April 30, 2009

Dinner Tonight- Baked Spaghetti

Tonight we had baked spaghetti! I got this recipe from my Facebook friend, Jamie, and it was yummy! I used my meat sauce instead of adding a jar of sauce to meat, but you can make it either way! The buttery/parmesean mix added to the noodles is what makes it great! I used ground beef, and left out the cottage cheese because I'm not a cottage cheese fan. ;)

Baked Spaghetti

1 package (16 ounces) spaghetti
1 pound Italian Turkey Sausage or 1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jar (26 ounces) meatless spaghetti sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups (16 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
4 cups (16 ounces) part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook meat and onion over medium heat until done; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and seasoned salt; set aside.In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, Parmesan cheese and butter. Drain spaghetti; add to egg mixture and toss to coat. Place half of the spaghetti mixture in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Top with half of the cottage cheese, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Cover and bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 20-25 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.


Thanks to a post on MOMYS, I found a blog with some of the yummiest looking recipes I have ever seen!


I'm glad I found this right as I was making my menu for the next two weeks! :)

April 28, 2009

Story of My Homebirth

I know it's LONG overdue, but I figured I'd write out my birth story for those who are interested. ;) I haven't written it all out yet! I won't spare any details so don't read on if you have a weak stomach, LOL.

So I was due on December 7th. I was ready to get the baby out!! I wasn't sure if it was a boy or a girl, although I was pretty sure it was a boy. :)

I waited and waited and waited. After my due date I tried all the wonderful labor starters. Hubby got lots and lots of lovin', the sidewalks got lots of walkin', but nothing seemed to be happening!

So December 18th rolled around, and I had had it. I finally decided to use my LAST RESORT option. CASTOR OIL. I had taken it with my first child, with no success. I figured it couldn't hurt though. I took some that afternoon. I go the whole rest of the day, and nothing. The castor oil wasn't even doing what it was MADE to do! I finally ended up in the bathroom ONCE sometime after midnight, but it wasn't that bad.

I woke up the next morning, and was feeling the normal braxton hicks contractions. But then I soon noticed they were regular, and not going away. I actually had a midwife appointment that afternoon, and they decided to finally check to see how dilated I was. The newer midwife checked, and said she didn't feel anything. I was about to cry! All that work for NOTHING! The older more experienced midwife decided to check me too. She said, "She didn't feel anything because you're dilated to a five, and we'll stretch it to a seven!" OOOO YAY!!!!! I was very happy!

So after some discussion, we decide that the midwife would meet me at home to give me some herbal stuff to keep my contractions going and make them stronger. We ate some dinner, and headed home.

Starting at about 7 pm, I was alternating between drinking some really gross tea, and taking little homeopathic things (I forgot exactly what it was, LOL) I was uncomfortable at this point, but still manageable. The midwife kept checking my dilation, and I was progressing. I got hungry, and told Chris to make me a grilled cheese. He burnt it, because he loves to cook everything on high heat... so the midwife went and made me one.

At about 10 or 11 pm, things were getting more difficult. I was dilated to an 8, without stretching. Contractions were getting harder to handle. Every time one would come I'd try to hold things in because I thought I might pee in the floor! (Which later I found out I just should have been PUSHING, but oh well!) I had a cervical lip though, which the baby's head kept pushing down on. She told me if we didn't do something about it I could be laying around for the next 8 hours like that! (Midwives, NEVER tell a laboring mother that, PLEASE!!!!) The midwife wanted to stretch it out around the baby's head so I could fully dilate.

So um yeah, we tried that. After me screaming at her to get her hand out of me, I tried the bathtub. I think it was around 12 am. I wasn't feeling too happy. I was sitting on my feet in the bath, and thought I felt a POP, so I told the midwife my water broke! Chris called my parents to come because it was going to be soon. The midwife wanted me to lean forward so the baby could get around the cervical lip. Being the bad patient I am, I kept trying to lean back and float around... hahaha. So I ended up getting out of the tub to get in a better position.

At this point the head midwife showed up. The two midwives determined the best position for me to get this baby out would be on my back. I layed down on my bed, but they said the bed was too squishy, and couldn't get the baby out easily. So to the floor I went.

