Friday, February 27, 2009


Emma's bathing suit arrived today, thank goodness. Now she won't have to take swim lessons naked.

She loves it (although you can't really tell from that non-look of excitement on her face) and wanted to wear it, of course.

Here's a question for you: See the tiny little package that is her bathing suit? Why does it need to be shipped in such a big bag? And does it really cost $7.95 to ship that little itty bitty 3T bathing suit? Granted, I got free shipping, but it would've been $7.95 if I didn't have the the coupon. I don't get shipping based on price. Last week the suit was on sale for 24.95 and shipping was 5.95. Then it went off sale and was 29.95 with shipping at 7.95. It's the same bathing suit! Same size! Why does it now cost more to ship? Makes no sense to me.

Happy Weekend!
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ten on Tuesday (yeah, yeah, techincally Wednesday)

1. Day 2 of my menu plan and I already switched things up. Made the chicken and dumplings tonight. And they were oh so good.

2.Went to visit my friend Mary this past Friday. Emma and Hannah played dress-up, of course. This was the best picture I could get since Emma refused to pose.

3. Mackenzie played dress-up, too.

4. So I moved the Followers widget up in the right corner thinking maybe people didn't see it but it didn't really make a difference. It's been at 5 for a while. But I know more people read this. I know you're out there! :)

5. Michael watched Bree and Ava last week when Lisa and I went to Zumba. When we came home we found all four girls dressed up and this:

The next day Emma wanted a tent so I took the dining room chairs downstairs and made one. But it wasn't good enough. I didn't turn the love seat around so she told me it wasn't as good as Daddy's and tore it down.

6. Tomorrow (or technically today since I'm a little late with this, it's 12:12 am on Wednesday) they're having a beach party at Kid Park at the fitness center. Emma gets to wear shorts and a t-shirt and sandals. The party is just for the big kids though, so Mackenzie will be in winter wear.

7. Last Monday our friends David and Amanda came over with their girls Brooke and Cheyenne. We had some leftover birthday cake and ice cream.

8. 24 was annoying last night.

9. So you know those Gain commercials? Where they talk about how good it makes your clothes smell? I decided to try it a while ago. It's true. They smell really good. I'm a Gain convert.

10. There's a chance Marty, Althea and Malachi will be home by Monday. YAY!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

23 degrees and snowing...I think I'll head to the outlets.

Because doesn't everyone take their small children to the outlet mall on days like today? It's going to warm up later in the week (40's, woo hoo!) but I needed to go today. Emma needs a bathing suit for swim lessons a week from today. I found one I like at Land's End, but I wanted to make sure there wasn't one somewhere else I liked better (and that I wouldn't have to pay shipping for) before I ordered it. While I did see some cute ones, none I liked better than this, in Bright Raspberry Mini Dot so I ordered it this afternoon. Bonus - I found a code for free shipping which saved me eight bucks.

Emma loves going to the outlet mall because of 4 things - the ducks, the playground, the rides and the Lego table in Osh Kosh. The cold didn't bother her a bit.

Mackenzie didn't seem to mind either. Although was awfully quiet - she didn't make a sound the entire time we were there.

As a public service announcment, I'd like to make sure you all know that the new American Crafts Zing! embossing powder jars are not 15-month-old proof. I was not aware Mackenzie had taken this one upstairs until I heard Emma yelling "Mom! Mackenzie is dumping orange glitter out on the carpet! Mom, she's dumping it! It's everywhere! Mom!" Thankfully, she didn't eat it.

Menu Plan Monday

See more menu plans at

I'm excited because I bought a grill pan today at Kohl's. We have a George Foreman grill but I don't like to use it because it's a pain to clean. I've been wanting a grill pan so I can grill flank steaks, chicken, even shish kabobs in the winter. I use the grill a lot in the summer and I really miss it when there's a foot of snow on top of it.

Monday - leftovers (Brunswick Stew)

Tuesday - grilled marinated chicken breasts (with my new pan!), long grain and wild rice, broccoli

Wednesday - pork chops, either cheesy potatoes or au gratin potatoes (depending on what I have), green beans

Thursday - chicken and dumplings, corn

Friday - Joy's beef stroganoff, egg noodles, peas

Saturday - pizza (this could change, as we might be at a family night for our church, we haven't decided yet.)

