Betty Crocker Wannabe has MOVED! I am now blogging solely at A Simply Klassic Home. I am still sharing printables, party ideas, and other inspiration. It's much more streamlined and clean. I hope you will stop by and say follow along there! I have lots of ideas for new printables coming this holiday season!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sleep Deprivation Relief!

I am cautiously optimistic today...I slept almost seven hours straight! Aside from the times that I woke up waiting to hear the boy getting out of bed, I slept good! And so did he!! Our nighttime routine went well, lights were out at 8:10 and he was asleep by 8:30. He slept until just after 6 am this morning. I'm not getting too excited, because this has happened before and we've gone right back to the "old" routine, but I feel like this is progress!

Of course, he's coming down with a cold, so it may be short lived fact we're going to the Dr. today...but it's progress!

Tonight will be iffy since Lil G will be here (Rick's daughter) and they share a room. Send me your good sleep mojo...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Channeling Supernanny, Day 2

8:23 pm Lights out
8:23-8:32 pm Laughing, giggling, talking, hanging off the bed and trying to fling himself over the railing.
8:32-8:40 pm Lots of rolling around, kicking at the wall, talking to himself.
8:40-8:48 pm Some rolling around, legs up on the railing, but quiet.
8:48 pm HE'S ASLEEP!!!

Count the minutes, all 25 of them! I can't believe it went so much quicker than the previous night. I did change our bedtime routine slightly, and I think that may have helped a little. So, going to sleep, much better! Sleeping all night...notsomuch...

Up at 11:30, 2 am and 4 am...still went right back to sleep thankfully, which is half the battle. Grrr...then I had a bad dream and woke at 5:45 am. So, um, I think that's about four hours of sleep for me last night. I just wish I could figure out what keeps waking him up. It's frustrating thinking that something might be going on with him and he just can't tell me...

In other news, today we went to visit his new preschool! Can't believe my baby will be starting preschool in the summer!!! More about that to come...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Sunset Queen

When I first started to get into photography, it was all about the sunset. I used to drive several times a year to Arizona. I would always plan my return trip, so I would stop at different beach cities along the way, near sunset. I have many photos of sunsets from different Southern California coastlines.

Sunsets are like God's gift to us, an ending and a new beginning, that we are given each and every single day.

I intended to use this week's You Capture photo challenge, "Sky," to get myself back to the beach for a new sunset photo, but it didn't happen. I didn't even get to photograph the sunset from my backyard, since of course, it kind of coincides with someone's bedtime. So I decided to share with you some of my favorite sunset photos that I've taken over the past several years.

Big Bear Lake, Big Bear City, CA

La Jolla, CA

Sunset Beach, CA
(Do you see Catalina Island?)

Huntington Beach, CA

Crystal Cove, CA

If only I could be outside taking a picture right should see the moon here in So's big and beautiful tonight! But if you're lucky enough to get a picture of it, be sure and share it over at Supermom's "Mono Monday" black & white photo challenge!

I Went All Supernanny On Him

I suffer from sleep deprivation. This is me most mornings.

I haven't had a good nights sleep since September, when my then barely two year old son started crawling out of his crib, and we moved him into a toddler bed. He started having what seemed like night terrors, so much so that he would "throw" himself out of his bed. Although he would fall asleep fairly easily, he would wake several times in the night and have these "fits." If he woke, he would come into our room and try to crawl into our bed. The first time, I let him, immediately regretted it and took many weeks to break him of it.

After discussing the issues with his doctor, we felt that possibly, a regular sized bed with a railing and a more regular, strict bedtime routine might make for a better night's sleep. So, in February, came the "Big Boy Bed." We settled on a routine, but still the night waking, still coming into our room, still throwing himself down on the floor kicking and screaming when I wouldn't let him in the bed. I would put him down in his room and walk out, he would jump out of bed screaming at me to come back. This would happen two or three times a night, and the frustration of the middle of the night fighting, and lack of sleep was really getting to me, so I just started soothing him back to sleep. Bedtime became increasingly difficult, so I started soothing him to sleep then as well.