I was still at an 8 with the cervical lip. The head midwife said if I felt like pushing, I could just try and push around it. So that's what I did! WHEW I was worn out by that time. I was pushing and pushing and pushing and then POW! OOOOPS. My water didn't break in the tub. It broke all over the mean midwife who earlier tried to stretch out my cervical lip. I actually giggled in the middle of pushing a baby out. :)

So a few more pushes (which I didn't want to do because it was hard to push!!), and the baby was crowning. It really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be!! Sure it hurt, but not like I thought. I always had heard it talked up to be like the worst thing on the planet. So maybe that was a good thing for me. They get the baby out, handed the baby to me, and I yell, "It's a GIRL! A GIRL??" Haha yes it was a girl. Born at 2:07 a.m. Dec. 20th.

And the biggest relief ever was felt when that baby was out.

But it was not over.

The less-experienced midwife had the umbilical cord in her hand, waiting for the placenta to be delivered. I could feel her kind of pulling on it, (nooooo) and then SNAP. The cord detached!! My eyes were wide as I didn't know what they would have to do!! Well um, they had to get the placenta out. So with about a bazillion paper towels, she had to go up in there and "swipe" it out. Because of this I had excess bleeding (not sure if they officially labeled it hemorraging or not). They asked Chris to take the baby from me. The other midwife grabbed a syringe and WHAM! stuck a shot of pitocin in my thigh. This whole 'swiping' process hurt way more than the actual birth. One midwife was trying to get the placenta out, the other had her hand on my stomach pressing down, and I was yelling and trying to get the lady's hand off my stomach!! It was like a crazy scene from E.R.

I looked up at Chris, and he had the strangest look on his face. Like he was actually scared I might die. I never ever worry about anything, but the face he had actually worried me for a bit!

I think the one good thing about pitocin is that it helps get the placenta out quickly and easily! (Which may be why I never had any problems with my other pitocin-induced births??)

They finally got all of it out, and told me to not get out of bed until the morning. No shower or anything. Ew. But I complied, and layed in bed while they measured my baby girl and did all that newborn stuff they're supposed to do.

I had a bit more of a recovery this time because of that last bit, but everything healed up just fine. At least I got a sweet little baby out of it. :)

It was nice to be at home, nice to not have nurses bugging me, and felt like a great accomplishment to not use any drugs... but I can't really say if I'd do it again at home.

I do know I never want to see that look on Chris's face EVER again.

Dinner Tonight- Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Tonight we had slow cooker chicken and dumplings! Yum! It's a recipe I got from allrecipes.com. Here it is!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons butter
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 onion, finely diced
2 (10 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces

Place the chicken, butter, soup, and onion in a slow cooker, and fill with enough water to cover.
Cover, and cook for 5 to 6 hours on High. About 45 minutes before serving, place the torn biscuit dough in the slow cooker. Cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center.

April 27, 2009

Dinner Tonight- Baked Ziti

Tonight we had baked ziti! This makes a lot, so you could either put it into two separate dishes and freeze one for later, or just make one dish and keep the leftovers. I just make one dish. Here's the recipe:

Baked Ziti

1/2 batch Lauren's Italian Meat Sauce (recipe on right hand side of page)
1 pkg. ziti pasta
8 oz shredded mozzarella
1 container ricotta
1 egg
Grated parmesean

Cook ziti according to package. Meanwhile, heat meat sauce.

Mix ricotta, egg, 1 Tbsp salt and 1 Tbsp parsley in small bowl.

In a 9X13 baking dish, layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, ricotta mixture, 1/2 sauce, remaining 1/2 of the ziti, mozzarella, and then remaining sauce. Top with grated parmesean.

Cover with foil, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Enjoy! :)

Not Crafty

God did not bless me with any creativity AT ALL.

So since I have not spent my life making cute little arts and crafts, I was afraid when I found out I had to decorate Kaydence's dance recital bag. And rightly so!

I tried to iron on her intials, and the bag just completely melted. Now I must go buy a new bag, initials, and a new iron, and try again on LOW heat.

