Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

We set off to First Night Dover to ring in 2008...but we didn't quite make it. The kids tuckered out at about 10:30. But, it was still lots of fun! First Night Dover is an alcohol free celebration. Many downtown businesses and churches open their doors to host various entertainers. It's a great time...and the entertainment is always top notch. I always find it particularly amusing that several banks are used as venues. It just seems strange to me to have a bunch of people packed into a bank listening to a band!

This was our first First Night since we've had children. Jeff and I had gone a few times over the years pre-kids, but it's been a long time for us. We were both amazed and how much it seems to have grown since we've been to one. Although we didn't see a lot of the entertainment, we were very impressed with what we did see. Most notably was a guy names Dan Dunn who did a show called Paint Jam. It sounded pretty silly to me, but word on the street was that it was amazing. So, after watching Jessie & James' Nuts over Mutts, we stuck around for the "Paint Guy." This was mostly because it was warm and did not require walking.

Immediately upon taking the stage, this guy was entertaining. He was dressed all in black--and covered in paint sploshes. The lights lowered....and the music "jammed" He grabbed a few paint brushes and kinda just started throwing paint around in what appeared to be total randomness and chaos. We sat there just watching. Jeff leaned over at one point and asked, "What is it?" I shrugged my shoulders and said, "...I don't know...uh...a fish? A plane." Within maybe ten seconds of that exchange, the guy spun the canvas around. And there we were....Face to face with The King. Amazing...We were "All Shook Up." It was AMAZING!

So, here is a video of another painting this guy did. Be sure to watch the WHOLE thing...You can check out his website by clicking here Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Hills are Alive with...A Spoonful of Sugar?

Tonight, ABC aired The Sound of Music. Because Jecilyn and Treavor seem to enjoy music so much, Jeff and and I put it on for them. Jecilyn was a little upset at first, but once she heard the music she was hooked. As Julie Andrews danced across the screen, I asked her, "Do you know who that lady is?" At first, she said "No." Then...she watched for a few moments and said...."Oh! Yes! It's Mary Poppins. She is Mary Poppins from the movie." I tell you...this child NEVER ceases to amaze me with her perceptiveness! In Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews had long dark hair. In The Sound of Music, it's short and blonde. I'm not quite sure HOW Jecilyn made the connection...but she did. And, it seems we will be adding The Sound of Music to our collection of DVDs!

Who Lives In A Pineapple Under the Sea?

SPONGE BOB SQUARE PANTS!!!! As Jecilyn will tell you, I do not like Sponge Bob Square Pants. Maybe it's just me...but I find it inappropriate. Sure, he's cute...but I find the humor too grown up for young children. Furthermore, I see too many sexual innuendos in the graphics...but maybe I'm just a whacko...(Ok, I am...but I'm not sure that THIS is what makes me one!)...Anyway, there is a point here....

My friend Scott (who we all call Daddy) was on a mission to find size 12 bikini panties for his grand daughter Danika. He enlisted my help. We searched all the local stores. We found exactly one pair that was a size 16. I bought those thinking...well, the worst that could happen is WEDGIE! Then, I found a package of women's size 5. I bought those just in case.

We scoured the internet...but to no avail. So, I got a little tricky. I bought some plain panties in her size, and some iron on transfer paper. I googgled "Sponge Bob" Images and downloaded some of the pictures I found. Of course, while I did this, Jecilyn was by my side going, "Mommy...what are you doing? You don't like Sponge Bob. You think he's gross. Why are you looking at him mommy? Can I watch Sponge Bob?..." Why can't she listen to EVERTHING I tell her!?!?!

So, I printed out the images and Scott and I ironed them on. They came out great. We just wish that we'd have had more plain white pairs. We did front pictures and back pictures on some. So cute!

I'm sure we violated some copyright laws....Oh well...then it shouldn't be so easy to do, right!!?!? The kid wanted them...and we couldn't find them! Resourcefullness counts for something! I hear she really liked them! And, No wedgies! Here are the pictures! To hear the theme song, click here.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Fun Food Friday--March of the Penguins

I know I've done this one before...but it's just so darn cute! I made these for Jecilyn's School Christmas Party. All the kids loved them--as did the staff. However, most of the eggs ended up rolling on the floor....Oh well!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Treavor's First Haircut!

We got Treavor's Haircut a few weeks ago--December 15th. I finally convinced Jeff that it was time. It's funny, from what I understand, it's usually Dads that want their son's hair cut...and moms who want to wait. That did not happen here. I kept saying the boy needs a hair cut! Jeff kept telling me he didn't...but he finally caved. We took him...and now that we see the before pictures, he agrees! It needed a trim!

Treavor did great. We went to the Hair Cuttery in Dover. Paige cut his hair. She was really good with him. It took her about 45 minutes to cut his hair...and he went through about 5 Lollipops. Now, I'm not generally the type of mom that bribes with candy....but desperate times call for desperate measures.

We arrived at the store with camera in hand. However, when I turned it on, I realized the battery was nearly drained. So, I sent Jeff home to grab the charger. I stayed in the store with the kids. Note to self: Hair salon on a busy Saturday afternoon is not a good place to be left alone with children. They began throwing products off the shelves. Jecilyn wasn't so bad. She just wanted to play with the "Nake up." Treavor was throwing bottles of shampoo, hairspray, conditioner, etc all around. He'd knock over a display. I'd try to recover it and then CRASH! Something else would go down. And, then of course, I have Jecilyn trying to be the big sister and yelling at her brother and standing in his way which results in VERY LOUD VERY HIGH pitched screaming. So much fun!