But I'm tired. Really, really tired. And since I can't get Jo Frost to come to MY house, tonight, I went all Supernanny on him. I am determined to break this kid of his bad sleep habits so that he can fall asleep on his own, like he did as an infant. So, tonight, no soothing, no talking, no yelling, no singing.

The plan is to have lights out at 8 pm. I will sit by the bed, not talking to him or make eye contact, until he falls asleep. Every three nights, I will move closer to the door, until I am in the doorway, and then out of the room. The plan is the same for the night waking. The hard part will be not talking to him AT ALL every single time, and sitting quietly until he's actually asleep. I'm going to (try to) blog each day about this, to help keep me accountable for following my plan in order to reach my goal.

So here's what happened last night:
Lights out at 8:07 pm. I first explained to him what I was gonig to do, and sat on my stool right next to the foot of his bed. He laughed at me for about ten minutes, and tried to get out of bed a few times. Each time I put him back in telling him only "It's time to sleep." For the next thirty minutes, he rolled around, knocked on the wall, spun around head over feet, but stayed in his bed, and I sat there quiety, gritting my teeth, saying "I CAN do this!" over and over and over. He finally settled down and at 8:51 pm, hallelujah, he was asleep! I waited a couple minutes, then quietly walked out and closed the door.

He started crying at 8:55 pm. Grrr...

He opened the door and laid down in the doorway. I stood him up, he walked back to bed and he got in. I walked out and closed the door. This happened only one more time, and at 9:03 pm there was no more noise.

Holy cow, it took almost an hour, and I was nervous as to what would happen in the middle of the night.

He woke at 12:30 and at 2 am. I am proud to say that I put him right back in bed without a word, sat on the stool and in a few minutes each time he was asleep. He woke this morning at 6:15 am. We'll see how we do tonight...wish me luck!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Cup That Brought Us Together

I was inspired by Jenilee's memory walk last week about how she met her husband, so I decided to sit down and write my "How We Met" memory. I love our story, and thought I would share it with you here today.

I spent a lot of my teenage and adult life with the wrong men. Now, don’t read into that too much, I had maybe five boyfriends from the time I was 16 to 30. And they were ALL WRONG. I mean, way wrong. Like, oh you’ve been in jail? You’re perfect! kind of wrong. They were losers in every sense of the word, and treated me in typical loser fashion.

Three years ago, I finally got it right.

The Anaheim Ducks had just won the Stanley Cup (GO DUCKS!), and I was going to the celebration rally with my friend and her husband. They had to drop their baby off at her sister’s house and asked me to meet them there. When I got into the backseat of their truck, my friend got in the back with me, and a man got in the front seat. My friend says, “Oh, that’s my sister’s ex-husband.” I thought nothing of it as we drove to the rally.

Once there, my friend spent an hour applying paint to her husband’s face, which left Rick and I with nothing to do but talk to each other. The first question I asked him? “So, you used to be married to her sister?” He politely answered, but I later found out he was shocked that I would ask him that question. We chatted for the next hour or so; typical “getting to know you” stuff.

I later asked my friend, “So, he’s single, right?” She looked at me kind of funny, and said, “yes, but you don’t want to go there...” and continued to tell me all the things "wrong" with him. I let it go, and just enjoyed the rest of the day. Rick and I talked randomly throughout the evening; he had a new camera and I was really into photography, so we talked about that, and he even let me hold the camera to look at the pictures he had taken (now that’s trust!).

One of the things I remember most about him that day, is that he watched out for me. He made sure I had a spot to watch the caravan of players, and when we were headed out to the parking lot in a sea of people, and I wanted to stop and take a picture, he waited for me. My friends kept walking, but Rick realized I had stopped, and he stopped too. I remember thinking how sweet that was. When we got back to the house, he headed out to eat with his son, and I went home. I said goodbye, figuring I would probably never see him again.