My goodness.

April 25, 2009

Dinner Tonight- Ranch Chicken

Tonight we had ranch chicken, broccoli and cheese, and rice. The ranch chicken is easy to make and yummy! (And of course I double this recipe for my family, LOL)


1 lb. chicken tenders
1 small bottle ranch dressing
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed

Coat chicken in ranch, then coat in Ritz crackers.
Place in greased pan and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

Enjoy! :)

April 23, 2009

Natural Health- Ear Infections

We don't do doctors. It would take a super long drawn out explanation WHY, but maybe you'll get it figured out over the course of whatever blogs I happen to write on natural health. ;)

The only thing we would go to the doctor for is a broken bone, or serious burn or cut (stitches). But pretty much anything medicine, I deem useless in the conventional medicine world. Thanks to my dad, who is very into natural health/healing, I have learned some good things!!

Today I will tell you what I know about ear infections. :)

First of all, antibiotics are BAD when overused, which happens A LOT in little children with recurrent ear infections! You can Google yourself the problems associated with too much antibiotic use, which include allergies, asthma, overgrowth of yeast, and overall bad immune system. Antibiotics kill the bad bacteria, but also kill the GOOD bacteria! I highly recommend giving your child probiotics if they have EVER taken antibiotics. Probiotics come in powdered form or flavored chewy form for the kiddos. :)

Ear infections are commonly caused by an allergy, usually cow's milk. (I'll write another blog soon on how BAD cow's milk is!) So you can try an elimination diet. A nursing baby can get dairy through your milk, so beware. It's also in many formulas. And if your child is chugging down the cow's milk after 1 year of age, I'll bet he'll be getting some ear infections!

So how to cure it?? A couple drops of garlic oil in the infected ear will do the trick. (And I just go ahead and do the other ear just to be safe!) DO NOT heat the oil though, that can cause burns. Do this every night before bed until your baby is all better (it usually only takes one or two nights). Oregano oil works too, but you cannot drop that directly in the ear. Put a couple drops on a cotton ball, twist the cotton ball up, put into the ear, and tape on overnight. You can get garlic oil and oregano oil at your health food store.

If the ear infection is truly a draining problem, a chiropractor can help. :)

April 21, 2009

4 Under 4- The Good and The Bad

So of course, as with everything, there are good things and bad things. I'll start with the bad, because I like to end on good news. :)

The Bad
  • First I'd like to say, training and discipline is key. If you have 4 under 4 and they don't listen to a thing you say, that would be um, VERY BAD. If you look in the right hand column, there's a link to "Raising Godly Tomatoes"... which is WONDERFUL info on how to raise some nice, sweet children. ;)
  • If you fall behind on chores, it'll be bad. Ask me how I know. LOL
  • It takes an hour to get everyone dressed and out into the car, buckled and ready to go.
  • It's hard to find a babysitter you would trust to handle all four. Luckily, I have my parents who had 5 girls, and they know what they're doing. But if they aren't watching them, hubby and I will go out after the kids are in bed for the night. Makes it easy on the sitter. ;)
  • They eat a lot, therefore lots of grocery $$!
  • Lots and lots of diapers. I'd recommend cloth diapers if you're good at keeping up with laundry. I'm not, so I only use them when I run out of disposables! :)
  • Things WILL get chaotic at times. Here's an example: The baby will be crying, while I'm trying to calm down the 1-year-old who's crying, then my 2-year-old potty trainer says, "I peed in the floor!!", and my 4-year-old needs help with something, right now, or the world might end!! There is only one mommy, and she cannot handle four different problems at the same time. :)

The Good

There are soooooo many good things, it'll be hard to condense it into a list, but I'll try. :)

  • Watching the children play together. They are so nice and sweet (most of the time! LOL) and always help each other out. They'll give each other hugs and kisses and tell their siblings they love them. There is nothing on earth more precious than that.
  • They always make me laugh because they're always saying or doing something really funny!
  • I have a never ending supply of hugs and kisses.
  • I have lots of help, even though with their ages, their help doesn't help too much. But at least they try!
  • I'm never bored.
  • I'm forced to learn new things and ponder deep thoughts when my 4-year-old asks me, "What's the Spanish word for fire?" or "Why can't I see Jesus RIGHT NOW!?"
  • When I'm laying in bed and all the kiddos jump in and cuddle with me and their daddy, nothing else matters. Just so sweet.