As if I wasn't already embarrassed enough, there was an elderly lady with a thick German accident getting her hair colored. She said in one of those loud whispers that only drunks and old people do--you know the one I mean....Where they THINK they are whispering...but everyone with in a 30 ft radius can hear them--"Well, those children are completely out of control. She does not have control over them at all does she? What is wrong with her?" That was fun....really fun.

So, when Treavor started screaming, I was all too happy to shove a lollipop, or two or five in his mouth!!!! Here are some pictures of the hair cut!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Why Don't You Ever Do Anything Around the House?

Jeff often asks what the $%** it is that I do all day. I try to explain to him that all I do is watch the children, prepare all their meals from scratch, chauffer them around, and then, when that is all done, I go to work. I generally get up at 5 a.m. and get home about 10:30 p.m. IT's usually about midnight before I get to bed. On a good night, I am home by 8 p.m. I don't know why it is that I don't really seem to get much done around the house. Jeff gets upset with me because I get so behind on the laundry and dishes during the week. He feels that he spends the weekends catching up on all I haven't done during the week. As much as I hate to admit it, he is right. I am a horrible house keeper. But, I do feel I have an excuse. My kids do not appreciate it when Mommy does not give them 110% of her undivided attention. They grow little horns and tails when I am trying to do something else. About two weeks ago, Jeff was home from work. He was outside trying to hang Christmas lights. I had the kids inside, and I decided to try and get through the mound of laundry.

I went in the laundry room and started the washer. I threw a few things in the washer, and then went upstairs to gather some more clothes. I came back downstairs, and put the clothes in the washer. And, this is what was waiting for me when I returned to the room where my little angels were playing....

Merry Christmas!

Here's a little something worth a watch! We're busy opening gifts and trying out all the new gadgets! Hope to have some time to upload pictures of our day later! Have a blessed day!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wheat Free Wednesday

Finally! Here are the pictures from Thanksgiving! There were only a few things that weren't "Treavor Safe! They are clearly labelled!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I'm From Delaware

So, this guy named Todd Chappelle wrote this very funny song about Delaware. I love it. Someone did a video on You Tube....I think it's great. So, here it is! Enjoy. Although, for those of you non-Delawareans...well, it's probably not so funny. I think you need to have lived here....but, you tell me!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Go Elf Yourself

My friend sent me this very cool and fun link to this site which is sponsored by Office Max. Click here to watch! Very Funny! And, you can do it yourself! Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 7, 2007

At Last...Introducing Stella Blu Victoria!

I know...I know...I'm the worst aunt ever because it's taken me so long to get these pictures up! I'm sorry Little Princess! Isn't she adorable!!?!? I think Chris and Rhonda took her to get some Christmas pictures done last week! I can't wait for those! I'll post them as soon as I get them!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Where does she get this stuff?

Yesterday at 6:00 a.m., we were forced to make a Safeway run. Daddy used the last drop of milk while I was at work on Monday and did not tell me. Treavor woke up at 5:00 a.m. He wanted a "ba ba." I had nothing to give him....I even tried breastfeeding...which haven't done since no avail. The kid wanted it. We left before 6, and it was still dark. It took some convincing, but I finally convinced Jecilyn that it was ok to go in her jammies because it was still dark outside. She looked at me like a was a complete idiot and said, "Uh, yeah, but it won't be when we get done at the store." She was right....But I was desperate. I convinced her that it would be ok. so, we were off.

As we were driving down the road, she says, "Mommy...what's that smell? It smells like airplane." We were behind a school bus. She smelled the exhaust. And, it did smell like an airplane....

Crazy kid!

Wheat Free Wednesday

I'm a little late, but better late than never I suppose. Thanksgiving was my biggest challenge yet as far as making things safe for Treavor's allergies. I decided that everything I made that day would be "Treavor Safe."

It's funny. Jeff and I have made Thanksgiving Dinner probably 8 times over the years. For the last five years or so, Jeff has fried a turkey. Usually mid October we have a conversation that goes a little something like this:

Jeff: What do you want to do for Thanksgiving this year?

Me: I think we should just go out somewhere. It's cheaper, faster, and much less work.

Jeff: Oh...But I like making dinner.

Me: It's a lot of work. it seems silly when it's just us. I don't want to go through all that crap. Let's just go out.

Jeff: But I want to make the turkey.

(At this point I am forced to wonder the point of this conversation which started 'What do YOU want to do for Thanksgiving?" Clearly it should have been, "This is what I want to do for Thanksgiving"....but I digress...)

Me: It's a pain in the ass. I don't want to.

Jeff: But, I'll cook. You don't have to do anything.

(Now, you'd think after falling into this trap for eight years, I'd learn....but I didn't)

And so the big day arrives. Jeff gets the turkey ready. He makes mashed potatoes. Then he makes enough hors d'oeuvres to feed an army. Then he goes out and heats up the oil. And he stands there and watches it. Then he puts the turkey in the oil. He stands there and watches it. He will make the occasional appearance in the kitchen to say how cold it is out there. (Duh! This ain't the south! That's why use OVENS! (Although, technically, I guess it is The South...we are south of the Mason Dixon Line!) He also empties his bladder of the beer that he is drinking while he's cooking--I mean watching--the turkey.

Meanwhile, I'm in the house doing "nothing." By nothing, I mean, making sweet potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, corn, cranberry sauce and rolls. Now, I've always complained about having to do "nothing" while Jeff made the turkey. However, I've also always wondered just what the big deal was. I couldn't understand why people got so stressed out about cooking. Or, why they got up at the butt crack of dawn...This year...I GET IT!

