Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas with My Family


A new camera from Mom Mom (among the dozen other gifts!)



Some special books- from Mom Mom!



Playing with Katie at the Mall kid area



The cousins



Katie and Celia wearing their matching nightgowns

We have had a great time in Virginia.  Pete and I got to go to Williamsburg for the night on Sunday night and Celia had a blast with Mom Mom.  It was the first night we have spent away from her, except for when I was in the hospital this summer.  That one doesn't count!!!  She did well.  She already doesn't want to go home because she doesn't want to leave Mom Mom.  We are making the long drive home tonight in the hope that Celia will go to sleep.  The trip down here was not fun!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

My Montage 12/25/09 at OneTrueMedia.com

Christmas in pictures















I am tryinng to upload some videos too.  Please ignore the smudge in some photos, I didn't realize my lens was dirty until I took a few pictures!!!

Christmas 2008



Christmas 2009 (she does still like the moby, she didn't not want her picture taken).  Oh and in view of these pictures I am never growing my hair long again.  So do you think we can get this photo in next year, will she still be able to get into the Moby Wrap??


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Homemade and starting traditions



The apron and the pants are both homemade by me.  I am not naturally talented at sewing like my mother and sister.  I have to rip seams up, hate,  don't like, can't follow patterns, jam up my sewing machine, and use "inappropriate words" while sewing.  But when I am in the mood, sewing is fun and it relaxes me.  I haven't made Celia pants since before I started working, meaning summer 2008.   So I found this great corduroy fabric on sale and I made her some pants.  They are okay.  The pattern accomodates a diaper, which she doesn't wear, so the crotch and butt are quite baggy.  I like projects like this though because I can make them in about an hour.  The apron has been in progress for a long time.  I have worked on it every so often.  I actualy started it this summer, just really would work on it for a few minutes here and there.  I didn't intend on finishing it for Christmas but I got in the mood last night and voila there it is.  Celia was curious so I gave it to her right there.  She was so excited to try cooking in it that we rushed upstairs to get out her play stuff and then she took it off and said "I'm all done, I don't like it anymore" and that was that.  I hung my head and fought back the tears.  I tied it onto the back of one of her little chairs and it now has a spoon and little rake in it.  At least she modeled for the picture.

She is getting a homemade blanket from me.  She needs a bigger blanket for her bed, not an adult sized one, just a "big girl' size one.  So we will see if she likes that.  I made it so that she can use it as a sleeping bag type blanket, or she can just lay underneath it.  It is funky looking and pink, she loves pink.

This morning I hope that I started a tradition with Celia, I hope to do it next year.  I bundled her up and we went over to Wegmans to get some ingredients for my cherry cheesecake that I making for Christmas.   I also wanted to buy an ornament with her.  Wegmans didn't have a huge selection, but I knew they also deeply discount them around this time.    We found a delicate angel with red wings that look like leaves, it is pretty.  Celia chose it.  We decided it was a gift for Jesus's birthday.  She does associate Christmas with his birthday, primarily because of her methodist daycare.  In anycase, these ornaments that I hope to pick out every Christmas eve are going to be her ornaments.  They will be the ones that she gets when she is grown.  Next year I am not so sure it will be a Wegmans trip.  The store was crazy- it was 8 am!!   I hope to expand it to breakfast with Mom too.   Breakfast with a two yearold is not all that relaxing, 3 will be better, right???

Celia is actualy over at my neighbors right now playing.  It isn't often that I don't have her and am not at work, it feels strange.  She was excited though!! 
Tonight we have our church's childrens service at 6pm and then may be going over to our neighbor's afterward.  I wish that the service was at 5.    6:00 is just dinner time to me!  But I am looking forward to dressing Ms. Celia in her christmas dress and seeing her have fun with all the songs.  Our children's service is extremly kid oriented, it is very cute.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fun in the Snow

Okay I should say more or less, Celia had fun being carried in the snow!!
Here are some pictures to enjoy.
















Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow, Cookies, Bravery

Celia got her flu shot booster and her first h1n1 shot two thursdays ago. She received a sticker for her bravery. I really had a hard time with this as we do an alternative vaccine schedule and I don't like all of the aluminum that has gone in her little body. That said, she goes to daycare and she catches everything. The death rate of H1N1 in her age group is higher then I like, especialy since I am not sure what her RSV did to her lungs last year.

So on a happier note. Guess what we have alot of, alot alot alot, of??? Snow!! They say we only have 15 inches, although 30 min. away Philadelphia has 22 inches. It sure looks like it is more like 18 inches at least. When we were out last night, it sure looked like 18 inches walking in it. So I think it is more like that. It is pretty. But why, oh, why couldn't this have happened on a Monday??? Two weeks of holiday break would have been sweet. Below are some pictures. The chair on our porch gives about a true picture of the snow total, but for some reason it didn't start accumulating on the chair until a few hours into the storm so we actualy have a little more. But I think that looks like 18 inches.




Look at the chair!

It looks just like we draped a blanket of snow over the bushes, doesn't it??
So what did I do? Well we didn't go out and play because it was a windchill of about 10, very windy, and just nasty (plus Celia and I are still recoverying from yucky colds). So I made two baby blankets, some laundry (Pete helped), some cleaning up, and some baking. Check out some of the things that were made.


Don't the gingersnaps look storebought (they aren't of course)?? So I am hoping for a two hour delay, not expecting a closing tomorrow though. Only 3 days this week and then off for a little over a week. Is it bad that I then begin the count down to June??
I hopefully will post some snow playing pictures today.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I so want to win

So MckMama is having a giveaway of lightroom- I so want that. I really do. I can get an extra entry by blogging about it so I am.

Go here if you want to enter, but don't because I want to win.

Oh and I could win photoshop here. You could to, again though, I want to win!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Creamy Chicken recipe

Someone actualy commented and asked me for a recipe!! I am so happy, someone reads my blog.

In anycase, I found it.

The creamy chicken recipe (click on the words).

It was through a link from The Little Home. She got it from another blog. I used reduced fat cream cheese and I did use the frozen broccoli as we always have it in the house since it is Celia's favorite.

So if anyone wants any other recipe's let me know!! I am home sick today with a horrible cold. If anyone knows me, I don't take sick days that often so you know it is bad. Actualy, I called out yesterday afternoon for today becuase I did go to work yesterday feeling 10x worse. When I woke up this morning, I thought, I really could have gone. However now as I sit here in a fog, with a bright red nose, a killer headache, and cough- I am thinking I made the right decision. So some shopping online, blog reading, and then hopefully alot of sleep and I should be feeling better tomorrow- right??? Someone give me a break, I deserve it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Donate some Babylegs



A family that lives not all that far from us lost their son to mitochondrial disease before Thanksgiving. Their story was on our local news because an organization was helping to renovate a house for them to live in to accomadate their 3 year old's wheelchair. Unfortunately, Gavin only briefly got to see this house when he had to be returned to the hospital. He fought a very hard battle. His Mom is collecting baby legs to donate to Dupont Hospital. Gavin basically lived in babylegs because with all the tubing, etc, it made it alot easier, almost a neccessity to go with out pants. Babylegs are leggings that fit up the entire leg. Celia has quite a few and they were so handy when she was really little and needing frequent diaper changing (especially when I would let her go around in her fitted diapers without a cover). I think they are awesome. Now that she wears underwear, they aren't as practical. But we still use them on some occassions. I want to get some of their new tights but I will wait for a sale. I did order her some of their socks, I didn't even know they made socks. In anycase, that is besides the point.

Right now they have free shipping and buy one get one free baby legs. So if you so desire, go on the babylegs site or Target.com and order some baby legs. I don't think Target has free shipping on them.

