Friday, September 18, 2009


This is my entire place. Boxes, boxes, boxes everywhere. We are in the middle of a move and I just cannot blog anymore. I want to but I have no ideas to write about as my mind is wrapped around packing and keeping the “bears” out and off the boxes. So I am taking a “vacation” until September 28th.

This is already the worst vacation ever.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

That's Genetic

For those of you who are curious about the "anonymous" comment on the feet picture, it was from my husband. Every time something is said or referenced in any way to Teagan’s feet he brings the “that’s genetic” comment back.

This all started after one of Teagan’s first doctor visits after her birth, which Daddy took her to without me. I’m not positive that I was already back to work but I can’t imagine I was just sitting at home eating bon-bons while he took my first born to be scrutinized by a medical professional.

After the visit I needed full details due to being a neurotic smother-mother, and proud of it. Apparently during the visit the doctor commented on Teagan’s toes.

Before I finish this let me state that Teagan’s pediatrician was Dr. Deborah L. Marcus in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Marcus is the best pediatrician we have ever seen and we have seen five at this point. If I could I would drive down to Florida for my girl’s appointments to see Dr. Marcus I would. I respect Dr. Marcus’ opinion and would listen and follow any advice she gives when it comes to my kids.

Back to the comment. Dr. Marcus was looking over Teagan. Counting the fingers and toes. She stopped. Looked at Husband. Pointed at her toes and said “That’s genetic.” In a tone, described by Husband, that if you don’t have it and your wife doesn’t have it…

Now knowing Dr. Marcus I don’t think she was insinuating to go check some toes to verify fatherhood. I think she was just pointing out a gene. But Husband thinks it is still funny to this day and says it at least monthly.

What’s the gene? If you look at the feet picture the largest set of feet is Teagan’s. Her second and third toe is slightly joined at the bottom. I have this feature. My Mom has this feature.

Kaitlyn does not have the joined toes. That’s because she is the identical female version of her Father!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Writer in Training

Teagan’s first invented story. As told from her car seat to no one in particular.

Once upon a time.

Kaitlyn was naughty.

Kaitlyn got in big trouble.

Daddy said GO TO YOUR ROOM.

At this point her story ended due to Daddy and my raucous laughter and our arrival at the park.

Monday, September 14, 2009

2009 Grandparents of the Year

My Mom and Dad are Runners-Up in 2009 Grandparents of the Year Awards. Of course in my opinion they should have come in first place as they are the most loving, caring and nurturing Grandparents out there. No bias, I swear. They have been involved in my girls and their other granddaughter's lives from the beginning. Enjoying each milestone with them and marveling at their brilliance. Once again, no bias. My daughters enjoy every minute they get with their Grandparents even when it's over a webcam. One indicator of how much they love them is that Poppy is also the name of Teagan's imaginary friend. It doesn't get more adoring than that.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Side Kick

Teagan was running around the house saying “Super Teagan” pretending to fly. She started calling everyone Super-insert name. I don’t know if she is too young or if this avenue just has never been explored but I asked her if she wanted to put on her super girl costume from last Halloween. Excitement filled the air as she bounded up and around screaming “yes, yes, yes.”

The costume from last year was too big on her then so I knew it would fit. Sadly to say Teagan aka Stick Girl still swam in her super girl costume. That didn’t matter because now she had a cape.

Now Kaitlyn was looking on with excitement as well. The only problem is we only have one super girl outfit. I offered Kaitlyn her costume from last year which was a lady bug. I swear she gave me a who-are-you-kidding look. Not having many options I offered her the Florida Gator Cheerleader outfit. (Go Gators!) I think because it had a large logo on the chest like Teagan’s super girl outfit that this made it acceptable.

So here you are Super Girl saving the day with her trusty side kick Florida Gator Cheerleader. (Go Gators!) They wore these outfits all night and demanded to wear them the next day.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Monkey Games

Yesterday I mentioned donating things to Goodwill. We had some wicker furniture that needed to leave our home. Hubby put this three drawer dresser by the door for departure.

In less than five minutes Teagan had climbed in and it toppled onto her. I made sure she was not hurt and went to get the camera. Lucky for me she is out of her hide from the camera phase and gave me a nice toothy grin.

