2017 Cooking Adventures

I'm so excited. I bought this book, and I can't freaking wait to eat everything! Every recipe so far that I've flipped through looks delicious and so I'm pretty sure I'm going to be able to cook a lot of recipes from this... WOO HOO!! I think The Monkey will eat most of the rice and chicken dishes, but probably not too many of the veggie dishes unless we make her at least try everything. 

I'm planning on trying at least one recipe each week - except for the eggplant recipes, I'll just ignore them. HA! I'm sure I can combine some of the main dish recipes with a veggie and a rice dish too - and I LOVE RICE. YUM. So I'll probably randomly post some recipes from this book in the next year. I can't wait to try some new foods. 


2017 New Year's Resolutions

I have no resolutions.

Well, except to put together a list of banned books and read them. Collect them. Figure out which books may become banned and read them. Collect them.

I'm half mortified at the election of Donald Trump. Maybe more than half mortified. I'm just shocked at the blatant racism of some Americans. Well, that's not true, I really shouldn't be shocked.

Because truly - when you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression - and that's not my quote, I saw a meme on Facebook and that struck me as true for the white blue color working class. But you know what else is true - we're all born human, we're all born equal, and we're all born naked. I can't fathom for the life of me why so many people care so much about the color of skin.

In any case, I'm trying to gather up as many banned book lists and try and come up with a comprehensive list so that at some point I can read all the books. Because I love reading. And I think that it's important to read about subjects that make you uncomfortable. And I think this new administration that we have wants to ban all the liberal things they can. So that's my mission this upcoming year - to make sure everyone has access to books. Especially books that make you uncomfortable and have subjects that people might not like. It's important to learn. Because learning makes you think in new ways, it makes you see things you might not have seen before. The more you learn, the more you know, the more open person you are to ACCEPTING (not tolerating) people for who they are.

So far I've come up with these links -

Banned Books Week

American Library Association's List of frequently challenged books

Most frequently challenged books

And I'm planning on reading all that I can (which may end up being only 20, but still, I'm going to read those 20 books and enjoy the shit out of it!).

So, I challenge everyone to read books. To challenge those that challenge books. To challenge those that challenge our freedom to learn.

Take 2017, grab it by the pussy, and fucking read the shit out of all the books you can!


The End of the Year

I feel as if I'm at a crossroads in my life and I have to decide which way to go - and neither way looks bumpy or harder or easier or more random or whatever, it just seems as if I've hit a fork and I have to decide where to go. It's not like I've hit any random crisis or anything strange is going on in my life, it's just where I've somehow ended up.

The Monkey goes to Kindergarten next Fall, which means it will be just Chewie and me at home (but most likely going to ECFE classes, etc...). This means that I don't have my preschool moms to chit chat with 6 times per week, I don't have my usual in-depth chats about raising a 4 year old with her teachers. We've just hit the point where The Monkey is going to REAL SCHOOL. I want to jump for joy and cry all at the same time. It absolutely wouldn't be fair to her to keep her home for another year - she would be bored and act out a ridiculous amount. I can't do that to her, so I need to send her off to school where she can be social, make new friends, and learn. A lot. And she already reads. Yep, she reads.

And now Chewie is awake so I get to sign off. Happy Wednesday!


Weekly Meal Planning

As I get this motherhood to two thing under my belt, I've discovered that if I meal plan (and I mean like seriously meal plan, not just fly under the radar with crap in the cupboards), it makes my life so much easier.

And I just write what we're having on post-it notes and put those up on the outside of the cupboard. Easily changed if necessary AND I can see what we're having for the next meal.

So here's my meal plan for the week:

Monday (yesterday)
Lunch - Turkey quesadillas - leftover Thanksgiving turkey in taco seasoning, cheese, avocado, chips and salsa
Dinner - Chicken nuggets, sweet potato fries, green beans

Lunch - Grilled cheese, tomato soup
Dinner - Veggie soup

Lunch - breakfast - eggs, toast, sausage
Dinner - Pasta with red sauce (meatless)

Lunch - Mac and cheese
Dinner - Veggies burgers, sweet potato fries, frozen veggies

Lunch - ??? - Bruegger's?
Dinner - Papa Murphy's Pizza for Friday Night Movie Night


Christmas Stockings


Our Christmas stockings were purchased by Bimmer Man's Grandpa - and he died a few years ago - which means that Chewy doesn't have a matching stocking. For the next three days I will be scouring the internets trying to find a matching stocking.

I'm pretty sure they all came from Land's End - they've been personalized though so I'm hoping the store still has the same thread colors and embroidery colors so that his can match the rest of the stockings.

I'm going to decorate on Friday with the "help" of The Monkey so we shall see how she reacts when her beloved Baby Chewy doesn't have a stocking.

But then all the stockings will be out so then I can finally order one for Baby Chewy.

Oy, which brings me to a new problem - we don't actually have a chimney so that means I'm stuck on where to put the stockings. I think I'm just going to find a shelf with hooks and hang it up in the living room to live all year round - I would like to get a stocking post but our house is really too small to store more crap so I think a shelf would be more useful all year long.

Happy decorating!


Enjoying The Small Victories of Parenthood

Stay-at-home-parents rarely say the bad things about staying at home. Why? Because I think we feel judged about staying at home. Because we're "lucky" to stay home. Meh, I'm not so sure about that. If you water your own grass you'll never need to want what's on the other side (or in my case, weeds, because we don't use pesticides. HA!).

And I completely forgot what it's like to parent an infant - the isolation, the REALLY LONG DAYS, the weird schedules, plus now throw a 4 year old into the mix and BAM our days are super weird. One child is in the phase where she NEEDS to get out of the house for activities and the other child is in the phase where he NEEDS to stay home to nap. Oy, parenting.

