Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a really fun Thanksgiving! For the first time, I made a Thanksgiving dinner! I made turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, rolls, salad, sparkling apple cider, pumpkin pie, and cherry pie with whipped cream. Everything turned out great, except for the mashed potatoes! Those were the last thing I made, and all the other food was ready... they were taking longer to cook than I wanted, and due to other things also taking longer to cook than planned, we were already eating an hour or two behind schedule! So, I got impatient and undercooked the potatoes (slightly) and then I didn't have a clean measuring cup available, and I eyeballed the milk and got in way too much! So, our potatoes were lumpy and runny... yuck! But, oh well. The funny thing is, the mashed potatoes were the simplest recipe I made! My mom, sisters, cousin, and my cousin's roommate all came to the dinner, so we had 10 people total... 9 women and 1 man (Jason!). Poor guy! We watched the football game, of course, and had a lot of fun. Everyone helped out with the cooking, too, which was also fun! The best dish was the sweet potato casserole, which I have posted the recipe for on my recipe blog, so check that out if you want to make an amazing side dish for your next holiday party! I was very excited, because Jason gave me my Christmas present early just for Thanksgiving dinner... service for 12 china set and serving dishes. They were very beautiful, just plain off-white with a platinum border on the edge. It made our table very elegant! I was also able to wear my new blue and brown apron that Jason's sister's friend made for me... she sells the aprons on her etsy website if any of you want one... see the link on the side for "polka dots and posies." Anyway, I hope everyone else had such a good Thanksgiving! We certainly have a lot to be thankful for!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

3 Year Check Up

Lizzy had her 3 year check up at the doctor on Monday. We planned ahead of time that if she got upset, we would tell her we would take her to Arctic Circle afterward to play on the playland and get an ice cream. It half worked... she was still really terrified. When she gets really scared of something, she does this shivering cry, and her whole body shakes. Even though she was crying and shivering, though, she still opened her mouth to say "aah" and let Dr. Sigg look in her eyes and ears. After all the poking and prodding was done, and Dr. Sigg was just asking us general questions about her health and development, she stopped crying and suddenly said, "Dr. Sigg isn't scary, he's really nice!" Then she was happy, and talking to him. Then, of course, after he was done with the examination, the nurse came in with her flu shot... and then she was crying again, and is once more afraid of the doctor. The first time she ever freaked out at the doctor was at her 9 month appointment, and she's been terrified of doctor's offices and hospitals ever since. The other day I had to pick up a prescription from the Tanner Clinic pharmacy. I pulled into the parking lot with the girls, and got them out of the car. Lizzy took one look at the building and started crying, "I don't want to go to the doctor! I'm scared of the doctor!" I told her we were just going to the store, not to the doctor, and the inside of the pharmacy looked enough like a store to appease her. What amazes me is, she's never been to the Tanner Clinic, so how she knew it was a doctor's office, I'll never know. Anyway, Lizzy is very healthy, and right on track developmentally. She weighs 31 pounds and is 3 feet 2 inches tall. That puts her at 75th percentile for height and 45th percentile for weight.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sewing Fun

On the "Hair Today" blog that I have linked here on my blog, the author posted a how-to for a simple but cute "Twirly Skirt" for little girls. I thought it looked intriguing, so I got some fabric and made these skirts yesterday for my girls to wear to church today. I was excited... they came out really cute. Just as the website advertised, the skirts were super easy, and I made both in about an hour. Their shirts don't match... this was at 8 pm, and so I just threw the skirts on with the shirts they were wearing for the day... dirty with dinner and everything! Click on the picture to see it larger. This morning I made a mini version of the skirt out of leftover fabric for Lizzy's new Barbie doll.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Lizzy!

My sweet little baby Lizzy turned 3 yesterday! She had a really fun birthday! She is presently in her room, where she took all her new toys and then closed the door so Rachel cannot play with them! She woke up this morning at 7:00, and the first thing she said was, "Can I play with my dollhouse now?" Her new dollhouse from Grandma and Grandpa Gale is definitely her favorite present, but she loves all her other presents at a close second! She got a doll stroller from my mom, and a doll to go in it from my step-dad. My sisters gave her a new outfit, and Jason and I got her a barbie doll with outfits and a carrying bag, and the new Tinkerbell movie. She has seen too many commercials for the Tinkerbell movie, because she unwrapped it, and said, "Oh! It's "Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure!" That made everyone laugh! I made her a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, decorated with Tinkerbell, as you can see in the pictures, and we also had her favorite "Cowboy" pizza from papa murphy's. What's really funny is, before everyone showed up for the party, Lizzy kept saying she was still 2, and it was not her birthday yet. She wouldn't say it was her birthday until everyone came... I guess she thinks the birthday party is the actual birthday! So... does this mean that if I don't have a party I never actually turn 30??? Ha ha ha. You can see in the pictures that my little sister, Angela, desperately needs a barbie doll for Christmas, as she thoroughly enjoyed playing with Lizzy's. On a side note: if anyone is interested in the technique for how I made the tinkerbell, I put directions for it on my recipe blog:

Monday, November 9, 2009


So, my homemaker battle has been floor cleanliness. Jason's pet peeve is dirty floors. He doesn't care if the beds aren't made, or if the dishes aren't done... but he HATES dirty floors. Of course, I have an almost-3 year old and a 15 month old, so they dirty my floors at least 3 times a day, and sometimes I just don't have the energy to sweep and mop one more time before Jason gets home from work! Anyway, I am a big informercial watcher (it's a secret vise that happened when I was up doing middle of the night infant feedings and care) and I got 2 WONDERFUL things off of informercials that I actually found worth sharing with all of you in the internet world. The first one is the swivel sweeper. The thing is AMAZING. Lizzy can use it, it is so easy! It swivels, like it says, and picks up stuff with rotating brushes in all 4 directions and on the corners. It also lies flat, so you can get it under stuff really easily. It is terrific for every day after meal touch ups. It works on both hard floors AND carpets, so when Rachel gets a hold of the kleenex box while I'm in the shower, and shreds 50 kleenexes all over the living room floor, it's no problem to clean up. The other wonderful invention that I got today is the shark steam pocket mop. Now this one is cool. I have tried traditional rag mops, the squeegee mops, and microfiber mops... they have all been terrible. We have travertine floors, and they have a marbled appearance, and are VERY hard to clean. I would often end up on my hands and knees scrubbing my huge expanse of tile floor by hand. When we first bought the house, the travertine looked beautiful, with a matte finish, but with a sheen to it. No matter how hard or much I mopped or scrubbed by hand, my travertine would be matte, with no sheen. In addition, I had to wait to mop until Rachel was napping, because otherwise, she'd follow me around, slipping on the wet spots and banging her head on the floor, or else crying behind the wall of chairs I made to block off the kitchen... it was just no fun. SOOOO, I saw that they had the steam mop at Costco, so I went for it. I mopped my floor with it today and WOW. It is amazing! It got everything up off the floor, and the sheen is back! It looks SO beautiful. I can't wait for Jason to get home and see my amazing floors! It's especially nice, because it dries almost immediately, so Rachel did not slip around on the floor. I also used it on our hardwood floor in the study, and regular tile floors in the bathrooms. They all came out gorgeous. Then, because I saw them do it on the informercial, I lifted the thing up and steam cleaned my granite countertops. Now that was cool! I also was able to steam clean the fireplace stones at the base of the fireplace, which were coated in nastiness from the kids, and have always been really hard to get clean. Anyway, enough informercial from me... if any of you are hating your constant cleaning the floor battle, I highly recommend these products!

Friday, November 6, 2009

New Recipes

I've just posted two amazing new recipes on my recipe blog: Spaghetti Bolognese (meat sauce), and chocolate chip cookie bars. Go check them out:

The cookie bars are soft, chewy, thick and wonderful - I think they're even better than eating cookies! The meat sauce comes out full of meat flavor, with really tender meat. It is a great meal because it makes a TON of food, but the ingredients are very cheap to buy! I paired the spaghetti bolognese with some ciabatta bread and spinach sauteed with garlic and a pinch of nutmeg. Try it out with your family!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

We had a really fun Halloween! Jason's friend, Lane, came over to visit and watched the U of U football game with us. We grilled bratwurst sausages with peppers and onions, and they were really good football-watching "man food." I had bought some wings, a skirt, and a wand for Lizzy who had requested a Tinkerbell costume, and Rachel was going to wear the pumpkin outfit that Lizzy wore at Rachel's age, but Lizzy saw the princess costume that she had worn last year in the closet, and suddenly she wanted to wear that! So, Lizzy was a princess again, and Rachel wore the Tinkerbell costume! Jason took the girls out trick or treating, and I gave out candy. The girls really enjoyed trick or treating, although Lizzy was a little scared of some of the other kids' costumes! Here are some pictures of the girls in their costumes; with the pumpkins we carved; and a picture of Rachel with her first pigtails!