I love my kids!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lesson Learned

Today I was gathering several items to take to our local Goodwill store. Things I no longer needed but items that were in good condition. This stop at Goodwill was to be first before going to the park and then grocery shopping. So while Hubby was finishing on the computer I decided to load up the car with the donations.

I grab two strollers and head out the door. As I get halfway down the breezeway I hear ~clunk~ which is undeniably the sound of the door being locked. Teagan has just locked me out of the apartment. I decided to worry about it after I loaded the car and proceeded in my task. While rearranging the trunk I ponder why I only took half my keys out. I had to unlatch the car set from the house set. Now this is only a click of a ring but something I rarely do. So why did I do it today? Is the other half so darn heavy I couldn’t take it too? I couldn’t come up with a valid answer except that my guardian angel convinced me to do it because he needed a good laugh.

I go back to the apartment and yes, Teagan has locked me out. I knock. I hear footsteps that are definitely Teagan’s.

Teagan: Who’s there? (For the sake of this post all italics should be said in a sing-song voice.)

Me: It’s Mommy. Unlock the door.

Teagan: Come in.

Me: You locked me out. Unlock the door.

Teagan: Come in Mommy.

Me: Unlock the door.

Teagan: ………

Me: Go get Daddy.

I hear footsteps go away. But not the way to our bedroom where Daddy is but back into the living room where Max and Ruby is playing. (For those Noggin illiterate, Max and Ruby is a cartoon of bunny siblings where Ruby bosses the younger Max around the entire episode. Really uplifting and Teagan loves it.)


Teagan: (from a distance) Come in.

I bang on the door a few times and get the same sing-song response, Come in. No true interaction with Teagan and no Daddy. I don't know my neighbors and really don't want to meet them because they come out of their apartments annoyed at the loud woman beating on the door. Time for a different course of action.

I go around to our spare bedroom window. This means I have to go through shrubs and bushes that are no doubt bug, spider and maybe snake infested. I bang as hard as I can on these. Nothing. I bang some more. Nothing.

I would have gone to the bedroom window but our apartment is on an incline and I can’t reach the window. Throwing rocks was an option but I had the fear of busting a window in my undertaking. Back to the front door I go.

I pound on the door this time. To hell with the neighbors. Yelling at Teagan to get her Daddy. I suppose she is either tired of hearing me yell or Max and Ruby has went to commercial because I hear her little footsteps again.

Teagan: Mommy, come in.

Me: I can’t Teagan you have locked me out.

Silence. But she is still there.

Me: Teagan, unlock the door.

She wiggles the door handle.

Me: No, no, honey the lock. Turn the lock.

I hear the lock move a little but not all the way.

Me: That’s right Teagan. Move the lock a little more.

She wiggles the door handle again.

Me: No Teagan the lock. Turn the lock.


Me: Don’t ever touch that lock again!

I question Hubby why he didn’t come see about the knocking on the window or door. “I figured you’d take care of it.” Then he says it’s my fault because I didn’t tell him I was going outside in the first place. That’s just stupid. I need to tell him when I’m going to go to the car for a minute? He just didn’t want to be yelled at for choosing to watch his tennis game rather than see what the commotion was about.

All and all it was rather funny. No harm done and my guardian angel should have his fix for at least a day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sandwich Stromboli

Sandwiches are a staple. Whether it’s a grilled cheese or plain bologna I’m all about a quick sandwich to get through the day. The “bears” are not big sandwich fans. They like everything that goes into one but once you slap it all together it just doesn’t work for them. Teagan will pull everything apart and eat the insides and not the bread. Kaitlyn will tear it all apart and eat just the meat. Normally Kaitlyn will eat nothing but toast in the morning but slap a piece of cheese and ham in-between them and she won’t touch them.

I’ve had this sandwich recipe for years and have wanted to make it on several occasions. For one reason or the other I never got around to it. The recipe week finally let me make my sandwich. Husband was a bit miffed when he saw what I was making since he was heading to the gym and would have to eat it cold. I think his exact words were “you are finally make something I want to eat when I can’t eat it.” Turkey. He ended up eating it warm and going to the gym later.

How was it you ask? On a scale from one to ten with five being average I would give it a nine. Hubby would give it “a least an eight” and the “bears” would give it a seven. They still tore it apart to eat it but ate most of it including the bread. If I had left out the onions I think they would have ate all of it. But once again they get that one bite of a flavor they don’t like and they will pick and judge every piece before they eat it. I would have given this a ten if it had a spicy condiment on it. Horseradish mayonnaise comes to mind.