So Tuesday I just said, "FUCK IT ALL!!! We're going to the lake!"

And you know what...it was freaking awesome.

Chewbacca and I sat in the shade while The Monkey waded and played with sand toys. FOR TWO HOURS. TWO HOURS OF AWESOMENESS.

And I met another mom of two with the same age differences - the youngest was two - and she said the best words ever - IT GETS BETTER!!

I almost hugged her.

And no, I didn't take pictures. I was too busy watching another mom of two struggle with her children - and I couldn't do a fucking thing about it because I was busy feeding Chewbacca.

It was a moment where I realized that I used to be the mom that helped other moms. And that was amazing because when I struggled, there was always a mom-stranger to help me out, and then I was the mom-stranger to help out, and now I'm the one in need again. I can't wait to be the helper mom-stranger again.

But watching her I saw that she was a serious helicopter mom and would totally not even accept my help anyway. She was busy entertaining her toddler AND 7 month old AT THE SAME TIME. And I seriously mean helicoptering BOTH children. Doesn't that get tiring? Like a ping-pong ball bouncing back and forth. The Monkey was watching the toddler, waiting for the mom to leave her alone so The Monkey could play with her. And guess what...the toddler missed out on making a friend. I felt sad for the mom - we could have sat on our beach blankets together talking and drinking La Croix waters and watching our babies instead. Oh, well. Parenting isn't the same for everyone. Maybe next time the other mom will want to sit for a break.

So I decided to take my small parenting victory instead. When we got back to the car and I had it all packed up I totally did a fist pump. I had conquered the morning (unlike last night where it took 5 tries to get Chewy down for the night...but he slept from 9-7:15 so I really can't complain too much!).

So I'll just leave this with a picture of the two goons.


Because It's Amazon Prime Day

I have no fucking clue as to what I've ordered so far.

It's all stuff that we need - as in I'm only shopping in grocery deals so...it'll all get eaten. Last year I bought a bike rack and granola. This year I've purchased organic coconut milk, Annie's mac & cheese, and organic cane sugar.

Oh, wait. I bought a Barbie too.

And I think a few other items.




Sit Properly On Your Chair

Sitting at the dining room table this morning was an absolute hilarious riot.

The Monkey reminded me of something funny that happened a few months ago.

The Monkey, holding up her hand and pointing to her pinky finger: Mom! Mom! Do you remember when I hurt my pinky and you put peas on it?

Me: Um...which time?

The Monkey: When I fell off my chair.

Me: Oh, yeah...that time when we were eating dinner and I looked up from my plate and you were on the floor?

Now you have to know something. She falls off her chair on a regular basis.

And I mean probably once a week or so. Mostly it's on accident because she's at the height where a booster is just too tall but sitting on her butt isn't exactly high enough to shovel food into her mouth without bumping the table with her arm and getting food all over. That's an eyebrow-raiser in itself to watch...a preschooler shoveling food into their mouth...

We have to talk about sitting properly on a dining room chair on a daily basis because if I don't then, well, she falls off. And this is what I see from my seat at the table:

A child is seemingly sitting "properly" at the dining room table shoveling eating food. A hand flies up into the air. The other hand flies out the opposite way. A fork or a spoon is suddenly spewed from a hand (complete with food, so really whatever plain carbs we're having for part of our meal) and in slow motion I realize that I'm going to be cleaning food from the walls, table, floor, and probably hair (not always the child's, but mine too).

Then there's a thump. A clatter of silverware. And there's no longer a child sitting at the table. But there sure is a plate full of food. And a drink with a silly straw.

And me. With a full on face palm. Seriously.

I actually said, "AGAIN?!?" out loud the last time this happened. Because I realized The Monkey was SQUATTING on the chair. Her toes couldn't hold her balance anymore and BAM. Over she went. Like a freaking domino.

So yeah, this morning I was laughing so hard because I know...she'll probably fall off her chair at lunch and will end up holding a bag of frozen corn on some appendage of her body.

Happy Tuesday. And sit properly on your chair.


Fabulous Children's Books

Children's books can be terrible. I'm going to be brutally honest. There's nothing worse than being stuck reading your child's "favorite" book ten to fifteen times per day and the book just being horrendous. For example, any board book that only has a few words on each page. Or just descriptions of objects. Or any Disney Channel tv show easy-to-read book. They're all terrible.

But there's a few books that I would totally recommend - buy these for new parents. They'll be so happily surprised.

Blueberries For Sal by Robert McCloskey - classic book. Girl gets lost from mother. Eventually mother finds girl. Illustrations are AMAZING for being a book published in the 1940's.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt - you have to read this in silly, angry voices. It makes way more sense. Plus from a parent's perspective I definitely agree with the crayons. And the poor Beige crayon. I get it, I totally get it. The Monkey loves this book - it makes her want to color for days!

Waiting by Kevin Henkes - patience. SO MUCH PATIENCE. And the illustrations are beautiful. The book is super easy and fast to read. It makes me want to look out a window all day long after reading this and take the time to just... wait.

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires - holy shit. BUY THIS BOOK. Not only does it teach a kid to keep trying and to take a time out when you're frustrated but it's so freaking awesome, especially for girls! Instead of having a boy the main character doing the building, it's a girl, and I think it's great.

So there you go. Next time you go to a birthday party or a baby shower...buy one of these books!


CSA Recipe Ideas

YAY!! CSA season is upon us!

June - tis the season for so many greens, it's pretty ridiculous. I've been over and done with pesto for at least a year - but I still made two different batches of it this year - one with arugula and another with kale (mer, I make it and then I don't want it on pasta so I have to figure out different ways to use it).