Sunday - flank steak, asparagus, risotto

Last week's recap: I actually did quite well last week. Stuck to the plan except for Thursday. Not sure what I was thinking planning to cook for all of us when I had to leave at 5:15 for a fitness class. I don't normally take any at that time because it interferes with dinner. Lisa and I wanted to try our instructors Zumba Tone class to see what it was like though, and it was a one-time-thing she was doing to see if people are interested. I ended up just making mac and cheese for the girls and Michael, I didn't eat until I got home. The baked potato soup was so good, Mackenzie loved it, Emma wouldn't try it. Same with the stew, Mac was shoveling in, Emma refused to try it. She's always been a good eater, and really she still is. She just does not like to try new things. She hears what it is or sees it and decides she doesn't like it without ever tasting it. Yes, she's like her mother.

Friday, February 20, 2009


In the bathtub this afternoon:

Emma: Mom, Mackenzie hit me.
Me: You're alright.
Emma: Mackenzie, you need to say you're sorry.
Me: Honey, Mackenzie doesn't talk yet.
Emma: Mackenzie, you're sorry you hit me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ten on Tuesday - Emma's Birthday Edition

1/2. We had Emma's 3rd birthday party on Sunday, her actual birthday. It was a Scooby Doo theme, since Emma loves Scooby Doo, although it was almost a Diego party. (We did Dora last year.) Sunday's party was with my family only. We're having a second party with Michael's family in a couple weeks. Why two parties, you ask? Because Marty and Michael's mom are in Uganda right now and will soon be coming home with Malachi! Yay! I'm so excited for Marty and Abby and can't wait to meet my nephew! Emma's excited about having a second party and a new cousin. I had planned to make Scooby Doo cupcakes for her party, so now I'll be making them for party #2 and I also saved the decorations and extra plates/napkins.

1. Opening presents. For her first two birthdays, and Mackenzie's first, I sat with her helping her open her presents. It was kind of weird just sitting back and watching her open them this year. But I liked it. I liked seeing her excitement over each gift. It was great.

2. So, she actually blew out the candles before we'd even sang to her, so I had re-light them. Then it took her three tries to get them out.

3. One of the few real smiles I got out of her, the rest of the time she was way too busy to stop and pose for me. Not that I blame her. It was her birthday party after all!

Did you notice the strange color scheme on the cake? They had two Scooby Doo cakes, one was a green and blue/purple scheme with the Mystery Machine and peace signs. The other was pink and purple with the convertable. We ordered the pink and purple cake. Yet somehow the combined the two. Emma didn't care. She loved it. But it certainly isn't the prettiest cake. I have no idea how the person who was decorating it messed it up, did they really think it was supposed to look like this? Maybe I should submit it to Cake Wrecks

4. With her Hi-Ho Cherrio game. Last night, Mackenzie had a cherry in her mouth. Only so long before she eats one, I'm sure.

5. Emma's wearing her new Fancy Nancy dress. Very fancy.

6. In case you can't tell, she's dancing. Specifically, her "ballerina" dance. Which is pretty funny.

7. A self-portrait before bedtime. She surprisingly went to bed without a fight. She was exhausted, but I thought she might resist it a bit. Ya know, "But mom, it's my birthday!"

8. We got Emma the Pop-Beads which we all seemed to enjoy. Maybe more than Emma did, as you can see she's not even in this picture.

9. Mackenzie was fascinated by the present opening. Which is funny, because at her party, she wasn't into it at all. She wanted Cherrios from Aunt Patti more than the presents. But this time...she actually ripped some of the paper off of the Hi-Ho Cherrio game before we got it away from her.

10. Emma had a great birthday. She was soooo excited for her party. Loved her cake, her presents, having her family there, everything. She's been playing dress-up with her new clothes and shoes; coloring in her new Color Wonder books; playing her new game; washing, dressing and feeding Bitty Baby.

I put a new album up on the left with some more birthday pictures.

Menu Plan Monday on Tuesday

Yesterday was busy. Very busy. And so I didn't get my menu plan done. In fact, as I start this now at 1:03 pm, I still have no idea what I'm making this week...