Blah so now I've made myself all teary thinking about all these good things. What I'd like to say, is that as crazy 4 under 4 may seem, it is ALL worth it. I once heard someone say, "You will never regret the children you have, only the children you didn't have." SO true.

4 Under 4- The Differences

What's it like to have four kids under four??

I'm going to split the answer into a couple of blogs, because it's hard to sit down and write a long blog all at once. Someone will need me soon! :)

Each child brings along a new set of things. This is how it has gone for me:

Baby #1- Baby #1 is the biggest life changer. You go from no baby... getting to go places whenever you want, just running out the door when you decide, making plans easily, etc. to BABY! Everything you thought you knew is no longer. So many moms think, "I'll just have a baby and be back at work in 6 weeks, no problem!" Oh no, no, no!! You will discover a love never ever felt before, one that you couldn't even imagine, until you actually feel it for yourself. That cute, chubby, wrinkly little thing will change how you view EVERYTHING. It's very much a protective love... one that won't let you easily drop your baby off with anyone, let alone a daycare. You have to get used to the fact that you aren't as free as you used to be.

Baby #1 is also the experiment baby. You learn what to do and what not to do. What works and what doesn't. Every time Baby #1 would wake up at night, I'd turn on the lamp, change her diaper, and nurse her sitting up! No wonder I never slept! I'd pace the halls at night wondering why in the world she wouldn't go to sleep. Ah yes, you learn what NOT to do fairly quickly. :)

Baby #2- Baby #2 is easy! You've already learned what to do with the first. It's just adding another into the mix. No problems there!

Baby #3- Baby #3 is a different story. The workload seems to double, although you've only added one more. Things get busy, and it takes longer to bounce back after birth. Maybe it's because there are more children than arms, I'm not sure. #3 was the toughest for me.

Baby #4- After getting used to the busyness with 3, Baby #4 is not too difficult. By this time you can tune out crying and whining. :) Expect to take an hour to get ready to leave the house. I've been leaving the house A LOT less than I used to. It's time to get organized too.

Those are the differences with the babies, shortened for a quick blog read. :) Later I'll post on the good, the bad, and the ugly. LOL

April 20, 2009

Lauren's Italian Meat Sauce

I'm going to share my recipe for meat sauce that I use for everything Italian... including spaghetti, manicotti, baked ziti, lasagna, etc. That way I can link back to this sauce recipe when I write out my other Italian recipes!

One batch of this can be used for two Italian meals, so you can stick half of this in the fridge/freezer for later use. :)

1 lb Sweet Italian sausage
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (12 ounce) can tomato paste
1 (12 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp white sugar
1 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 Tbsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

In a large pot, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium high heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. (It can be cooked for less time, but 1 hour is best to let all the seasonings marinate!)

Stop the Disrespect!

One thing I think I may never understand is why on earth some parents allow their children to be disrespectful to them.

Just watch one episode of Supernanny and you can see it! Or I'll hear a mother say something like, "She got so mad and she said she hates me" and then list some hideous names the child called them. WHAT!?

First of all, please don't break down and cry. A child never MEANS those type of things. And that's exactly the reaction they want, so they would 'win'. What NEEDS to be done is some discipline- to make sure they never ever talk to Mom that way again- Mom should stand her ground and let the child know she's not to be messed with, and Dad should be making sure no one disrespects his wife. ;)

I had ONE instance where I had a child say, "I don't like you". All I had to do was give a stern, "You don't talk like that to me." and it never happened again. Nip it in the bud at the very first appearance and you shouldn't have too many problems later.

PLEASE don't ever let your child talk that way to you. If you allow them to be that harsh when they're only five, then you don't even want to know what they'll be like at fifteen.

4 months!

