Friday, January 17, 2014

Snowboarding - First Time for Everything

It was planned - we made the reservation at a ski resort to go snowboarding and have it be a momma and son date. I'm not going to pretend that this was an easy thing to do because a lot of pieces had to fall into place, like the weather, the baby and who would watch her while my son and I were out learning, and could we arrange it through the week when there wasn't school that works with my husband's schedule.
(I know I need to find a babysitter but I've avoided this since my son was born but I am now realizing it would be good to find someone that we trust and is good with both our kids.)

Learning some of the basics, like stopping. 
Our day finally arrived and we are both pumped to leave, I packed the baby's bag with extra everything and packed a duffel bag for my son and I with extra gloves, hats, snow pants, and extra socks. We finally were on our way and about 35 minutes into the one hour and a half trip, my son says his stomach is hurting, my husband thought maybe he just needed to go the bathroom. Less than 5 minutes and he said it's really bad and started to burp, I got a little excited and told my husband to pull over, pull over. We almost got there in time - ALMOST! Okay so now there's throw up on my son's shirt, pants, booster seat, car seat, and the floor. My husband pulled him out far enough for the second round but the first round was far worse than the second. At this point my husband and I were discussing that we need to forget snowboarding and go to our local MedExpress, our son, who hears everything screams, "NO, I want to go snowboarding, you said we could, I want to go!" I turned around to tell him if he's sick we will go another day but just as this was starting to come out of my mouth I noticed he had his full color back and was smiling ear to ear. It amazes me that once kids throw up their stomachs can instantly feel better.

Smiles while riding the lift. 
So then we were once again on our way but the clothes were an issue, they were wet and stinky and of course, we had driven past all the places we could have easily exited to get new ones. If we had to drive into Somerset to go to a store, we would be late but he can't wear the outfit he has on and the only store I know of that we would pass is a dollar store. You have to love smartphones because I found the number, called and asked the store associate if they had a pair of pants and a shirt in my son's size - anything will work as long as it fits. I explained he got sick and I was in need of something, I could actually hear her smile through the phone when she informed me that they had something that would work.

When we pulled into the store's parking lot, I ran in to grab the clothing and a box of crackers because I thought the little guy might need something in his stomach before he physically exhausts himself outside. The store associate had a smile on her face as she totaled up my purchases and offered me the best of luck for the rest of the day. Yes, we all needed it. I did fail to mention that our baby girl only slept a little on our trip and screamed the majority of the drive, which is normal but added a little more stress.

Little snowboarder - stopping for me to
take a picture with the sun in his eyes. 
We arrived at the resort and checked in with the rental equipment office where they gave us instructions on what to get and guided us to the boot rental station. As we were waiting on the guy to get our boots I told my son he needed to get his snow pants on and all of the other layers so he'd be ready for the boots. He and I both struggled to get into the boots, keep in mind that the baby is screaming for me to hold her instead of her daddy but I needed both hands to get dressed and squeeze into the frustrating boots. Try if you can to picture it, everyone is a little frayed from the trip and the baby won't stop screaming, and we are desperately trying to get dressed - fast. We awkwardly walk in the boots over to get the board rental station, the nice, polite girl brings out skis. I mention that we were going to snowboard. "Oh, well you have the wrong boots," she says. Back to the boots area to get the right ones. Did I mention that because the baby was so mad, she now needs changed again? After we finally got the right boots and the boards I realized I had never been so happy to get out in the freezing weather. My son loves the cold weather so I knew he'd be more relaxed outside than inside.

My son asked if we could try to snowboard while we waited on our instructor, we purchased an hour session for both of us to learn. Sure, let's try it - scooting and sliding around on a relatively flat surface. He was more confident than I was, but he has a much shorter distance to fall than I do, right?!

Our instructor walked over and asked if we were ready, he also asked me if I wanted to learn or if I wanted my son to learn because we couldn't both learn at the same time. Obviously different teaching instructions. There was no doubt that I wanted my son to learn, but I wanted to learn too, I thought that's what I purchased; but we could deal with that later because this was all about the little guy. For an hour, he listened, tried to do whatever the instructor told him, and gave it his best. He was smiling, laughing, and now and then throwing a snow ball at me. He loved it and did amazingly well for his first time. He finished and we went inside to find the baby sister and dad to get some lunch.

Baby and Daddy
(baby girl refusing to look at the camera)
He told my husband how they played 'red light, green light' down the mountain so he could learn to stop and start and how much he liked boarding. My husband asked me why I didn't learn and I explained the situation at the beginning. After lunch as I went into the corner of the bathroom to nurse the baby girl my husband went to the rental place to talk to the instructors and explain that we wanted to both learn. He worked it out that I would also get a lesson after the lunch hour. Please keep in mind that he had a screaming little girl that wanted her momma to hold her for the past hour and he managed to stay pretty calm, cool, and collected.

