Apr 30, 2011

Random thoughts

Well, I am slowly but surely digging my out way of the boxdom that follows moves. It is a little worse here because this place is quite a bit smaller than our previous house and it has not basement. I am looking at that as a challenge in simplifying our life (since that was our goal anyway).

I am still amazed at how well the baby girls are doing together. They just sleep so well in the room together and I love to hear them in the mornings. When Princess Magpie wakes up, she spends her time entertaining her sister until I come to get her out of the crib. This morning, I walked by on the way down the hall and opened the door to let Princess Magpie out planning on getting Princess Snifflefritz in a couple of minutes when I came back. Sweet Princess Magpie wouldn't leave her sisters side until I came back because she didn't want her crying.

Princess Belle is loving having her own room, but it doesn't escape my notice that more often than not, I will find her in the room with her sisters, playing and enjoying them.

Apr 29, 2011

Men and Women

Its funny how different men and women are when it comes to being sick. I have a never-ending cold that has gotten into my lungs and is making difficult to breath. Today I also woke up with a headache (probably from coughing so much). So, I decided to take it a bit easy in my unpacking endeavors today. Now to Prince Charming, taking it easy when he is feeling as I am would be staying in bed and not moving until he felt better. To me taking it easy involved slowing down in my stuff to do so I:
  • unpacked some boxes
  • hung some pics on the wall
  • loaded up the van and dropped some large toys and baby things off to goodwill.
  • cooking all the meals for the day
  • getting up early with the kids
  • rearranging the toddlers room to make is more difficult for Princess Magpie to climb into Princess Snifflefritz's crib with her
I worked slowly, puttering around and getting things done, sitting down and taking a break when I needed to. But it made me laugh to think how different my version of taking it easy is compared to any man I know.

Apr 28, 2011

Moving sucks and other more positive thoughts.

While being back in town is awesome, moving truly does suck. We had a relative meed 0ur movers at the new house while we were still on the road to the new place. Our relative unlocked the door and left. The movers dumped everything in the middle of the rooms and left. The boxes were labelled and it would have been easy to at least pile them against the walls so that we could move, but nope, everything in the middle of the rooms. We got here at 12:30 at night and had to spend 2 more hours clearing out enough space to put up bed and cribs for the girls to sleep in. The drive was scary. We kept going through storms so bad that I couldn't see past the bumper of my car. I thought moving this time of year would have avoided that but, nope it doesn't. And now I am spending my days digging through the rubble of this disaster zone doing emergency recon to try to find the most important things.

There are some things on the up side though:
  • I labeled the boxes very clearly so it makes finding things easier.
  • The more I unpack, the more I like our house. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my kitchen.
  • The house is a LOT smaller, but I find I am willing to downsize our belongings to make it fit the house.
  • One tv broke but we were able to replace it with a better one for $15.
  • I am now finished (or mostly so) unpacking the kitchen. It makes me so happy to go in there.
  • I have a rocking pantry that I love.
  • While our van sputtered and kicked the whole way here, she got us here through the storm in one piece, and we are very grateful.

Apr 26, 2011

I'm Back!

It took a couple of days to get the computer set up, but I am back now. I have some pics and things to share later but for now I will say that the move went okay. I am glad to be at this end of it and unpacking and settling in. The house is considerably smaller than my previous home, but it is cute and has a really big kitchen that I really like. I can see me doing it up nicely.

The two babies are sleeping in the same room now and the transition went super-well. I am so amazed at how they entertain themselves. It is cute to hear them. Well aside from tonight when I heard extra giggling and went in to find Princess Magpie completely nekkid jumping up and down in the crib with her baby sister. She looked at me when I walked in, held up her arms, and said, "I stuck". Like some evil person had put her in there and she was so grateful that I had rescued her (and not that she had pushed furniture together, climbed in and been having a blast). When I got her out, she looked down at herself and said, "You have pants?" Like she noticed that the evil villain who had trapped her in the crib had also stolen her pants (and the rest of her clothes) when she wasn't looking. But I got her dressed, put her back to bed, gave them both a drink and they went back to bed quietly. So sweet and funny, my girls.

Here are some pics from our Easter:

Apr 21, 2011

On the Road

Today is the big day. Today we leave and go to our new home. Wish us luck!