Monday - Michael had left over pizza (from Emma's party Sunday) and the girls and I had shells and cheese. (Again, very busy day)

Tuesday - I'm taking the easy way out again and making a Stouffer's Garlic Chicken I like to get them on sale and keep a few in the freezer for nights like tonight which I don't feel like cooking, or when I'm short on time. I just cook some extra pasta and it's just enough to feed us all. Although, I haven't made one in quite a while and now that Mackenzie eats as much as me some nights (okay maybe not that much, but a lot), it might not be enough. We'll find out tonight.

Wednesday - pepper steak and rice

Thursday - pierogis, veggie

Friday - @ Mary's for dinner

Saturday - Brunswick Stew

Sunday -
Baked Potato Soup, rolls

Last week's recap:

Things got a little switched around last week. (I'm realizing every week something gets switched around, lol.) On Tuesday I made a new recipe for chicken and dumplings, replacing Saturday's homemade chicken and noodles. It was a copycat recipe for Cracker Barrel dumplings. Didn't taste exactly like theirs, but still very good. Definitely making them again. We had the Swanson's chicken from Tuesday on Thursday and on Saturday went out to eat for Valentine's day. The Brunswick stew is moved to this week. Sunday night Emma wanted spaghetti for dinner and since it was her birthday, I obliged.

It's now 4:42 pm and I finally decided what we'll be eating this week. At least I got it up before dinner tonight!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

She's three today.

My big girl.

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Birthday details to follow, probably on Tuesday. :)

Friday, February 13, 2009


I know I've mentioned Zumba quite a bit. Probably a bit of overkill, I know. But I do love it. My friend Melanie asked me about it and I realized everyone might not know exactly what Zumba is. And since I think everyone should be enjoying Zumba as much as I do...straight from the Zumba website:

Zumba® fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy to follow moves to create a dynamic fitness program that will blow you away. Our goal is simple: We want you to want to work out, to love working out, to get hooked. Zumba® Fanatics achieve long term benefits while experiencing an absolute blast in one exhilarating hour of caloric-burning, body-energizing, awe-inspiring movements meant to engage and captivate for life!

My instructor mixes original Zumba music with top 40 songs. There's a routine for each song and they're pretty easy to learn. You can make it as hard or as easy as you want. It burns a lot of calories, too. The first time I went I felt silly doing some of the moves. I think I laughed my way through the whole workout. But the more I went the more comfortable I felt, the more I put into and the more fun I had.

I now hear songs on the radio and start doing the workout routines in my head. :)

I'm curious what other's classes are like. I actually take classes from two different instructors. The one who teaches the mix of Zumba and top 40 music is really high-energy. She's really into Zumba, and you can feel that. It's a great workout, high-impact and everyone has a lot of fun. The other instruct just does Zumba music and it's more low-key, low-impact. Still a good workout, but not quite as fun as the other.

To be honest, I can't say I've noticed amazing results from Zumba. (I also do kickboxing and work out with weights.) But I'm pretty sure that's because of my Dr. Pepper habit and sweet tooth rather the workout. And no, Diet Dr. Pepper is not the same. :)

So, do you Zumba? Do you like it? If you haven't taken a Zumba class yet, are you going to try it out?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

1. I know this is blurry, but I still think it's a cute picture of the girls watching Dora.

2. I need a mean look. A stern, "knock it off young lady" look. Because I don't have one. And sometimes when I try to give that kind of look to Emma I feel like I'm just making silly faces at her. I keep thinking she's going to start laughing at me.

3. I need to go the grocery store. Yet, I'm pretty sure I'm not going today. Which means I have to change what I'd planned to make this week. Which doesn't bother me, but doesn't look very good for the menu plan this week. (PS, never went.) (And I ended up making chicken and dumplings.)

4. This makes me laugh. She was running from Michael who was chasing her on all fours around the room.

5. I don't think I ever gave a potty update, but Emma is completely potty trained. Has been for a couple weeks. Stays dry all night long and will hold it for an hour or so after she gets up before going to the bathroom. Very proud of her. She picked out some Dora underwear. I took my camera so I could get a picture of her choosing her big girl undies. Then I forgot I had it with me until we left. Of course I did.

6. We're planning on going to the zoo with some friends on Monday since there's no school. Of course, that's if it's somewhat nice out. Never been in the winter before. But my sister got us a zoo pass last year and we've only used it once. A broken leg tends to put off frequent zoo trips.

