing away and before long I found the site!
What is Green Restaurant Association you ask? It is a non-profit, national environmental organization founded in 1990. Its mission is to "help restaurants and customers become more environmentally sustainable in ways that are convenient and cost effective". The components that make up this organization include: research, environmental consulting, education, public relations and marketing, community organizing and consumer activism. It also happens to be the world's largest database of environmental solutions for the restaurant industry.
There are a number of restaurants in the U.S. and Canada that are currently members. In order for a restaurant to be a memeber they must:
  • use a comprehensive recycling system for all products that are accepted by local recycling companies
  • be free of polysterene foam (styrofoam)
  • commit to completing 4 environmental steps per year of member ship(refer to environmental guidelines on the site)
  • complete at least one environmental step after joining the GRA

I have yet to do more research about this organization than to read its brief overview but the concept at least sound very interesting to me. After spending years in the restaurant buisness while in college, I know how much waste is produced by just one restaurant. By getting more restaurants invloved with this organization or one like it I'm sure a considerable impact would be made towards helping our environment. If you or someone you know is in the restaurant field it couldn't hurt to check this site out even if just to get some ideas on how to make your place a little more green.

Unfortunately there are currently only 3 restaurants who are members of the GRA in New Jersey. They are. . .

  • McLoone's at Favorites Fords, New Jersey
  • McLoone's Rum Runner SeaBright, New JErsey
  • McLoone's Pier House Pier Village Long Branch, New Jersey

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sand Between My Toes


I like to think of myself as a pretty crafty mom. This has resulted in me having a crafty kid. Together I'm pretty much open to giving any kind of artsy/crafty project or toy a try. Play Dough, finger paints, glue, you name it and it is allowed in my house under supervision (I may be crafty but I also like a nice home). Well , I finally found one item that has been banned from my home indefinitely. The product you ask? MOON SAND!!!!!!!!


I bought two Moon Sand kits for my daughter's birthday. It was advertised as clean, non-staining, non-sticking moldable sand that would never dry out. After nearly 3 months of sitting on the shelf waiting for a quiet day to try something new I decided to give it a whirl. The advertisement was correct in saying that it would never stain, stick or dry but the stuff doesn't hold together real well and it gets everywhere! It is much finer than regular beach sand and is nearly impossible to clean up. We used it in my kitchen. Of course some of it landed on the ground. I've since swept, mopped and vacuumed but it is still on the ground haunting me! Every time I walk into my kitchen bare foot I can feel it crunching under my toes. Worse yet, I sat on the couch last night and could feel its irritating grittiness there too (not sure how it got there but I'm thinking it grew legs and ran).


I'm so against Moon Sand that I actually saw a woman in the toy aisle of Target (yes I am a self proclaimed Targetaholic) and warned her of the dreadful stuff. She thanked me a took off in the opposite direction. I'm not sure if this is because she thought I was a crazy loon or because she was in a hurry but whatever the case I did her favor. If after reading this blog you are still inclined to give Moon Sand a whirl I wish you the best of luck. My recommendation however would be to stick to Play Dough or go outside and use some real sand!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wordless Wednesday


Do Your Homework!




I was going through some old pics last night and came across these pics of our Newfie puppy's first trip to the local dog beach taken last year. They brought back so many fond memories that I couln't choose just one. Sadly, Murphy was diagnosed with terminal cancer about 7 weeks ago and had to be put to sleep. He was only 15 months old. If anyone can learn anything from my mistake it is that you NEED to do as much homework as humanly possible when looking for a reputable breeder. Long story short, I thought I did but she has been less than proffesional about the whole situation. Just one more reason that our next pup will more than likely come from a shelter!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tasty Tuesday - Confetti Corn Cakes

This recipe is from a Weight Watchers recipe book that I own. It is labeled as a side dish but my family often eats them as a meal with a side salad or soup. If you are on weight watchers 2 cakes are equal to 4 points! Enjoy.

Confetti Corn Cakes
Makes 6 servings
Ingredients:
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. dry basil
1/4tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/3 cups fat-free buttermilk
1(7 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 cup nonfat sour cream

1. Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, basil, baking soda, and ground pepper in a large bowl. Combine the eggs and buttermilk in another bowl. Stir the egg mixture just until blended. Stir in the corn, bell pepper and scallions.