Today Maleah is 4 months old. This day marks a few new milestones.

First, Maleah is MOVING OUT! Moving out of our room, that is. :) It's always good in a way because the baby always sleeps so much better without any extra sounds. It's kind of bad for me though, because hubby will now want to watch TV in our room all night. After Maleah is in her own room, it'll only be a couple of weeks before she's on the same sleeping schedule as all the other kids. Yay!!

Maleah is also now trying solid foods! The only time I buy baby food jars is right now... just starting out. She's been eating it fairly well! Once she starts to pick it up, I'll make her food myself. I learned all that good baby food making from the book "Super Baby Food" which I highly recommend, except that I don't follow the vegetarian stuff or the cow's milk consumption after 1 year. ;)

Well I'm off to work on those bedrooms some more!

April 17, 2009

Peace of Mind

I did a bunch of soul searching today. :)

I had been really stressing out about going back to college!! I was going to major in Health and Exercise Science, and pursue chiropractic school. The more I thought about it, the more worried I got. I read all the crazy science classes I would have to take to just get in to chiropractic school, and I didn't know how I'd do it! SOMETHING would have to suffer... and it'd either be my family or my schoolwork. I was also not okay with the fact that we would have to move to Dallas for 3 years for chiropractic school! So as cool as it would have been to be a chiropractor, that isn't going to be for me.

So I thought about what I'd like to do. Something that wouldn't make my family life come second. And I found it! Early childhood education. Of course! I LOVE little kids... I love teaching kids! AND if I were a teacher I'd get summers off. Maybe I could get really lucky and teach at my kids' school! How awesome would that be!???

Now that I've made this decision, it feels like a heavy load has been lifted from my heart. Maybe because this is the decision God really wants me to make. I'm happy this is what I'm going to do, and now I'm actually EXCITED for this fall!! :)

April 15, 2009

Bad Me

Blah I'm such a bad blogger... I don't have much time to update this thing! LOL

I put Maleah in the bouncy toy today and I'm happy to say she LIKES it! I can set her down for more than 5 minutes now! That is great news for my dirty house. :)

I went to advisement yesterday for COLLEGE- yes I'm going back- and that was interesting. I'm tired of having to go 500 different places to get things in order. First I had to go to 3 different buildings to change my major, then had to go another few places to figure out WHERE to get advised... then I get advised and the lady tells me I need to go to another building to take the Spanish placement test, and another building to meet with the pre-chiropractic advisor (which I didn't know they had!). My GOODNESS! Why can't there just be ONE person there that can get everything done for me at once!?? I have no idea how the freshman 15 exists when you have to walk 50 miles to get things in order to enroll!

Speaking of school, we also have a family interview at Kaydence's school tomorrow morning. I think it's mainly to make sure both parents are on board with the school's university model... meaning they only go to class 2 days a week. ;) I have NO interview clothes though. I don't want to show up in jeans, but I don't really want to wear a nice church dress either. LOL

Also tomorrow we'll be meeting my friend for lunch, and then that afternoon we'll be taking another giant 2-week grocery shopping trip... using coupons and finding the sales!! ;)

That's the happenings around here for this week!

April 13, 2009

Coupon Extraordinaire

In my attempts to be more frugal, I am learning to become a coupon master!!

Last night, for the first time in my life, I CUT OUT COUPONS!! My hubby kept getting annoyed at me, because I kept shouting out "YES! $3.00 off diapers!!", "YAY! We buy THIS sour cream!", and "OOO! I need buy one get one free on toothbrushes!!" I was getting very excited, LOL.

I am ready to see exactly how much I save this Thursday on my grocery trip. I hear the real experts match sales with coupons, and get things so cheap and even for free sometimes! I'm working on getting there. Ideally I'd like to cut our grocery spending in HALF. ;)

I also finished one thing off my spring cleaning list; the storage closet. I figured that would need to be cleaned first, so I can put stuff from other rooms in there!

Here is the closet before:

And after!

April 11, 2009

Necessary Evil.

Spring cleaning.

I took a look at the chaos of my house today, and remembered it was spring... put the two together, and I realized it's spring cleaning time.