Apr 19, 2011

IF LOST call . . . .

If you don't hear from me for a few days, remember to check in the boxes to make sure I haven't packed myself into one. I am so exhausted from packing and lugging and making arrangements. I will be so glad when this move is done!

Apr 18, 2011

The one where I gush about my girls

As the days run quickly into one another and the big move races towards me, I find myself noticing my girls more. I spend time amidst the boxes watching as they giggle and dance together. They fill me with such joy as I can't even express.

I walk into Princess Snifflefritz's room and she grins at me from her crib and says, "Hi Mum!" She can only say about 1/2 dozen words and yet she can greet me with those and a smile and melt me into a puddle.

I love to hear Princess Magpie in her toddler voice calling out to her baby sister to follow her down the hall to her room and laughing hysterically as she closes them into her room to play in secret away from grown up eyes.

I love to see them dancing to music, falling over their feet, full of enthusiasm, all of them singing, Princess Belle occasionally mixing up the words, Princess Magpie doing her own renditions most of the time and Princess Snifflefritz just clapping along enthusiastically and falling over laughing as she tries to dance with them.

These girls are my life, they are the sunshine in my days and the sound of their laughter is the soundtrack to my life. They make me happy.

Apr 17, 2011

The countdown is on

Our move in on Thursday and there is still so much I have to do. I am plodding along doing everything I can. I can't wait until next week this time when I will have this whole thing behind me and will even have had a couple of days to settle in. I don't know why this is so stressful for me this time.

Princess Magpie made two big steps week. She started sleeping in her big girl bed and she gave up sleeping with her Fuzzy (her lovey on the floor by her feet in this pic). She couldn't find her Fuzzy one night and managed to go to sleep without it. I am so proud of her.

Apr 16, 2011

Saturday PhotoHunt: Road

The theme this week is Road. Since our move is on Thursday, my mind is filled with our preparations to get on the ROAD again and worries that we won't get everything done on time. So, my pic this week is of Princess Snifflefritz "helping" me pack to get on the ROAD.

Okay, just to be fair, I will include a picture that actually includes a road. My two older girls dressed up and looking out the window at the road last year.

Apr 15, 2011

Friday Five - My Mom

I was thinking today how much like my mother I have grown to be lately. I feel like I have picked the best parts of my mom and incorporated them into my personality. It is too bad that she can't see beyond certain things to see how much like her I have become. I think if she could open her eyes and really see me, she would be proud of the mother, wife and woman I have become. I am like her in so many ways. Here are five:
  1. I like to dress nice, moving more towards skirts and dresses than pants and jeans as I used to wear.
  2. I like to cook for my family. I take joy in it.
  3. I make our family bread, take care of our house, care for my children, much like she did.
  4. I even carry the same kind of purse she that she always did.
  5. I have her sensitive soul and her propensity for worry as well.
I find it sad that she doesn't really know me anymore. She has never seen her two youngest grandchildren in person. That we talk only occasionally on the phone and even those conversations are strained.

Here is a pic of my mom and dad, truly the kindest people that you would ever know.

Apr 14, 2011

Moving Thoughts

Sorry my posts have been brief the last couple of days. I have been busy busy preparing for our move next week. I have to admit, I am nervous. I don't know why, but I am terrified that something is going to go wrong, that we won't be prepared. Moving is so stressful and this house we are in now is no longer available, so if things fall through for some crazy unknown reason, we can't stay here. There is no reason for things to fall through, it makes no sense to feel like they will, but I am scared anyway. You would think that someone who has moved over 40 times like I have would be used to it by now. But nope, not me.

I have been packing and getting things done and tomorrow I am packing up my breadmaking supplies. For the next week, we will have to live with what bread we have and store-bought bread.

When I was packing up the baby's room I found a box of clothes belonged to me. There were things in there that I have been searching up and down for. I have no idea why they were in there, but I was glad to find them.

One thing I am glad about is that the girls have been better, Princess Magpie has been more pleasant and done less yelling. All the girls have been sleeping better. It is easier to handle everything when I am at least rested.

Apr 12, 2011

Scrapbook Layout

I did this scrapbook layout. I like the pics and the sentiment, but I think when I have more time, I will do a better layout for it.

