Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Here Mommy....(WW)

Mostly Wordless Wednesday.....Lucas casually handed me his napkin for me to throw in the trash. "Here Mommy".
Hmmm. I think 3.5 is WAY too young to be hiding food in your napkin!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Do you see anything wrong here?

It turns out that the issues I was having with my laptop (which I didn't blog about, but did post on FB about) were all because of my battery. This isn't the first time this has happened. Several months ago, I noticed that I couldn't click on my mouse button. I thought something was stuck under it and I took the battery out to look things over. Well, turns out I could click just fine with the battery out. I wasn't sure why at first, but soon my battery started to swell and I knew that was the issue. I took it in to Apple and they gave me a new battery. Thing is, my husband took over that new battery. So, his battery that was now my battery has started causing me issues.

It started out that my laptop would get down to about 25% power and would just shut down with no warning. This happened in the past and I had to have my logic board replaced. I thought the same thing was happening and backed up all my things just in case. I now know this was a battery issue because when I took the newer battery away from my husband it stopped shutting down and gave me the typical warning around 10%. Well, then I couldn't click on my mouse and I took my battery out to inspect it. Sure enough, it was beginning to swell. Well, it was so bad that I left it out because I couldn't even use my laptop with it in. So, when I pulled it out of the drawer to look at something today, above is what I found!

Now, I am not the first to have this issue. The last time I called in to Apple about it, they gave me a hard time, saying that the battery had a high cycle count and needed to be replaced. I get that the battery is a consumable product and wears out, needing to be replaced. But, honestly, is it normal for them to swell up and bust open?? I think not!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday...

I am so excited to have my kitchen back! I made do in the basement cooking in a microwave, crockpot, and electric skillet for a few months. Then we got one wall of cabinets and counter tops installed that had the sink, dishwasher, and stove. I made due with using that in my unfinished kitchen for a few months. Now, I am so happy to be cooking in my mostly finished kitchen!! Not only was a I making do without my kitchen, I didn't get my kitchen supplies unpacked until recently, so I was severely limited in what I could cook. Now that everything is unpacked I am so happy and it is time to get back to menu planning!

*=new recipe

Monday--pasta (I'm using basil chicken patties from Costco and adding 1/2 cup chicken broth), garlic bread, salad

Tuesday--lemon butter chicken, lemon pasta*, honey mustard acorn squash (Maybe??)----> We are going into DC for the Christmas Carol Train Tour and not sure when we'll be home.

Wednesday--roast (this recipe calls for steak, but I'm using a roast) with potatoes and carrots

Thursday--falafel sandwiches on chapati bread with hummus, tzatziki, lettuce, and tomatoes (I had been buying some frozen falafel at Wegmans, but they stopped carrying it. I am trying a mix this time around. If it isn't good, I'll try homemade next time.)

Friday--pan fried fish*, glazed carrots, roasted potato wedges

Saturday and Sunday--leftovers

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tequila Lime Shrimp

Before our kitchen remodel began, we purchased some chicken and seafood in bulk. Last night I made our first "fancier" meal since having the kitchen put back together. I'm so excited to be able to pull things out of the freezer and easily cook a meal.

So, last night I made shrimp for the first time ever and I think it turned out pretty tasty! I looked up a recipe to get an idea of how long to cook the shrimp, then I threw together a recipe.

Tequila Lime Shrimp--

shrimp, de-veined (I used 30 small, but would do more next time)
2 T butter
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
tequila (just a splash)
lime juice (I used the juice of 1/2 lime)
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Put the butter in a skillet and melt on medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook until it starts to brown. Add the shrimp and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tequila, lime juics, cumin, salt, and pepper and cook for 2 mor minutes.

I served this with coconut lime rice and steamed broccoli. It was rather tasty! I think this recipe would work great with fish, too!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Finally. Yes, finally....

Our kitchen is finally mostly finished! I am so happy about it, that I can't even wait to show you pictures! Painting the cabinets was very, very time consuming. Each piece needed 3 coats of primer and a coat of paint. For the doors, we could only paint one side at a time so the 17 doors took F.O.R.E.V.E.R.!

