Wednesday, May 24, 2006

If you don't like cake pictures...

This isn't the week for you. I'm doing cakes all week. Today is the bridal shower. This is the cake I made...

I like the general idea, but I'm still working on the final concept... for another cake another day. But considering I started at 1:19 am and finished at 2:25 am I'm pretty happy.

This is my favorite picture from yesterday's cake photo shoots.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


More cake pictures have been added: Here

Cori has been playing on the bottom three steps lately. She goes up and down them and has never gone higher or fallen. She's a very cautious baby. She won't crawl off beds or couches ect. She seems to have depth perception- which in a baby is odd.

Anyway, today she was playing on the stairs and I wasn't thinking anything of it. I stepped over her to grap something and when I turned around to come back downstairs she was right behind me! She'd crawled 3/4 the way up the stairs! Acckk! I stayed behind her as she crawled down them like it was no big deal and she'd been doing it for years. Crazy.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Update on me.

Thank you all for your kind words. Really, it helps. I had to postpone my appointment on Friday for this afternoon because of some prior commitments I'd forgotten about. But I'm still going. It helps to know that I'm not the only one who's ever felt this way.

I have a crazy busy week. This is a copy of a post on my mommy board:

It's the wedding week.

Monday- finish dummy cakes and take pictures to finalize what my SIL wants (cakes done and covered- I just need to do pictures) Also I'm going to the dr. to do some annual tests for autoimmune disorders, talk about depression and IUD's. (TMI??)

Tuesday- SIL flies in. Need to make bridal shower cake

Wednesday- Bridal shower lunchen, need to make frosting and bake two cakes

Thursday- make the other cakes and make the filling. Rehersal and rehersal dinner. Need to make desserts for dinner. After the dinner I'm decorating the cakes (late into the night all alone).

Friday- wedding. Final touches, transporting cakes ect.

Somewhere in there I need to make my skirt...

I'm posting pictures of my dummy cakes on my other blog (that'll be up and running soon for real). If you're interested here is the link- but I'll be putting things up and taking them down all day. Amberlicious Desserts By Design

Thursday, May 18, 2006

And now for some honesty

A few weeks ago Steve was catching up on his journaling. He's not into telling the internet about his life so he journals in Word. Not nearly as fun for the rest of you. He says it keeps him more honest though- since he's writing for a future audience that will read it after he dies.

He's right you know. I have a hard time being honest with you all. It's the same thing I do IRL (in real life). I like to make things happy and surface and pretty and nothing is ever wrong and we're perfect over here at my happy house. You may have suspected it- but that's not necessarily true. Things haven't been very happy lately. Not happy to the point that by the end of most days I'm ready to head for the hills. Lucky for me Steve supports me in that and many nights I do leave- even if it's just to go to Walmart so that I don't have to do the bedtime thing.

It's 11:51pm and I'm not sleeping. I laid in bed for 25 minutes and my head was swirling with thoughts and I needed to write them down. I felt strongly that I needed to write them here. I don't know if it's because one of you needed to read this- or if I needed you to read it and to make me feel okay. (Now if that wasn't a desperate plea for validation I don't know what is).

I've got a doctor's appointment tomorrow. I'm having a hard time enjoying life. I'm not finding joy in the things that I used to love to do, I have to force myself to do most anything lately. I find myself not enjoying my kids or my life in general. I know when I admit it to myself that I'm depressed. I spend a lot of not healthy time contemplating 'how things could be if...'. I can't go to sleep at night, then can't roll out of bed in the mornings. Then I can't make it through the day without a 2 hour nap. (I'm not pregnant). When I am awake I'm irritated and grumpy. I feel bad for my kids for having to live with me. I snap and yell and am very unpleasant to be around. I really just want them to leave me alone.

So I'm talking to the dr. about all of that tomorrow. I'm going to ask for some prescription medication to help me out of this slump. I know (intellectually) that it's not a weakness to do that- and I wouldn't think that anyone else is weak for taking antidepressants. But at the same time I'm almost ashamed to say that I need some help. How sick is that? I'd be admitting that I'm not perfect. The horror. That I've had a really really hard time the last several months. That even though I appear to have it all together I don't. That in the family I must be the weak one who can't deal with this.