2. Spray a nonstick skillet or griddle w/ nonstick spray; set over med. heat until a drop of water sizzles. Pour the batter by 1/4 cup measures into the skillet. Cook just until bubbles begin to appear at the edges of the corn cakes, 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook 2 minutes longer. Repeat with the remaining batter, making a total of 12 corn cakes. Serve with sour cream.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

This weekend I learned that my little girl is not the sole member of our family to say the most embarrasing things at the worst times. I wish that I could blame the latest feux pas on my husband, unfortunately it was me! We were at a friend's house for a first birthday party filled with all of their friends and family. One of the many children there was an adorable little boy about 7-8 years old. He had a unique name that I've only heard once or twice before but generally thought of as a feminine name. His family was from a culture that I do not know much about so I just figured that in their culture it was a masculine name. Throughout the party Madison followed this little boy all over the place and whenever he was not in sight Madison would ask "Where did the little boy go?". I thought it was so cute that she had her first little crush that I went up to the host and asked him who the little boy belonged to because Madison had such a crush on him. Bad Move!!!!!!!! The host's response was, "That is my niece" (I wanted to melt into the carpet and never again reappear). Our friend (the host) could not have been more gracious and then went on to explain why I could have made a mistake. His niece has always been as he described "a tom boy". She always preferred to climb trees and play sports over baby dolls and house. Her boyish tendencies went much further than just being a tom boy though. She insists on having her hair cut very short and only wearing clothes from the boy department. She has also referred to herself as a boy. Once before a party our friends took her shopping for an outfit. She left the store with a plaid shirt and corduroy pants.



Could this be a stage that she is going through? Absolutely! I'm not a psychiatrist or a person that knows this child very well so I'm not saying that it is anyhting more than that. However, between the whole pregnant man thing, having a family member recently out himself as a transvestite and now this it made me want to learn more about Gender Identity Disorder. The definition of Gender Identity Disorder from Psychology Today is the "strong, persistant feelings of indentification with the opposite gender and discomfort with one's own assigned sex". This disorder does currently have diagnosis criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV) although some people in the transgender community are trying to have the criteria removed from the manual. To learn more about Gender Identity Disorder check out Gender Identity Disorder Sanctuary or "Born with the Wrong Body"

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Hurry It's Not Too Late!


I was just checking out one of my favorite blogs Green and Clean Mom and I learned about this great new contest going on at The Soft Landing. Please check it out for a chance to win either a beginning solids or advanced BPA free fedding kit. Hurry up though 'cause the contest ends in two days. Good Luck!

5 Things Meme

So I really do have a serious topic that I wanted to blog about today but the truth is I just don't have the ambition or the brain capacity to do so. I also want to do a little research before my blog! Thanks to Danielle at New Mommy rant for tagging me 'cause now I can blog about a fun, non-brain hurting topic! Come back tomorrow for more serious stuff.

Anyway here are my 5 things Meme . . .

5 Things I Was Doing 10 Years Ago


  • Getting through my 2nd semester at Fairleigh Dickinson University

  • Just starting to date Justin

  • Hanging out w/ my college pal Melissa

  • Deciding where I wanted to go to college the following year 'cause I wasn't happy at FDU

  • Driving around in a 1987 Ford Tempo

5 Things on my to do List Today



  • Food Shoppping (or eat at Mom & Dad's House)

  • Motivate Justin to paint the last wall of our bedroom (tall ceiling my pregnant self should not be climbing scaffolding)

  • Clean the bathroom & Madison's room

  • Fold laundry or just continue to let it pile up on the couch in the den

  • Lesson Plans (aka lock myself in my room and take a nap while the family thinks I'm working)

5 of my favorite Snacks



  • Watermelon (can not get enough even if it is currently $25.00 per lb.)

  • Popcorn

  • Carrot Sticks and ranch dressing

  • Pita Chips and Hummus

  • Just about anyhting covered in cheese

5 Things I would do if I were a millionaire



  • Move

  • Open a funky little bead shop that holds inexpensive classes

  • Help Justin start his dream charity that would benefit sick and underprivelaged kids (sorry don't want to jinx it by giving away too many details right now)

  • Take all of my friends and family on a well deserved vacation

  • Golf lessons for myself so I can be the one that disappears for the whole day to go play a round of golf

5 Bad Habits



  • Impulse shopping

  • Lack of Patience

  • Procrastination

  • I'll fet back to you with more

5 Places I Have Lived



  • Manchester, New Jersey

  • Livingston, New Jersey

  • Lavallette, New Jersey

  • Sorry that is it!

