We have a Crawler

i have enormous mountains of laundry that need attending to.  last night it was more like an avalanche of laundry...

anyway, i have 3 different drafts of blog posts that essentially say the same thing:  i've been busy, ethan was sick and now he feels better, and savannah is crawling at a snails pace.  she can also go from laying down to sitting up on her own.

so now that i've posted that, i will do my laundry and feel like i have adequately recorded savannah's 7 month milestone.

i'll be back after i get my act together with bunches of posts recording all the fun we've been having.  because we have had some fun, and will have more to come...


p.s.  thank you cousin kristen for teaching me the "tuck the dress in the bloomers" thing... very handy...


Happy Thanksgiving!

my heart swells with all the many blessings i am thankful for - most specifically, my husband and our two sweet children along with our good health.


Happy Thanksgiving!


cranberry apple butter

hmmm... so i don't have the "scheduled" feature quite mastered on blogger.  par for the course...

i meant to post this on tuesday... but here it is on thanksgiving... oh well 

anyway, last week, while i was having fits about possibly losing my milk, i decided that it would be great to do some home canning.  am i on drugs?  {well, technically, yes.  but not the illegal kind.}  i always seem to take on an endeavor like home canning, when i am frankly, not up to it.  whatever.  it was tasty on an english muffin, and i know it made ethan's day.  that's reason enough, right??

anyway, i needed to make some cranberry apple butter to take to an event... but i also wanted to see if my idea was any good, and if it was, i could make another batch for gifts.


did i take photos of the process?  no.  i was doing good to get it done.  but i did take a picture of my apples.  i used several types... my favorite Honey Crisps and some Galas and a few Granny Smiths... and i think a few more of another kind, but i don't remember.

Cranberry Apple Butter
14 peeled, cored & chopped apples
1 bag of cranberries
1/2 C cranberry juice
2 C white sugar
1.5 C light brown sugar
2 T cinnamon
1/2 t ground cloves
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t kosher salt
Place all ingredients in crock pot and stir to coat apples and cranberries. Cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce to LOW for 8 to 10 hours; stirring occasionally.  Pulse in blender in batches.  Return to crock pot and cook on low additional 2 hours.

Can in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Yields 4 pints.  

it tastes like regular apple butter with a cranberry kick.  so the verdict?  i'll be making another batch for gifts {and myself...}


Catch Up

wow.  where do i start??  i have been completely absent this last week...   i haven't had it in me to even read any blogs, much less write on my own.  and my husband has been on vacation... so, one would think that means i have more free time, but somehow, it means i have less.  seriously, way less.  although we watch more movies...  and i do WAY more dishes {or i don't do them, and then have massive amounts of kitchen catch up} 

while i was away from the computer, we harvested a few of the veggies.  nice, huh?



one issue of note -- my cat is still gone.  ethan will say "come out, come out, wherever you are" when we go outside. breaks. my. heart.  he was such a good cat.

for those of you that don't know:  a week ago, my cat jumped out the front door to attack the semi-stray alley cats that have made a cozy home on my front porch.  he hasn't been back since.  i blame myself.


the 3 things that have made me feel better:  my MIL said that she would have not broken up the cat fight that prompted his disappearance either {seeing how it was at night and both kids were in the car AND it was a cat fight}, faustino has looked for him multiple times and told me not to feel guilty because it was a matter of time before he jumped out the door, and my friend told me that maybe he is enjoying the freedom.  perhaps.

i am still hopeful that i will open the door one day and he will be there.

another issue of note is that my milk is back thanks to the wonder drug reglan {with all of its not so wondrous side effects.}  I have 2 more weeks of this garbage.  the warning label should say something about it turning you into a zombie.  if i ran into you last week, after having taken a dose, you probably thought i was on drugs.  you were right.  yikes.

{did i tell you that i nearly lost my milk?  maybe i didn't go into it... it was an emotional hell for me.  a hungry baby is a sad, sad, thing.}

another time suck of last week -- i spent hours at the volvo repair shop.  two afternoons in a row.  the second afternoon i had two elementary school children who were in the waiting area as well.  if you are a mom of young children, you know that this means it was a wretched time.  they were bouncing off the walls {which made ethan hyper excited} and they were very curious about savannah.  and they had no regard to personal space.  and savannah needed to nurse.  and i am on the zombie medicine... to say that i needed a drink {which i CANNOT have on reglan} would be an understatement.  and i just thought i would get some work done on planning the disney vacation.  yeah, right.

also, we celebrated our wedding anniversary.  sort of.  at a work dinner for my husband's program.  it was... free.  not romantic, but definitely free.  oh well.  he did buy me flowers... and that is romantic.  perhaps next year we'll go on a trip or something...  i can dream, right?

and the weekend was good... and now it is thanksgiving week and i am horrified at how quickly time is passing.  i'll post a super yummy seasonal recipe tomorrow.  until then, my house is yelling at me to clean it.