I've spent the last several months self medicating with food. That's obviously not working well. Intellectually I know that- but emotionally I'm having a hard time stopping. I have so many things that I want to do- that I enjoy doing- but I just don't do them because it's too much work.

Part of me is worried about becoming addicted. Another (shallow) part of me is worried about the stigma. Another (also shallow) part of me is worried about more weight gain as a side affect. But I've been shortchanging my kids and my husband and most importantly myself lately. Example: I am not a spanker. I abhor spanking. I really do. But lately it's all I can do not to swat Annika's butt several times a day. Does it do any good? No. All it's done is make her meaner. But it's like I can't control myself- which scares me to death.

So there you have it. My confession. I'm not perfect and I'll stop trying to appear as such. I just need to do something or else my kids and I are not going to survive this summer intact.

A couple of things...

I've instituted some new rules at my house to try to save my sanity.

#1 you fight you do chores. I don't care if it was not your fault or if you didn't start it. Everyone involved has to make me feel better about my life because of the fighting. (Yes, it is all about me)

#2 You whine the same rules apply.

#3 I get to make up rules as I go. It's my right as the mom.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Be prepared...

If you say at dinner, "If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding, how can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat!" Be prepared to make pudding later on. The kids won't get the joke. They will however eat all their meat.

The letter L....

Ten words that start with the letter L- courtesy of Bon and the House of Chaos..

Seriously saying "think of the words with the L" makes it practically impossible to think of words with the Letter L.

La la la la la- does that count? It's what I feel like saying today, followed closely by 'I can't hear you!' (Yes, my fingers are in my ears)

Laptop- I'm loving my new laptop. Seriously. LOVING (another L word). I IM'd with my friend Alissa while 'playing' with the kids in the backyard tonight. Well, for about 10 minutes, then it was too freaking hot.

Laundry- The bane of my existance. I can't wait for the day when all my children do their own laundry... Ashley is learning this summer. I'm thrilled. I think I'm going to make her do the towels as well...

Lips- I have two canker sores currently. Owwie. It's from eating too much sugar lately. Have I stopped?? Um, no. Also makes me think of the Veggie Tales song, "I love my lips". "Your friends all laughed ... Usta?"

Lunch- The hardest meal of the day. I get so bored with it. I figure the kids must to- but they still request pb&j with the crusts off daily.

Law and Order- Show I'm watching currently

LOL- what I most frequently type on IM.

Lame- that's what I feel like 3/4 of the time.

Legumes- "A peanut isn't a nut it's a legume." Name that quote.

Library- Really that place scares me to death. I always forget to return books on time, or lose them and have to pay $35 for a $13.00 book because it needs 'library binding'. Not to mention it's a place that I'm supposed to take my four children- where there are lots of places to hide, things to pull off of shelves and they're supposed to be quite. My nightmare in a building. My NBF (new best friend) Emily wants to go on a regular basis this summer. Yeah. The good news? I remembered that my mom is moving here in three weeks. She has been officially nominated to go to the library with us. (Mom- I hope you're okay with that).

If you want to play I'll assign you a letter. Just let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Writing it down before I forget.

I can't believe it's been two months since my Dad died. So much has happened and changed and it just seems weird that he isn't here anymore. There are some other parts of the funeral that I feel the need to write down so I don't forget- and that I want to share because it's important.

We did 'Memories of a Father' and each child got up and shared one memory of my Dad with everyone. It was awesome really. I've got eight siblings, an older brother and seven younger sisters. Which to me (now as a parent) is amazing. But growing up it was just life, just how things were.