Apr 11, 2011

Bad Mommy - No Cookie

I am working with 2 1/2 year old Princess Magpie. She has this awful habit of screaming for what she wants, or screaming when she doesn't get it. And I have to admit that until recently with her baby sister napping a lot, we were in survival mode and would just scramble to figure out what she wanted and get it to her so that she would stop screaming and not wake up her sleeping sister. And she would scream in frustration if we wouldn't figure it out.

I know that this was wrong. She learned that screaming got her what she wanted. So now, I am working to reverse this habit. She is a smart cookie though. It has only take a couple of times of me waiting for her to use words for her to start using her words more. It will take time for her to completely get it and it is frustrating for her because she is only 2 1/2 and she doesn't always have all the words she needs to get her point across. But as her mommy, I can usually translate, point to what she is trying to express and say the word. When she isn't allowed to have what she wants, I say so in words and then move on. It is difficult but I am determined that this has to change. She is such a sweet, loving girl, and I want the world to see that, not her screaming.

Edited to add: the only good part of surviving this phase is seeing her excitement at being understood. Seeing her glory in getting her point across.

Supper tonight is a Ragu type pasta I came up with:

Ragu Bolognese-Style Pasta


* Salt and pepper
* 1 pound Penne
* 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* 1 1/2 pounds beef or pork chopped into cubes
* 2 onion, finely chopped
* 2 to 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
*onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, seasoning salt, oregano to taste
* 1/4 cup tomato paste
* 1 cup white wine
* 2 cups beef stock
* Freshly grated cheddar cheese

Yields: Serves 4 to 6

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente.
  2. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the beef and brown well. Brown in batches if you have to. Add the onion, garlic, and cook until tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute, then stir in the wine for 1 minute. Stir in the stock and simmer 1/2 hour or longer.
  3. Toss the pasta with the meat sauce and arrange in a casserole. Top with a layer of cheese and broil in the oven to melt the cheese. (I stir one cup of cheese through the pasta, sprinkle the rest over the top and then just cover with a lid and let the steam from the pasta melt it.)

Apr 10, 2011

Sunday Sum-up

  1. I am getting my packing done little by little. It is a long process but I am taking step by step and seeing progress.
  2. After the move, I am putting 16 month old Princess Snifflefritz in the same room as 2 1/2 year old Princess Magpie. I am a little nervous about the change, but I am hopeful too.
  3. The girls have been doing a little better at night. I have been managing to get enough sleep to get by and be productive.
  4. I have been finding it surprisingly easy to keep up with making fresh bread for us. I can't remember the last loaf of bread I bought. My next experiment is to try to make homemade tortillas but I will probaby wait until after the move for that one.
  5. My girls were actually really good today. It was a wonderful day of well-rested, less sick, happy girls. It was wonderful.
  6. I am for the first time in years (really!!!) able to keep up on my laundry. It really helped to narrow down the amount of clothes the girls have. They have very cute, nice clothes that I am able to keep clean. Princess Belle used to be the proud owner of three full dressers of clothes!!! And they didn't all fit in there. And she loved to wear 6 or 7 outfits in one day and then send them down to get washed. It was crazy!

Apr 9, 2011

Apr 8, 2011

Friday Five

  1. I can't wait until the snow goes away and I can take my girls to the park. I can't wait to set them free running in the open grass and then set me free with a camera capturing the glorious freedom of summer.
  2. I am slowly getting things done for the move. It is stressful beyond belief and doing it with sick babies is horrible.
  3. At this moment, I am making bread, making muffins, and making coffee. I am NOT however packing. I should be and I will be, but I am TIRED.
  4. I will be so glad when this move is over. I can't wait to get to town. There are so many things I am looking forward to.
  5. This will be the first time I lived in St. John's with my own vehicle. The freedom is going to be amazing!!!!

Mexi-style Hash Brown Casserole

2 pounds lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pkg mushrooms (optional)
2 cloves garlic
chili powder to taste
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
onion powder to taste
2 cans condensed Cheddar cheese soup
1/4 cup sour cream
1 package Hash Browns (I used a little less than one full pack)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. Combine the ground beef, mushrooms, garlic and onion in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until beef is no longer pink, and the onion is translucent. Drain off excess grease, and add seasonings.
3. Return to the heat, and stir in the cheese soups, until well blended. Heat through, and remove from stove and stir in sour cream. Transfer the mixture to a 9x13 inch baking dish. Combine ground beef mixture with a layer of Hash Browns.
4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven. When the fries are golden brown, remove the casserole from the oven, and sprinkle cheese over the top. Return to the oven, and bake just until cheese has melted.