I haven't done much regular cleaning, so I guess I'll include that in my spring cleaning too. :) I currently have TWO very clingy babies, so the bulk of my work must get done when they happen to sleep at the same time.

I must start with rearranging two of the kids' rooms, because Maleah will be 4 months old in a little over a week, and that's when I make my babies MOVE OUT! LOL It's about the age where my babies get too big for the bassinett, and need a giant crib to roam around.

Maleah has been living out of the 0-6 month clothes tub. I guess I'll start packing those back up and actually put the 6-12 month clothes in the closet in her new room. ;)

The rest of this weekend I'll be making the giant list of things that need to be done... and probably take the rest of this month to get it done!!

Goodwill will be getting lots of goodies from us in the next couple of weeks. I'll be getting rid of lots of unused stuff, and getting organized! There is a point, at a certain number of children, where you HAVE to get organized, or you'll drown!! It's four for me, but I've been really slow at getting organized. The time is now!!

Maybe I'll post some before and after pics of my cleaning, so you can know just how far I've gotten behind. But I gotta make sure I have some pretty 'after' pics to show too! :)

April 10, 2009

I'm So Glad I'm ME!

"I'm So Glad I'm Me" is a song Kaydence is singing and dancing to with her dance class for her recital this year. I think a lot of adults would benefit if they would actually say that themselves!!

There is SO MUCH comparison going on with adults, especially moms. You would think this would be outgrown once we left high school, but NOPE!

There are so many "mini-wars" being fought. Working vs. stay at home, bottle vs. breastfeeding, discipline issues, vaccinations, foods to eat, school choices, etc. This is silly!

You know what?? I know everything...I know the right choices... for MY family that is. I'll admit, I was narrow minded at first and thought that if someone did things differently, things would never work!! Now, I still do feel that way on a select few issues (but I won't say which, AND I would never let another mom know unless she specifically asked me). Sometimes moms HAVE to work, sometimes they CANNOT breastfeed, sometimes life HAPPENS and things must be done differently!

I'm all for bettering ourselves. But I DO NOT want someone to feel bad because they don't do as much as so-and-so, or don't have it all together like this person, or whatever. I bet you that person DOESN'T have it all together. ;)

I'll take a good look at my children, and think, "I'm glad they get along so well!" or "They are very good at sharing!" and be glad with what I'm doing. Then the next day I'll think, "This is too much whining!" or "I don't like this 'but Mommy' stuff!" and then I'll have to switch something up to fix things.

Do what you gotta do for your family. If things are working, then GREAT! If they are not, then switch it up! But never feel bad for not being like someone else. You never know what secret struggles they may be having.

Maybe we should stop watching TV or reading books with such high expectations. When I read about someone waking up at 5 am, keeping the house super clean, cooking every meal from scratch, and feeding the animals on the farm (LOL!), I just think that's great! For THEM. That wouldn't fly over here. I'd be a sleepwalking zombie! ;)

Not everyone can wake up at dawn... not everyone is a super great chef... no one knows everything about raising children. It's a learning process. If you want to change things or better yourself, which I'm sure most everyone does, pick things up here and there. Learn to cook ONE meal from scratch. Learn how to change ONE bad habit in your children. Wake up just 30 minutes earlier (if that's even an issue! Maybe you just run on a later schedule!! Hehehe). Go from there. Never feel bad for not doing everything perfect all at once (or EVER!).

I'm so glad I'm me, and I'll try and be the best me I can be, for ME! :)

April 9, 2009

Pic of the Day- 4/9/09

This is how I talk to my kids during the day. :)

When the weather is nice, they spend almost all day playing in the backyard, while I watch from the windows and get stuff done around the house!

I do love spring!

Hair Clueless

Hi I'm Lauren and I know nothing about hair. :)

I pretty much just straighten my hair everyday. I decided I needed some new styles, so I turned to the one place you can learn everything... YOUTUBE!!!

Here are a few I found that I'm going to try when I get some free time (yeah if THAT ever happens!!):

We have the very curly:

The poofy straight hair:

And the "poof" that I never knew how to do until now!