Then about a week or so later, I got a text from my friend saying “Rick wants your number. Can I give it to him?” At first I had no idea who she was talking about, and when she reminded me, I said, “Really? He wants MY number?” She told me he had been bugging her for a few days. Seriously?

Rick called two days later, on a Wednesday morning, and asked if I would like to meet him for coffee or lunch that weekend. We agreed to meet for lunch at a favorite restaurant of his. We sat that afternoon and talked for over three hours. He had printed a bunch of pictures that he had taken at the rally, including one of me (surprise! of course now I can't find it anywhere). We could’ve kept talking, but I had a babysitter who needed to leave.

We started seeing each other regularly over the next several months, and I was smitten. We didn’t even kiss until I think it was our fourth or fifth date. He was a gentleman, through and through, so unlike the vultures I was used to dating. On our second date, we ate at MY favorite restaurant, and went to Seal Beach to take some photos, which is what a lot of our first months of dating consisted of. (We now have our own little photography business).

One of our favorite photos taken on our second date...
there's still debate over "who" took the photo. :)

We have been a couple for nearly three years. We have had some struggles; his job and our respective children are very demanding of our time, which can be hard on us, and most probably would have given up, but I believe with all my heart that God blessed my life by bringing this man into it. He has seen me at my worst - my jealous, insecure, demanding self - and he’s still here. He’s suffered through my issues with trust, and has healed my broken heart. He has wiped my tears of self doubt, held me through the heartache of letting go, and rejoiced with me in the most joyous of moments. He is kind, brutally honest, hard working, funny, independent, secretly compassionate, and the smartest man I know. His love for and commitment to his children is something I strive for as a parent. He accepts me, all of me, for who I am, and I love him for it. He has supported me and cared for me and I am so, so deeply, and endlessly grateful to have him in my life.

I'm sharing my story at Wednesday's Walk. Click on over and see what others are remembering...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Miscellany Monday - Cooking, Lost, Three Day Weekends, and Who's in My Bed

I thought this one sounded like fun, and I'm sure your dying to know what's new with me, so here's a few random things!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1) I spent most of Sunday in the kitchen, but I've got three meals made for this week, and baked cookies! I made Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas (put half in the fridge for dinner tonight, and half in the freezer for dinner another time), meatloaf, and chicken noodle soup. Oh and lets not forget Spaghetti with Italian Sausage for dinner that night. Are you proud of me? You should be!

2) I did not watch the Lost Finale. Ok, pick your jaw up off of the floor. I was way into Lost the first few seasons, but after my little angel babe came along, I had to cut back on my DVR time, and this is one of the shows that didn't make the cut. I was kinda over it after the fourth season anyway. I tried to follow it in the fifth, but it required just a little too much brain function. I prefer shows that don't make me think so much! I don't care who's behind the black smoke, what's up with Jacob's cabin, or whether Jack and Kate will be together forever.

3) I am super excited for the three day weekend ahead! Rick's actually got three days off in a row (unbelievable!!) and we're having two couples and their kids over for a BBQ on Sunday. We're all chipping in for a Bounce House for our kids, just because! The kiddos don't know it, so they will be pretty excited! We were going to get a new kiddie pool for them to play in, but since it's supposed to be in the 60s this weekend (ok what's up with that So Cal???), water play is no bueno. Now it's time to go shop for some new patio furniture!!

4) I gave in and let the boy get in bed with us on Saturday and Sunday and got to sleep in till 8 am both days! Wow!! This is unheard of in my house, and of course now I'm going to have to give in all the time! Not so fun when he comes in at 5 am and I have to get up at 6 am. No going back to sleep for me! :(

What have you been up to?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Motherly Love Means Following Through

Sometimes loving your child means helping them learn boundaries, and following through with your discipline plan, even when it's hard or not convenient.