7. Poor Michael. He gets no rest when he gets home at night. This is typical.

8. Mackenzie really likes spaghetti. (this was from last month)

9. I missed Zumba tonight. Have I mentioned my love of Zumba?

10. I had a #10. Then when I added the video of Mackenzie I lost #9 & #10. While I remembered what #9 was, I can't recall 10. Nor can I come up with anything else.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - leftover pizza

Tuesday - Swanson Pan Sauteed Chicken with Vegetables and Herbs AKA, the recipe I keep burning my hand while cooking

Wednesday - @ my sisters

Thursday - Brunswick Stew

Friday - meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn

Saturday - chicken and homemade noodles

Sunday - Emma's birthday and party, we'll probably be eating leftovers from the party

Last week's review:

We didn't have the Brunswick Stew on Tuesday because my mom was over and she made creamed chicken and rice. One of those dishes that no matter how hard I try never turns out as good as her's. Therefore, where she's here, I always ask her to make it for us, and thankfully she always complies.

Emma was sick last week and not eating a lot. Because of that I had to modify the plan a bit. Instead of burgers Friday night, we sort of did our own thing. Michael wasn't home for dinner since he had a game, Emma had some noodles with butter and parm cheese and Mackenzie and I had Ranch Rice. I moved the burgers to Saturday and scratched the pizza. One of the reasons I was doing homemade pizza was so she could help me make it. I thought it best to wait until she was better. And last night Michael was out for a basketball meeting and ended up bringing home pizza.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


So Darcy tagged me a while ago, I had to post seven things about me. And I sort of never did it. I kept starting it, but never finished. Then I got tagged on Facebook. Again, I started it but couldn't finish it. But I kept getting tagged. So after a week and a half, I finally finished. Then, I realized I could just copy those 25 things here and use them for Darcy's tag. Yes, obviously more than seven. But no way am I spending 20 minutes trying to decide which seven to use. (see #16)

1. I over-explain. You'll see. (or just look above.)

2. Dr. Pepper is my beverage of choice but not diet. Never diet. No matter what they say, it's not the same.

3. I lose things. A lot. I've lost two sets of keys including the remote keyless entry. A set for each of our cars. I start to panic if I can't find them right away when it's time to leave.

4. I forget things. Also a lot. Short term, long term, they both suck. Examples: I was going to the garage fridge to get milk and Michael asked for orange juice. I was back to the table in 7 seconds with milk, but no juice. Also, once in college I went tanning in the evening only to be told I couldn't use my package because it'd been used earlier in the day. I argued with the girl that it wasn't me, someone must've used it without me knowing. Then I remembered I'd gone that morning before class. Yeah, that was embarrassing.

5. I'm a bit messy. Not dirty though, just messy. A bit of a pack rat. Could be why I lose things so much.

6. I love my Zumba classes. So much fun. Great cardio workout. I highly recommend it.

7. I have a lot of fillings. And one crown. Enough that every time I go to the dentist I expect to have a cavity. But I brush twice a day. And floss, too.

8. I love to read. Once I get into a book, I tend to ignore what's going on around me.

9. I blog. Which is a good thing. Means I won't forget as much about my girls' childhoods as I otherwise would. See #4.

10. I don't eat salad.

11. I don't eat sandwiches either, really. Except cheesesteaks. Or a plain roast beef and cheese sandwich. Or a steak sandwich with au jus. Sensing a theme?

12. I let my LSW (social work license) lapse after I had Mackenzie. Which means should I go back to social work at any point I have to retake the exam and get licensed again. Have I mentioned I don't do well with tests? See #4 again.

13. I've been a bridesmaid in 7 weddings.

14. I keep trying to grow my hair out but get frustrated because the growing-out stage is ugly so I cut it. Then a few months later I try again. I'm probably annoying my stylist.

15. Since I first started working on this I cut my hair. And I love it.

16. I'm very indecisive. It once took me thirty minutes in Target to decide if I wanted the 3 shelf or 4 shelf bookcase. Even worse, I like a shirt in two colors and can't decide which to get. Or, just this weekend at old navy, couldn't decide between two pairs of black yoga pants. Did I want the fold-over waist or not? Seriously, I spent 20 minutes thinking about it.