5 Jobs that I Have Had



  • Beach Badge Checker

  • ShopRite Cashier

  • Tanning Salon Attendent

  • Financial Advisor

  • Waitress



!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Win a BPA Free Camel Bak Water Bottle!



I've seen them in the L.L. Bean catelog and read about them at New Mommy Rant yesterday. Now I want to let you in on how you can win one ! Click on the link below for details. Make sure to read all of the ways that you can increase your chances of winning. The contest closes on April 8th. Good luck!



http://greenandcleanmom.blogspot.com/





Kids Say the Darndest Things

If I haven't mentioned it before I am a compensatory education, supplemental instruction, and ESL teacher. Basically the commission that I work for sends me out to private schools in the area and provides these services to the students of that school with special needs. One of my autistic students just left my classroom but before doing so he informed me that his teacher has very smelly breathe and that he likes me better because I don't. Score one for Listerine breathe strips! Obviously social skills are one of the areas that we work on with this student but I'm sure even the thickest skinned parent has had their child(ren) say something that has made them wanted to crawl into the deepest hole they could find. My sweet little angel Madison has recently become one of these children. Justin and I always praise her for being so observant but here are just a few of the times that we secretly wished for a child who was oblivious to her surroundings.

  1. Several months ago while in Dunkin' Donuts on a Sunday morning a very rotund man comes walking in an Madison in her very loud, proud to be a big, smart girl voice says "Mommy, Daddy that man is BIG!". We explain that yes he is large but we don't need to tell everyone and her response again very loudly is "But he is really, really BIG!"
  2. Last month at my ob. appointment I was making my next appointment with a rather deep voiced woman. Right then and there Madison decides to tell me "Mommy, that lady is a man!" I told her no honey it is a lady and explain to the receptionist that she gets men and woman confused but Madison response it "She sounds like my Daddy and Uncle Corey!"
  3. This one thank goodness is not nearly as embarrasing because we were at home among family. I had just finished making a comfort food dinner (mashed potatoes and gravy with Swiss Steak). My husband dished it up in a less than appetizing manner and Madison announced "I can't eat that it looks like poop!".

I'm sure this is just the beginning of more embarrasing times to come. Please share some of the things that your children or children you know have said that have made you want to run for the hills!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

To Give or Not to Give

Let me just start by saying that I'm generally or at least think I am a good gift giver. I enjoy giving gifts to people and often times more generous than I should be (at least that is what my husband Justin says when he sees what I spend). With that tidbit of information about me, I'm asking for any advice you can give on a particular predicament that I find myself in.



Last summer friends of mine and Justin's got engaged. They asked Justin to be the best man, our daughter Madison to be the flower girl and me to be one of the bridesmaids. We said yes of course to all three although deep down wondered why. We knew Justin would be asked because he has been best friends with the groom since he was 8 years old. Although I really like the bride we don't spend time together other than when we get together as couples and they already had a niece as a flower girl so they really didn't need a 2nd one. I also let them now immediatly that we were trying for another baby so a maternity dress may be needed.



Fast foward to now. The dresses have been ordered, the shower planning has begun and we are already quickly approaching the $1,000.00 mark for money spent on this wedding. We have yet to pay for dress alterations, Justin's tux, shoes, hair, two nights at an upscale hotel, bachelor party (the groom has high hopes of a weekend of golf in Myrtle Beach, guess he thinks we hit the lottery or something), wedding gifts and other incidentals. By the time the wedding hits I will also most likely be a stay at home mom (other than my Mary Kay buisness that I am building) with a new 7 week old baby added to the mix.

Now maybe it is because I'm not one for a traditional wedding (hubby and I had a destination wedding in Mexico) or maybe it is because I'm not really close to the bride. Then again maybe it is because there are only 3 bridesmaids that are throwing a very pricey shower at an upscale B&B at the Jersey shore or because I will soon be out of a steady income but I find myself questioning my choice of gifts for the shower. The other two girls in the bridal party want to do their own thing for a gift instead of all chipping in together for one nice gift. This leaves me in limbo. Do I get a gift on my own, do I chip in with my mom or do I say screw it your wedding (2nd by the way) is already costing more money and more aggravation than my own so the shower and all the little extra touches that I've added are your gift. I can't help but think that if this were one of my truly close friends or if the crazy future sister-in-law who calls me on the daily left me alone, I'ld be a little less bitter. So my question to you is what would you do and am I making a big deal over nothing? Can't wait to hear your advice and as always any stories of similar situations that you have found yourself in.