My son watched my lesson and was anxious to get back out there, so as soon as I was finished he wanted to go back to the top of the mountain. We made a couple more trips, digging in his heels and toes to play the 'red light, green light' game. After those couple trips he was pretty exhausted so we called it an extremely successful day.

And a special thanks to daddy because he took a day off work to watch the screaming little one while my son and I got to have fun. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How Our Day Started

This morning I woke up and thought I heard our front door close, which immediately led me to believe that either I was dreaming and didn't really hear it or my husband got home early from his shift. So I remained still and listened because if someone was moving downstairs or coming upstairs I would certainly know. Well no movement inside the house, I rolled over to look at the clock and it was 6:10 a.m., my alarm would go off in five minutes so I thought I'll just lay here for a couple minutes before I get up to brush my teeth.

Those five minutes went rather quickly and after the alarm I went in the bathroom to brush my teeth. For some reason I thought I should check our son's room to make sure he wasn't up. I didn't figure he was because as soon as he wakes up, if I'm not up, he gets me up. ALWAYS! 

Why would today be any different?!? Here's why I had an extra feeling to check, yesterday when I picked him up at school a friend came out with him and they were laughing about how they were going to break out at midnight and meet up. Then they were going to order pizza. They were laughing hysterically, which caused the friend's mom and I to laugh and think it was funny, yes two 5-year olds breaking out to order pizza. My son joked, or so I thought, about it last night a couple of hours before he went to bed. 

Later this morning I had
him go back outside.
The last thing I thought about
at 6:15 a.m. was to get the camera,
but this is what I saw.
Back to this morning...I walk over to check to make sure he's still asleep and I find the light on, an empty bed, and a glow downstairs coming through the door. I raced down the steps to open the door and what do I find you ask…a little boy in pajamas, a coat and winter hat on, with a phone, flashlight, and pizza menu in his hand. The first question was of course, "What are you doing? It's cold! And oh my gosh, get in here!" 

He went to the porch to call and order pizza while waiting for his friend because he figured he couldn't get to the school because he doesn't know how to drive. He tried to call the pizza number to order but he couldn't get anyone to pick up and told me he wasn't sure if he dialed the numbers in order.


Baby girl decided she wanted
to call for pizza too. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Make Your Own Taco Seasoning

I've read and heard how bad prepackaged taco seasoning is for you, I believe it was something about the sodium and extra ingredients that didn't need to be in there. Honestly I didn't pay that much attention because I wasn't that fond of the packaged stuff. I do love tacos and I just wouldn't include the seasoning; however, my husband isn't crazy about tacos. Once in a while is fine for him, where as I could eat them at least once a week. There's no Taco Tuesday or Taco Thursday at our house. But I was in the mood for chicken tacos and knowing my husband definitely wouldn't eat them unless he had some kind of taco seasoning, I decided to make my own. I of course searched for a recipe online and came across and found her amazing recipe. I changed just a little to fit our family because I put cayenne in everything I can. :) 

Homemade Taco Seasoning - adapted from

1 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp black pepper

In small bowl, mix all ingredients and store in airtight container. (Or use right away like me.)

If you do make this, I'd be shocked if you ever wanted to go back to the prepackaged because this is fantastic. 

Now for our chicken - I cooked the chicken with the seasoning and a jar of salsa until I could easily shred with two forks. My son highly recommended instantly, even with the spiciness! 

Seafood Paella for Dinner

When I tell everyone in my family that we are going to try a new recipe for dinner all I see are cringes and I hear sighs. Now and then I get a suggestion of having something else entirely but yesterday I wasn't budging. I wanted to try seafood paella my own way with some leftover ingredients I needed to use. I also tried to feed them heavily at lunch in case dinner wasn't a hit, because let's face it, not every new recipe that I've tried is one we want to keep. I also found a recipe from that used a slow cooker and thought okay let's try it. If you know me, you know I dread a slow cooker, while it may be convenient, I usually despise mine. I think most things made in it are mediocre at best, but I knew I would want to cook the paella a long time to get the flavors to mix. 

Surprisingly this was a complete hit with my family and will be put on our list of dinners we really like. 

Seafood Paella


3/4 c. chopped assorted colored peppers (red, orange, yellow)
1/2 c. chopped red onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. seafood or chicken stock
1/2 c. uncooked brown rice
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (more for my family)
2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4. tsp. ground turmeric
12 oz. fresh or frozen shrimp 
12 oz. tilapia, cut into large bite size pieces
1/2 c. frozen peas

Make It

1. Coat slow cooker with cooking spray; add peppers, onion, and garlic. Combine the broth, rice, cayenne, crushed red pepper, and turmeric. Pour over vegetables in cooker. 

