Saturday, June 23, 2012

2 Little Fish

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Blog Dare: 175 - Not Going There

Today's Prompt: A place I have no desire to visit...

A place I have no desire to visit, would be the corn festival in Dekalb, Illinos. I am not a fan of corn, and could not even wrap my brain around a whole festival dedicated to corn! (My dislike for corn, isnt anything that I havent talked about before!) No disrespect to the festival, Dekald, or the great state of Illinos, but I doubt I will ever attend your amazing festival dedicated to the humble ear of corn.
The funny thing is that I know my husband would LOVE to go there, and sample or taste every item that the festival has to offer. Years ago we saw a similar festival talked about on television, and he mention that he would love to check it out. He would be in heaven and I would just have to sit back and what him enjoy! I understand that they have a corn boil, where 70 tons of boiled sweet corn is handed out to those who love corn for free! Oh my gosh free, corn to the mass of festival goers!

Is there a festival or place that your spouse wants to go and visit, but you just roll your eyes at the idea? Where do you have zero interest in visiting?

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Blog Dare: 174 - I Knew That Was Going to Happen

Today's Prompt: I knew that was going to happen

My son has this amazing ability to climb, and I am just in awe of what he has scaled. I spent most of the morning watching the boys do several rescue missions with every conceivable emergency toy they own. They had an elaborate car accident scene including a car wreck. I then heard my 5 year old tell my 3 year old, that a fireman needed to climb the side of the "building," and see what needed to be done to put out the fire. I told my son he did not need to climb on anything. He said we aren't climbing...as innocent as he could. I heard several things all at once, the sound of a drawer being opened, the sound of little feet where they didn't belong...and then a loud crash.

Notice the ladder and fireman?

I knew that was going to happen...thank goodness no one was hurt!

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop: You know Your A Mom When...

Mama’s Losin’ It

Writing Prompts:

1.) Write about a time you were forced to step out of your comfort zone.
2.) Time for a break! Show us where you go for quiet time.
3.) You know you’re a Mom when…
4.) Dig out your high school yearbook and share a message a friend wrote that stands out to you.
5.) Share something you learned embarrassingly late in life.

I am amazed at the amount of crap stuff Mommas need to cart bring just to hop in the car for the afternoon. (Thank goodness it gets better!) You know you are a Mom, when you can no longer grab your keys and purse and fly out the door. We now have a book bag, verse the diaper bag, but geez there is still stuff that the boys require to leave the house!

 In our book bag:
  1. Pull Ups
  2. Wipes
  3. 2 sets of extra clothing (Size 2T and 5T)
  4. Snacks
  5. Sun screen packets
  6. Off bug spray packets
  7. Crayons and activity pad
  8. Band aids
If we leave the house, each kid has to have a drink. I also throw my purse, and pocket camera into the bag to save me from carrying more stuff. I don't know if I have created Monsters, and have fed into the "requirements," but my oh my if Momma forgets to put drinks in the side pockets of the book bag, it is not a fun trip away from home.

I look forward to the time when Ryan is potty trained, so that I no longer have to carry the book bag! What a joyous day that will be! The little Monsters can lug around their own drinks, snacks, or other items that they feel they must need. But, alas we are still not trained, so Momma is the pack mule carting around their stuff.

How much stuff do you cart around, just to run a few errands? Have you reached the point where you can just grab your purse and go? Do you cringe at the thought of leaving the house with out a bag, just in case?

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Blog Dare: 172 - If I were my children..

Today's Prompt: If I were my children...

If I were my children
  • I would sleep in, and never get up in the middle of the night
  • I would always smile for pictures
  • I would always try new foods
  • I would never bite, or hit my brother
  • I would always listen
  • I could play in the water and never get cold
  • I would always try new things I have never done before
  • If I had to puke it would never be in the middle of the night
  • I would never make a mess and always clean up after myself
Who am I kidding? If I were my children they would have a childhood much like I did. I often wonder if things would be slightly different if I had two girls, instead of my boisterous boys. I like to think there would still be a few things that we would disagree about, but would girls be just as stubborn? My boys are awesome, dont take me wrong...but there are days that I just wonder "Really? Why on earth did you you just do that?"

Have you ever wondered what your children would be like in a different gender or in a differnt time period? Do you have little angels, that some how become little monsters? Have you questioned your sanity, while doing the same thing you did the day prior, and wondered why on earth am I repeating myself? Do you love your kids with ever fiber of your being, and yet there are times you wish you  could run and hide? What do you remember about your childhood, that you wish your kids could do differently?

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blog Dare: 171 - My Scariest Moment

Today's Prompt: My scariest moment...

I know you have been there on some level, the pediatrician is doing a normal well child exam, and they say "Hmmm," and there is a long pause. The exam continues, and the doctor goes back to the source of concern and then calls in his fellow medical staff, just to verify the diagnosis. You haven't had this happen? Well let me tell you about when it happened to our family...