So here's what I've made so far:

Salads - LOTS AND LOTS of them.

Pesto - made with either kale or arugula and then mixed with olive oil, garlic scapes, romano cheese (from our CSA too!), salt, and pepper.

Tacos - chicken tacos with the meat simmered with garlic scapes, young onions, and then put together with arugula, kale, and other simple salad greens.

Sauteed greens - any greens sauteed with coconut oil, salt, and pepper is amazing. Switch it up with olive oil, sesame oil, or sunflower oil.

Lettuce Wrap Tacos - Butter lettuce makes great taco shells!

Simple snacks - french bread or crackers with quark cheese (from the CSA) topped with blueberries or french radishes. Sliced raw turnips with hummus.

Scrambled eggs with arugula or kale

Basically, eggs any way with sauteed kale or arugula with sliced tomatoes or peppers on the side.

I hope that's a few options for you! It's hard to come up with meal ideas day after day after day with a whole bunch of greens. They get pretty old after awhile although I wish garlic scapes were year round! SO DELISH.


Let's Do A Little Update

Well, let's do a little update since it's been a VERY LONG TIME since I've updated this thing.

Has my blog been on the forefront of my mind? Well, no. 

Chewie was born in early May. He's over 5 weeks old. I'm sleeping, don't worry about that. He wakes 2x per night unless he's going through a growth spurt and then it seems like he's up every hour. 

We've been through almost all the freezer meals. 

Our first CSA box was delivered yesterday (today for lunch it's going to be Lettuce Wrap Tacos!).

I'm close to being fully recovered from a C-section. This time my recovery has been AMAZING. I was approved to ride a bike before 2 full weeks (which was nuts BTW, and it didn't hurt too much, but I didn't go very far!). Still can't lift more than the baby with the baby carrier - and I can tell I can lift a little more weight, however, with major abdominal surgery you can tell if you're doing too much so no twisting or turning (it HURTS when you do and trust me, you DO NOT WANT TO POP AN INTERIOR STITCH). The Monkey is super excited that I can bend over to give her a hug too.

I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight, which I didn't think would happen for another two months or so but apparently involuntarily skipping meals and drinking lots of water, La Croix water, and tea will definitely help aide in weight loss. 

In any case, we're alive. We're well. So happy June!!


From The Mouths of Babes

The Monkey: They shot down the shit! They shot down the shit!

Me, slightly puzzled, getting breakfast ready: WHAT?

The Monkey: They shot down the shit!

Me: Um? Shot down what? What are you doing?

The Monkey: I'm reading a book, Mom. They shot down the shit.

Me, peeking around the corner to see EXACTLY what's happening: What book, Monkey?

She turns around, holding up a Star Wars book as high as possible and says: See, Mom! They shot down the shit!

I think we're going to need to work on our "P" sounds.

And The Checklist Keeps Getting Longer? Shorter?

I'm not really sure at this point. Seriously.

We've got less than 4 weeks until this next baby comes and I'm not quite sure where we're all at.

Because it snowed today. Like a SERIOUS snow. It's all melted now but this morning I was thinking, "GOOD LORD, MINNESOTA. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER."

And I need to get outside to amend the front garden beds and get the compost out of the composter. I also need to determine WHERE all of my perennials are out front because I can't remember...I planted veggies where I pulled dead perennials so this year may be a mystery. I may just go and "rescue" plants at Menard's or Home Depot at 75% off, shove them into the garden beds with compost and cross my fingers.

Funny story (well, not really, but totally typical McTatty) - I found house plants at Menard's that needed, um, rescuing, because they hadn't been watered in awhile so I bargained them down because I showed how dry all the foliage was. And I brought them home. And I figured that since I've kept a child alive for four years, house plants shouldn't be too hard, right?

So far so good. My only worry is a cactus that Bimmer Man brought home. I think I water it too much. Is once a week ok?

I also wanted to buy houseplants because we live in an old house and I wanted to improve the air quality. Not only do houseplants do that but they're also really good feng shui too. I tried to ferret out the terrible plants at Menards and compare them to an indoor houseplant air quality improvement list (OMG, why did I do that to myself????). And to another list here.

And as it turns out, the only "air cleaners" that I bought turned out to be an aloe plant (from Trader Joe's, not Menard's!) and two Snake Plants - but I discovered two plants in one pot so I need to split that and put a Snake Plant in another room, maybe a bathroom?

Back to the Checklist.

We would like to get a new bed. Will that happen? UMMM....Maybe?

Donate more crap.

Clean out the laundry room so I can put up shelving for bulk items like toilet paper and paper towels.

Get all the small toys that can be choked on out of the living room and train The Monkey to keep her toys off the floor (I'm not sure this can be done).

Worship Mother Earth until she warms up enough so I can move the seedlings to the back porch.

Oh yes, and get the porch organized so we can actually sit out there - I want to move the loveseat outside and near the sandbox so I don't have to keep hauling a different dining chair out there to be near The Monkey while she plays. The back porch seems to be turning into a storage area and I'm not liking that shit at all so something needs to be done about that.

Hang up a rack for tea cups. Because. I like tea. I need more space in my cupboards.

Get rid of more shit.

And get rid of more shit.

And basically get rid of as much shit as humanly as possible that we don't use.

Happy Friday!


Productivity - Freezer Meals

Freezer meals be damned. I got almost all of them done except for 3. And for the life of me...I'm thinking about just chucking the rest of the chicken into bags with marinades. Oh, wait...that's what I did with the rest of it all.

My list:

All are served with some type of fresh vegetable from our CSA or fresh from the garden. In the summer I don't typically serve a starch, instead I opt for more vegetables.

