Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween from the Official Potty Escort

Yes, that is my current title. At least it feels like it should be my official title since it seems no one in this house can go alone, except Dom( thank goodness.) Though he does need some reminding in the 'put down the seat and replace the empty roll' areas. The kids are potty trained but apparently want someone to talk and sing to while they do their business. As well as the occasional butt wipe assistance. I crowned them 'potty partners' so they could go and entertain each other but this sometimes leads to arguments in which case the escort must step in and diffuse the situation.
Boomer also needs a potty escort. I crowned Copper and Boomer 'potty partners' also but this past weekend, when there were 50mph winds and torrential downpours, he clearly gave me a look that said "You're crazy lady, I'm not going out there. I can hold it." before turning around and walking back inside. So of course the potty escort was called in to action. Now the puppy, who it has taken weeks to learn housebreaking, within seconds learns that it is dry under the umbrella and is suddenly glued to my leg. After much coaxing. I finally managed to get him to go and return inside.
Of course being the potty escort means that everyone also feels the need to escort you to the bathroom. I am convinced that there is a little alarm linked to the toilet that goes off the minute I sit down causing at least one or more children or animals to come rushing to the bathroom door. I have also found that if Boomer is one of those to follow me into the bathroom that he thinks "Well she's going so I better." Not Good.
I think I am done venting now. I am just spending way more time around bodily functions than any one person needs to each day. Off to go clean the potty because this is of course another job of the potty escort.
I will update later about our Fun Halloween festivities.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Wonderful Wedding Weekend

Congratulations to my niece Jenna and her new husband, Micah. They were married this past weekend in Baltimore, MD. It was a beautiful, traditional Jewish ceremony. Both the ceremony and reception were held at the Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards which made it extremely easy for the many out of town guests who attended. There were also many attractions within walking distance, including the Red Bull Flugtag. This is an event hosted by Red Bull in many different cities where people create their own homemade flying machine and attempt to fly it off a huge ramp over the water. Each team performs a little skit before launching the plane and pilot directly into the water in most cases. There were some commercials featuring these contraptions that you may have seen. I didn't get to witness this first hand but did hear all about it. Dom and I didn't do any sightseeing unfortunately but are hoping to do a return trip in the near future with the girls.
We arrived in Baltimore in the morning on Saturday and checked into our room. As soon as we opened the door of our room the doorknob fell off on the other side. Kinda of funny, kinda not. Considering this was a really nice Marriott and not the Bates Motel you really don't expect the room to fall apart. Within 10 minutes of settling into our room there was a knock on the door to fix the broken door knob. Great service but a little disturbing as we hadn't even called anyone to come fix it yet. Soon after we grabbed some lunch with my parents and one of my aunt and uncles on the main floor of the hotel. While having lunch the groom stopped over to stay hi and insisted he wasn't nervous. Yet, anyway. My brother, the father of the bride, wandered in to sit and chat for awhile as did Jill's boyfriend, Miles.
After lunch my mom and I went to the bridal suite where the bride, her mom and her bridesmaids were having make-up done for the wedding. My husband took the only key to the room and went to take a nap. I was having a great time hanging out with the girls when I realized I couldn't remember what my room number was. After admitting this with some embarrassment it was suggested I stand out in the hall and just holler for my husband. After deciding that I might possible be thrown out of the hotel for causing an uproar I was able to find out my room number. (Thanks mom.)
The afternoon flew by pretty quickly and before I knew it we were dressed and ready (a wee bit early) for some family pictures and the signing of the Ketubah. The Ketubah is a beautifully decorated marriage contract signed by the bride and groom and two witnesses. Next was the ceremony, that included lovely wedding vows written by the bride and groom to each other. Many tears of happiness were shed. I had no tissues with me, never even crossed my mind that I would need any and I was sitting in the middle of a bunch of guys who of course have no tissues. It wasn't so bad. Then my nose started running. My dress was short sleeved, so that wasn't even an option. I somehow managed to keep myself presentable so that I wouldn't have to walk out into the crowd with snot running down my face.
The reception was fun with lots of dancing and yummy food and cake. I met several people including my brother's neighbor from Michigan. He was so funny. It was definitely one of the best weddings I have ever attended.
We attended breakfast in the morning with the bride and groom and then it was off to the airport for our flight out. I was one of the lucky passengers to be chosen for the random search as we went through security. My underwire bra proceeded to set off the wand and I was treated to the full pat down. Nothing like being felt up by a total stranger in public. They don't say' Thank you for flying the friendly skies' for nothing apparently. Other than that the flight was uneventful. We left the airport to gather the children and animals at their various locations and then settled in at home. We left the airport before my parents and unknowlingly left with the baggage claim ticket. Normally not a big deal except their luggage didn't show up. They were able to find it with only a small delay. And normally they wouldn't have minded a little extra delay except that upon returning home my dad was headed to Pittsburg, NH to go Moose hunting. He was not a Happy Camper but everything turned out okay!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Fall Favorites

I love to bake. Especially in the fall and winter when the weather gets cooler. I thought I would share a couple of my favorite recipes that we have been enjoying lately.

The first two recipes are lowfat treats!

Easiest muffins ever

1 box of spice cake mix or chocolate cake mix
1 15 oz can of pumpkin

Mix together and place in greased muffin tin. Fill muffin cups to the top as these don't rise much. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 mins.
Makes approx. 9 muffins.

