Sunday, August 30, 2009

All I Want For Christmas....

Is my baby's two front teeth!!! Yesterday Ben's first teeth cut through. He is now the proud owner of two bottom teeth. I cannot believe it! No more gummy smiles. *sob* How can he be growing up so fast? He turns 8 months old at the end of next week, time is flying by so so fast.

Another first for Ben, he has his first cold. Dave was so nice to share it with Ben and I. My poor baby boy was a furnace today, motrin is finally helping him. I feel so helpless when he's all sniffly and grumpy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Star Pie

My mom recently got me a pocket pie mold from William Sonoma. I finally tried it tonight and it is SO CUTE!! You can use any fruit filling in them and I am totally in love with them. Now I want to buy the heart shaped mold (thankfully my birthday is coming up soon!).

A friend asked me for the recipe, however I sort of made up how I did the filling... so here's my best guess. The little pies taste so good and are much easier than having to make a huge pie.

EDIT: I just thought this morning, after posting the recipe, that you either want to cut the fruit filling in half or double the pie crust recipe. I had lots of the fruit left over, so next time I will be making double the crust so I can have 12 pies.

Makes 6 mini pies.

Place 1 tsp salt, 1 1/3 cup flour, and 1 stick cold butter cut into 1 inch pieces into a food processor (I use a mini food processor as it is just the right size). Process for 8-10 seconds or until mixture has the consistency of coarse meal. Pour cold water into the mixture while processing (about 1 Tbsp at a time) until dough begins to form into a ball. Turn out onto wax paper and shape into a flattened disk. refrigerate immediately.

Prepare 2 cups fruit into a medium mixing bowl. Wash and chop as necessary (can use any fruit). Add 1/4 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp to the fruit. Mix thoroughly and let sit for 15 minutes.

While fruit is sitting, take dough out and soften to room temperature. Roll on lightly floured surface to 1/8-1/10" thickness. Cut dough with the mold. Place one cut out in the mold, spool 1 Tbsp of filling onto the dough, then place another cutout on top. Press mold until the two pieces are securely together. Place the mini pies on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Place sheet in freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake pies for 20 minutes, until crust is lightly brown and center is bubbling. Cool on wire rack.

I made my pie with raspberry as that's what fruit we had in the fridge that needed to be used up the soonest. If I were making apple I would add cinnamon to the sugar/corn starch mixture. I'll probably make apple next!!

another EDIT: WW points are 6 per pie.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pizza Pizza Pizza!

I have perfected my whole wheat dough recipe... so here it is!! Makes 2 pizza crusts.

Combine in a mixer:
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/3 cup warm milk.

Let sit for 5 minutes until yeast is dissolved.

3-4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ and/or flax seed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar

Mix for a few minutes. Knead for about 10 minutes either by hand or using a dough hook. until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a bowl lightly coated with butter or olive oil (I use whatever is lowest calories!), turn once to coat the dough. Cover until doubled in bulk, 1.5 hours.

Preheat oven to 475 F. Grease two baking sheets with spray and dust with cornmeal.

Punch down the dough and divide in half. Roll into a ball and let rest for 15 minutes, covering loosely with plastic wrap. Flatten each dough ball on a lightly floured surface until it is a 12" round. Place on the baking sheet. Lift edges and brush a little olive oil on the dough. Let dough sit for 10 minutes then top and bake for 12 minutes on lowest rack.

I made a chicken alfredo pizza. It was DELICIOUS!!! Here's what I did:

After brushing with olive oil I sprinkled some garlic powder and italian seasonings on the dough. Then I put the following toppings on:
1/2 cup alfredo sauce
1 cup thawed, drained spinach
chicken breast
3/4 cup low fat mozzarella
sprinkled with parmesan cheese

If you do weight watchers, the dough for one pizza is 16 points total. The alfredo pizza was 6 points for 1/4 of a pizza.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Perfecting Back Carry

I never could get the hang of wearing Jordan on my back, but then again, I never tried very hard. Thank goodness I figured it out quickly with Ben because I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't carry him!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Feline Fridays

Happy 4 year adoptive birthday, Alice!

4 years ago we took a chance at getting another kitty, hoping Royboy would take to her. I think she did, and I am so very very glad. Sorry Alice that you went from our little spoiled kitty princess to being put a bit on the back burner by kids. We still love you!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Books I Am Reading

I am an avid reader. I LOVE to read, usually fiction, especially chic lit now that I am a mom and only have so many brain cells left to devote to reading! I thought I would share with you what I have been reading in case you are looking for ideas.

Within the past few months I have joined a book club that is organized by the Stroller Strides class I attend. It sounds a little dorky and not for a young person like me (ha ha ha.....) but I love attending. Not only does it give me a reason to read a book, but so far I have read authors I normally wouldn't think of reading AND I get to discuss a book with other moms. Ie, I have an adult conversation that doesn't involve my children's eating, sleep, or poop habits. The last book we read was The Senator's Wife, by Sue Miller. It was okay, and I doubt I'll read any of her other books. There were some issues that I didn't like involving how the author portrays women relationships, motherhood, and breastfeeding. You would have thought the book was written by a man because of how these three ideas are portrayed in the book. But if you want a quick read, this certainly fits the bill.