Yay for YouTube!!! LOL

April 8, 2009

The PICKY Eater

I am very excited to say I have had my very first blog request!! It deals with an issue so many of us parents face… THE PICKY EATER. Now I will give a disclaimer and say that I do NOT know the answers to everything, but I can tell you how things work in OUR family. These ideas may or may not be right for your family. Here is what was written to me:

“I have an idea for your blog. Discuss what you do if your kids won't eat their dinner. Maybe you don't have this problem, but my kids are picky eaters. We try to have a policy where if they don't eat their dinner and complain about being hungry, they have to eat a piece of fruit (usually apple or banana) before they can have anything else. But I need some other suggestions! Lol”

First off, it’s best to avoid this issue altogether (of course!! LOL). We do not have picky eaters for the most part, and my husband and I believe it has A LOT to do with the fact that we let our babies taste all kinds of foods from VERY early on (usually around 2 months). They’ll be in our lap and have tastes of whatever we’re eating… a lick of spaghetti sauce, a taste of chocolate, BBQ sauce, etc. Whatever we’re eating, they’re tasting! Of course they’re not eating a whole meal at 2 months old. Just a tiny taste. (Another disclaimer, if your family has a history of food allergies, then DO NOT do this!!) We also don’t do much baby food at all once they’re of eating age. It’s almost all table food. :)

But what to do when you have a toddler that doesn’t want to eat anything??

I am not a short order cook, except for lunchtime, where the kids get a tiny choice. They pick what sandwich they want usually limited to two choices (PB&J, turkey sandwich, grilled cheese, etc.). Breakfast and dinnertime, they eat what I make.

Now of course you must judge every situation as it arises, as it’s not a one-rule-fits-all type thing. If I try a new recipe and NO ONE likes it, not even myself, then we make something else. For the most part though, they eat what I make. There will be nothing to eat after dinner. (I only make dessert on nights that everyone ate well for dinner!) They do not have to finish their plate, and they do not necessarily have to eat everything that is served (unless it’s something new and I want them to try at least one bite).
I basically want them to eat a decent amount of the main dish (which for us is almost always protein of some sort). I don’t care too much about them eating any sides.

Now IF they do not want to eat anything at all, we have a dilemma. First, we must figure out their motive. Is it because they genuinely dislike the food (which everyone can relate to, but is still very rare) or is it because they’d rather have their favorite PB&J instead?? If it’s because they genuinely dislike the food, I tell them they can wait until everyone is done, and then I’ll make them a little snack later.

On the other hand, if they just want something else, then that does not fly around here!! For my husband, it’s a big respect issue. Mom works hard to make this meal and get it on the table, so you better eat it (with no complaining!!). We tell them eat, or get nothing else. They will go to bed with nothing else. I’m not a softie when it comes to lesson teaching, either. This will be hard at first if you have a history of giving them a snack later. You must be consistent, because giving in just ONE time will pretty much start the process back at ground zero. ;)

That RARELY happens around here though. There are a couple things that help avoid this:
-No snacks between lunch and dinner. (Unless for some reason dinner will be late!)
-I try to make things everyone will enjoy

If my child was constantly wanting yogurt (or insert whatever other food the child always wants) instead of what I was making… then I wouldn’t be buying yogurt anymore. “Sorry sweetie, we don’t have any yogurt!!”

They will not starve themselves. Yes, they will make themselves GO HUNGRY, but not starve. Breakfast comes quickly. ;)

That’s how we do things around here. Feel free to comment with your own ideas!

Dinner Tonight- Chicken Alfredo Pasta and No Bake Cookies

Tonight we had chicken alfredo pasta and no bake cookies for dessert.

The chicken alfredo is easy peasy, since I don't make my own alfredo sauce (At least, not YET!!). I just grilled some chicken breasts seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, basil, and oregano, cooked some angel hair and warmed up 2 jars of the Bertolli mushroom alfredo. Cut up the chicken, and throw it all together, and it's YUM!

Then I made no bake cookies for dessert. I'm sure everyone on earth has the recipe already, but just in case you DON'T:

4 Tbsp. cocoa
2 C sugar
1 stick butter
½ c evaporated milk

Bring these to a strong boil.