2. Cover, cook on low-heat for 4 hours. Stir in shrimp, tilapia, and peas. Cover, cook an additional 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cooker from liner, let stand for 5 minutes. 

Try it and let me know what you think!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Sweetest Boys

Today my husband and little boy surprised me (and the baby girl) while grocery shopping with a flower. They went to a different store to purchase, drove to our grocery store, and then found us in an aisle. It was so sweet and unexpected that my eyes welled up instantly with tears. Both boys looked at me like 'uh oh' she's going to cry, luckily they didn't stream down my cheeks. 

It was just incredibly special that I had to talk a little about it. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Breastfeeding…Such a Hot Topic

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and is valid as long as it coincides with mine, smile, I'm only kidding. Breastfeeding is such a hot topic and also a hot button issue - first should a mom nurse or formula feed or maybe a combination of the two and secondly is it okay for a mom to nurse in public with or without a cover up. I just finished reading the USA Today article - Breast-feeding is on the rise, but in church it's still an issue and thought I'd share a little of what I think.

First, not everyone wants or can nurse their child so breastfeeding shouldn't be forced on anyone, and no one should feel bad about the choice they make for their child. Personally, I have nursed both of my children, my son until about 8 months old and because I had pumped on the side he was able to have breast milk from 8 months to 12 months based on what I had in the freezer. My daughter is 7 months old and I'm still exclusively nursing, neither child has needed formula as a supplement.

Am I a pro? Absolutely, positively NO! I can't nurse in public unless I have a separate space altogether. If I'm at an extended family function, like Christmas, I still want to be in a separate room. Sometimes if I think someone could walk in, that's not my husband or son, I still cover up. Keep in mind because I generally nurse at home, I don't wear a cover, so then when I try to, my daughter is more worried about the cover than eating. Overall it's my own personal uncomfortableness. If I have anxiety about the public feeding, then my let down doesn't come easy for my daughter and nursing becomes very difficult.

I don't think most people are quite on my level of being uncomfortable but I know several moms who prefer seclusion while nursing. I also know several moms that are completely comfortable to nurse in public but are very discreet. When I read opinions of people that think nursing in public, like a church, is wrong and moms should be covered, I'm not sure why people are so up in arms over this. I guess maybe I've never seen a non-discreet nursing session. With that said, if moms are nursing their children, I really doubt that they are trying to show off, it's a natural thing. I don't care to see another woman nursing their child, so I keep my eyes up or away. It doesn't bother me in the slightest, maybe that's because I'm a nursing mom or again haven't seen a non-discreet session. Sometimes my husband teases me because I can be oblivious to things and maybe that's my reason.

Everyone is different.

If nursing in public does upset you…what is your reason? I'm interested to know why it upsets you and have you explain.

One thing I didn't address earlier was the age of the baby. If you are against nursing in public, does the age of the baby make your opinion stronger?

(The reason I ask this, I realized that in writing this post, I had automatically referred to a newborn through one year of age, because that's my plan to nurse my daughter.)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Gift of Being Together

I don't think most kids would say the gift of being together was their favorite Christmas gift, most would choose a material gift, and as a child I would have too. Because like my son, I was always with my family on Christmas so I was able to take that for granted. For the first time in a long time, my husband was able to take time off over the holidays and be home with us. Things weren't rushed over the two days at Christmas or the New Years Eve party we had - just the four of us (with midnight being 8:30 pm for our five year old). We relaxed, we visited extended family, and just enjoyed being together and playing with the toys and gifts we received. 

Now for the material favorites...
because our son definitely picked his!

The forest jail was definitely the favorite.
A close second was the snowboarding ticket.

A favorite outfit - Daddy's Princes.

A mirror! Need I say more?

A favorite of Momma's.

Dad received a pipe - I guess this might be a new hobby.
Honestly I wasn't in love with this idea but it fits him.
He'll end up starting the new trend! (1/2/13)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Cookies for Christmas

Each year I make a lot of Christmas cookies, partly because I love to bake and this time of year gives me an excuse to bake a lot. Usually I do gingerbread and sugar cookies but my husband isn't crazy about gingerbread so I thought I'd make a double batch of the sugar cookies. Plus make chocolate chip because my son was begging, oatmeal - mainly because I like plain oatmeal cookies, and then oatmeal with cranberries. Well I went completely overboard. 11 dozen sugar cookies, 2 dozen chocolate chip, 2 dozen oatmeal, and about 1 dozen oatmeal with cranberries.