Use this mailing address:

Karen Owens
PO Box 985
Boyertown PA 19512

Gavin's story is also on the babylegs website. There are some beautiful pictures of Gavin on his website, if you care to read his emotional story. He reminded me some of a few of the students in the Multiple Disability Support program I used to work in, so I think that is what really touched me.

Click on the picture above for more information on the campaign. Here is the link to babylegs. They will match every pair donated up to 5000. So I donated 4 (buy get one free, so paid for 2! and so that makes 8)

Greatly Dissapointed and Two Week Menu

Okay, I know that someone reads my blog. I know that and it made me so sad that no one, not a single person commented on my last post. In anycase, if you wanted to know what the picture was about- Celia was playing baseball in the snow with the noodle. It actualy worked and we had fun.

Okay here is my two week menu, that no one will read again...

We didn't eat the sweet and sour chicken on last week's menu, I forgot some ingredients at the store so we settled for some turkey manwich instead- I had all the ingredients on hand. So here is the next 2 weeks.

Saturday- Plum Island Clam Chowder- the best clam chowder ever!!! I will try to find a link.
Sunday- Turkey Pasta Fagioli
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 minced garlic clove
1 c each diced onion, carrots., celery
1 can kidney beans, undrained
1 can great northern beans, undrained (or soaked dried beans)
2 - 15 oz cans tomato sauce
1 can low sodium chicken broth
(1 T vinegar, 1 ½ t salt,1 t Italian seasonings)
8 oz small shell pasta
Brown turkey along with onions, carrots, celery and garlic for 10 min on med. Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT pasta. Simmer for 30 min. Cook pasta al dente. Add to soup and simmer. I think this is more like a pasta dish rather then soup, I haven't made it in awhile. I may try it in the crockpot (adding the pasta 20 min. before serving)
Monday- Lasagna Roll-ups (frozen meal)
Tuesday- Brushetta Chicken Bake
Wednesday- Calzones (frozen in freezer, we didn't eat them last menu)
Thursday- Leftovers
Friday- Spaghetti
Saturday- out/ freezer item
Sunday- White bean and sausage soup
Monday- Creamy Chicken (frozen meal)
Tuesday- Skillet ziti and veggies
2 cups pasta sauce
2 cups water
8 oz ziti
1 package stir-fry veggies
Shredded provolone or mozzarella (about 3/4 c)
Combine pasta sauce and water in a skillet, boil. Add pasta and veggies, cover, lower temp, and simmer for 15 min. or until pasta is tender
Wednesday- Leftovers
Thursday- Blue cheese and dried cherry meatloaf

I have recipes for everything else, if anyone wants a recipe I haven't provided then leave me a comment and I will post it. Though no one comments when I ask. I do appreciate the few comments I have received. It is always cool to know that people are reading!!!

We have a somewhat busy weekend, at least for us. We are going to Longwood tonight to see the lights and then tomorrow Celia and I are going to my aunt's house for a few hours to get together with some relatives. Celia has not even met some of them!! As for me though I need to pack in cleaning, lesson planning, christmas stuff, and some exercise in there. I did (with Pete's help) 3 loads of laundry last night. So only the Sunday sheets and towels wash tomorrow.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Weekend adventures and Guessing Game


So this weekend was tiring but fun. Saturday we had Pete's company Children's Christmas Party. It was really neat, but a bit overwhelming for Celia. She wanted no part of Santa and give him a very tiny wave. She loved the dance room though! We didn't stay all that long because she started looking tired and we wanted her to make it home awake. If Celia falls asleep in the car no matter if it is 5 min or 60 min, she thinks that is her nap.

That afternoon Pete and our neighbor started working on putting quarter round in our living room and part of our kitchen. When we had our floors installed in Sept, we decided to do that our selves to save a few hundered dollars. Next time, I will just have them do it. It was a huge project for them and they didn't finish until today. So while they were working, Celia and I played with our neighbor's daughter, Amber. She loves her and was super excited. It snowed here on Sat too, enough to play outside. I had alot of fun and so did Celia.