You see, my "nothing" that I complained about consisted of:

1.)Open box of Stuffing. Follow Directions. (Which I believe are add water and butter and stir
2.)Take Green Beans out of freezer. Open can of Cream of Mushroom Soup. Follow Directions. (Which I think it add milk and poor over beans. Real tough stuff!)
3.) Open can of yams. Pour in dish. Decide I need another can. Repeat. Add butter, sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar in no specific quantities. Put in oven. Top later with marshmallows. Burn Marshmallows. Scrape off and Repeat.
4.) Take corn out of freezer. Put in bowl. Add butter and water. Put in microwave.
5.) Open can of cranberry sauce. Fight to get out of can. Slice.
6.) Open up package of rolls. Put in oven. Realize they are burning when I smell the marshmallows also burning.
7.) Open can of gravy. Heat on stove.
That's pretty much it. And, then sometimes I'd "bake" a pie. Now, that consists of, Opening Box. Place on cookie sheet and bake.....

This year, Nettie, Steph and I started cooking about 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday. We were at it until about midnight. I got up and was back at it about 7:00. We ate at about 2:00 p.m....I never sat down.

None of our "normal" thanksgiving dishes are Treavor Safe. So, we had to make everything from scratch. For the first time ever, I made my own stuffing (ok, it was a group effort between Nettie, Steph and was the whole meal). It was a cornbread stuffing. We made the cornbread using oat flour--which I ground myself! It was delicious!!! We also made a rice stuffing which we used to stuff the turkey. Also delicious!

We had all of the "traditional" Thanksgiving menu--but it was all tweaked a bit to be safe for Treavor. And, it was all wonderful!!!! We had mashed potatoes (with chicken broth and rice milk!), sweet potato casserole (with vegan "butter" and pineapple), gravy (made with cornstarch), cranberry muffins, pumpkin muffins, cranberry salad (made with fresh cranberries), fresh sauteed green beans, apple pie (with an oat crust)and carrot cake (gluten free). I took lots of pictures...which I can't upload at the moment. I will do that very soon. In the meantime, here's the cornbread stuffing recipe. I used Emily Hendrix's cornbread recipe from her book Sophie Safe Cooking. The stuffing recipe, I believe, is from Dreena Burton's book entitled Everyday Vegan. I found it online and it is credited to her.

Traditional Cornbread Stuffing
Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

Serves 8
2 1/2 pounds cornbread
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
3/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken or turkey stock

Ingredient Options: use a gluten-free cornbread or dairy-free cornbread. Use a gluten-free stock.

Cut cornbread into 1-inch cubes, place on a large baking sheet and let "stale" for several hours or overnight. Place in a large mixing bowl. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large skillet, heat butter or oil over medium low heat. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned. Stir in the thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Add mixture to cornbread and toss to blend. Slowly pour in stock and toss to moisten. Spread the stuffing in a buttered or oiled 9x15-inch baking dish. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the top is crisp and golden.

Nutrition Info
Per Serving (5.5 oz.): 290 calories (90 calories from fat), 10g total fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 3g dietary fiber, 7g protein, 44g carbohydrate, 45mg cholesterol, 1080mg sodium

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Magic Kingdom!

Before Jeff left for "The Dessert," I told Jecilyn one day that when he returned we would go to Disney World. She did not let me forger that I told her that...and she kept asking and asking. So, we had to take her. I did some research. I grumbled and grumbled over the prices! Jeff and I went there on our honeymoon in 1997. We returned on our 1st Anniversary. It was expensive then, but now, it just seemed ridiculous. I don't understand how a family can afford a Disney Vacation!

But, we HAD we HAD to take her. We flew down to Ft. Lauderdale to meet Stella Blue Victoria. We intended to drive up to Orlando and spend a day in the Magic Kingdom. We found a room at a Radisson right outside of the gate for $69 per night (Plus the taxes and a ridiculous $11 per day convenience fee!). We were set! We arrived late at night, checked into our room and went to sleep. We got up early and began our day!

The kids had a great time! I knew Jecilyn would enjoy it. However, I hadn't expected Treavor to do so. He did! He danced and laughed...and his favorite was "It's a Small World." The lines were practically non existent. And, even when there were lines, we used the Fast Pass. What a great feature! They also give Rider Switch Passes. This allowed one of us to go on the ride while one of us stayed with the kids (or Treavor if it was something Jecilyn could go on but he couldn't). Then, when the first person was done, the second could just use the pass to walk right on the ride--NO WAITING!

Disney is such a "well oiled machine." I heard someone on the monorail say, "They should just let the Disney Company run this country." I cannot help but agree. Everything in that magical place is perfect. It's amazing.

We ended up staying for three nights and two days. And, we only did the Magic Kingdom. There is so much to see! We could've spent a month! And, once we arrived, and I remembered how truly special it is there, I stopped grumbling about the cost of things! It was totally worth it! (Plus it helped a little that Jecilyn was only TWO! Hey, I didn't lie. They just assumed ;-))

Anyway, here's some pictures from our trip! A big THANK YOU to my dad for helping us out with the costs!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Me Maw!

Ok. So, I'm a day late...and a dollar short...But, I remembered! Yesterday, "Me Maw" turned 90! She is "Aunt Nettie" and "Aunt Teffie's" Grandmother and "Mom Mom Ginny's" Mother. I helped them plan a surprise party for her a few weeks ago. It was a lot of fun!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wheat Free Wednesday

Wow...Where does the time go!?!? I've been SO busy, I haven't had time to blog! I apologize. I will try to budget my time a little better.