3 meals - Chicken Curry (served with rice & veggies)
3 meals - Shrimp Curry (served with rice & veggies)
3 meals - Tequila Lime Chicken (Grilled or Sauteed)
3 meals - Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs (Grilled or sauteed)
3 meals - Teriyaki Chicken (Grilled or sauteed)
2 meals - 4B's Flank Steak (Grilled or baked)
1 meal - Honey Mustard Pork Loin (Grilled or baked)
1 meal - Mediterranean Pork Loin (Grilled or baked)
3 meals - Honey & Spice Kebobs (Grilled, indoors or outdoors)

22 meals = TOTAL, plus I have 3 more packages of chicken so that's 25 meals total for May when baby comes.

One very large item is now off of my to-do list. Which is great...except now I want to eat all of it but nope, I can't. NOT YET. It's all for May/June. It's all proteins that we eat - plus we'll get CSA veggies starting in June (I think around the 17th), cheese, and eggs from the CSA to. I'll just need to stock up on frozen veggies the first few days in May and we'll be all set for meals. Possibly put Davanni's number on the speed dial on the phone (well, maybe not). 


Toy Organization - Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

I don't like "stuff" out and all around. It seriously irritates the crap out of me when I find toy parts that don't belong with other toy parts. Maybe it's the OCD in me? I'm not sure but I do know this - do you remember when you were little and you pulled out a game only to find that pieces were missing so you had to scavenge around your house to play? Well, Bimmer Man doesn't put all the pieces back to toys and it seriously irritates me. I'm planning on moving two toy bins out of the living so stuff like that can't happen anymore (Oh, and getting rid of as many small plastic things that just don't fit with anything we have, things that don't get played with, and putting pieces back to the toys that they belong to).

Currently there are white Sterilite bins in my Amazon cart but I can't quite bring myself to buy them yet. I've got half my yarn organized into a bookshelf, 5 plastic storage bins that I need to either get rid of or fill up with toys to put into a rotation OR I need to figure out how to organize my clothes by season so I can store stuff properly.

But with all the toys that we have and another child on the way, I have a feeling that we'll probably acquire more toys. Since I'm more into the educational toys instead of the "one-time use" toys, I'm sure at some point I'll need to have a serious toy purge (in about 4 years!).

On my list of things to do in the basement is get everything on a shelf (a motto that I found - everything has a place, everything in its place), get everything a basket, make everything easy to see AND play with (because otherwise it never gets played with). To do that, we're going to need bookcases (which in the grand scheme of things is in the plan), to get bookshelves we need to get the walls drywalled, to get the walls finished we need to pull out the old carpet, and the list goes on.

These things will not be finished this year.

And that's ok for now, but that means that I need to figure out how to organize on the cheap and get stuff into its "spot" so that we have a relatively organized house by the beginning of May.

I've started small - bins for accessories for the red storage shelf in the front hall along with a bin for all correspondence stuff (like thank you cards, greeting cards, stamps, etc...), a bin for cleaning stuff in the master bathroom, and a large bin for Barbie stuff.

Next I'm going to have Bimmer Man take the rod out of the front closet so I can install 2 rows of trim so I can put up hooks instead of hanging jackets on hangers and The Monkey can hang up her own crap.

We'll see what gets accomplished this weekend.


Nutella Cookie Recipe

Ugh. We've been eating so much sugar lately it's absolutely ridiculous. I normally don't eat this much sugar and there's usually no way that I even think about giving The Monkey this much sugar. But being pregnant and sometimes having weird cravings, it's sort of normal to have some sort of something with sugar in this house. And that absolutely needs to change at some point this week - it's soon to be spring and I'm so anxious for fresh berries and fruits that it's driving me nuts! I really just want to eat raspberries. That's all. FRESH PICKED RASPBERRIES. But I suppose I can settle for cane sugar, raw honey, agave, and whatever other sweet items I can get my hands on. But goodness gracious, we haven't eaten this much sugar in FOREVER. 

In fact, I rarely even let The Monkey eat macaroni and cheese (because OMG, if you've ever seen the CRAP macaroni and cheese that restaurants serve, you'd never leave the fucking toilet, I swear - literally AND figuratively - which somehow every time we go to a restaurant my mother-in-law insists on macaroni and cheese for The Monkey and every time there's major digestive issues, so we don't do macaroni and cheese anymore at restaurants at all. Future parents - take note, please!!! Oh, not to mention that all three of us have some sort of issues with either lactose or dairy products which means that in our house, we've cut down on dairy quite a bit!). 

Anyway, after all of our unhealthy sugar addictions, I still make some sort of "treat" at least once per week - but really it's just baking something so that The Monkey can practice measuring, dumping, cracking eggs and baking with me, and the treat is usually some type of chocolate chip cookie OR tossing ingredients into the bread machine for a french loaf or a regular sandwich bread, on weeks where it seems we're eating poorly are the weeks where I make bread instead of cookies.

But then I came upon a recipe for peanut butter chippers and didn't have peanut butter. So I swapped out the peanut butter for Nutella and added in the Nutella at the very end...because I forgot to add it in to the batter at the beginning. Sometimes mistakes turn out great!


Nutella Cookies

6 TBSP Butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup Nutella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a bowl or mixer cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

Fold in chocolate chips.

Fold in Nutella. Yes, that's correct, I didn't actually mix it into the batter at the beginning!

Use a tablespoon to drop batter onto a cookie sheet or an ice cream scoop.

Bake for 11-14 minutes until edges are JUST golden. Let cool two minutes on cookie sheet then remove to let cool fully on racks. 

Store in airtight container for up to 5 days. 

Junk Mail And Wine Clubs

Do you ever get a great piece of junk mail and think "I AM GOING TO SIGN UP FOR THAT SHIT" every once in awhile?