Apr 7, 2011

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen things I should be doing right now:
  1. packing up my linen closet
  2. getting more boxes
  3. vacuuming the carpet
  4. folding laundry
  5. loving on my sick girls
  6. getting more boxes
  7. figuring out what I am making for supper
  8. calling my mother back
  9. cleaning up my girls room (AGAIN!)
  10. bringing back my library books
  11. making out a weekly menu for up until we move
  12. packing my bedroom
  13. packing my bathroom

Apr 5, 2011

Tuesday Talk

I am a little stressed today. We have been busy making arrangements for our move. Movers are arranged and a house is arranged. I have been busy packing and making calls. Moving is so stressful. And given that my girls are sick and aren't letting me sleep, I am having difficulties keeping my head together. Let's hope tonight I get enough sleep and that tomorrow I get even more answers in regards to our move.

Tonight's supper was a slow cooked ragout with penne pasta. It wasn't bad but it needs a little work before I am completely happy with it.

Apr 4, 2011

Thoughts on my idiosyncrasies

I realized something about myself today. I don't look people that I am not comfortable with in the face. I had been out running around and I had some difficulty climbing over a snow bank to get to my van. As I struggled a family of three were getting out of their car and the man helped me out.

As I drove away, I thought about it and I realized that I had no idea what any of them looked like. I had not seen one of them above the shoulders. I smiled and I thanked them, but I was speaking to their feet. I could have turned around and three other people could have taken their place and I wouldn't have known the difference. I had no idea of age, race, or anything other than gender and that because I heard their voices.

I thought about it further and realized that I don't recall seeing anyone's face other than the people at the cash register (their job gives me a level of comfort). Thinking back on my life, I realize that I have always been that way. There are so many people who I have experiences with, whom I have dealt with in an in depth manner that I don't look at. And as a result when they see me later on the street, they recognize me, but I don't recognize them. I never looked at their faces.

I have always known that I have a very strong personal space barrier. I am very uncomfortable with being crowded by anyone, with any people being in my personal space and especially with being touched by people I am not completely comfortable with.

Apr 3, 2011

Good News!

I am really excited to know that we have a place lined up to move into. That is one major hurdle in this move arranged. Now that we have that done, we can set about arranging the actual move. It is a nice place, in a great location. There were bigger houses available, but I figured I would rather have one that is big enough and have the extra money left to get things for it. I won't have a classroom in this new house, but I don't mind. The world is our classroom and mother nature is the best teacher. I am glad to be moving in the spring. I LOVE St. John's in the summer. I am so excited to be getting a chance to enjoy the summer fun and for Prince Charming to start his new job.

Poor Princess Magpie has the flu now. She is so pitiful sleeping on the loveseat.

I am taking a break from packing and at this moment, I have bread rising on the counter, old fashioned, slow cooking chili con carne on the stove and bread pudding in the fridge ready to cook (and all this on a day when my girls kept me up all night). I just love having yummy homemade food for my family. It makes me feel good.

Bread Pudding

10 slices white bread, cut into cubes (I used most of a loaf of whole wheat bread)
1/4 cup margarine, melted (I used vegetable oil)
1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
8 eggs
1 cup white sugar
4 cups hot milk
1 pinch ground nutmeg

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F
2. In a large bowl, combine bread cubes, melted margarine, and raisins; mix well, and transfer to a 2 quart baking dish.
3. Use the same bowl to beat the eggs. Stir in sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon until sugar is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the hot milk. Pour egg mixture over bread cubes, sprinkle with nutmeg, and set aside to soak for 5 minutes. (I let sit overnight in the fridge and cooked in the morning for breakfast)
4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Glaze for Bread pudding

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 1/2 TBSP milk
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter

1. Melt the butter and add to rest of ingredients. Mix until creamy.

Apr 2, 2011

Saturday PhotoHunt: Closed

The theme this week is closed. I immediately thought of one of my favorite kinds of closed pics, closed eyes. Here are some closed eyes that make me smile.