I have been experimenting with new foods and recipes that are "Treavor Safe." I made this dish for Jeff...and he really liked did Treavor. When we were in Florida, I made a "Fiesta" for my dad, his girlfriend Paulette (WHO IS AN AMAZING COOK!), Chris, Rhonda and Jeff. They all loved it! That's always a plus!

This recipe was inspired by Emily Hendrix's Chicken Enchiladas recipe in her book Sophie Safe Cooking. You can link right to her website by clicking here.

I don't have a name for this...I'm trying to come up with something catchy....but my brain is fried....So, for now--it's just burritos. And, unlike Mrs. Hendrix, I am not a measure it out kinda cook. I just kinda throw it all together and hope for the best.....

One can spicy refried Beans (I used Amy's Organic!)
One can refried Black Beans (Again, I used Amy's Organic!)
One can corn--or frozen!
Chicken Breasts
Salsa (I used Newman's Own Medium--b/c it's gluten free!)
Corn Tortillas
Cooked white rice.

1.) Put a bit of oil in a pan and heat it. Add Chicken breasts and about a 1/4 cup of salsa. Cook chicken til done.
2.) Put chicken in food processor to chop up.
3.) Heat up the two cans of beans--in the same pot!
4.) Put the chicken, the corn and the rice in the pot with the beans.
5.) Heat oil in a small frying pan and fry corn tortillas until pliable.
6.) Fill corn tortillas with bean, rice, corn and chicken mixture.

Really simple! How do you know the right proportions? What ever looks good to you! Or, in my case...when the pot was full....I served with the Fiesta Corn Bread Recipe--and Margaritas! It was a big hit!

When I made this for my family--they added cheese and sour cream to theirs...

Try it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wheat Free Wednesday

I've been so busy with my new cookbooks that I've not had time to blog! Here's a great recipe for a Fiesta Corn Bread which I got from my book entitled Sophie Safe Cooking by Emily Hendrix. All of the recipes in this wonderful book are free of: wheat, eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish and soy. It's a great cookbook! I love it!

Fiesta Corn Bread
1 1/4 cups Corn Meal
1 1/4 cups oat flour*
*You can buy this, or just put oats in a food processor or blender and make it!
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup rice milk (or any other "milk"
4 tsp. dry onion (I didn't use this because I forgot!)
1/4 cup chopped red bell peppers
1 can chopped green chilis (4 oz)
1/2 oil
1 can creamed corn (15.5 oz)

Mix corn meal, oat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add vinegar, rice milk, onion, red pepper, green chilis, oil and creamed corn. Mix well. Pour the batter into a greased 9x9 baking dish.

Cook at 400 degrees for 55 minutes.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Feelin' Hot Hot Hot!

Yesterday Jeff went to a bar so he could watch the Patriots destroy Dallas. Liam--a die hard Dalls fan--came over to watch the game at our house. He brought his son Aidan over to play with Jecilyn. I left him in charge while I took Jeff to the bar. I took Treavor along for the ride.

When I came home...I found Jecilyn sitting in the rocking chair with Liam eating an Ice Pop. Liam told me that he thought she got some bug spray and sprayed into her mouth because she was crying that her lips were burning. She finished her ice pop, and began to cry that her mouth was still burning. I washed her face but she kept whining that it hurt. Then, she told me that she's gone over to Mom Mom Maggie's garden and picked something and her mouth was hurting. When she said that, Liam said that she had told him between her tears something about a hot carrot.

Jecilyn took me next door and showed me what she had eaten. She picked "carrot" out of Mom Mom Maggie's Garden. Problem is, Mom Mom Maggie doesn't have baby carrots in her garden. What she does have is Tabasco Peppers. My little Angel, who could exist soley on "baby carrots with dip dip" mistook the orange peppers on the bush for baby carrots. She said she picked two. A red one and an orange one. She ate the red one. She said it was good. She licked the orange one...and said it was HOT! Crazy girl!

And, these peppers are HOT! Liam tried one earlier in the summer and had to drink nearly a gallon of milk before he could speak. To see where the tabasco peppers rank in "Hotness," click here. Then, click on the part about the Scoville Scale.

And, here's a picture of what they look like.

She's fine now! And, she knows NOT to pick things out of the garden by herself!!!!

Welcome Stella Blue Victoria Castello!

My brother Chris and his wife Rhonda welcomed their little girl on Wednesday, October 10th at 8:59 a.m. She weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces. Everyone is doing well! THey must be busy...because they have yet to send pictures!!! I will post them as soon as someone sends them to me!

Rhonda had a home birth with a midwife--actually two midwives. Her sister, Tammy is a midwife and assisted her friend Tammy O. with the delivery.

Congratulations! Can't wait to meet her!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Beautiful Mom-to-Be!

My brother and sister-in-law are expecting any day now! I'm so excited! Hurry Stella!!!! Here are some gorgeous photos that they had done! I love them!

I'm back!

So, the remodel is complete--mostly. Jeff returned home late Sunday night. He was very surprised by all the changes. Jecilyn tipped him off a little on the way home. She was rambling about the new floor in the kitchen. And, then when we got home, Patriot greeted him....and Jeff wanted to know what he had all over him. Dumb dog brushed up against one of the walls as I was painting. Even with all the clues, he was still on the third step before he realized that there wasn't a carpet there anymore. He was surprised by the downstairs hall, stairwell, upstairs hall and Treavor's room. Then, we went downstairs where he FINALLY noticed the kitchen. It was priceless. And, of course, my camera battery was dead....