Well, that happened to me today.

I've been ordering a few items off of Zulily lately (and even if you're not a parent there's TONS of women's clothes, shoes, and home items but I mostly order kid crap) and in the packaging when the items come (and NOT in a timely manner, I do have to say - some items have taken WEEKS to ship!!) there's a $100 wine voucher for nakedwines.com.

So today I looked at the website. I added cases of wines to the cart.

And then I almost hit myself on the head with a baseball bat.

I can't drink until May and even then I won't have time nor will I actually want to because taking care of a newborn and drinking alcohol is not smart. So clicked on the "X" and closed the webpage.


It was just like the freaking bagel coupon that came in the mail a week ago to Einstein Bro. Bagels. I really wanted a bagel so I kept the coupon but guess what...THERE'S NO EINSTEIN NEAR OUR HOUSE.

So after a week those coupons went into the recycling.

And this wine voucher...it's going into the garbage too. I'm not joining a wine club for $40 per month plus paying another $100 for a case of wine on top of that. I'm going to be honest - I'll totally forget to order after the third month which is exactly what I'm sure the company wants me to do anyway.

I'll just go to the France 44 liquor store and demand that someone put together a random case of wine for me and BAM. I'll drink it later this year. I think we get like $5 off for every $75 we spend anyway for belonging to their club anyway. And I also think they do a discount if you buy wine by the case.

So moral of the story...stop opening the crap junk mail and just recycle it.


Time For A New Tattoo

Well, this June anyway, I can't right now since I'm knocked up. I'm planning on getting a new tattoo.

I asked Bimmer Man if it's ok - because quite frankly, it represents him and I wanted to know if it would be ok to get something permanent on my body.

He sort of looked at me with a blank stare and said, "OK."

I'm pretty sure I threw him for a loop. And we've been together for so long that he's pretty great at being able to predict me.

In any case...

Since my wedding rings keep going missing and somehow get misplaced I'm going to get my wedding ring tattooed onto my finger.

I know. I know.

Or at least I think I know what you're thinking.


But yes, people, I'm going to do it.

And eventually I'll get The Monkey's birthday and Baby Chewy's birthday dates (I have a plan for those, but I wanted to make sure I was finished having children first).

And I want something to symbolize the Earth too and my love of nature and gardening but I don't know quite yet. There's a lot of plants that I love but not one that seriously stands out enough to me yet to really represent anything.

So far I'm just thinking a linking infinity symbol for the drawing on my finger, nothing too crazy, nothing too out there, nothing with hearts, nothing with a date, nothing that's solid black. Bimmer Man said that a tattoo on his finger wouldn't go over well at work so he's not getting one and that's absolutely fine with me - and plus he LOVES his ring. I don't think he'd give it up for the world. Since my child is my boss, I asked her if I could get a drawing on my finger and she said yes, so it's an approved workplace item.

So this June I'm getting a tattoo.

Now I just need to find a tattoo parlor with child care.

It's Monday

And Pi Day!

Today The Monkey has requested Turkey Pot Pi(e) and a Chocolate Pi(e) for dessert.

Hope you have Pi(e) that is awesome too!


Less Than 8 Weeks


There's less than 8 weeks until this next kid comes.

To be quite honest, I'm not freaking out like I was with The Monkey. I'm not stressed out about it. I'm not worried. We've been through the newborn phase before so I need to stock coffee in the cabinet.


That's really what it comes down to.

The heartburn is awful, the awkwardness of standing up/sitting down is really getting to me because I'm so used to just being able to be NORMAL.

But this is also probably the last child I will birth SO I'm trying to enjoy kicks to my kidney, accidentally cutting the blood supply from my legs (this is why you don't sleep on your back when you're pregnant, the baby ends up against your spine and leaning against weird veins and BAM, suddenly your legs are tingling, your left arm is tingling and you're panicking that you're dying, which you're not, you just need to roll over), and the weird maternity pants that NEVER seem to fit right (either too big or too small and you always feel like people can see the stupid stretch band part).

I can't wait to get rid of my maternity clothes. I'm going to freaking jump for joy. I've only gained 12 pounds so as long as I don't shove food into my gullet for two I should only gain 8-10 more pounds. After baby and placenta leave my body, I should be close to 15 pounds lighter from the hospital and then pee out everything else plus getting to walk and exercise over the summer should mean that I don't have as much to lose as with The Monkey. Which is awesome.

Truth be told, if The Monkey's pregnancy was as easy as this one, I'd probably have 11 kids. Why? Because only 18 weeks of morning sickness really isn't all that bad compared to the 28 weeks of morning sickness with The Monkey. Bimmer Man would probably disagree but only because he had to learn how to solo parent as I threw up on the weekends. I solo parent on a daily basis so I really had no sympathy (and I tossed my cookies plenty of times watching The Monkey all.by.myself too).

So all in all, I've puked for a total of 46 weeks. That is almost one full year of vomiting due to pregnancy. Disgusting.

I'm pretty much one of those women where pregnancy sucks and it's a means to an end which requires some serious thought if we ever decide to do it again (I'm pretty sure I would, as long as it's only 18 weeks of puking).

I'm also ready to see what this kid looks like. If he was going to be a girl, I suppose I'd have some idea of what she would look like - probably more like my dad's family to start with (round face, very Finnish eyebrows) and also exactly like Bimmer Man. A boy though...I'm not sure!

We have everything we need except for diaper cream and a sound machine but both of those can be purchased on Amazon so whatever...



Ha! Ha! Ha! So True.

As I've gotten older, this means so much more. I laugh every time I see it. 

(And I'm not being passive-aggressive, I just don't care about what people think anymore). 