xoxo, stephanie


Save Me From Myself!!!

i feel like i have turned into "that" girl.  the one that is always in crisis mode.  i can't seem to break the bad luck streak... its not all huge things, but geeeezzzzz i feel like i am a mess.

let me summarize:

i mentioned the kidney infection/antibiotics not compatible with nursing/pumping formula thing.  well now i can nurse, and surprise, my supply is low.  and while i build it up i have a normally very content  baby that has become accustomed to free flowing food.  she was taking 8 oz a feed.  i am determined to resume to full capacity.  meanwhile, savannah is showing me what angry looks like.

i think that i also touched on the whole oil leak in the car thing last week... well, presto!  the check engine light is on again.  great.

i thought that i had savannah's 6 month appointment this week.  no, it was last week.  i missed it.  mom of the year, thanks.  de-lightful.

the day that i was supposed to be taking savannah for her well baby appointment, i was busy having a MASSIVE allergy attack.  as in, i had already taken astelin, zyrtec and then while i was at target {buying allergy medicine} i began to spiral into such a swollen eyes, wheezing, sneezing mess that i indeed needed to take a bynadryl on the way home, and then an hour later i had to take another.  that's bad folks.  like, i honestly don't know how i made it to pick up from preschool.  or what i said.  or how i looked up there.

then, there are other random things.... ethan cried for 45 minutes straight because he was sad i took a friend food.  he thought we were giving away our food.  granted, he didn't even want to eat our food at dinner...

while cooking dinner i think i over crowded the oven and EVERYTHING took forever to cook.  {dear god, one day i would really really like a double oven.  thanks.}

and then one of the disposable pans sprung a leak.  nice.

and the two outside cats that have adopted us {another post for another day} have been on my inside cat's nerves... and the inside cat {hobbes} managed to get the front door open while i was loading the car.  and he pounced.

and then our cat --- ran away.  nice, huh?  i am a mess over it...  say a little prayer that he comes back safely.  really soon. 

and i am about to be the midnight food preserver.  i have some late night home canning of a tasty seasonal condiment i hope to post for you soon.  while that sounds cheesy and domestic, i assure you i am really just a mess.

the bright side?  the heat isn't working, but when i am cooking and canning the kitchen gets the front of the house really hot -- so things have been balanced out.  perhaps that is my silver lining... 

xoxo, steph


Teeth for Savannah and Brownies for Me

someone has been thoroughly enjoying bouncing.   i could just squeeze her to bits!!!!

and breaking news -- savannah will no longer have a gummy smile.  my baby is getting her two bottom teeth.  i noticed them after her nap wednesday... so maybe this is why she has had a horrific diaper rash?  who knows.  she got teeth a bit later than ethan -- he got them one at a time a week apart from each other at almost exactly 5 months.

can you see them?  cute little teeth... this was taken on wednesday, but they were even bigger today!

can you also see the nasty bumpy rash thing on her cheeks?  it is also on her torso.  i SWEAR i think it is the formula.  she didn't have it before saturday... let's see if it clears a few weeks after she goes back to breast milk.  if we were staying on formula i would be shopping for a new one... yikes.  i hear that finding the "right" formula can be tricky and exhausting...

and my thoughts on formula {as if you cared}:  it is for the stinkin' birds.  this stuff costs a lot of money, smells bad, and it produces lots of dirty dishes.  i'll keep my other opinions to myself, but holy smokes i will be ready to drop the whole routine of bottle feeding and then pumping and then the worst part -- dumping.  to say that this routine has been occupying a lot of my day is a bit of an understatement.  it has thrown me for a loop.  savannah is thrown a little too, and hasn't been napping as well.  one more day of medicine and then another to get out of my system... i'll nurse her on sunday evening!!!!  i can't tell you how ready i am to not be tied down to a bottle.  isn't that so funny?  most people say that nursing ties them down, but i feel all freed up by doing it!  to each their own... i know that breastfeeding isn't the best option for everyone...

and to console myself??  i have eaten quite a few of these: 

cream cheese brownies.  SOOO easy to make.  i made them with one hand while holding savannah.

you need:
chocolate cake mix
stick of butter
nuts {optional}
3 eggs
package of cream cheese
16 oz box/bag powdered sugar
9x13 metal baking pan

preheat the oven to 350.  melt butter and pour in pan.  sprinkle cake mix on top.  sprinkle nuts.  beat 1 egg and pour in to pan.  stir everything together.

in a separate bowl {or your kitchen aid!} cream together:  cream cheese, sugar and remaining eggs.    pour evenly over first layer.

bake for 45 minutes.

they are highly addictive and taste much more complicated than the 5 - 6 ingredients that they are...

if you make them, let me know what you think.  have a good weekend... i'm going to go eat my plate of heaven while i have a date with my medela pump in style {seriously, why did they think this was a good name???}

xoxo, s



sooooo.... bad things happen in 3's right?