Earlier when it first started coming
Okay, so our snowman is a bit pathetic. The pic above Mr. Snowman is Celia making snowballs with Amber's snowball maker. It does a nice job, however Celia referred to them as bouncy balls at first and was quickly dissapointed by their lack of bounce.
Here is the Guessing Game: Can you guess what Celia is doing in the picture at the top of this post??? If you can, well then the prize... Okay the prize is that you won. I will of course acknowledge who ever guesses and if you are a blogger, your blog. My traffic consists of about 5 to 6 people I think so I don't really expect many responses!!



Here is our tree, it isn't much at all. Pete and I got it years ago for about $14.99 I believe (the price gets cheaper in our mind every year) and it is a toothpick on steroids. We like it, it suits us, and it works well in our tiny house. Pete's hardwork this weekend excuses him for getting in his scrooge mood while decorating the tree. Next year Celia and I will do it by ourselves because that kind of thing puts him in a bad mood, go figure. It does every year.
So a good weekend overall, busy, tiring, but good. Oh and I got to go for a run/racewalk by myself, hooked into my ipod and in my own world. It was wonderful.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Menu for the next two weeks

Okay, I thought that I would start posting my menu that I plan for the next two weeks and link my recipes if possible. My Mother in law expressed disgust over the cost of groceries lately and I totally agree with her, especially since she has more people to cook for (her father and my Father in law's mother live with them). So I can't imagine the cost of cooking for 4 grown adults. In anycase, I buy meats on sale. Right now I have a lot of pork and some chicken left from a stock up a month ago. Our local Wegmans has awesome meat sales- I mean something like 10 porkchops for $7 and 5 pork tenderloins for $8! I don't always stick to my budget at all, some weeks are over, due to not enough time to plan, etc. But one of the ways I try to cut down on expense is to meal plan two weeks ahead and often cook double for things that freeze well.

We do eat healthy, I adapt recipes to lower fat and we eat veggies as sides. But unfortunately eating healthy does cost more, it is so worth it!!

Week of 11/29
Sunday- Turkey potpie ( making 3 to freeze 2, cutting some of the butter and cream cheese)
Monday- Pineapple Pork Tenderloin (cut this to only 1 lb of pork and using frozen peppers to save money)
Tuesday- Meatloaf that I have frozen. This is made with ground turkey, it is a cookinglight recipe that I have adapted. So basically 1 lb ground turkey, cook some onions, garlic, and carrots for about 2 minutes, add egg, some bread crumbs or cracker crumbs (1 cup?), worcestshire sauce (1 tb), 1/4 cup ketchup in mix. Top with some more ketchup. I make mini loaves so they cook faster (so personal little meat loaves). They freeze super well and you really can put what you want in it.
Wednesday- Spaghetti with frozen ground turkey meat sauce
Thursday- leftovers
Friday- eggs and toast
Sat- Out/ Calzones that are frozen in freezer (pizza crust, variety of cheeses, and spinach)

Week of 12/6
Sun- Orange Apricot Pork Chops- all on hand, except for mandarins
Monday- Butternut Squash soup (frozen in freezer)
Tuesdsay- Ground Turkey Tacos
Wednesday- Sweet and Sour Chicken pasta (basically orzo, veggies, chicken, sweet and sour sauce- but the recipe is Betty Crocker)
Thursday- Leftovers
Friday- Perogies ( would love to try to make this myself, but for now the frozen kind)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thank you



Thank you for my little tree hugger. Thank you for our family.
We had a wonderful thanksgiving with my Mom, Pete's parents and grandparents. Our entertainment was Celia of course! She was so good, not overly hyper and well behaved. My turkey turned out amazingly again this year. Yes that is one thing I will brag about, I can really cook a turkey. This year it was a 20 lber!! I brine my turkey and that makes it moist. Pete had to do the lifting of the turkey in and out of the oven this year though.
My Mom as usual did a great deal of cleaning, prepping, and cooking which allowed me to relax. My mother in law and Granny supplied many tasty dishes. At one point I looked at all of the food, and I thought how lucky we are.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Free Turkey