My older (only) brother talked about how he would go to scout campouts with my Dad, who always seemed to be involved with scouts in some way. My Dad LOVES the outdoors. Loves camping and anything remotely related. How somehow sitting at a campfire you felt closer to God then anywhere else. (I'm paraphrasing). Then he says, 'I'd like to sing a song that my Dad liked to sing at the campfire.' My brother doesn't sing. At least not in front of people. Then he started, "Pine trees, pine trees, pine trees, pine trees, Pine trees, pine trees Pine treeeeesss, (by now we're all laughing and crying because that is SO my dad) pine trees, pine trees pine trees, pine trees, pine trees, pine trees, pine trees.

It was perfect. A wonderful tribute to my dad by my brother. I just wanted to share it with you. I miss my Dad. Really. A lot.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday... Shoveling while it's snowing

My favorite quote:
"cleaning while you have children living in the home is like shoveling show while it's still snowing."

Cleaning is a constant never ending job. Some people enjoy it. I'm not one of those people. I have four small children. The youngest people are 3 1/2, 2 1/2 and 11 months. It's these three that are the snowstorm. By the time I have one room cleaned then next four rooms have been destroyed.

Another issue I have is that I moved into my house eight months ago. I still feel like there are things that don't have homes and like I'm still not organized completely- but the day to day stuff with all the crazieness makes it hard to get to that stuff. Anyway....

So here was my solution (here is where "Works for Me Wednesday" comes in):
What you need:
-one messy needing to be organized house
-one stressed out needing help mom
-one friend good enough to see your house in not a perfect (or near perfect) state
-two days with a 3-4 hour block of time (preferably naptime so kids will be out of the way)

We decided to help each other out so that we can 'shovel faster'. So twice a month we spend about four hours at my house 'shoveling' (yesterday we tackeled organizing the new toy room, the food storage closet under the stairs, the loft and the laundry room- all of which had piles of things without homes) then we spend the same time on different days at her house doing the same.

The benefits?
I also have cleaning ADD (self diagnosed) since I get easily distracted and can't seem to focus for extended amounts of cleaning (probably none of you have this problem) so having a friend there keeps me focused.

Also, it's more pleasant to have conversation and 'hanging out' time while working.

Two of us can work fast enough that several rooms get cleaned at once- before kids can destroy our efforts- YAY!

Also, I was on a 'cleaning roll' and kept going after she left and did a ton more. So YAY! There is my 'works for me Wednesday!'

For more 'Works for Me Wednesday' ideas visit Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Mmm.. Mmm... Monday!

Round two.

For this week we have:

Tuxedo Brownie cups:

These are a hit every time I make them. YUM! They look like a lot more work then they really are and are quite versitile. At Christmas time I top them with crushed candy cane. In the summer a slice of strawberry and some melted chocolate or a chocolate curl. FABULOUS! (This is a Pampered Chef recipe)


1 package (19-21 ounces) fudge brownie mix (plus ingredients to make
cake-like brownies)
2 squares (1 ounce each) white Chocolate forbaking (or 1/4 cup white
chocolate chips)
2 Tablespoons milk
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup thawed, frozen whipped topping
1 pint small strawberries, sliced
Orange zest, mint leaves and melted semi-sweet chocolate


1. Preheat oven to 325. Spray mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray
(don't use paper liners) or grease with shortening. Prepare brownie mix
according to package directions for cake-like brownies. (I've always just
done regular brownies, not sure what difference it will make). Fill muffin
cups 2/3 full. Bake 14 minutes or until edges are set. Do not overbake.

2. Remove pan from oven to a cooling rack. Immediately press tops of
brownies with a mini-tart shaper (anything small and rounded about the size
of the middle of the brownie will do- but I recommend covering it with a
plastic bag or the brownie sticks) to make indentations. (You're going to
fill the indentation, so make sure you press down as much as you can). Cool
in pan 15 minutes. Loosen edges and remoe brownies from pan. (I've found the
easiest way to get them out is to 'scoop' them with a large spoon). Cool
completely. Repeat with remaining batter.

3. Micowave white chocolate and milk in and uncovered dish for one minutes.
Stir until smooth. Cool slitghtely. In large bowl combine cream cheese and
powdered sugar; mix well. Gradually stir in white chocolate miture until
smooth. Gold in Whipped topping.