Yesterday we went to the grocery store and the kid through a fit. Not one of his normal "I want my way" fits he's had in stores before, but a knock-down, drag-out, "I'm going to make sure everyone in this store knows I'm pissed" kind of fit.

He took cupcakes off the shelf in the bakery and threw them on the floor. He threw down the bag of chocolate chips he had been carrying for me. He fell to the floor in a crumpled heap numerous times. But I never let go of his hand, no matter how loud he screamed "Let go Mommy!!!"

Oh, believe me, I know that people were staring, and I really don't let that bother me. I know all the child develeopment manuals say to leave your things and walk out of the store, but I've never been one to do that; if he wants to throw a fit, so be it. So I made my way to the register, screaming and kicking child in tow, and proceeded to pay for my two items, while the sales person at the next register looked at me with big puppy dog eyes, and said "You doin' ok, Mom?" I'm just peachy thanks. Then she whispers, "Do you want a sucker just to get him to stop crying?" Um, no.

I had already given him his choices of stopping his behavior or getting time out when we got home...he cried and screamed all the way out into the parking lot. Once in the car, he stopped. The five minute drive home was pretty quiet. As I unbuckled his carseat, I told him to go inside and sit down in his spot. To my surprise, he did it! No screaming, no crying, no yelling, no tantrum of any kind. I started his timer and he sat for his five minutes, very quietly.

When his timer went off, he got up, walked over to me, and said, "I sorry I yelled Momma." I hugged him, and kissed him; we talked briefly about his punishment, then he took my hand and asked me to read stories. I happily obliged.

"Some mothers are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers,
but it is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together."
- Pearl S. Buck

Meal Plan 5/23/10

I've been doing pretty lousy at keeping up with my meal plan the past couple of weeks; I didn't even blog it last week and I don't think I followed it once, and made two extra trips to the store. I guess blogging is what keep me accountable, so here we go!

Sunday: Spaghetti with Italian Sausage, Salad, Garlic Bread
Monday: Chicken Enchiladas
Tuesday: Meatloaf, Mac N Cheese, Green Beans
Wednesday: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Thursday: Pizza night
Friday: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Saturday: Grilled Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli

It appears as though it's comfort food week at our house! Of course, I already realized I forgot to buy tortillas, so off to the store I go today...hopefully for the last time this week!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Adoption Quote of the Day

is the least of what makes someone a

-Oprah Winfrey

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ten Things to NOT say to an Adoptive Parent

Adoption is a sensitive issue, and people who have not experienced it, cannot begin to imagine what it's really like. I want to emphasize that this post is not to make me appear defensive, and I do not intend to offend anyone, but rather to keep it somewhat light-hearted. As an adoptive parent, I feel that it's my responsibility to my son, to educate others on positive and negative language surrounding adoption. While I believe that people generally are not trying to be insensitive, the words that come out of their mouths sometimes just make me want to smack them.

I have had strangers, and even friends, ask the following questions or make the following comments:

1. He looks just like you, it was meant to be! or He looks just like he could be yours!
No, he really doesn’t. We may both have fair skin, or similar noses, but I am completely aware of the fact that he does not share my DNA, and really don't need to be reminded of it. Just tell me he's beautiful - I will happily agree even if I can’t take credit for that.

2. How much did he cost?
Got him on sale, and I had a coupon!! Babies do not cost money. Adoptions cost money. And it is rude to ask what an adoption costs even if you phrase it correctly. If you are truly interested, ask for some websites to do some research on your own.

3. Do you know anything about his real mother?"
I am his real mother. I am going to raise him, sit with him when he is sick, bandage his owies, and pay for college. His birth mother gave birth to him, and for that I will always be grateful, but he is mine and I am his real mother.

4. Are you going to have any children of your own?
See above. He is my own son and I will love him more than you can know.

5. You know you’ll get pregnant within a year now.
Sorry, it's physically impossible, and unless God decides Jesus needs a sister, I will not become pregnant now that I have adopted. Yes, we all know our cousin’s secretary’s sister who got pregnant three months after adopting. But this doesn’t happen in a statistically significant manner. And you have no idea what kind of fertility struggles someone may have gone through before adopting, so it's better not to mention this to families adopting their first child.