I'll post pictures tomorrow!!!! But for now, here's one of what Paul Edwards found when he ripped up my bathroom floor. How gross is that. I guess my toilet had been leaking for years. The floor was completely rotted underneath. How gross! The second picture is what it looked like after he cleaned it up--and what it should have looked like when he ripped up the old floor!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Taking a little break....

I've been taking a little break from blogging because I've started a major remodel of my house. What the hell was I thinking? I barely have time to sit down on a regular basis...and fool that I am, I decide to remodel. That's just STUPID....But, I've started, so now I am committed...or should be committed somewhere!

Thus far, I've ripped up the carpet in my upstairs hallway (with Dani's help--Thanks!) and steps. Nettie ripped up the carpet in Treavor's room while I was at work (Thank you!). Then I had the wood floors underneath refinished. They are gorgeous!

I used Newman's Floors. They did a great job. But, I kinda got stuck in a holiday weekend. That sucked. They started on the Thursday before Labor Day. They sanded on Thursday and Friday. They told me NOT to walk on the floor. So, I had to stay off until they returned on Tuesday. Then, they sealed it Tuesday and Wednesday. Not only could I not walk on the floor...I couldn't stay in the house. The fumes were REALLY bad. So, I packed up the kids and the dog and went to Frederica to stay with our other family. (Thanks!)

We are back at home now...but everything is still covered in dust. I haven't had time to take care of the dust because I have been so busy trying to remove the wallpaper in the kitchen. I was attempting to get it painted before Monday when Paul from Paul Edwards Carpet comes to install my new floor. I have all but given up on that goal...The new goal is just to get the wallpaper down before Monday. I'll paint after the floor goes down and before my new countertop goes down. My friends Charles and Diana from Royal Ones are taking care of the countertops. I'm still trying to work at a deal with Charles--but he's being stubborn.

Then, I have to finish removing the wallpaper in the foyer and the upstairs hall. I'm going to try to get my friend Derek to paint the stairwell for me. But, I'm going to do most of the rest of the painting myself....Unless anyone wants to volunteer!!!

Jeff is tentatively scheduled to come home home on September 28th. In my insane brain, I think I'll have it all done by then. Hell, who needs to eat or sleep!?!?! And the best part...Jeff doesn't know I'm doing ANY of it. And, since he can't access the blog, he still won't know!

I'll post some photos soon!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wheat Free Wednesday

So, I decided to go ahead and try this out. Though I am sure it is not helpful to those that currently read my blog, perhaps it will draw other readers. If nothing else, perhaps it will motivate me to try new recipes.

I ordered a cook book last week. And, this week I received one from my dad and Paulette. The latter is entitled the gluten, wheat & dairy free cookbook.

It's got some pretty cool stuff in it! I'm looking forward to trying out some of the recipes!

As for this week...I found a recipe in the Dover Post for Baked Oatmeal. It sounded pretty good...but it called for both eggs and milk. So, I decided to test out some substitutes.

Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup vegetable oil or unsweetened applesauce
3/4 (or less) granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder (YES … tablespoon)
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Combine oil (or applesauce) and sugar in a large bowl and stir well to mix thoroughly. Mix in eggs, milk, salt, baking powder and oatmeal. Stir again to mix well. Stir in raisins. Spread batter into a lightly greased 9-inch-deep dish pie plate. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

To bake: Preheat oven to 350-degrees, remove covering from pie plate and bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm cut into wedges.

I tweaked it to fit Treavor's well as my own paranoid food issues. I used applesauce not oil. Actually, I used Santa Cruz Organic Apple/Apricot Sauce. In lieu of the white refined sugar, I used 1/4 cup organic blue agave nectar. I used two packets of unflavored gelatin and four tablespoons of warm water in place of the eggs. I used 3/4 cup of Vanilla Flavored Rice Milk. And, because of the preservatives in most quick cooking oats, I used "O" Organic Quick Oat which I found at Safeway. I also used Organic Raisins.

Finally, I reduced the oven temperature to 325. I did this because I had substituted the agave nectar for the sugar. Note: I also reduced the liquid (rice milk)to compensate for the 1/4 cup of extra liquid I was adding!

The results were MUCH BETTER than I expected!!! It was very good!!! Both of my children enjoyed it! Give the recipe a try!!!

For the full article that was in the Dover Post, click here.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fun Food Friday

I've been having problems with my internet all week. My friend Jason--The Cable Guy--has been on Guard duty for the last few weeks, so he couldn't fix it. I had to cheat on him. I called Comcast to come and fix my cable internet. When I called, I told them, "Jason said I need a new modem." They sent a service guy out with a new modem...but it still took nearly two hours for him to get it straight. About three minutes to change the modem and an hour and a half on hold waiting for Comcast so he could complete the set up. So much for technology....

Anyway, here's a funny little creation I made Jecilyn for breakfast. It was just something I threw together quickly. She loved it!

Yesterday, I ordered an allergy-free cookbook. I thought maybe I could feature some of the recipes in Fun Food Friday. But, maybe I'll add "Wheat Free Wednesday" It's very difficult to feed my little guy. It's hard to find things...and with my crazy schedule, I don't really have time to make EVERYTHING from scratch. Heck, I don't even have time to go to the grocery store to buy the ingredients....Hopefully, when Jeff gets back, I'll have a little more time. Jeff likes to cook. So, maybe we will start knocking out some great new recipes. I'm looking forward to getting the cookbook. I'm getting tired of eating salad and chicken every day. One would thinkg that I'd start to loose weight...but I haven't.....UGH!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I love you, Mom.