Tracy

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tasty Tuesdays - Spanish Food Cravings

One of my passions is cooking. Last night for dinner I made an old family recipe. It is not one of the healthiest meals I make but it is oh so yummy and usually a hit with kids. Hope you love it!



Grandma Stella's Empanadas

Makes approx 20 empanadas (average adult can eat between 2-3)



Ingredients



approx 3 lbs. ground beef

1 onion

1/2 - 1 green bell pepper

3 cloves

olive oil

2tsp cumin powder or Goya Adobo w/cumin

1 tsp oregano

1-2 8 oz. cans tomato sauce

2 10 count packages of discos para empanadas (La Fe cook the best but Goya work to. They can be found in the ethnic food freezer section)

2 chopped hard boiled eggs (optional)


1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped olives

Vegetable or Canola Oil


***This is the first written version of this recipe so all of the measurements are approximations. Feel free to adjust any of the amounts!***

Finely chop the onions, garlic and bell pepper. Saute in 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil until tender. Approx 5 minutes. Add the chopped meat, cumin powder and oregano. Cook until beef is browned. Drain excess fat. Add the tomato sauce. Make sure you add enough so that the meat looks moist but not so much that it looks soupy. I wish I could give you a more exact amount of tomato sauce to use but it seems to vary every time I make this dish. Mix in the eggs, olives and raisins

You can save the meat to make empanadas another day or just let it cool enough so your hands don't get burned when you handle it. Roll one of the empanada discs out to about 6 inches in diameter. Place 2-3 TBSP. of meat mixture on the lower half of the disc. Fold the disc over and crimp edges with a fork. Repeat with all of the discs. Fry in your choice of oil until golden brown on each side or bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

****In my family everybody likes/dislikes different ingredients in their empanadas. My mom used to wait to add the eggs, olives and raisins until she was about to close the pastry disc. She would then make our first initial and place it on the empanada made for us with a cut up piece of pastry disc. This is always on option but more time consuming. At my house everyone gets the same and none of them have eggs because I don't like them!****

I'll get better at this. I promise!

Wow! Where did the past month and a half go? Every day I make sure to check out newmommyrant.blogspot.com but I'm not nearly as diligent about posting on my own blog. I've even commented on my friend's site but nothing added to my own.

Anyway as my about me section mentions, I'm expecting my second daughter this summer. My due date is August 6th but it is looking like she will be a scheduled c-section around July 31. I was really hoping for a Vbac but my docs feel that my lack of progression (only 2 cm after more than a day) and the size of my first daughter (8lbs. 9oz.) the chances of me having a successful labor is very slim and they would feel much better if I opted for another c-section. Although I'm not 100% sold on another c-section, right now it is not on the top of my list for concerns.

My current concern is my weight gain or more so my lack there of. Tomorrow I will officially be 22 weeks pregnant and have yet to gain a pound! During my first pregnancy I gained a more than healthy 38 pounds and never quite lost it all. When I got pregnant this time I already had weight to lose and started off being very cautious with what I ate. Throughout the first trimester I dealt with some morning, noon and night sickness but a ton of food aversions. Besides that I also had 2 rounds of asthmatic bronchitis (no I don't typically have asthma) and 1 case of sinusitis. Needless to say eating was not high up on my list of things to do and I ended up losing 15 pounds. This led to me visiting my ob every 2 weeks and receiving warnings that if I did not stop losing I would find myself in the hospital. Hello, don't you think I wanted to eat????

Fast forward two more months. I've now lost a total of 18 pounds but baby girl #2 is estimated to be a very healthy 1 lb. 2 oz. The weight loss has pretty much stopped and I have been eating everything within arms length for the past week or so. I've become so paranoid about my lack of weight gain that I step on the scale a minimum of 5 times a day. I didn't realize how bad it had gotten until my daughter started following in suit and hopping on to "see how big she is" every time she passes the bathroom. This is not at all an issue that I want embedded into my child at any age let alone 3 years old! So I guess my question to anyone who is willing to comment is do you think the number on the scale should matter if the baby and I are both healthy (I'll post some pictures soon but even a blind person can see that I'm pregnant at this point. Okay maybe not a blind person but you know what I mean). I'd also love to hear anyone else's weight gain/loss stories from their pregnancies just so that I know I'm not the only one out there!

Promise to blog again soon,
Tracy

P.S. I know my site is UGLY at this point. I'll be working on that in the weeks to come too!