6. Was his mom on drugs? Are you worried he might have problems later on?
Darn! I forgot to send in the warranty papers for the money back guarantee! First of all, the circumstances regarding my son's birth are none of your business, thankyouverymuch. He's my son, and if any medical issues arise, I will deal with them the same as you would your children.

7. Why did they take him away? or Why did she give him away/give him up?
Again, none of your beeswax! "They" did not "take him away," and she did not "give him away" or "give him up." Parental rights of the birthparents are terminated for specific reasons, because it is in the best interest of the child for their safety and well being. (In the case of open adoptions, the positive language would be to say that the birthmother "chose adoption.")

8. Are you going to tell him he's adopted?
The noneofyourbusinessgetoutofmyface response is becoming wildly popular. Adoption is rarely a secret in families in this day and age. It is part of his life story and he will know from day one that he is incredibly loved and came to our family in a special way.

9. Is he yours? (I haven't personaly heard this one, but other's have, so it's worth sharing, and it's the one I have the best answer to)
Nope, he's on loan from the daycare down the street. Just taking him for a test drive to see if I want to keep him. (Here's your sign...)

And my personal favorite...

10. He's so lucky.
Correction, I am the lucky one. He has changed my life in ways you can only imagine.

And because I don't like posts with no pictures...see how lucky I am?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

And the Award Goes To...


Wow, four awards in one week. I'm flattered that you all actually like visiting my little corner of the blog world, and that you actually stick around to read it!!

There's this one from Tricia at Lemons to Lemonade. She's honest and always makes me laugh. I love reading her blog. Thanks Tricia!

and this one from Lindsay at "When the Smoke Alarm Goes Off, Dinner's Ready!" How can you not smile when saying that blog title?

and this one, from Pandabox33, who has some really great photography on her blog.

The rules require me to share seven things about myself. So, at the risk of boring you with lame, random facts about me, here you go...

1. I absolutely love music, especially country, but my favorite song of all time is Guns ‘n Roses “Sweet Child of Mine," and I really have no idea why.

2. I believe “family” is the people you choose to surround yourself with, not necessarily the people you are related to.

3. I am probably one of the most opinionated people you will ever meet.

4. I love to fold warm laundry and wash dishes by hand in the sink. I find it soothing.

5. I get bored very easily and prefer to be out of the house.

6. I find a way to use sarcasm in just about every conversation at least once.

7. When I was little, my brother and his friends told me there were sharks in the deep end of my grandma’s pool. To this day, I cannot go into a pool alone, and refuse to go into the deep end even if there are people in the shallow end.

I could go on, because there are just SO many really interesting things about me (didn't believe #6, did you?), but I will let you go on with your lives now. Thanks for loving my little 'ol blog!

Monday, May 17, 2010

The House That Built Me

The other day, while sorting through the mail, Rick handed me a letter from the DMV. It was my renewed Driver's License. Now, I know for most, this is pretty insignificant, but this time, it was special. I slowly took it out of the envelope, and stared at it.

Rick wanted to see the picture (apparently in three years he's never looked at my driver's license). I told him the picture was taken about six years ago, long before we met. My hair was longer then, to which he commented "You look a lot better now then you did back then." (um, thanks hon - he's one of those rare men who can't stand long hair).

Anyway, this was a big deal for me - it had my address on it! You see, since I first got my driver's license at 16, I alway put down my parent's address. Even as an adult, I moved around a lot and it's such a hassle to change it, so I didn't.

Two years ago, shortly after my grandmother died, I moved into her house. 

One of the few pictures I have of my Oma and Cooper, two months before she died.

A year later, I had the opportunity to purchase her home, and I did. The driver's license I held in my hand, had the address of my home, my permenant home, for the first time.