17. Because of this, I tend to return things a lot.

18. My go-to number is 12. "Emma, I've told you 12 times to pick up your puzzle!"

19. I make cookies just to eat the cookie dough. I don't like the actual cookie so much.

20. I really enjoy singing out loud. Especially 80's and hair metal/rock (i.e. Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Warrant, Skid Row) songs. Especially while scrapbooking. And I know there's some of you I've tagged who've experienced this wonderful habit (quirk? annoyance?) of mine in person. :)

21. I have horrible handwriting. So bad sometimes I can't read what I write. This was a problem in high school and college. Especially in college when I'd fall asleep in class. Wasn't bad enough that my handwriting was terrible to begin with, then I had the whole falling-asleep-so-the-words-are-only-half-written-and-the-the-pen-trails-off-thing making it even worse, if that's possible.

22. I talk. A lot. Again, those who've scrapbooked (and well, really, ever been around me) know this, since I tend to talk more than scrapbook.

23. I've passed the talk-too-much thing onto Emma. She never shuts up. Just like her Mom.

24. I'm a bit bossy. Didn't know this until my freshman year of college and during a housing search someone called me bossy and when I called my sister to complain about how unfair that was she said, "but you are." Oh.

25. And quite assertive. Although I didn't use to be that way. I've learned through the years how to stick up for myself though.

And with that, I give you this: an article in Time by a guy who would hate that I just posted those 25 things. :)

I leave you with Mackenzie running on the track at the fitness center this past Saturday. She'd just seen Michael and Emma and was heading full speed ahead toward them.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Here we go, Steelers, Here we go

On Sunday:

She was singing it loudly over and over again all day until I got out the camera. So in case you need a translator (and you likely do) she's singing "Here we go, Steelers, here we go. We're heading on down to the Super Bowl. Here we go." Sometimes though, she was heading to the "super store" or "super Emma."

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

1. Any guesses as to what Mackenzie is sitting it?

The bottom of Emma's potty seat.

2. She soon fell over trying to get out. That's when Emma said, "I'll help you get your bootie out, Mackenzie!"

3. Took Emma to get her annual hair cut today. Seriously. She's had one other haircut and it was a year ago. We're letting it grow and I trim her bangs so she doesn't need one more than once a
year. I think Mackenzie looks so funny sitting in the waiting area.

4. And the haircut. (I cropped out Leah since I wasn't sure she'd want her picture online.) Emma was so excited to get her haircut and to see Leah. She did really well - sat still and listened. Yet she looks a little angry in this picture. She trimmed up her bangs and took about 1/2 inch off. Not enough that Michael could tell, but enough that I could.

5. Emma was building with Grandma McIntyre today. Well, she built, she had Grandma watch and Mackenzie knocked them down.

6. So I posted last week about Emma being up with me super late. Mackenzie ended up in the basement with us, too. She had her binky in with a crayon in each hand. She came up to me and gave me a crayon. I told her thanks, then asked her for her the other crayon. She looked at me for a few seconds, then quickly handed me her binky and ran away. Little stinker.

7. I'm eating Strawberry Daiquiri Jelly Bellys (or is it Bellies?), oh, how I love them.
8. I'm trying to give up, scratch that, drink a few less Dr. Peppers. So far I'm failing miserably. Well, I didn't drink one on Saturday, that's a start, right?
9. I think everyone should Zumba. It's so fun.
10. I did pull-ups during my kickboxing class last week. I'm sorry, we - meaning the instructor and I - did pull-ups. He had to basically lift me up so I could do them. Awesome. Thankfully everyone else had to be lifted up too.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - leftover pizza

Tuesday - Brunswick Stew

Wednesday - spaghetti with meat sauce (my niece will be here and she likes it, which is why we're having spaghetti two weeks in a row), garlic bread

Thursday - Famous Pork Chops, cheesy potatoes, green beans (from last week)

Friday - cheeseburgers, leftover cheesy potatoes (making double batch),

Saturday - homemade pizza

Sunday - roast, ranch rice, asparagus

Recap of last weeks meals:
I actually stuck to the plan quite well last week. Didn't make the pork chops meal, although for the life of me I can't remember why. Tuesday we ended up having fish sticks and waffle fries, Wednesday was a snow day for Michael and I decided to just have the spaghetti sauce I'd frozen from Sunday - it was easy and perfect for such a cold snowy day. My girls definitely didn't mind having it again so soon. Saturday we had pierogies and corn, another huge hit with the girls, they ate it all and wanted more.