There are 5 drawers that still need to be painted. Our walls and trim were off white, and we painted the ceiling and cabinets white, so we now need to paint the window trim and pantry door trim white so they will match. We also still need to install baseboards.
Soon, we will install new lights in there and continue the new flooring into the pantry.

I am very pleased with how it turned out. Remember, this isn't my dream kitchen. We did this on a major el cheapo budget (no high end products afforded here), but I am pleased with the results. Matter of fact, this was not EVEN in our plans (considering it happened just as my husband found a new job after being without one for 3.5 months!!), but when a leak happened and half the kitchen had to be torn out anyway we figured we might as well tear the rest out as well. Our homeowner's ins. gave us some money and we used that along with some of our own to do the remodel. I'll have to add up the cost of it, but I think we did really well. We had to buy several tools, but I won't add those in because now we have them and can use them elsewhere in the house. I think that we did what was right for the house. The housing market in this area has completely bottomed out. Since we bought right before this happened, we owe more than it is worth. Spending a lot of money in the kitchen wasn't an option, but the update is much appreciated by me!!

In case you don't recall, this kitchen was ripped down to the studs and built back up. We put in new wiring, new plumbing, tore down a non-load bearing wall, and built it all back up again! Aside from a little help from my dad and step-mom in the demo, plumbing, and wiring, I am so excited to say we did this ourselves! Considering neither of us have any experience in this type of thing, I'd say we did a pretty good job. My poor husband apologized on more than one occasion, saying this just wasn't his type of work....he is more the computer geek type! I'm proud of him. It wasn't easy, but he did the bulk of the work himself.

We took some pretty large breaks because doing this type of work isn't easy to begin with, but when you have no clue what you are doing, it is even harder. Not to mention stressful!

I'm sure you can remember what our kitchen looked like. Stuck in the 70s and never felt clean. The avocado green sink and faux brick painted bright red added just the right touch of Christmas cheer....LOL! I know the picture isn't great, but can you believe that it looks better than it did in real life. Trust me on this one!

And now, what I'm sure you really wanted to see anyway......


Here is Logan knocking the first hole in the wall. It also gives a close up look of the nastiness of the wall! I hated that brick!!

Here is what it looked like after the end of demo.

Drum roll please!! Here is what it looks like now......

And now for a side by side comparison:

As a side note: The cow cookie jar on top of the fridge was hubby's grandmother's and the teapots above the sink were my grandmother's.

Did you make it all the way to the end? Now I need some input from all of you. See how one wall is off white and the other is blue? We are trying to decide if we want the off white wall painted white or blue? I kind of like the two different colors together, but I also really love the blue color. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

That nagging feeling....

I'm sick. I've been sick since last Thursday. It started as a stomach virus (that Logan and hubby had the week before) and then it just became something else. I don't know what, but I've been hacking and coughing and running a low grade temp. I went to the doctor yesterday and they didn't tell me what I had, but did give me some antibiotics that I could fill if I'm not feeling better soon. The good news is that today I started feeling better. The worst is the coughing at night. The doc prescribed some cough syrup with codeine, so I went to CVS to fill that prescription last night.

Typically, it only takes 10-15 minutes. Last night when I dropped it off, they told me it would be about an hour....CVS was packed! I decided to go the grocery store and come back. I got what I needed and browsed around and then headed back to CVS. It is only about a block from the grocery store. I was waiting at a red light, but was several cars back and I noticed a guy on a bicycle on the sidewalk. He was zooming along. It had been raining and he seemed to be enjoying hitting the puddles and making them splash. Truth be told, he was making me nervous. The light turned green and we all took off and I was still watching the guy on the bike.

He never once slowed down as he crossed driveways into the shopping center. Now, I saw this guy, but I didn't know if everyone else saw him and if a car turned in he would not have been able to stop in time. So, I'm watching nervously. He started to approach the intersection and I was trying to figure out if he was going to be going straight or turning right. Just as he approached the intersection, a pickup ahead of me (there was a car in between us) turned right. I thought the guy in the bike was going to turn right, too, and was relieved. I had visions of him going straight and the truck turning right and the guy getting hit. The right turn is more of a merge, so you don't have to stop all the way and can take the turn at a decent speed, which the pickup did.