Purchasing my own home has really changed me, built me, you could say. Listing this as my permenant residence made me feel like I'm finally an adult; at 33 years of age I've become a grown-up.

I have so many memories of this house. As a child, I swam in the pool (that is now covered with grass), I made mudpies in the backyard, I ran through the sprinklers every summer, played cards with my grandparents on the patio, helped my grandmother bake cookies, and make her German Spatzle. When I was 19, my Oma let me move in with her, and the room I occupied for two years, is now my son's room. My mom also grew up in this house, and slept in the same bedroom.

It's neat to know the stories of this house, how it has evolved, like why and how the brick was added to the front, when the cement that widened the driveway was poured, and what was there before those bushes in front of the garage.

I have preserved some memories, but have also tried to make it my own. For example, here's a look at my grandma's kitchen:

I can recall many nights sitting at this table, eating meals, playing cards, and watching the tiny little TV that used to sit in the corner. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so I decided to make some changes and hired a friend to do the work. Emotionally, it was a difficult thing to do, but I knew that I needed to make this home "mine."

Here's the "new" space:

The first thing to be removed was the table and bench seat, and when I came home that day and saw them sitting in the driveway, I cried. But I must admit, I love the new look.

Of course, some things will never change.

Oma's Kuche = Oma's Kitchen

You can't see it in the picture, but this sign, brought home from one of her many visits to her native Germany, hangs above the window, and as long as I'm living here, it always will.

This house that helped to shape me, is going to be the house that shapes my son as well. Some of his favorite things? Playing in the water in the backyard, digging in the dirt where I used to make mudpies, building Lego towers on the patio, and helping me bake cookies in Oma's kitchen.

Country singer, Miranda Lambert, who just happens to be one of my very favorite artists, has a song on the radio right now called "The House That Built Me." I can relate to this song at every age. If you haven't heard it before, turn your volume up. It should be playing right about now.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

This is What Motherhood is All About

I loved books when I was a kid. I loved to read, I loved to be read to. I was taught this love by my mother, who to this day is an avid reader. I was too, still am, I guess, although now my repertoire of reading material includes such titles as "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish," and "Are You My Mother?"

Well apparently, my love of reading has rubbed off onto my son. He has started "reading" to me.

It goes something like this:
"There's the baby bird. There's the cat. There's the dog. There's the cow. There's the car. There's the BOAT!" (for some reason, the boat is always the best part) "There's the plane. There's the SNORT!" (said with almost as much enthusiam as 'boat') "And there's the Mama! The end!"

I've heard this every night for about a week now. I don't think I could ever get tired of it; it warms my heart every time. After all, this is what motherhod is all about.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

When Life Hands You Lemons

I have a huge lemon tree in my backyard that is currently FULL of lemons.

Cooper loves to collect them so the other day, we went out and picked about 35 lemons off of the tree.

Cooper stood at the sink for about 15 minutes, rinsing them off.

Lemons anyone?

Linking up to this week's You Capture: Yellow Challenge at I Should Be Folding Laundry.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


What a sweetie Lana at The Mama Trials is for passing this "Sweet" award on to me! She is one of the first blogs I check each day. I look forward to reading her posts, they are so honest and she is just such a sweetheart!


Here's da rules:

Give this award to 10 sweet and friendly bloggers.

Make a post about the award including the picture and mention the person who gave it to you.

Put the award on your blog.

Let your nominated 10 know you've awarded them by leaving a comment.

So, here's to 10 wonderful ladies, who's blogs I look forward to reading each day.

Tricia @ Lemons to Lemonade
Rachel @ Randomness with Rachel
Jenilee @ The Goodwin Family
Heather @ Two Twinkies and a Tater Tot
Katie @ Impatiently Praying For Patience
Alysha @ Supermom
Jen @ Creative and Curious Kids
Tylaine @ Just Me
Cheryl @ Little Bit Quirky
Jennifer @ Parenting in Blue Jeans

I find a little bit of inspiration at all of these blogs, and just plain like 'em! Thanks again Lana!