I do not really have any has been a year since "the angels came and got Nanny so she could live in the stars." That's what I told Jecilyn. She talks to my mom whenever she sees stars in the sky. And, every so often she asks if Nanny can come to see her. She tells me that if we send her a Hot Air Balloon, then she can just come here. I don't know where she gets this stuff. I guess she believes that Nanny is Somewhere Over the Rainbow...And, I suppose she is right....

Last year Jeffrey at Jeffrey Was Here posted a memorial for my mom on his other blog. I'm working on embedding it into this site...but, for now, you'll have to follow a link. The music link isn't working on his to hear music with the slideshow, click below.

Then, click here

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Beautiful Butterflies

While the kids and I were in Florida, we took a trip to Butterfly World. We went with Chris and Rhonda. My dad wasn't able to join us...but he did send us with his credit card! Thanks Cappy! We enjoyed it!

Here are the photos!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Rhonda!

Today is my sister-in-law's birthday. We are so lucky to have her in our family. She's such a great person. Although Chris and Rhonda have only been married for almost two years, Rhonda has been part of the family for much longer. She and Chris were friends for nearly 10 years before they FINALLY got together. My mom was thrilled! She had always thought they would make a great couple.

My mom used to tell the story about Rhonda coming to visit them in the Turks & Caicos before Chris and Rhonda started dating. My dad apparently asked my mom what they should do about the sleeping arrangements. My mom claims she replied, "Well....I guess...I'll have to.....poke holes in the condoms. I'm going to get that girl one way or another."

...And she did. And, apparently she also poked a few holes. Rhonda is due on October 5th. It's a girl. Her name is Stella Blue Victoria. We can't wait to meet her!

This photo is from Rhonda's Baby Shower. Actually, it was a Blessing Way. You can read more about Blessing Ways by clicking here.

Happy Birthday, Rhonda. We are all deeply thrilled to have you as part of our family!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Chug a Chug a Choo Choo!

A few weeks ago Liam, Aidan, Jecilyn, Treavor and I went to the Wilmington & Western Railroad. It was a fun time! And very inexpensive! Check it out!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Fun Food Friday

This was something I whipped up in a hurry. I scrambled 2 eggs. Put them in the pan, and then flipped them like a pancake...and then made a face. I used baby carrots for the mouth and nose, grape tomatoes for the eyes and tongue, bologna for the ears and hair, and broccoli for the hair bows.

I thought it was a great creation. Especially because I just kind of threw it all together. Jecilyn, however, was not impressed. She said, "NO! I don't want a FACE. I just want an egg...." She made me take it all apart before she would eat it. Oh well. Bottom line, she ate it!!!!

Have a great day!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Now it's fixed!!!!

I've been having some problems with my blog! I didn't know how to fix them...and didn't see the point of posting things that wouldn't show up. But, as you can see, I've got it under control now!!!

I'm in Florida visiting my dad. It's been quite an eventful trip. I nearly didn't make it out of the Philadelphia Airport. More to come on that soon. For now, suffice it to say DO NOT EVER FLY USA3000! I've got to put Jecilyn to bed. We're hoping AUnt Rhonda feels up to going to Butterfly World tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Sunny Days!

I'm so behind with all of my pictures! Mostly, because my computer was on the fritz. I'm back with a vengeance---but that's a story for tomorrow. Today, I'm posting the pictures from our trip to Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA. As you'll see from the photos, we had loads of fun!

For more information on the Here's to the Heroes Program, click here.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Customer Service?

A few weeks ago, I posted a bit about the awesome customer service that I received at JC Penney's Portrait Studio. Today, I experienced "Customer Service at its Worst!" Comcast is my Internet Service Provider. It's been out for most of the last two days! Ugh! That sucked. I put in two calls and received good customer service each times. During a brief period of time where the server was up, I tried to use Comcast Rhapsody to download music. I was having trouble importing the track that I downloaded into Microsoft Movie Maker. Apparently the format was not supported by the program.

I called the number for technical support. There was a message stating that wait times could exceed 10 minutes. I saw that they had a "Live Chat," so I decided to hang up and try that. The first person that I got was "Kathy." She was NOT very helpful. She pretty much danced around my questions. Then, she disconnected. I tried again. I got a guy named James. He was a little more helpful...but not much. He, too, danced around my questions.

So, I decided I would try burning the track to a CD and then importing it back into my hard drive. I wasn't sure if it would work...but I was going to give it a shot. And, then another snag. I couldn't get it to burn. Having had two NOT so helpful chat sessions, I decided to call the number and deal with the wait time. I waited for 22 minutes. Finally someone answered my call. Apparently, I had forgotten to press one for English!!!!!! This guy was HORRIBLE! I could NOT understand him AT ALL. I ended up just hanging up the phone because I was tired of saying, "I'm sorry, could please repeat that?" Why is this guy even on the phone? Are you kidding me? Twenty-two minutes! And, you can't even help me because you can't speak English! I don't care how damn good you are with computers! If you can't speak English, you should not be working a Help Line!

This is so unlike me. I'm usually the one who gets annoyed when others rant like this. But, it just really pissed me off!

I finally resolved the issue....With another Live Chat with an awesome guy named Trevor. Of course, his name is probably really Sanjay. Who knows.

I'm off to bed. Apparently, I'm cranky and need some sleep.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Trip to Silver Lake Park

On Tuesday, we met our friends Becky, Ben and Anna at the park. They are here visiting from Paris. We've know them since Jecilyn was about six-months-old and Ben was about three-months-old. We met through the Dover Chapter of Mothers & More. We were very sad when they announced they were moving to Paris. Luckily, though, they come back pretty often. Here are the photos from the park!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Fun Food Friday

Aren't they they cutest!?!?! I made these for Jecilyn today! I called it "Happy Feet Lunch." She loved them! While I was making them, she kept telling me she didn't want anything to eat. And, then when I showed them to her...she couldn't wait to eat them. They pictures are a little blurry because I was fighting her off...and trying to ward off little Allergy Boy too!