I took the kids to the library today, Jordan had a blast and picked out her own book then helped me carry a few books to the front desk to check out. One book I got is Madness, by Marya Hornbacher about her experiences with bipolar disorder. I read her first book about her eating disorder, Wasted, a few years ago and loved it. I am a total sucker for memoirs, especially those involving mental illness. There is a reason I got my psychology degree... but I think on a more basic level, it is because I can relate to books involving mental illness. It makes me feel validated for the years I suffered bipolar disorder, anxiety, and borderline personality disorder before therapy (and Dave!!!) helped me. I appreciate other peoples stories. I cannot tell you how many books I own about depression, bipolar, and eating disorders. I am also oddly fascinated by OCD and have a few books about case studies. I think if I were to ever go back and get my masters, I would focus on OCD or eating disorders.

Another book I got is Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins. A coworker introduced me to him a few years ago when she lent me Half Asleep in Frogs Pajamas. This is an author I wouldn't have thought to read if it weren't for someone else, so I am excited to read another one of his books.

I just recently finished reading two books by Jen Lancaster. You can check out her blog! I love her books and recommend them highly to anyone who likes chic lit and/or memoirs. She has hysterical one liners!

Anyway, that's what's on my mind today. If you have any suggestions, I would love to receive them.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Unconnected To My Past

I recently met an old college friend for coffee. She just moved to the Chicago suburbs a few weeks ago, so we both thought it would be nice to reconnect. It was great seeing her, no question about that, but I realized something... I am so unconnected to all my non-mom friends. I cannot relate to anyone who is very career oriented.

I don't think I can really blame my kids for this inability to relate to my friends. Even before having children I never wanted to be a career woman. I didn't want to go to graduate school, I didn't have a passion for my job, and I got myself stuck in a job that had absolutely no room to move up in. And I was ok with that. It wasn't until I had my children that I realized I was never meant to be career oriented. They are my career. They are my bosses, and quite demanding ones at that.

It was a bit awkward with this friend. Jordan kept climbing into her lap, and it was pretty obvious my friend is not used to being around children. I had to nurse Ben twice. All my sentences were stopped because of the children and I could not keep my train of thought. I had a good time, it was nice having a little bit of adult interaction... but I wonder if the promises to get together again will be held up. Have I lost enough of myself being a mom that my childless friends will steer clear of me, or am I so in love with being a mom that I only connect with mom friends??

That can't be true... I do have some friends from high school and college that I talk to on a fairly regular basis who aren't in committed relationships and are without children. Maybe it is because they are like me, and will one day find their true calling?? It makes me sad though, that I cannot relate to someone I used to talk to so much. Thankfully, through my children I have met (in person and online) some truly amazing women to fill the emptiness.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Congrats To My Sweetie!

One year ago I found out I was pregnant with a baby boy. One year ago I also said goodbye to my husband as he walked out the door and headed off to boot camp. He did not live with me and Jordan for about 6 months. It was difficult, the leaving and the living without him, but I am grateful for the experience. I had time to think about my husband, myself, my family. I got to fall in love with my husband all over again. We became our complete family when we were reunited and moved to Illinois. As much as I hated every moment without him (especially when pregnancy hormones were raging!!), I am glad for every moment without him.

I couldn't love my husband anymore. And for that I say "Thank you Dave for your sacrifice. Thank you for taking a job that wasn't exactly what you were looking for so that you could provide for our family. Thank you for loving me throughout our good and bad times. Thank you for our beautiful children. And congratulations for making it your first year in the United States Navy."

Sunday, August 9, 2009

New Tub

Ben has officially outgrown the infant tub... well, he probably outgrew it weeks ago, but we finally got out the inflatable tub. Until he can sit better on his own, he will be using this tub. Bath time seemed much more enjoyable now that he has space to move his chunky legs and arms! Jordan was even kind enough to share some of her bath toys with her brother. I wish I could upload some of the cute pictures and videos we took, but they expose Ben's little boy parts too much for the internet!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


The day after we got home from Pittsburgh I HAD to try a recipe out of the Julia Child's baking cookbook my mom lent me. The focaccia recipe popped out at me (and it was one of the few recipes that I had all the ingredients for). After making the dough I realized that the recipe makes THREE loaves... that was a bit much. Also it called for a lot of olive oil, I was sweating oil for days!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Feline Fridays

Roy always has to get in the way. Typical cat.

Jordan was more willing to share with Roy than with her brother.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Baking Addtiction... Why Oh Why???

So I haven't forgotten to tell you all about our wonderful vacation in Pittsburgh, I have just gotten sidetracked by life.

I do have a moment to tell you my reason #231 why the internet is EVIL. Long ago people bought cook books or swapped recipes with family members or neighbors. But now, thanks to the internet, we have unlimited resources to extract oh so yummy and bad for you recipes. The one I have most recently discovered is Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies. That's right... Brownies AND Dough in the SAME DISH. Someone just told me at least I say I baked them for the children, however that would only work if:
1. one of my children wasn't an infant
2. my older childed LIKED sugary treats...which she does not. Weird girl licks the spoons but refuses the baked goods.

I used whole wheat flour for both the brownie layer and the cookie dough layer. I thought it tasted just fine, so I doubt I'll ever use the white flour. I saw someone mentioned needing to double the cookie dough recipe. I probably would agree, however never will for sake of my hips. This recipe was DELICIOUS! I froze them, foolishly thinking I would eat less if the brownies were in the freezer... note to readers, they taste BETTER frozen than thawed!! So yeah, it was a miracle that the brownies lasted about 48 hours.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


After a nice visit to Pittsburgh, we are home. I have lots of stories and photos to post, and hopefully a montage of videos taken throughout the week. I'm hoping to get this done over the weekend and posted.

We had a fantastic time, but we were glad to be back in our own home. As soon as we got in the door, Jordan was running around saying "my socks, my toys, my tv, my cats, my bed..."etc. So cute! After 7 loads of wash, I am finally settled in again.