So The Meanest Mom (see the blog links on the side of my blog) commented on the Free Turkey at her grocery store. Well I didn't realize that this past Sat. was the last day for earning the money towards the turkey- otherwise I would have gone shopping. Why is that? I mean you can buy the turkey until 11/28, so why can't you earn your money for it until 11/27?? Oh and not everything qualifies for the points. Anything government regulated- like milk, eggs, etc. doesn't qualify. I actualy think that produce might not qualify either, but I am not sure. I budget and I spend likely around an average of $65 a week, with some weeks going quite over when we need things like toilet paper, laundry detergent, or I am making and freezing a bunch of meals. So this time it hurt me, I am $50 short.

So for the first time in years I have to buy my turkey. Oh and I can't find apple cider, the most important ingrediant in my turkey brining process. So Celia and I will be off to a local orchard today or tomorrow to see if they have apple cider. I will also be price searching to see who has the best deals on turkey, do they make coupons for turkeys??

So budgeting and eating less processed foods ruined the free turkey this year. Next year the free one is mine.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Just a little update

So nothing really new to report on the Celia front. She is still very cute. She is still making trouble at school. Everyone comments often that she is so smart, which makes me very happy of course! A new thing of hers lately is to make up stories which cracks me up.
I am enjoying the fact that she likes Gilmore girls. I love that show, absolutely love it but I haven't watched it really in like a year. I have had some rough days lately and I just wanted to see about 20 min. of it one day. Celia was playing by herself and so I turned it on. She never pays attention to shows like that but for some reason she started watching it. She came and curled up with me and started asking questions. "What is she doing?" or making comments "Hey Mommy, she has pigtails", etc. So today she pooped in the potty and requested Gilmore girls. There was 15 min. left, so I was more then happy to give her that! We settled down together and watched it. She was quite upset when it was done.
For some reason she is enjoying going to the grocery store lately and requests it. I only take her when needed, but it is funny. I was not happy with her this past Wednesday when we went though. She tossed a container of hummus out of the cart and into the aisle, it smashed and was all over the place. She then asked me for more hummus. I was quick to let her know that we were not getting anymore hummus.
So I will update at another time, with some pictures perhaps. Life has been busy and hard these past few weeks, I won't go into detail, but some thoughts and prayers are helpful. Actualy some thoughts and prayers are needed for friends who are going through a rough situation.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thomas

I don't have a picture of him on my computer but sadly my Mother put her cat to sleep this evening. Thomas will be greatly missed. She had him since I was 19 I believe. In anycase he traveled with her to 3 houses total, 2 states. Thomas was a cat in a small animal shop at a Votech school where my Mom was a secretary for a number of years. She took him home on the weekends and during holidays so that he wouldn't have to stay there. Finally after awhile, they gave him to her. He was a funny little thing in the beginning, thought he was a dog for a long time I believe. In anycase, he was a cat that absolutely loved people and was never afraid of anyone. That is quite unusual for a cat.

So send some thoughts my Mom's way as she deals with an empty house tonight....