My son Ryan was three months old when we had a very normal check up appointment. The doctor was in the middle of his exam, when he stopped mid-exam to listen to Ryan's heart beat, and then listened again. He said the "Hmmm," that sent red flags and alarms off in my head. I had a total moment of panic, and was wondering what was going on? He called in another pediatrician in his practice, just to verify what ever he was questioning, but never explained why he was concerned. The other pediatrician and our pediatrician exchanged looks, and then that's when he excused himself. I was a mess, Ryan was not a happy baby, as he had wicked colic, and rarely slept. (He wasn't unhealthy, but certainly had his little issues.) The doctor came back into the exam room, and asked if I knew what a heart murmur was? I had heard of them, but didn't know exactly why the doctor was showing signs of concern in his face. He told me he needed me to call the local hospital and schedule an xray and echo cardiogram as soon as possible. He gave no further explanation but left the room. Umm, okay...I am now in full panic...what the heck is wrong with my baby?

I was able to get an appointment three days later, and could not sleep until he was seen. (Not that I was sleeping normal anyway.) The pediatric cardiologist office was a ghost town, and it added to the stress of the moment. Thank goodness, we were seen right away, and they were able to take the xrays almost as soon as we arrived. The person administering the test reassured me that murmurs were very common, and she has given this same test hundreds of times. Unfortunately, Ryan did not like being half naked on the table, while she held the wand to his chest. She had to start and stop several times, and I just tried to settle Ryan down. Hearing his heart beat, while she was testing was a comfort, and she pointed out the sounds in question. She was soon finished with the test, and said that the cardiologist would be right in. Thank goodness the doctor was very knowledgeable, and obviously had dealt with worried moms. He explained that Ryan had an innocent murmur, and was audible, but as he matured it more than likely would go away. He was not concerned, and asked that we come back in 6 months for a follow up. I was so relived, and just sat there holding my son, beyond happy that the doctor did not give me the results that I was fearing.

I am happy to say that Ryan's 9 months follow up did in fact so that his murmur was innocent, and it seemed to have healed itself. The doctor asked us to pay extra attention, once or if he signs up to play sports once he is beyond the age of five. He suggested another round of testing, but said he would be surprised if the murmur ever shows up again.

Have you had that moment of panic? Have you just had your heart fall out of your chest in fear for your child? Have test results come back negative, when in your mind you only feared the worst?

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Star-Spangled Sailabration - Baltimore, MD

Star-Spangled Sailabration is the national launch of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Scheduled for June 13 – 19, 2012 in Baltimore, Star-Spangled Sailabration is one of the signature events of the three-year commemoration, called Star-Spangled 200. An international maritime and air festival in the Baltimore region and the Chesapeake Bay, this week-long event will feature more than 40 tall ships and naval war ships, the premiere of a new symphonic work, and the Star-Spangled Air Show featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

There is a magic that happens when a child is born, and it instantly creates parents. The moment Mike laid eyes on our boys, his eyes just beamed with pride, love, and joy. Our boys love to wrestle, snuggle, and play with their Daddy! I love that they have Mike's features, sense of humor, and personality. Thank you Mike for all that you do for our little family of four!
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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Blog Dare: 168 - I Was Uncool...and A Childhood Friend

Today's Prompt: A childhood friend...

I was not very girly growing up, but I wasn't really a tom boy either. At an age when girls were trying to keep up with the latest fashions, and trying on make up styles; I had zero interest. I can remember a girl in my sixth grade class telling me that I was "uncool," and she didn't understand why The New Kids On the Block didn't make my heart race. It was about that same time that a childhood friend stepped up, and told the other little brat, "I think she is one of the coolest people, in our class, and who cares if she hates most of the guys on the latest cover of Tiger Beat?"

This girl held her own, she wasn't the most popular girl in our class, and she just didn't care. She was cool in her own way. She was from a huge family, and their names all started with the same letter. She had nearly perfect grades, and they seemed to just come easy for her. We once had to give a report about President Richard Nixon, and she was the first to step up and wear a suit from her brother and quote "I am not a crook."

I was not shocked when she joined the cheer leading squad in junior high, and later in high school. She did not run with the "popular," girls but was just proud to be herself, and support her school. She was cool in ways I didn't know was possible. She and I never really hung out, once we were in high school, but she always stopped to say hello in the hallways. We graduated high school and went about our lives...and I couldn't tell you where she ended up.

About five years later, I went to Mass for Ash Wednesday, in the town were I grew up. I was sitting in the pew waiting for the service to start, when she turned to me and said "Well if it isn't the girl who hated the boys from Tiger Beat?" I didn't even realize she was in the same pew with me. She and I talked like no time had passed, and she turned to me and said "I want you to know, it took guts to be yourself in our one room per grade elementary school, and I always looked up to you." I sat there in shock and told her she was the one who was cool and didn't even know. She got a kick out that, and then told me that she just couldn't wait to get out of there as the girls were just horrible to one another. She gave me a hug as she left the church, and I haven't seen or heard from her since.