I wish I could take the credit for this great idea...but I can't. I found it in a magazine called Taste of Home: Kid Friendly Cooking & Crafts. There are a ton of cute recipes in this one! Check it out!

For the cute penguins, all you need is hard boiled eggs, mini carrots, black olives and toothpicks. And, I guess you need a knife too! It took about 2 minutes to assemble them!

Peel the egg. Slice a carrot lengthwise. Place flat side down. Stick 2 toothpicks lengthwise through the egg and attach to the carrots (feet). Slice olive in half lengthwise. Use them to make wings. Attach with a toothpick. For the head, simply push a carrot into the hole in the olive. Attach with a toothpick. (When I did it, I used the same toothpick for both the head and the feet!) That's it! All done!

I think it would be fun to grate cheese on top for snow! I think Jecilyn would have enjoyed making the snow. But, I didn't have any. I also thought about breaking up some white bread and making "iceburgs." Gold Fish crackers may have also been a nice touch.

This was a fun food that I'm sure to make again and again!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Musical Challenge...

Jeff sent me the above picture. There are 75 Band Names hidden in the picture. See how many you can get. Leave your answers as a comment. Don't cheat! I'll post the answers in a few days. Have a Great Day!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Breast is Best

I saw this sign the other day as I was driving up the highway. I'm not quite sure why it's there...but I think it's pretty cool. I am typing with one hand now as I hold a nursing Treavor with the other hand. In fact, most of my blogging is done in this very position. It's the only time that I ever really get a chance to sit down.

My mother was a big proponent of breastfeeding. She nursed both my brother and me at a time that it was not the popular choice. She spoke often about the nurse looking at her like she was nuts when she told them she wanted to breastfeed me. By the time Chris was born, it was a little more "acceptable" but not really. My mom attended La Leche Meetings. I would love to attend, but unfortunately, there are no meetings close to me. I do, however, see advice from them frequently online. Their website has loads of information. Here's the link: La Leche League.

Like my mom, I am also a big proponent of breastfeeding. It's good that it's widely accepted where I live (as evidenced by the sign!). It's sad that despite all the research proving the benefits of breastfeeding, there are still people who think breastfeeding is "gross" or "disgusting" or, my favorite, "un-natural!" There is a lot of controversy about nursing in public. There was a woman who was kicked off the plane for nursing her baby. Now, that just made me mad! I am not one of those moms that plans outings around feedings. I am a "feed on demand kind of mom." When the child cries, I whip out a boob and stick it in. I figure people would rather see me nurse in public than listen to my kid scream. Thankfully, I haven't encountered any negativity.

Once I was eating breakfast in a restaurant with Mom Mom Ginny. I was nursing Treavor and she had to leave for an appointment. I stayed behind to finish. I was sitting there and looked across the restaurant. There was a woman sitting there staring at me. I looked down to see if I was, "exposed." I wasn' I just went about my business. As I was leaving, I walked passed the woman. She stopped me. I thought, "Uh we go!" She said, "I saw you nursing your little boy over there. I think that's great! Good for you!" I was dumbfounded. I just said thank you and walked away.

I chose to breastfeed mainly because I was sure my mom would disown me if I hadn't. Once I began what has been nearly a three year continuous stint, I realized that mom wasn't all about what's best for the baby. She was lazy. As am I. I breastfeed now because it's conveinent. I don't have the time or the organizational skills to prepare the bottles, to wash the bottles, or to remember to purchase the formula. I cannot even imagine getting up in the middle of the night, walking downstairs and fixing a bottle. It's so much easier to get up, pick up baby, lift up shirt, and go back to sleep. That's my humble opinion!!!!

Here's a great post I read on breastfeeding. Click here to read it. Have a great day!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sharing a little secret

I admit it. I'm a huge fan of America's Got Talent on NBC. I just think it's a great show. I got hooked last year when I saw Bianca Ryan's first performance. That little girl is just amazing. I had to watch the entire season just to see if she would win...And she did. Here is a clip of her first performance. I'm posting it because it absolutely blew me away...and the judges as well. As you watch it, keep in mind she was eleven years old!!!

Her winning performance was also amazing...You can link to that by clicking here. Just wow. That kid gives me goose bumps everytime I watch her perform.

This year I have a few favorites that have made it through to the semifinals. I think my favorite from this week is fourteen-year-old Julienne Irwin. Her first performance was great--but the one she gave this week...I don't know...there's just something about this kid!!! I hope to see her again in the finals. Here's her semifinal performance.

I liked several of the other acts too. Tune in to NBC and check it out!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Yesterday morning we were stopped at a red light. My neighbor was in the lane next to us. We rolled down our windows and said "Hi!" and chatted a bit. When the light turned green, we went in different directions. Jecilyn asked, "Mommy, who was that man? What's his name?" I answered that he was a neighbor and that his name is Jeff. We then had the following exchange:

Me: Do you know anyone else with the name Jeff?
Jecilyn: Yes. My friend is Jeff.
Me: Yes honey, you have a friend named Jeff. Do you know anyone else whose name is Jeff?
Jecilyn: My daddy's name is Jeff.
Me: Yes, your daddy's name is Jeff. And, what does your daddy look like?
Jecilyn: (slight pause...and then...) TREAVOR.
Me: (fumbling for a response and trying not to swerve off the road because I am laughing so hard...) Umph....Yyyyeeeppp.
Jecilyn: No. No. I mean, Treavor wooks wike my daddy.
Me: Uhhhh huh....You're right....he does....