1.  kidney infection for yours truly
2.  10 days of cipro to fight it = no breastfeeding {pump & dump -- give savvy formula}
3.  massive oil leak in the volvo to the tune of christmas presents.

we're done right?  that's three.  please, please tell me that 1. and 2. are separate and not the same thing.  i hope that there isn't another bad thing looming on the horizon.  yuck.

in other news, on sunday savannah started rice cereal.  she did okay.  i am the one that hasn't been consistent.  surprise, surprise.  {and do you like the xmas jammies?  they were fleece, it was cold.  did i mention our heat isn't working?? yeah...}

and in our prep work for disney i have downloaded various disney productions and loaded them on to the ipod.  {we don't have cable -- so we don't get the disney channel.  so i have been educating him...}  does he look so old or what in this picture?

i think we are getting very close to crawling.  she scoots a lot.  she can sit for a LONG time too.  i don't know if i am ready for her to be mobile.  yikes.

ethan has decided to go hog wild picking out his wish list.  lord help us.  {see #3 above}  how do kids know to pick toys out of catalogs??  i did not teach him.  i swear.

and after being inspired by a friend's son's blog post, my mother-in-law cooked julia's beef bourguignon recipe {with my carrots!!} and while she said it was difficult, might have been the best meal i have had in months.  seriously.  perfect comfort food for feeling like crap.  and do you like my carrots??  i planted these and grew them.  from tiny little seeds.  it really is pretty cool... 

and that is what we have been doing lately.  i have also desperately tried to keep up with the laundry.  oh. my. gracious.  we have so much laundry.  and housework.  and groceries.  and sleep.  i could sleep for the rest of the week.  basically i am a zombie.  what's new??

xoxo, s


Reality Check

so i logged into blogger... and checked on a few blogs, and was going to write a bit of a negative post about my day... 

but one of the blogs i checked on was to see how a friend's little boy did in heart surgery this morning.  He's just 3 and he had a valve replacement, and that really puts things into perspective... it went well, but he will still have recovery, and it breaks my heart that a sweet little boy who likes to run and jump and play is lying in a bed in an ICU.  i see my own little active boy, and thank god that he is healthy.  if you are the praying type, i would love it if you lifted up this sweet family.

and i'll bottle up my negativity for now...



i have come a long way.  last year, i did nothing for halloween.  seriously.  i went to hobby lobby and then went to my mother-in-law's house and ate pizza.

this year was a different story altogether.

first, i must point out that i didn't procrastinate to the max, and actually had a costume for ethan weeks before halloween.  thank you very much costco.

we had time to try the costume out a little.  he had time to break it in... he ended up wanting to wear it all the time, and i had to put it up so that it would all be in one piece once we needed it.

we even went "trunk or treating" the weekend before halloween {and tagged along with ethan's 3 sweet girlfriends}  ethan learned the art of trick or treating...

so the evening of halloween, we were all ready.  i have a sweet friend that invited us to join her family and friends on a hay-ride trick or treat extravaganza, complete with a chili dinner pre-party.  we had a lot of fun.

ethan enjoyed his pirate costume

and his little parrot sidekick.

**** i really must be somewhat honest though, and tell you that savannah's costume was crafted the week of halloween.  and i might have stayed up to an ungodly hour working on it.  and faustino might have told me that her headpiece made her look like a ranger's fan wearing a yield sign.  so we might have just been working on the hat portion of her costume a couple hours before we needed to leave.  i will also say that faustino's superior craftsmanship of the parrot beak was the best part of the costume.  he saved the day.  just didn't want you to think that i was a super star.  i'm not. **** 

i did try to make sure that her gumdrop paci matched her costume.  i know, i'm a weirdo.

she wanted his sword...

he said "arrgg" or something like it...

she was in her own parrot world

we had quite a good time.  savannah wasn't too fussy {we were past her bedtime} and ethan was only scared twice.  and not too badly.  very brave and tough!  he was the most worried about the truck/trailer circling around to join us down the street while we were out trick or treating -- i think he was worried we would be stranded.

aren't his little girlfriends cute??

and isn't it completely rare that we have a family photo??

we concluded the night by lighting our jack 'o lanterns.  daddy even let him have a sucker {mommy never lets him have a sucker}

the only real puzzle of the evening was when i realized {once we got home} that somewhere between the trailer of hay and our car, the trick or treat bag disappeared.  definitely a trick, not a treat.

and then, after the kids were down for the night, at 9:45, kids knocked on our door {to be fair, our pumpkins were lit} but seriously??  what were their parents thinking???  yikes.

i hope that you had a wonderful halloween.  and i hope that you are eating all of your kids' candy...
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