When Mom's Not Looking...

Instead of my usual sweet, sappy posts about my son, and being a mom, I've decided to share with you what happens "When Mom's Not Looking..." (dun dun dun)

Last night, while I was in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner, the boy was in the playroom (which is just outside my kitchen windows). He was playing rather nicely and quietly, which I was grateful for, since I had much to do, and really didn't have time to be scolding him for his yelling and trouble-making. I should have known something was amiss, but I was happily living in a world where my little monster had turned into a quiet angel, even for just a few moments.

I finished up the dishes, and walked out to the playroom, and saw this:

"I change the truck's diaper, Mama!"

Cute, right? Now that's ingenuity!

Then he turned around to face me.

In case you're wondering, that's Desitin on his face. We had been in a hurry that morning, and I had absentmindedly left the diaper changing supplies in the playroom (Oops!). Apparently, he thought his face was a little rashy.

It was one of those Mommy moments, where I really should be disciplining, but all this Mommy wanted to do was laugh! So I told him to stay put. Then I went to get my camera. I couldn't help it! Sometimes, you just have to laugh.

Chicken Stir Fry

I made another recipe from my favorite recipe website: Allrecipes. I love this site, because it lets me save recipes in a file, and there are comments from others who have tried the recipe, giving their modifications and suggestions, if any.

For this recipe, I simplified it by using microwavable, steamed veggies, instead of fresh. I also added a little more soy sauce. This is definitely going into the recipe files to use again (and again, and again!). My two year old loved it, and even asked for seconds. The man of course, being the pickier of the two, told me he wouldn't like it.

The conversation went something like this:

Him: "Honey, what did you cook tonight?" (He gets off work at 9 pm, so doesn't eat with us)
Me: "Chicken Stir-fry. It was really good, and Cooper loved it!"
Him: "Did I tell you I don't like stir-fry?"
Me: "Try it, you'll like it."
Him: "I don't like stir-fry."
Me: "Trust me."
Him: "Wow, this is really good!"
Me: "Duh!"

So, this dish won the approval of both the boy and the man. Try it, I bet your boys will like it too!

Chicken Stir-Fry with Noodles
3  boneless skinless chicken breast halves
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
1 cup water
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1 package Frozen Vegetables (Steam in the bag - Asian Medley)
1/2 lb Angel Hair or Spaghetti

1. Cut chicken into 1/2-in. strips; place in a resealable plastic bag. Add cornstarch and toss to coat. Combine soy sauce, ginger and garlic powder; add to bag and shake well.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions.

3. In a large skillet or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of oil; stir-fry chicken until no longer pink, about 3-5 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, steam the veggies in the microwave. Add the vegetables, water and bouillon to the chicken. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and add the noodles. Add more soy sauce to taste.
Makes 3-4 servings.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mono Monday - My First Mother's Day

I celebrated my first Mother's Day two years ago, and asked my boyfriend to take some photos of us to celebrate. I've shared these photos before (in color) here. It's interesting what a difference saturation (or lack thereof) can make. It completely changes a photo, makes you really see the raw emotions being conveyed in that moment.

This is probably my favorite picture ever taken of us. Pure joy.

Don't forget to hop over to Supermom to see what the other Mono Monday participants are sharing for Mother's Day!

Meal Plan 5/9/10

Sunday: Grilled Salmon, Sticky Rice, Salad, Garlic Bread
Monday: Grilled Chicken, Baked Beans (from freezer), Steamed Broccoli
Tuesday: Rolled Tacos & Refried Beans
Wednesday: Out to dinner
Thursday: Chicken Stir Fry with Noodles
Friday: Spaghetti & Meatballs
Saturday: Easy Night
Snack: Banana Oat Muffins
            Birthday cupcakes (yellow cake with chocolate frosting and strawberries - my favorite!)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Springtime Through the Eyes of a Child

My son loves water. If there's a puddle, he will find it. If there is rain, he's running into it. I find him numerous times throughout the day "washing his hands" in the bathroom sink. Now that Spring has finally really sprung here in Southern California, I let him water the backyard with the garden hose. He was ecstatic!

