Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No camera = Slow blog

My corner in Blog Land has been unusually quiet lately because *sob* I have no camera. But don't tell my mom - who gave it to me for Christmas - that it only lasted 3 months in the hands of her supposedly responsible daughter. She'll probably call me and use my middle name "Caitlin Mayme!" or something. I discovered the dead camera about 2 weeks ago and a reader of this blog suggested putting it in a Ziploc bag with rice and it might regain life. It is still in that rice bag on my fridge and utterly lifeless. It's terrible - Easter is around the corner and my girls have so many fun celebrations and egg hunts this week and I'm learning new crafty skills and slowly becoming a runner and making new friends and there's just so much worth capturing in pictures and I'm left camera-less for the time being. Hope to remedy that soon!

Monday Meal Plan

I believe I mentioned before that I am now cheating on menu planning. By doing this I know I am giving up any kind of Martha Stewart Award but using E-mealz has been the best thing that's happened in my kitchen since it gained a dishwasher. Seriously! No coupons, no recipe books/websites, no list-making, no nothing. Well, except visit the website and print and then off to the store I go. The only downside is that I feel like I'm cheating by continuing to post "my" meal plans each Monday. So they're not mine; but they make my life easier and happier so please accept my disclaimer and my family's un-original meal plan:

Monday: Country Style BBQ Ribs, Roasted Onion Potatoes, Apple Peanut Cole Slaw

Tuesday: Poppy Seed Chicken, Steamed Rice, Hot Peas

Wednesday: Beef & Cheese Enchiladas, Lime Cucumber Salad, Tortilla Chips

Thursday: Chinese Roast, Steamed Rice, Stir-Fry Vegetables

Friday: Broccoli Cheese Soup, Crackers, Apple Slices

Saturday: Italian Casserole, Steamed Green Beans

Sunday: Beef and Artichoke Pasta, Steamed Broccoli, Garlic Bread

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Meal Plan

Monday: Cajun Steamed Shrimp, Baked Potatoes, Simple Salad, Crusty French Bread

Tuesday: Incredible Baked Ziti, Steamed Green Beans, Garlic Breadsticks

Wednesday: BBQ Pockets, Mandarin Orange Salad, Mixed Veggies

Thursday: Parmesan Baked Fish, Brown Rice & Mushrooms

Friday: Rio Grande Soup, Cornbread

Saturday: Bacon Cobb Pitas, Chips, Grapes

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday Top 10: Oddities in housekeeping

I had company from out-of-state over the weekend and am just now getting back into the swing of things. Besides, this sun and fresh air puts me in the cleaning mood. A day in the life...

1. I have 2 heavy drinkers in the house (milk, that is). So there are sippy cups with us wherever we go. One particularly drippy sippy went unnoticed into the diaper bag with my camera. Yeah. Now there is 2% inside the camera and behind the screen that made a heart-sinking squelch when I picked it up. :(

2. $5 in the dryer - woohoo!

3. There are raisins pressed firmly into the electrical outlet holes behind the highchair. Neither kid was electrocuted, I just checked. Child-proof outlet covers are now on the shopping list.

4. Our garbage man (that's probably politically incorrect, sorry) decided to leave my dumpster-size trash bin on the front porch even though the garbage pick up happens in the backyard. Thanks, pal!

5. While cleaning out the stroller I find an unopened jar of homemade cherry butter that I most certainly did not make or buy. Odd, but I'll take it.

6. Tampons. Everywhere. Apparently someone decided to save me the trouble of unwrapping them and went so far as to remove them from their casings and tucked them back in the bathroom cabinet.

7. Up to my arms in dirtied cleaning water and mop-cloth in hand, I hear from behind me "Mommy is very pretty today." That made me smile as I scrubbed her dried bananas from the kitchen floor.

8. One toilet down and one to go and the Clorox cleaner runs out. Makes me wish I knew some home-remedy/recipe for making a quick batch of cleaner, but I don't so it'll have to wait. On the list it goes under "outlet covers".

9. It is essential to set up a a blockade against invading toddlers after each room is tidied up. Their ability to deconstruct any sense of order is not to be underestimated. This tactic only lasts about 10 minutes but for some reason I still feel compelled to try and thwart their efforts anyway.

10. So that's where all the little socks went. Tucked neatly and out-of-sight between the mattress and bed frame in Charli's room. At least that's one thing that can come OFF the shopping list!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Meal Plan

So, big news in the meal planning department! I'm not doing it anymore!! That's right, I climbed aboard e-mealz.com and the people there are going to give me menus and grocery lists and send me on my lovely shopping/cooking way. It does cost me $5/month (even less with the coupon code I used), but it's such a load off my busy brain and they coordinate with my local Kroger to pick the best meals to fit the store deals so I should come out ahead. Here goes week 1!

Monday: Chicken Poulet, Apple Green Salad

Tuesday: Egg Casserole, Strawberries, biscuits

Wednesday: Corned Beef Brisket, Carrots, Potatoes & Cabbage, Rolls

Thursday: Tangy Pork Tenderloin, Cheesy Broccoli, Corn On The Cob

Friday: Oven-Fried Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Green Beans

Saturday: A-1 Pork Chops, Baked Mashed Potatoes, Peas

Sunday: Loaded Nachos, Black Beans and Corn

Sounds yummy so far, right? It's already more colorful than what I typically come up with. We'll have to wait and see what my soldier and toddler think, the real judges....

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Last minute business trip, turned pleasure

In light of an ongoing battle to get a new Verizon phone (long story), a trip to Nashville, TN became necessary. Just under an hour away, it was borderline "too far to go for a day" with two nap-needing toddlers. But we're new to town and had never been to the famed Opryland Hotel so we decided to just go for it. Go for it we did and what fun we had!
This would be Charli, ready for adventure!

And Claire, who is always up for anything. And down with it all.

"Look, mom, a boat!" We ran around after that tour-boat for an hour. All four of us were mightily impressed by sheer size of it all. Not to mention the smells of spring and fresh food and the feel of tropical air. Now I can't wait to go back withOUT kids!

Taking it all in...

Um, yeah, that's my kid picking the decorative floating flowers out of the fountain pool.

Claire cannot wait to walk; it's torture for her to see the big sister running free and not being able to keep up.

Taking a breather,
watching the ducks...
I think this has to be where the term "lucky duck" was coined. Wow, talk about a life of luxury for those little quackers!

And off we go again!

The glass elevator ride was a BIG hit.

We were brave and took the girls to a fancy restaurant in the hotel. Crayons go a long way in keeping us all sitting nicely!

"Whatcha drawin' daddy?" She was extremely impressed with the cuteness of the house he drew just for her.

My littlest Love.

Silly times are never far off with this daddy and his girl.

Now, how on earth do we get out of here?...

My clowns at the circus

A few Saturdays ago we decided to check out the circus that was in town. It was no big-city Barnum and Bailey production, but it nevertheless successfully entertained our almost-1- and 2-year-old clowns. I'll try not to ruin the mood by mentioning the fire hazards and sardine-style bleacher-packing. All in all, it was a great time!
Claire and I waited and watched while Charli rode the ponies in the center (and only) ring.

She loved her $5 ride around the circle. All girl, she already has a thing for horses and she still talks about riding the "baby horsey."


Family photo fail.

She wanted to sit by daddy. He had the cotton candy bag and willingly doles out more sugar than her momma. Lions and tigers and sugar - oh my!