Just as I thought all was okay, the guy on the bike slid off the sidewalk and actually hit the back end of the pickup (which I didn't know until later). This caused his bike to fly in the air and he went with it. The car in front of me went straight, so I was the next car turning right behind the pickup. The guy flew in the air and landed in the middle of the road. Now, I had been watching and worrying this whole time so I was already slowing down. If the car in front of me had turned right, I have no doubt the guy would have been ran over.

When he fell in the road, he was facing away from me. All he knew was that he was in the middle of the road and there were headlights coming towards him. The look on his face told me that he thought he was about to get ran over. He slowly got up, picked his bike up and sat it on the sidewalk. I rolled my window down and asked if he was okay. He didn't speak much English, but did say he was okay. I went on to CVS to get my medicine, but that nagging feeling wouldn't stop. What if he wasn't really okay? I picked up my medicine and drove back towards the intersection. There is a Taco Bell on the corner and I could see him sitting on the curb there. His bike was in the same spot he left it when he removed it from the road.

I had to pass it and make a u-turn to get back to it to make sure he was okay. Seeing him still sitting, I knew he was hurt. By the time I made it back, there was a couple in car there talking to him. They were a few cars behind me and saw part of what happened. They didn't know he fell out into the roadway. I got his bike and brought it over to him and the front tire was mangled up. The couple told me that they called an ambulance, but didn't think the guy on the bike understood. Once they came, that is when I found out he hit the back of the pickup. The guy didn't want to go to the hospital and kept trying to say he was okay, but he was limping and bleeding. I didn't stick around to find out what happened, but I just couldn't keep going without making sure he was alright. I think he was in a bit of shock. He just kept looking at me with tears in his eyes and saying, "My breakas, my breakas" and then letting water run between his fingers to tell me that his brakes didn't work because of the rain....he just slid when he tried to stop. I was really shaken up by it, and I'm sure he was as well. I'm sure he won't be riding a bike anytime soon, but I hope he learned to be much more careful and observant of the cars around him.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Recently we took the boys to Toys R Us. Lucas is really into Yo Gabba Gabba. I must admit that I think the show is rather annoying, but I don't think their target audience is a 30 year old mom!

Lucas spotted lots of toys he wanted, but decided on walkie talkies.

I wasn't sure about them, but that is what he wanted. He doesn't understand that he has to PRESS and HOLD the button to talk on it. He either doesn't press the button at all, or presses it briefly and then talks into it.

Well, the creepy thing is, we live close enough to the interstate that we can pick up truckers on their CB radios. They obviously don't hear us, but we hear them. The night we bought them, the boys wanted to use them right away. Before we even left the Toys R Us parking lot, we opened them up and put batteries in them. Toys R Us is right next to the interstate, and we heard the truckers then. I never thought we'd hear them at our house, too.

Hubby and I were working in the kitchen when we heard Logan carrying on a conversation. We listened more closely and heard a strange voice. We came out to find Logan "talking" to a trucker. He could hear what the guy was saying and pretending to talk to him. At first I was a bit worried that the guy could actually hear Logan, but thankfully he didn't. It is still rather creepy, though. I'm tempted to return the toy because my boys can't even play with them without risk of picking up some truckers' conversations.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I recently found a Super Sounds View Master at the thrift store for 90 cents. Pretty awesome deal, so I grabbed it for the boys. They love their regular view masters, so I figured they would like this one as well.

Love it, indeed! Lucas loves it so much that he took the dinosaur reel out and climbed up onto the entertainment center and tried inserting it into the PS3. When I snatched the reel from him and told him that doesn't go in there, he wailed, "I wanna watch blu-ray!". Hmmm. For some reason I don't think that would be able to eject!

Speaking of climbing on the entertainment center, Lucas loves to do it. The child is a monkey and loves to climb. This is something that Logan didn't do much of at 3.5. He would have never thought to climb onto the entertainment center, but we often find Lucas sitting on ours watching tv. There are hand prints all over it! So far I have not been able to convince him to stay down.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

In this house...

What I heard in this house today:

"Daddy, I don't live in a fantasy world. I live in this house. Is that an expression or something?".