I used salami instead of ham. I’m sure it made it greasier but it was a good greasy. Everyone agreed that the salami was the way to go. Okay so the “bears” didn’t necessarily agree but they both ate all the salami first. I did not find shredded swiss so I diced my own. Why do I mention this? Because I had added difficulty and thought I should whine a little. By the way it did not reheat well.

Ham and Swiss Stromboli
Source: Taste of Home’s Quick Cooking, July/August 2001
Servings: 6-8

1 tube (11 ounces) refrigerated French bread
6 ounces thinly sliced deli ham
6 green onions, sliced
8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese

Unroll dough on a greased baking sheet. Place ham over dough to within 1/2 inches of edges; sprinkle evenly with onions, bacon and cheese. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side. Pinch seams to seal and tuck ends under. Place seam side down on baking sheet.

With a sharp knife, cut several 1/4 inch deep slits on top of loaf. Bake at 350° for 26-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly before slicing. Serve warm.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cheater, Cheater, Burrito Eater

Tonight was suppose to be a pork chop recipe. However Mommy is so very tired. Mentally. Physically. Just this side of exhausted. Instead of trying desperately to make a good meal we took the family to dinner.

This is what the girls ate.

This is what Mommy ate.

And this is what Mommy drank. Yummy!

I owe you two more recipes and I will post them next week.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sustenance at it's Finest

When I was first learning how to cook in my twenties I cooked several meals that were deemed sustenance. Yes that’s right I taught myself how to cook in my twenties. Up to this point I had a loving, doting Mother and the few years in between I had friends and fast food. One day there was no one there to cook and I wanted a “real” meal. I found my niche is baking. I can cook any meal and it will be good and sometimes fantastic (things with sauce normally fall in that category) but sweet dessert was my strong hold. This has never been helpful to my figure. Taking this into account I should be posting dessert recipes rather than this dinner stuff.

Tonight was Tater Tot Casserole. That just has redneck momma written all over it. I have eaten a version of this from a friend who freely called herself White Trash but got offended by Trailer Trash. Really? Location of the trash was more insulting? Good news is the “bears” ate it. ~ Do a little dance.~ But tonight’s meal should be judged as sustenance. I could have made mac and cheese thrown in some ground beef and it would have been just as well received.

How was it you ask? On a scale from one to ten with five being average I would give it a five. Hubby would give it a four and the “bears” would give it an eight as they ate at least 75% of their plates. I gave it a five because it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t fantastic. It was middle of the road okay. Hubby giving it a four is a little disingenuous. HE GOT SECONDS! How can you give something a below average score and get seconds? Teagan ate all of her green beans first. That kid will eat green beans virtually at every meal if I would serve them. Kaitlyn is not a green bean fan but even she ate hers. Mind you they were last and everything was second to the tater tots. This is only the second time she has had tater tots and she thinks they are crunchy potato goodness.

Hubby has been so good through this entire process. He has been extra kind to let me know I cooked the meals well but they are just not excellent recipes. He thinks I’m beating myself up over this. And I am. I wanted to find new recipes that would give dinner time new life. So here is a call for help. Do you have a recipe that is in your normal rotation you would like to share. I will take anything. I don’t know if I’ll blog about it but I will darn sure try it. Thanks in advance.

Tater Tot Casserole
Source: Various with my spin
Servings: 8

1 pound of ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 envelope taco seasoning
2/3 cup water
1 can (4.5 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (11 ounces) green beans, drained
1 can (11 ounces) condensed fiesta nacho cheese soup
1 package (32 ounces) frozen tater tots

In a skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Mix water and taco seasoning; stir in to meat. Simmer uncovered, for five minutes. Add corn, green beans, and soup; mix well.

Spoon into a greased 13x9x2 in. baking dish. Arrange tater tots in single layer over the top. Bake, uncovered at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until potatoes are crispy and golden brown.
I am not anal!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Starving the Kids Week

This week should be called “Starving the Kids Week.” Tonight was Cube Steak Dijon. I have a soft spot for cube steak. There is just something comforting about it. My Mom use to cook cube steak as Chicken Fried Steak once a month and it was great. With gravy and a crunchy crust. Comfort food at its finest. I have tried to cook it this way and it did not turn out right with the crust falling off and it being tough as all get out.