I'm trying to find some photos of Jeff and Treavor that illustrate that Jecilyn is correct...they will be posted soon....

Monday, July 16, 2007

Better Late Than Never!

Here are some photos from Treavor's 1st Birthday Party. I decided to make it an "All American Backyard BBQ" with a patriotic theme. I thought this was appropriate because Daddy is deployed...and because Treavor was born so close to Independence Day. From the pictures, it looks as though a good time was had by all. I took video...but I'm still having problems with the computer, so, for's just stills!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

She might be a Redneck....

Yesterday Jecilyn and I were driving in the car listening to Lee Greenwood. Jecilyn loves "God Bless the USA." Jeff used to sing it to her when she was a baby. She calls it "Daddy's Song" and does a pretty good job of singing it herself (video to come soon!). We listen to the CD a lot when we are driving. One of the songs on the CD starts with the Pledge of Allegiance. She can now recite it. The last song on the album is our National Anthem. We don't usually get to that one because she likes "The Kids One" (Pledge of Allegiance), "Daddy's Song" (God Bless the USA), and "The Toe Tapper" (This Land is Your Land) so much. Yesterday, however, we made it to song number 10. When she started singing, I was pretty impressed. And then she said..."Oh! Mommy! The race is getting ready to start!" Hmmm. I just wonder where she learned that. Surely not at my house where the only tv is either playing a DVD rated G, or tuned to NOGGIN. On the bright side, when the song was over, she didn't blurt out, "Gentlemen Start Your Engines!" And, hey, she knows the song. It's all good.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Not so Fun Food Friday!

Don't freakin argue with me when I am right! Those are the words of the day. It's not much of a Fun Food Friday! It's more like a F$#@ing Food Friday. Since Treavor was just a few months old, I became convinced that he was allergic to milk. Everyone said I was nuts. Ok, not "everyone" but most of the medical professionals. They said it was unlikely. When he was about 8 months, I got it in my head that he had a wheat allergy--or maybe celiac disease. His pediatrician diagnosed him with "Failure to Thrive" which I thought was ridiculous...but I'm just a mom. What do I know?!?! The pediatrician drew some blood and referred me to CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia). At CHOP, Treavor was tested for Celiac Disease and the tests, thankfully, were negative.

When Treavor went in for his 12 month appointment last week, I mentioned the ER trip. I expressed concern that it was a food allergy--and was pretty sure it was eggs. Or, possibly peanuts or potatoes. (I thought perhaps the potatoes were cooked in peanut oil!) The doctor FINALLY ordered allergy testing....and guess what. Mom was right. He is allergic to PEANUT OIL, EGGS, MILK, WHEAT and BANANAS. The only thing I had not suspected was the bananas.

So, here I sit...feeling horrible that I subjected the poor little guy to all of those allergens for all this time. No wonder he's not on the growth chart! Poor kid was eating bananas and yogurt just about every day!

I'm not quite sure where we go from here. Why!?! Because although the doctor has had the results from his tests since Wednesday, he hasn't called me yet to tell me them. I happened to find out another way. WTF? My kid is allergic to his entire diet...and you can't pick up the phone and tell me!?!!? Needless to say, I'm more than a little angry!

I spent a lot of time at Good News Natural Foods today. They are wonderful there. They have a ton of wheat free things--breads, brownies, pasta, etc. On a positive note, Fun Food Friday is going to return and be extra creative!!! I'm not sure where I'll find the time, or frankly, the energy, but I guess I'll figure it out!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Customer Service at its best!

I just wanted to share my recent experience with JC Penneys Portrait Studio. We've been using them since 2004 when Jecilyn was born. We love Miss Betsy! I'm a big fan of the "Smiles by Wire" service. For those of you that are not familiar with this, you can download and share your photos online. The cost is $4.99. Anyway, at our recent trip, Miss Betsy went a little crazy. She took something like 45 pictures of Treavor and Jecilyn. And, being Miss Betsy...there wasn't a bad one in the bunch. She broke it up into 2 sittings.

I ordered Smiles by Wire on both sittings, but apparently something happened and one of them did not go through. I saw Miss Betsy type my address in....but some how something went wrong. I called her today and told her that I only rec'd half of the pictures. She told me to call the 888 number on my sheet. When I did, I was on hold for a few minutes. My call was eventually answered by a lady named Joan. She explained that my 2nd sitting had not "posted." I asked if I could re-order the service. She told me that, unfortunately, they can't re-order the smiles by wire. She explained that I could still order prints, but that the service was no longer available. She was very apologetic. I told her that my husband was deployed and that we had gotten the pictures taken for him. I explained that JCPenneys is one of the few websites he can access to see pictures. I was pretty frustrated...but what can you do!?!?!

Joan apologized again...and said she would like to do something for me. I figured I'd get a free service next time or something...I would have been fine with that...but Joan went above and beyond. She emailed the pictures directly to me. That kind of customer service is so rare these days...I just had to pass it on!!!!!!

And, FYI, she also informed me that Smiles by Wire is free to military families. She also said that military families receive a free 8x10 and no sitting fees. Just show military ID!!!!

Here are the great photos that Miss Betsy took! She rocks! Of course, my cuties make it easy!!!!

Have a great day!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Best Wishes Jason & Erica!

Yesterday was a big day for weddings! I guess there were a lot of people who thought that getting married 07/07/07 would bring them good luck. My friend Jason married his sweetie yesterday. I attended the wedding...and it was a blast! Best wishes Jason and Erica!!!