Remove from heat, then add:
1 tsp vanilla
3 C oats
½ C peanut butter

Spoon onto wax paper and let dry.

Not Enough Toilets

So I wake up in the morning, and of course, need to use the bathroom. I walk in my bathroom to find that hubby had left a nice present. I have this super strange and horrible aversion to unclogging toilets, so I give a frustrated growl (who wouldn't!?) and walk to the kids' bathroom.

There I find Laila. Here is our conversation:

"Laila hurry up! I need to go potty!"

"Use YOUR potty! I'm pooooping!"

"I can't! Daddy clogged it!"

(In a strained voice) "Well Mommy, I'm going to clog this one tooooo!"


Gotta love the honesty though. :)

Pic of the Day- 4/8/09

This feeds my family of 6 for 1/2 a month.

This also happened to be my first attempt at 2 week shopping. Luckily I had my 4 year old with me to push a second cart! We filled up both!! I got beautiful red marks on the backs of my heels from her crashing her cart into me constantly. :)

I'm still mastering the art of menu planning and grocery shopping. I really need to get things that are healthier and cheaper. LOL But that will all come later. I also need to start couponing! These kids eat too much!! ;)

April 7, 2009

Being Real #1- Moon Sand and Messy Rooms

After having a baby, I go into survival mode. This lasts about 6-8 months for me... which is how long it takes for my babies to be content by themselves during their awake hours!! Survival mode for me means I TRY to get the basics done... cooking meals, doing dishes, and doing laundry. Of course I still get behind on just that. :)

I went into the girls' room today and discovered they had snuck some Moon Sand in there. BAD ME for leaving it out!! So we had a project today... and that was cleaning their room.

Here is the very lovely BEFORE pic:

So we got to work. My 2 year old, Laila, helped by putting everything she could find in the wrong place. My 1 year old, Royce, helped by pulling everything OUT of the closet. My 4 year old, Kaydence, provided the music, singing, "Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up!!"

When we finally got the floor picked up, it was time to vacuum. Again, Kaydence provided the wonderful music, singing, "Roll over here! Roll over there! Roll over here! Roll over there!!"

Their room eventually got straightened up, and we were left with this:

And it'll be nice and clean until tomorrow. ;)

Dinner Tonight- Taco Salad!

We had taco salad tonight for dinner. It's a quick and easy dinner to whip up! It's great for cooking, when you don't feel like cooking. :) Here's the recipe: (I double it for our family)

1 lb gr beef
Chopped onion
Small bottle of Catalina dressing
Chili powder
Shredded cheddar
Optional toppings (black olives, lettuce, tomato, salsa, sour cream, etc.)

Brown ground beef with chopped onion. (sometimes I add 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic). Drain off fat. Add 1/2 bottle of Catalina dressing. Add 2-3 Tbsps of chili powder, depending on how spicy you like it. Add some salt and let cook on med/low for 15 minutes. Chop up some lettuce and grate some cheese, and serve with plain Doritos!!! Add toppings of your choice.

Here's Royce chowing down:

Pic of the day- 4/7/09!

Meet my children!

From left to right- Kaydence, Maleah, Laila, and Royce.

WOO HOO #1!!

Welcome to my very first ever blog post!! I really never thought I'd do this whole blogging thing. I never thought I'd have anything interesting or constructive to say!

Over the past few years of this blogging era, I know I have been encouraged and uplifted by many blogs. I have laughed at the silly things and cried at the sad things. I want to be able to encourage and uplift people, give them a good laugh, and also let them know there are bad times too. But we as mothers can get through them!

I have learned that having four children under four means there is NEVER a dull moment. So I very well should have something interesting to say every day!! The title of this blog is "Be REAL Mom!" because my goal is to be REAL with you! I will share the random happenings of my day (however normal or crazy they may be!), and whatever else that may come to my mind (and we all know mothers have MANY random things that cross their minds!!).

So bare with me while I get this blog up and running, and hopefully I can add a little smile to your day! :)


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