Cube steak is going to be chewy even in the best meal but every time I have made it in the past the texture was more like silicon than meat. Therefore this was a new recipe for me but also a challenge as I have never cooked a really good cube steak. I debated to cook this in cast iron or not, as cast iron lends a hand in chicken fried steak but since this was a simmering recipe I thought that non-stick would be better.

How was it you ask? On a scale from one to ten with five being average I would give it a six. Hubby would give it a three and the “bears” would give it a zero as they wouldn’t eat any of it and actually spit out the pieces they put into their mouths. Sad, sad, sad. The flavor of the sauce was savory and tangy and it was less chewy than I have previously cooked. I think substituting chicken for the cube steak would make it jump to 9 maybe ten in the rating.

Apparently Hubby demoted the recipe rating simply since it was cube steak. In his mind even the most astoundingly extraordinary cube steak meal would only be graded as a five “because it’s cube steak.” Just for the curious ones this was the meal I had planned on making and no, Hubby didn’t piss me off. I was just too tired to get the required ingredients from the store for the other meal.

Cube Steak Dijon
Source: Taste of Home April/May 2003 with my spin
Servings: 4

4 beef cube steaks
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup white grape juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons corn starch

Salt and pepper cube steaks. In a large skillet, sauté steaks in butter for two minutes on each side. Combine the grape juice, Worcestershire sauce and mustard; stir into cooking juices. Bring to a boil; cook for 1 minute. Turn down and simmer for ten minutes. Remove two tablespoons of liquid; mix with the two tablespoons of corn starch; pour back in. Cook one minute more or until sauce thickens. Serve sauce over the cube steaks.

No picture tonight. I’m a little bit distracted with a burden I’m dealing with. I’m hoping this distraction will go away tomorrow (actually since this post will be on Wednesday, today is more accurate) to either launch me in a wonderful direction or wrap things up for our family to quite literally move on. If you get a chance, say a little prayer for the path to happiness to open, no matter which one it is, I am grateful.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Recipe Experiment Night Two

The recipe experiment continues. Tonight was chicken enchiladas. Now Hubby makes a phenomenal chicken enchilada with fresh lime and cilantro but it takes an overnight marinating and more preparation than most of us can muster on a Monday night.

This recipe was quick and had all the ingredients to make a good meal. Minus the cilantro. Which my kids don’t like any way.

I had no helpers tonight, they were helping daddy study, and it was a good thing as I am sure the scooping of the mix into the tortillas would have been a blast for them and a debacle for me.

How was it you ask? On a scale from one to ten with five being average I would give it a four. Hubby would give it a four and the “bears” would give maybe a two since all they ate was the black beans. Teagan ate a tad more but it wasn’t substantial enough to raise the score. The tortillas mushed up with the sauce and stuck to the bottom of the pan. Husband said that it would go up a point if I doubled the cheese. He felt that the burrito supreme at Taco Bell tasted better than these. I have to agree.
I would spray the bottom of the pan with Pam and ixnay the sauce, double the cheese inside and out, and only pour 4 ounces of enchilada sauce on top. Maybe that would add up to more of a wet burrito.

When I cook something better than Hubby does (biscuits, oatmeal cookies) he jokes that he is fired from cooking it and will never do so again. Well his job is secure with the chicken enchiladas!

So far this experiment has been a bust. Hubby is really dreading tomorrow night so I might change it up to have a pleasant dining experience. Unless he pisses me off and then he can just deal. Just kidding he’s really a big sweetheart and I love him for tolerating the glory of Me.

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas
Source: Taste of Home, Cooking School/Fall 2001
Servings: 8

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 envelop taco seasoning
1 jar (16 ounces) chunky salsa
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (8-3/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
2 cups (8 ounces) Mexican blend shredded cheese
1 can (15 ounces) mild enchilada sauce
8 flour tortillas (6 inch)
2 tablespoons sliced black olives

Prepare chicken with taco seasoning as directed on package of taco seasoning mix; cool 10 minutes. Stir in salsa, beans, corn and 1 cup cheese. Spread 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on bottom of 13x9x2 baking dish. Place 2/3 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place in dish, seam side down, on top of sauce. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over tortillas; sprinkle with the remaining cheese and the sliced ripe olives. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and filling is hot.