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

1 box of carrot or spice cake mix
1 can of pumpkin
1 cup of mini chocolate chips(optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine cake mix, pumpkin and chocolate chips and beat with mixer until blended. Place by spoonfuls on cookie sheet and bake for 18-20 mins.

Chocolate Chip pumpkin bread

4 Cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Cups sugar
3/4 cup butter softened
4 eggs
1/2 Cup of water
1 (15oz) can pumpkin
1 Cup plus two Tbsp miniature semisweet chocolate chips
2 tsp sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms only of 2 8x4 inch loaf pans with shortening, lightly flour. Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until mixed; set aside.
Beat two cups of sugar and butter on med. speed 1 to 2 mins. or until creamy. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in water and pumpkin. Add flour mixture a little at a time until moistened. Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips. Spread evenly in pans sprinkle tops with remaining chips and 2 tsp sugar. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 mins. or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. cool in pans 10 mins them remove to wire rack.

Caramel Apple Crisp

3 Cups old fashioned oats
2 Cups flour
1 1/2 Cups packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Cup cold butter
8 Cups thinly sliced tart apples(granny smith)
1 pkg. caramels, halved
1 Cup apple cider divided

In a large bowl combine oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon. Cut in the butter until crumbly.
Press half of the mixture into a greased 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Layer half of the apples and caramels and 1 cups of the oat mixture. Repeat layers. Pour half cup of cider over the top and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 mins. drizzle with remaining cider, bake 15-20 mins longer or until the apples are tender.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Apples, Pumpkins and Dancers, Oh My!

It has been a busy week but last weekend was by far the busiest in a long time. Saturday morning Becca had an extra dance class and in the afternoon she had pictures for Soccer and then a Soccer game. Her soccer game went extra long because the opposing team was losing and Their coach wanted to keep going so his team could at least tie it up. Didn't happen. Becca's team still won. Becca is still a little timid when it comes to actually kicking the ball, but she runs around like crazy. Well she is only six, she's having fun and has plenty of time to learn. After Soccer we had dinner and then Dom and the girls headed off to church.

Sunday the weather was gorgeous, so in the morning we headed off to Butternut Farm to pick apples and pumpkins. We missed our good friends, the Childs, who in the past had been our apple picking buddies. They recently moved to Colorado. (We were thinking of you guys!!) We still had fun then headed home for lunch. We had a short break and then it was off to Maine for a fundraiser for the Make-a-wish foundation. The dance school that Becca and Mackenzie attend does a lot for Make-a-wish and they held a performance to raise money and both girls were asked to participate. Both girls were in the opening number which was several cute fingerplays.
Becca also performed the dance that she did for the recital last year with three other girls.
There were about 25 performances all together and it was fun to watch.

Monday was another beautiful day with temps in the mid 70's. We spent the morning doing yardwork and cleaning up the garage. Becca had dance class again in the evening and that ended our holiday weekend. The rest of the week has just been regular run of the mill stuff. Nothing too exciting but the foliage has been nice and so has the weather. Today was a classic fall day cool, clear and crisp.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mackenzie's "A" List

Or more to the point what she wants for her birthday. This is for anyone looking for ideas.
Anything to do with The Little Mermaid, we do have the movie but nothing else.
Little Mommy Toddler Doll.
12 Dancing Princesses Movie, dolls or music.
Loves doing crafts and cooking.
She loves clothes too, but can be picky. She wears a 4T.
Also anything to do with animals.(but please no more stuffed animals!)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Boomers first trick!

Now I don't actually have to run the dishwasher, I just stick Boomer in there. I can save money on dishwasher detergent and electricity! Soooo... who wants to come over for dinner?!

Monday, October 02, 2006


This past weekend we made a trip up to Storyland. We met up with some friends we hadn't seen in a long time and lots of fun was had by all. I remember coming here as a child and it has changed so much and every year they seem to add something new. This year both girls were very interested in going on the rides. The teacups and the merry-go-round were the favorites. we even went on the the turtle twirl which is like the Tilt-a-whirl. They hated it, but didn't cry or get sick(though I thought Kenzie was going to lose it for a second) just stated they never wanted to go on that ride again! We brought Boomer with us because Storyland offers free kennels and we could visit him and take him for a walk every couple of hours. We probably would have brought Copper too but my car is in the shop and we all had to squeeze into the Focus, it wasn't a bad ride though and we saved money on gas.
So the not so fun part of the weekend is that there is something wrong with the transmission on my vehicle. For those of you who don't know, we purchased a used Ford Expedition in the spring. I have only had it for four months and now something is wrong with the trasmission. We dropped it off Friday and they still have it. On Friday they told me that it was very low on transmission fluid but they couldn't find a leak anywhere, which means that they are going to have start tearing it apart to find the problem. It is now late Monday afternoon and I haven't heard from them at all, I'd like to be optimistic and say that no news is good news but I know that is not the case this time. The good news is that it is still under warranty.
As I was typing this the Ford garage called. It is not the transmission! It was actually three loose spark plugs and a burnt coil, this was also causing a tapping sound and a gas smell both things I asked them to check out while they had it. Easy fix and I can get my car back. So that's everything you never wanted to know about my car problems.