Clear The Clutter...

Can I do it before this next baby gets here? I'm not really sure.

All I know is this:

Crap keeps coming into this house and there's not much crap leaving this house.

That needs to change.

So far I can think of at least 25 items that need to leave this house.

This includes: stuffed animals (GOOD GOD. HOW MANY STUFFED ANIMALS DO PEOPLE NEED TO GIVE US. NO MORE. NO MORE. NO MORE); old small kids chairs that no longer are used or are too small or just take up space; The Monkey's old baby clothes that won't work with a boy; a few gardening items (but I seriously do need a pitchfork); two old platters that I don't use; and then in June - maternity clothes (OMG, will we actually be done having kids though??? That answer might change, I'm not sure!); and some other clothes that don't fit me.

Next week (after menu planning) I'm going to start on bags and piles of "stuff" that needs to leave this house. And I'm going to try to take pictures because I'm already amazed at just the things that I can think of that need to leave this teeny tiny 1949 house.


You Can Find Me on Facebook!


On a whim I decided to make a Facebook page. I don't really follow many other bloggers' Facebook pages because instead I read the blogs on Feedly - I figure most will just be posting links to their blog posts anyway and I read Feedly so...no point in following them on Facebook anyway.

But if you're curious or just want to see me a bit more...follow me on Facebook here.

Happy Friday!!

Frustrations. Girl Mom Frustrations.

The amount of sexism in toys isn't really apparent until you ARE a parent.

Why do I say this?

I don't have a girl that likes typical "girl" toys. Does she like dolls and Barbies? Yes, but she also wants to be a construction worker, a mechanic, a gardener, a Star Wars character and lots and lots of other characters that wouldn't be considered a "girl" thing to do, especially according to toy companies.

Toys are not for boys or girls. Toys are to play with. Toys are just toys. They don't all need to be pink or blue. They don't all need to be marketed to just boys or just girls.

Crap like this really irritates the shit out of me. Why? Because boys can play with dollhouses too. Girls can be construction workers too. There's no boundaries or limits to children's imaginations.

The Monkey asked for a pink utility belt.

Blue, yellow, green, red? Yes. Your typical "boy" colors? Yes.


So I made one. A better utility belt than I could have purchased.

And I'm tempted to make more and sell them.

Parents of girls need more options when it comes to dress up clothes. Melissa & Doug has absolutely awesome options for dress up clothes, but when it comes to kids that know what colors they love to wear and are concerned about fashion at a young age...it can be hard to find what your kid will play with.

Same with boy options too. Not all boys want blue. Some want green, yellow, red, teal, orange, AND pink. All of those colors are awesome options.

All children need to be treated equally and have an equal opportunity to imagine whatever they want. As parents it's our job to cultivate their creativity - and to make sure they have what they need to play. Can I change how toy companies make toys and their color choices? No, but I can make my child happy by making what she wants.

Are there any other children out there that want "utility" belts like this?


Mount Rushmore

The Fresh 20 For One Week (Winter Menu) - Review

I bought The Fresh 20 cookbook last year thinking that this was going to be awesome (because I do like menu planning, I like eating fresh, I like cooking), but I bought it on Kindle and so it's not like you can resell it if you don't like it. What I should have done was borrowed it from the library first because I have a problem with it.

I really like the menus for Spring, Summer, and Fall but the Winter menus are so perplexing to me. And I only really like one week out of the four that are in the recipe book. The three menus that I don't like have ingredients that The Monkey won't eat - and recipes that I probably wouldn't like either OR food that's not in-season and food that's not cheap in Minnesota (like clams - those bastards are so expensive!). 

So I tried the only week that looked good to me and that looked like it might be a fairly reasonable budget. 

THANK GOODNESS I already had meat in the freezer because to be quite honest - if I didn't have the meat, our grocery bill for one week would have been over $175. RIDICULOUS. I had a three pound roast, chicken breasts, turkey sausage, and fish already so it wasn't too bad (but buying all that meat for one week would have been so expensive from either Byerly's OR the Co-op). 

I did it though - I made a beef roast, sausage, fish with veggies, a vegetarian meal, and a plate of pasta with the leftover roast beef. 

All of the recipes were really great, and tasted awesome. But I think I'm going to have to review the Spring menus to see what I can mash together for when we start getting our CSA boxes - my problem is that not everything we have will fit together with pre-planned menus SO I need to be able to fudge recipes a bit and move things around, when dealing with leftovers that can be hard to do (plus it's not like you actually want to cook EVERY NIGHT when a frozen pizza will do the job...). 

Conclusion - if you hate menu planning, you can cook 5 out of 7 days, and have approximately $150 to spend if you eat all organic, then go for it. Buy the cookbook, cook the food (which the recipes are really good!) and plan away!


Oh...I Miss Gardening...

Freezer Cooking - Homemade Garlic Bread

One of my tricks to getting dinner on the table AND meal planning is doing freezer meals. Well, sort of. In general the protein portion comes from the freezer (organic, non-GMO, humanely raised chicken, turkey, or wild-caught fish. One new thing to note: I had to go back to rarely eating red meat. Pregnancy fucks with your digestive system AND your body AND your head and my body just couldn't handle the red meat anymore), and our veggies are mostly fresh organic, non-GMO and supplemented with organic frozen veggies.

Yes, I really AM that person - we eat pretty darn close to 90% organic, non-GMO food and our bodies are fucking healthy. And yes, I'm going to swear when I say that because I can seriously tell the difference between when we eat conventional food and organic food - especially with dairy products.

So in any case, one of our favorite sides to a meal of spaghetti is garlic bread. Bimmer Man is pretty addicted to the Cole's garlic toast where you just put it in the oven for 5-7 minutes. And I tried to replicate it by making my own frozen loaf of garlic bread.