4. Fill icing bag with large decorating tip with cream cheese mixture. Pipe
cream cheese mixture into cooled brownie cups. If you want arrange
strawberry slices and mint leaves on top of brownies, garnish with orange
zest or drizzle with melted semi-sweet chocolate. Place in airtight
container and refrigerate 1-3 hours before serving. (I usually refrigerate

*Serving Information*

- Serves: 48
- Fat: 6.0 g
- Calories: 110

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Happy (late) Birthday to Steve

So my hubby Steve turned 32 yesterday. He however, doesn't buy into the 'birthday hype'. He feels like he's, 'not 10 and so he shouldn't get all excited about his birthday.' So using that as an excuse I kept it low key. He specifically requested to not have anyone over. So I didn't invite anyone over. Well, almost. Apparently I signed up to feed the missionaries weeks ago not thinking about it when I signed up. Oops. They called to confirm this afternoon. So Steve did have people over for his birthday- but we didn't tell them that it was his 'special day'. I did take him out for dinner Saturday night to Tony Roma's- but he paid. (I did schedule the babysitter though).

After dinner plans? Well- walking around RC Willey looking for a new kitchen table of course. We're old apparently- we can never think of fun things to do for dates once we get past the dinner part. We usually just take advantage of kid free shopping time. We need some ideas. We're not big movie theater fans. We prefer watching movies from the comfort of our couch in our pj's. But that nixes the 'dinner and a movie' option. Most things here are in casinos- which nixes that option because you come home from any date reaking of smoke. Which is really quite gross.

Now while Steve doesn't like celebrating his birthday I love celebrating mine. Of course my birthday is a ways off. (September 29th if you're wondering- and yes- I accept gifts).

In my observations it seems like there are two sorts of people as adults. The kind that likes their birthdays, likes to celebrate, and likes a big party with lots of people and hoopala. Then there is the Steve type person- the kind that doesn't like to be the center of attention, doesn't like a big fuss, or a party and for whom a surprise party is torture.

Of course most couples (once again in my observations- and in some cruel twist of fate) contain one of each. The party lover and the party hater. Of course the party lover (who would LOVE to have a surprise party for themself) throws parties for their spouse (who hates attention and doesn't like surprises) and at the same time is hoping that their spouse will return the favor- but of course they don't- because that's not how they like to celebrate... cruel irony...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Why I am 'just' a mom (getting up on my soapbox)

Pardon my soapbox:

I was reading my friend Smart Mama's blog and she got me thinking about motherhood and being 'just' a stay at home mom (SAHM). I don't feel like it's a degrading thing, I don't feel like I've 'settled', and I definitely don't feel like I've done a disservice to myself or my children by not having a career. Being a SAHM is a choice I made- one that was more important to me then any other choice. It is also an important choice to my husband. Together when we got pregnant with our oldest child we decided that I would stay home to take care of our children. That it was more important then anything else. I feel that because we've stood by that decision that we've been incredibly blessed in numerous ways. (*Disclaimer- not saying that if you can't or don't SAH then you're not blessed- just that we have been).

I wasn't always planning on being a SAHM. When I was in college I was a biology major headed towards med school. My goal? To be a pediatric neurologist. The summer after my freshman year I took a job as a nanny for a family where the dad was a traveling juice salesman (not kidding) and was gone from Sunday night until Friday afternoons EVERY WEEK. Honestly I wondered if he was leading a double life. The Mom was getting her master's degree in counseling. She left for school at 6:30 in the morning and returned home about 7 in the evening. She had a full load of classes and had to put in X amount of hours a week doing counseling at their center. She'd come home, eat dinner and then kiss her kids goodnight (after I'd gotten them into bed and read stories ect).

They had twin boys that were 6 and a little girl who was 4. The kids were out of control. They couldn't keep a nanny for very long (because of the parents really) and they never saw their parents. When Mom and Dad were around (weekends) they indulged every whim because of the guilt associated with being gone all the time.

I only worked for them for 6 weeks. I wasn't ready to be a full time parent to three out of control children (and I wonder now if I'm up for that task daily) and the parent's were trying to parent me (I had a 10:00 curfew ect) and I didn't need a job like that.