Did you have someone that stood up for you? Were you uncool, and just didn't care? At what point did you come to realize that fitting in really wasn't that big of a deal?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Blog Dare: 167 - My Childhood Home...

Today's Prompt: My childhood home...

When I was in the 4th grade, my parents pulled me out of class for a "doctors appointment." An hour later, we were standing in the middle of an alfalfa field, and I was told that we were going to build a house where I was standing, and we would move in a matter of weeks once school let out. My parents built the house that I grew up in, and I can still envision every step of the building process. I was amazed at how quickly I made the transition to living in the country. It wasn't as demanding and as fast paced as  it was in the suburbs. I cant really explain it, but it changed me in ways that I never thought possible.

I can recall the huge blow out party, with a pig roast to share our new home with our family and friends. I have memories of taking pictures on the stairwell for Prom and Home Coming dances. I remember spending hours at the kitchen table sharing a meal, doing home work, or playing card games. I can remember slumber parties in the front room, having enough room for all of our sleeping bags to be laid out, and still having lots of room to dance! The dog would slide across our connected kitchen, and dining area, when running after a ball. Our attic fan keep the house cool, without ever having to turn on the air conditioning. I can count the number of times we locked the front doors, as we never locked the doors, as we lived a mile from the main road.

Our home was a magical place, and it was a joy to have lived there for 10 years. I was sad to hear that my parents were moving and would sell our home, I grew up in. Time has a funny way of telling you it is time to move on, and with each of us kids married and out of the house...it was just time. My parents moved away, to another area in St. Louis lived there for 5 years, while they built another house. Guess where they live now? They live less than 10 miles away from where I grew up...funny how an area just reminds you of home!

Do your parents live in the same home you grew up in? Have they moved away and returned? What are some of the great memories from the house you played in as a child? Does your home remind you of your childhood?
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

{Giveaway Closed} Father's Day & Nielsen-Massey Vanillas

{Giveaway Closed} Congratulations to Fiona N. name was drawn via rafflecopter 6/19/12!

Father's Day is this Sunday, June 17, 2012, are you having a BBQ or grilling for Dad?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 70.1 million fathers across the nation. That means 70.1 million colorful ties, tool kits, and golf clubs purchased every Father’s Day. This year, try something new: enjoy the summer weather and break out the grill to give dad a personal gift with a tasty twist.

Add flavor to his favorite steak or BBQ meal with Nielsen-Massey Vanillas. Family owned and operated Nielsen-Massey has been creating quality vanilla and pure flavor products since 1907. They are a great addition to a summer BBQ, pairing well with meats, veggies, and even summer cocktails. While vanilla extract may seem like it belongs in mom’s baking cabinet, vanilla can become a go-to ingredient for dad’s BBQ too.

Surprise dad this year by adding a unique vanilla twist to his favorite meal. The Kona Rubbed Steak recipe below is a great place to start.

Kona Rubbed Strip Loin

(8) 6 oz New York strip steaks

1 qt. Kona coffee, brewed extra strong and chilled
1/4 cup Kona coffee grounds
1/2 cup chipotle peppers
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/8 cup Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Coffee Extract
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3 shallots, peeled and chopped
4 sprigs of thyme, chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 bunch scallions
1 cup salad oil

Combine all of the solid ingredients in a food processor and blend. Slowly add the coffee and salad oil and blend until all of the ingredients are combined. Cover the steaks in the marinade and cover with plastic wrap so the marinade covers the entire surface area of the meat. Marinate for at least 4 hours. After marinating, remove and dry off the steaks. Season with salt and pepper, and grill to your desired temperature

Want to win a Nielsen-Massey 2 oz Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and a 2 oz Pure Coffee Extract giveaway? Winner will be contacted via email, once selected by random draw through Rafflecopter. Once contacted, you will need to supply address and phone number so that the product can be shipped directly to you from Nielsen-Massey. This is a U.S. and Canada shipping addresses only. (No P.O. Boxes)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Nielsen-Massey Vanillas:
Throughout its more than 100 year history, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has earned its reputation as a manufacturer of the finest extracts in the world. The full line of Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Vanilla products include: Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico; sugar and alcohol-free Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar and Certified Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Beans.
Nielsen-Massey Vanillas also has a line of Pure Flavors: Pure Chocolate Extract, Pure Almond Extract, Pure Orange Extract, Pure Lemon Extract, Pure Coffee Extract, Pure Peppermint Extract, Orange Blossom Water and Rose Water. All Nielsen-Massey products are Allergen-Free and certified Kosher and Gluten-Free. The company is headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois, with production facilities in Waukegan and Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.

*I was given Nielsen-Massey extracts to share with my family, for hosting this giveaway. I stand behind the companies I partner with and all opinions are my own, and not that of Nielsen-Massey.

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