So I sliced up a loaf of fresh french bread, slathered one side of each slice with garlic butter and herbs (butter with garlic salt, and chopped fresh herbs - basil, oregano, tarragon, and thyme). Then I wrapped it all up with saran wrap, covered in tinfoil and then froze. 

But it didn't cook up in the pan like the Cole's bread does. SO. I learned my lesson. Don't wait until the last minute - defrost for a few hours in the fridge and then bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes instead. 

And you know what...I haven't made homemade frozen garlic bread since. Fresh is always better so now I know. I will probably never try this again. Which is why I also like to blog about recipes that DON'T work - I'd rather warn you about the disappointment. 


Gotta Get Back Into A Frugal Habit

With such a large change coming soon, I'm suddenly feeling the need to get back to being more frugal - like last summer - hanging clothes out on the line, eating only from the CSA box, doing free activities, and in general, just buying less stuff.

So I'm starting up actually listing out five frugal things that I've done in the past few days. I'm hoping that I can inspire myself to keep doing more and more frugal things.

1. Walked the Monkey to school today - the car is in the garage, no gas used today. WOO HOO. Well, gas is cheap at the moment but still, we didn't use gas.

2. Turkey 4 Bean Chili for lunch - I made it back in January and froze it, one of my all time favorite freezer meals - chili always tastes better leftover!

3. The Monkey needed a new scarf so I pulled out my crochet hook and her favorite purple yarn and made her an awesome scarf.

4. I received a bulb catalog in the mail and suddenly realized I had all these seeds saved from last year - I can't wait to get them started with the egg cartons that I've saved, but I just have to be realistic about how much I can plant in May after I give birth.

5. My neighbor has been slowly clearing out her closets too - which means that we've been reaping the rewards! We've received a whole bag of paper, and next is scissors! Art projects galore!

Happy Frugal Wednesday to you!

February. It's Here!

It's the 3rd. There was a blizzard. AND IT'S SO AWESOME. I've shoveled twice, watched The Monkey build an "igloo," and we walked to preschool. I really do love snow!

Baby Chewy's room has been painted, the rug is down, two pictures are put up, a few necessities have been purchased, and we're well on our way to having a finished 2nd child's room by May. Hopefully.

I signed up as a repeat customer at Turnip Rock Farm for a CSA. I signed up for a medium box, a cheese share, and a half egg share (6 eggs per week instead of a full dozen). I'm hoping to get the similar amount of veggies so that I can fill our freezer again for the winter (we've got corn left...and that's it!).

If you have a child then you know just how much stuff kids have. And clothes. The Monkey has so many clothes so I've been trying to explore different options to sell her clothes. So far I've made over $80 at Once Upon A Child however, she has a lot of really nice clothes that I know I can resell for much more than $1 or $2 per item. I've been looking at Kidizen (I listed one item...we'll see how it goes considering I have no idea what I'm doing), and also trying to figure out how people are actually selling clothes on Instagram (I KNOW...PEOPLE SELL STUFF ON INSTAGRAM). I'm a bit leery of selling items on Facebook groups - I've had one person absolutely flake on me three times and then she asked me to meet her in a city that's 30 minutes away for a $5 item. No, that's more than the amount of gas it would take.

SO. Do you sell clothes? Do you sell kids clothes? Do you sell your clothes? I need ideas of how to sell buckets and buckets of STUFF.


BRILLIANT - DIY Canvas Painting

OMG. I just had a lightbulb moment.


Screw buying prints when I can have The Monkey make her own. 

Tissue paper, scissors, punches, canvas, sponge brushes, water. 


Looks easy enough - cut, punch or tear the tissue paper, paint water over the canvas, layer the tissue paper and either let it dry or add more water. When dry, pull the tissue paper off and BAM! Artwork!

The Kids' Rooms

The Monkey is super excited to be a Big Sister and we want to keep her feeling like she's special too - because I know when this baby comes, it's going to turn her world upside down and she's probably not going to feel as good as she does now. I get it - she won't be the center of attention anymore, a little kid will be in the way, a baby will be crying, she'll need me but I won't be able to help right away... Oy, big changes!

I'm going to change up The Monkey's room - her walls will be getting a fresh coat of paint (a super warm gray instead of the bright blue, which I've ALWAYS HATED), and she even helped pick out a bright pink over-dyed rug which should be coming in the mail in the next week or so. This means that I get to do bright pink accents (I made a hot pink wreath awhile ago, and I need to find some fun vintage Barbie posters that would work well in her room). I would love to do a minimalist garden art theme - as in simple line drawings of plants and flowers but I have to remember - this is HER room, the items that go into HER room need to be loved by HER and they need to inspire HER. If that means Barbies and Princess stuff, then so be it. She'll probably want to change it all by the time she's a teenager anyway. So it's hard to convince Bimmer Man of the same for the new baby's room - I want simple because in approximately 4 years, I'll be doing the same thing, changing up the boy's room (referred to hereafter as "Chewy") with things that Chewy likes - which may NOT be cars.

Children are their own persons, they have their own likes and dislikes - if The Monkey doesn't want a Ferrari flag in her room and only agrees to it because she thinks her dad wants her to, then that's not ok with me. Children need to be allowed to say NO to things too and to feel just fine with saying no. As a parent there are times that you need to advocate for your child's choices - not force a choice upon them because you as a parent like it. I'm sure I'll encounter this debate again in the future regarding decor with both children. That's fine with me. I'm just not painting any of the rooms black, dark pink, or dark blue or any other dark color besides Benjamin Moore Ashley Gray if either child wants a dark color. Dark colors are a pain in the ass to paint over.