Monday, November 2, 2009

Boo









Celia had a great time trick or treating. We were not sure we were going to make it as she woke up feeling a bit crummy. It turns out she was just sleepy and a little tired of her cold. It rained about 40 min. into our trick or treating so we headed in. She loved going to the houses, just wouldn't talk to anyone once we got to the door.
I carved the pumpkin, no help from anyone else. I also roasted some of the seeds and they are tasty. Celia has an issue with getting her hands yucky and so does Pete, so no one would put their hands in the pumpkin except for me. Me, who actualy thinks it is quite relaxing to stick my hands in the gooey pumpkin mess.
Pete let me know that next year he is taking her out. We will see if that stands, she will have be 3 and so much fun. With the small amount of trick or treaters, the two of us could take her out together!!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Left vs right, pre sick celia

video

I took this on Saturday, Celia's teacher taught her left vs. right and she is about 90% accurate. On Monday she caught the crud. We aren't convinced it is piggy flu, though would be nice to get that done with if we can't get our hands on the vaccine. In anycase, she has a cough and fever and is a little congested. Her fever was only above 102 a couple times and basically drops to normal with tylenol. Her appetite is only slightly affected (but then our daughter has to be semi comatose to just not eat). So Pete was home with her Mon and Tuesday and I am home today and maybe tomorrow. Her temp has been normal since around 7 am and stays normal without tylenol! She was up at 4 am this morning though!! Pete isn't convinced she should go to school tomorrow, we are going see if her temp. returns tonight. After spending the day chasing her, sending her to timeout for climbing things, licking things, and other infractions, playing with tons of toys, etc- I think she is doing okay. She is down for a nap now after a 15 min. arguement over socks- don't ask. So not sure what is happening tomorrow. I know there is alot going around, but 24 hrs fever free should put her in the clear. Of course she will likely catch something else by next week, that is the deal with being 2 and in daycare. Hopefully no fever tonight.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pumpkins and Bikes

My Mom sent Celia a package with the hat, shirt (it is long, as I think Celia is on the shorter side), and socks for Me. Celia insisted that the socks were for her. When she wasn't looking, I took them back. If you know me, you understand that my passion for socks is quite strong.


I took her to a local orchard to pick out our pumpkins. She did not want to get in any pictures so that made things hard. Here are a few. Oh and the coat isn't small, she decided to wear another coat underneath- I don't know why but I pick my battles.








Celia received a very nice tricycle from her grandparents. It is a bit big for my peanut, so Grandpa put some blocks on it. Unfortunately a week after we got it, the weather turned yucky. So we only had a few afternoons with it.




This are not my best photos and I didn't take the time to edit anything. The weather has been awful here, miserable. I miss being able to go out and take my walks/runs with Celia and the Bob. I am hoping for better weather next week. I am headed down to the basement to watch the Empire Strikes back with Pete- while I do school work- or look through my new Mennonite cook book that Pete got me for my birthday. I keep telling Pete that I am a hippy and he tells me I am the farthest from one. So now I am going to run the Mennonite thing past him, I think he thinks I am closer to that side. But I think the babywearing, cloth diapering, yogurt making, baking from scratch (when possible not nearly as often as I want), delivering in the parking lot, goodwill shopping, no paper towel/ paperplate household part of me makes me a hippy. As Pete would say- Go on with your bad self.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Playing Doll house

I am posting a video of Celia playing dollhouse. She names the little people after people at daycare. She loves the director at daycare- Donna (she also loves her teacher, but evidently none of the little people resemble her). I wish that I could post the first video that I took however she was playing in just her underwear. We are actualy getting away from as much nakey time, Celia would still rather do away with clothes.

The video doesn't do justice to how much she says. We can have extended conversations with her. One today:

Celia: Mommy, you have boogers in your nose?

Me: I don't think so

Celia (looking up my nose): Oh yes, you do.

Me: Oh

Celia: You need to get them out

Me: How do I do that

Celia: You can stick your finger up there, like this (demonstrating on her nose)

Me: No, why don't we use a tissue.

Celia: No, that's silly

Now I am thinking that perhaps we need to have some lessons about using a tissue. Oh and for the record, there are no boogers up there. Believe me I made sure to check.

Friday, October 2, 2009

This is what I like

Showing my shadow my beautiful belly
Making the wind chase me

Playing with friends


And shedding crayons of their clothes
And sitting on Mommy's lap while I help yet another crayon listening to "I can only imagine".