He watered the roses.

He washed his car.

He tried to get Mommy. (watch out for the camera sweetie!!)

He watered the flowers outside his window.

He played and just reveled in the joy and freedom of a warm spring day.

Make sure to click on over and check out all of the beautiful spring pictures at:


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wednesday's Walk: The .26 Hearing

Today’s walk will take us back about two years, to June of 2008. In my adoption journey, this was one of those “big days.” The .26 hearing. The day when the rights of the birthparents are terminated. For me, it was the day that I could finally exhale; for the first time in seven months, I could breathe again.

I remember getting the phone call from my social worker. Every time my phone would ring during those seven months, and even for weeks after, I would hold my breath, and my hands would tremble just a bit. She told me that the hearing had been uneventful, and rights had been terminated. My son was legally “available” for adoption. Tears filled my eyes, as I thanked her, and we went on to discuss the next steps, the signing of papers, the finalization, etc.

This is the kind of day adoptive parents celebrate quietly, at least I did. The success of making it to this day is bittersweet, as it is a beginning, and in a sense, an ending. It meant that my son was able to be mine forever, that we would be able to be a family, but also that someone had lost him, and that he had lost a little piece of himself.

That evening we went to the park, and I put him in a swing for the first time. He laughed, big belly laughs, the kind where your whole body shakes with giddiness, and he loved every single minute of it.

I had asked my boyfriend to come with us, and he brought his camera and snapped a few photos. I love these photos, because they look to anyone, like just a day at the park, but for me, they mark the beginning of the end of our adoption journey.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cranberry Apple Oatmeal Muffins

I have given up my morning Starbucks run. Mostly to save money, but I've actually been feeling better, without all that caffeine, and, um, cheese danish goodness. I did need to replace my morning breakfast routine though. I figured that I could probably make something just as tasty and satisfying as those huge, not-so-good-for-you muffins at Starbucks. And I found just the recipe! This could easily be modified to add your favorite dried fruit, nuts or flavored yogurt.

Cranberry Apple Oatmeal Muffins

1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cups quick cook oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 Tbls vegetable oil
1 cup vanilla flavored non-fat yogurt
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup diced apples
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together flour, oats, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar. In a seperate bowl, stir together egg, oil, yogurt and applesauce. Add to dry ingredients and mix just until batter is moisetened. Fold in cranberries and apples. Place in muffin cups (I used a cookie scoop). Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean and dry. Cool.

This made 16 muffins, using two scoops of batter.

These were so good! Very sweet, moist and almost no fat. The man wasn't thrilled ("I'm not a fan of apples in my baked goods." Um, ok), but the boy loved them. In my opinion, you could even omit the oil all together or replace with a little extra applesauce. Yummy, filling, and good for you! Woo-hoo!

Homemade Mother's Day Gift

Mother's Day is just around the corner, and I decided that I wanted to have Cooper make something for my mom. I told him we were going to be making a present for Gram and he got so excited!

I found a idea on Jenn's blog, Delicious Ambiguity, for some cute, homemade flowers in a vase, that even my two and a half year old could do.

Start by painting some colored construction paper. We used roller paints and heavier scrapbook paper, but you could use anything you have on hand.

Then fold each piece of paper into strips, fold each strip into thirds and staple three strips together. Glue pictures of your child to each "flower," and attach a pipe cleaner to the back. My flowers were a bit heavy since I used a heavier scrapbook paper (it's what I had on hand), so I ended up twisting five pipe cleaners together.

For the vase, glue some tissue paper to a plastic cup.

Put some clay or playdough into the bottom of the cup, stick the pipe cleaner into the playdough, tie a ribbon around the vase, and there you go! A simple, cute Mother's Day project for Grandma!

The Girl Creative