Besides that, I'm going to swap the children's rooms when The Monkey is a teenager and suddenly realizes the front bedroom has a larger closet. I absolutely know that will be a HUGE contentious debate at some point.

For furniture for Chewy's room I'm planning on buying the blue Hemnes dresser from Ikea -

The Monkey has the same dresser in white.

And confession:

I am in love with this linen cabinet:

I want to put it in our upstairs little dressing area that Bimmer Man has or even in our bedroom so we can hide away all the linens we have or books...because I have to sell a bookcase which means we each need to sort out and get rid of half of our books. Each of us had a bookcase that was mainly our own books but sometimes we'd stick each others books wherever so...books need to go. BOO. I guess that's just part of having a baby - plus downsizing, er, decluttering, er, minimalizing stuff is really great anyway, right?

Oy, The Monkey's new rug comes on Wednesday so today, if we don't do a playdate, we're going to Home Depot to get 4 gallons of paint and recycle old light bulbs. I'll update with photos next week.

Oh, and order new "vintage" Barbie prints that The Monkey has picked out herself. 

2016 New Year's Resolutions

I think, much like last year, I'm not sure that I have any. Mostly because I think that's it's ok to start something ANY time of the year. You want to de-clutter in June? YAY! Start biking in May? WOOT! And biking in May is way more practical than getting a fat bike outfitted in winter to find out that a fat bike is probably not the best choice for biking around town in summer anyway... 


With a new baby coming, I'm sort of resigned to figure out how to make my life easier before AND after this baby comes. By that I mean - how can I get rid of more crap in this house that we don't use? And how can I grow a garden when planting time is the weekend BEFORE baby comes? I suppose I'll have to get everything in the ground the weekend before. And what's the best way to transition The Monkey to having a little brother? 

And does anyone need girls clothes? Sizes 0-3 months up to 2T? Because if you do, please come and shop out of my storage bins. I've recovered 8 bins total from our storage areas.

And also, I need to complain about something. A lady has flaked on me 3 times (YES, THREE TIMES!!!!) for a pair of Sorel boots I'm trying to get rid of for $5. Yep. $5. $5 NAME BRAND SOREL BOOTS. THIS IS FREAKING MINNESOTA. GET YOUR FUCKING BOOTS. Ugh. So today if she doesn't get them, I'm re-listing them on the local group garage sale Facebook page and telling her to go find them somewhere else, and then reporting her for flaking for a whole week. SO NOT COOL.

In general I'm one of those sellers that sets stuff out on the front step and says to leave the money in the mailbox. I'm not usually one to open the door to strangers so this works well for me - I've never had anyone NOT leave money - and I don't usually sell anything for more than $20. If I do, I meet at the local police station or largest parking lot. I'm not one for the creepers... YUCK. 

This year I'm going to make my life easier. How? 

1. Read more books, watch less TV.
2. Try out listening to podcasts while cooking.
3. Sell/Donate/Give away all The Monkey's outgrown clothes/girl stuff
4. Figure out a clothing organizing system since I JUST CAN'T GO WITHOUT MY CLOTHES
5. Don't buy yarn - use the yarn in 5 bins in the basement. 
6. Sign up for a CSA again - Turnip Rock - and sign up for their cheese, egg, veggie share (although it seems to me that every time I sign up for a larger CSA share I get pregnant... so maybe not?). 
7. Bike MORE. AND MORE. I love biking.


Book Challenge for 2016

Last year I read SO MANY BOOKS. And it was lovely. I went through books like crazy some weeks and other weeks (like when I had morning sickness or was trying to crochet for fall/winter sales) I rarely read.

Some of the best books - I started a new Scottish mystery series, currently on book 7 or 8; read some crazy young adult fiction about nuns that were hit men (or hit ladies...); tried some new sci-fi (which I've decided it's not my favorite but I'll read if I have to); joined a book club (I'll be hosting in October); and amazingly enough read a few more Outlander books in the series even though they are SO LONG.

SO onto the Popsugar Challenge link. Click here to be taken to the link for the Popsugar Challenge. Download their list of books to read. I'm thinking this year's books will be much easier than last year - plus the list is shorter too.

Now, with a newborn and a 4 year old this summer I may have some problems reading as much as I want to (or gardening or doing laundry or just vacuuming the living room), so I'm going to try and tackle what I can before May (much like how I'm still crocheting like a crazy lady so I don't have to worry as much about my items for next fall/winter sales!).

I'll try to update what I'm reading on a somewhat regular basis - though not all of the books that I read will fit into the categories.

Currently I'm still working my way through The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins when I bring The Monkey to her dance class. I'm about halfway through (but reading only 20-30 minutes per week on my phone at dance class, so hopefully I'll be finished by May).

I'm loving the library because in general I only read books once - except for the books that I REALLY love and don't mind re-reading and "wasting" my reading time over and over again. Otherwise I buy a book and try to pawn it off on people or donate it.

My current library book is Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer. EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK. Not only is it disturbing and sad and disgusting but it really opens your eyes to the problems in America. Just a fact - 90% of people who commit a rape get away with it. Does that make you mad? Because that makes me mad. Another fact - police stations still quote papers from the 70's and 80's about women who lie about rapes trying to discredit victims AND officers try to discredit victims by asking about significant others. How fucking sexist is that? THIS BOOK MAKES ME SO ANGRY FOR AMERICA. And women. And my daughter.

Moving on from my small rant about rape culture, I'm excited for this year's challenge because I think what I normally read will fit into categories - plus I want to re-read To Kill a Mockingbird and my sister gives me some awesome books that have been translated into English (from Swedish - Swedish mystery authors are really good!).

Happy reading!!!