But I'm glad I had it. It clarified to me the importance of Mom being home. I could teach those kids anything I wanted and they soaked it up. I didn't want my babysitter/daycare provider to have more influence than me in my children's lives. So I decided that summer that I could either be a fabulous doctor and not have children- or I could be a fabulous mom and not be a doctor- but that I couldn't do both. I've stood by that decision and it's the best one I've made.

Am I the perfect mom? No. Not even close. I'm striving to be a better mom on a daily basis- but I think that 'being' here is a good start. I plan to stay home and be a SAHM for the long term. I've made that choice. I'm glad that I had the choice to make. I realize that is a blessing and I'm grateful for that. I'm also grateful for a husband that sees the value in that.

*stepping off my soapbox*

Flame away.

Works for me Wednesday!!

It's Works for Me Wednesday! Today is a conglomeration of tips for dealing with migranes. Mostly because it's what I'm doing today. I had a headache most of the day yesterday- the dull aching though- not the infernal throbbing.... until this morning. Unfortunately staying in bed wasn't an option since Child #1 had to go to school- and I had to take her. So to school we went and then came home and took some drugs, and had a diet cherry vanilla dr. pepper and put Child #4 to bed and put on a movie for children #2 and 3. Then I laid back down. Dozed until they needed another movie, lather, rinse, repeat. Unfortunately they decided they needed lunch- which is why I'm up again. I'd forgotten about my Bath and Body Works Headache relief kit- which is what I'm trying now. It's peppermint cream for your temples and neck, and a lavandar essential oil eye mask. I'm rubbing the cream on and as soon as all children are once again napping I'll be using the eye mask. I hope it works- I really do. And if it does then I'll be happy dancing.. well, cleaning, but you know.

caffinated beverage (seriously- check out that link)
more drugs
peppermint cream
eye mask

I hope it works for me!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

It's here!!

My piano has arrived. I'm officially giddy.

Smell this Internet!

I walked outside today and was greeted with my favorite flower smell in the world... well- for the moment at least. This:

Seriously, can you smell the jasmine? It's what marks spring in Las Vegas. Well- that and 90 degree weather. I really wish you all had scratch and sniff screens so you could enjoy this with me. I have 4 of these bushes outside my front door- how lucky am I!?!

Also today child #3 is wearing panties. Real, potty training ultra thick panties. It's 10 am, she's been up since 6:30. Once in her panties and once in the potty. I'm feeling good about this. I really really am. My strategy? Otter Pops. She can eat as many as she wants- as long as she's sitting on the toilet when she does. I'm cutting them in half- but then she's getting liquid so she has more 'opportunities' and she's getting potty sitting practice. Best of both worlds. I tried doing the naked thing for about 5 minutes. But this is my OCD child who insists on being fully clothed- so I told her she could wear shorts as long as she uses the potty, but if she gets them wet then she'll have to go naked. Hopefully that'll work.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Mmm Mmm Monday!

A column! Everyone is doing it- so why not me right? Food is my thing. I enjoy making it- and eating it (have you seen my butt?) I like good food. Food that looks good and tastes good (and if it's good for you it's a bonus). So I'm going to be sharing a favorite recipe of mine (or my family's) with you each Monday. Mmm Mmm...Monday! I love trying new recipes as well. So if you want to share a recipe today let me know in the comments and I'll link you.

Today's treat?

Blueberry Banana Smoothie- the breakfast of champions!

1/2 cup of fat free yogurt
1/2 cup of milk
1 small banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 tsp of vanilla
Ice/water to consistency
dab of whipped cream

Blend all ingredients together until smooth, top with whipped cream.

I have this or a variation of this for breakfast daily. Fills me up until lunchtime. It is core if you are on Weight Watchers- or 4 points if you're doing flex. This recipe makes 4-5 cups (so twice the amount in the picture. So if you split it with someone (or half the recipe) then it's a great 2 point treat. YUM!

Alissa's Macaroni and cheese