Monday, June 22, 2009

Before I Forget

About a week ago...
Hayden and I were outside on the porch, it was hot, breezy and the sun was barely starting to set. She had all but forgotten about her rocking chair, as toddlers do with toys over a day old. For some reason, and I think it was simply to lead up to the moment...(karma is paying me back, I've been a good girl)...
Hayden went over and sat down in the rocker and started to rock. The porch, being crafted of wood (and old), is uneven and difficult to rock on. Me, being mama, moved over to Hayden, kneeled down and helped her rock her chair a little faster, smoother. She began to scoot towards the edge of the rocker, she put her feet on the porch and stood up, leaned in, opened her mouth and gave me the wettest, sweetest, most treasured kiss.
Her kiss brought tears to my eyes. She genuinely wanted to kiss me, she felt it.
And I, I do not think I could have asked for a more perfect ending to the day (any day for that matter). Sunshine, wind, our porch and Hayden loving on me. It lets me know I did something so very right.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not Quite There, Either Way

The blueberries and blackberries that have managed to avoid Hayden's eyes and fingers are fast approaching goodness.

I so wish I would have planted strawberries and raspberries also. There is still time, I know.

This past weekend was not unlike the one before it. Hayden was happy so we were happy. We have taken to chasing her down the driveway repeatedly, non-stop, a shitload of fun I tell you. So, a fence across the front of our property is a must, and quick. We refuse to spend the next six months trying to relax on the porch only to have to jump up and run after a little girl whose only thrill seems to be hauling ass towards the road while being chased by her mama and/or daddy. Not so fun, from our point of view anyway.

"But daddy, I absolutely must run down the driveway in an attempt to fling myself into oncoming traffic, pointing at the biiiig truck standing fifty yards away isn't enough, I must be one with the biiiig truck."

Yesterday we celebrated my mom's birthday, she turned 55. We met up with some friends and family for supper.

I must point out the gift I gave my mom. I slaved over it for what seemed like minutes yesterday at work. Perhaps it is quite marketable and I should look into selling similar items on Etsy. I will say it went over well with the family, but that isn't saying much. They thrill easily, especially when a crazy lady is sporting a tank top made from a pair of men's underwear (don't worry, I cut the ass out).

Redneck Recycling At Its Best

Awesome, I know!

So, there you have it. Racing strips beware, you are one shit stain away from having your ass torn out!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Recipes: Tried and True

I've been cooking again. In spurts, that's how cooking comes to me. Good luck found me last week, in the form of fresh-picked (2 hours off the plant) strawberries. LOVE me some strawberries! I scored probably fifty or so and knew they would go bad before Hayden and I could eat them all. I did what any mama with common sense would do, I found a recipe and made bread, strawberry bread that is.

I used whole wheat flour (it's all I had) and was surprised that the bread turned out as tasty as it did. Not sure why but I thought it might taste bland with the whole wheat flour. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't sweet, but I wasn't looking for sweet. I was looking for a filling breakfast bread, and that is what I got. Dense with a hint of strawberry. I wanted it to go with the fruit salad I made and it did, wonderfully.

We eat at home every night, we rarely go out to eat. Either he cooks or I cook, every night. I have a few meals that I can throw together quickly and know that in the end they will taste as if I have slaved over them all day. Take my hamburger casserole for example. With a prep time of about 20 minutes I can have the casserole on the table in less than one hour, and it seriously tastes great.

1 pound hamburger meat
1/2 large onion
1/2 large bell (green) pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
Mushrooms, chopped (I use about 5 big ones)
1 1/2 cups egg noodles
Ritz crackers

~ The amounts listed are approximate as I don't actually measure the ingredients, I simply guess.

Preheat oven to 350.
Brown hamburger meat while cooking noodles.
Add onion, pepper (bell, green), garlic, salt and black pepper to meat. (I like to add these ingredients to the meat just before it has browned, adds flavor I think.)
Drain grease from meat mixture and water from noodles.
In a casserole dish combine the meat mixture, noodles, mushrooms and cream of mushroom soup.
Melt butter in a separate bowl.
Crumble crackers into melted butter.
Sprinkle top of casserole with cracker crumbs.
Bake for 25 minutes or until crackers are toasty.

Unfortunately, I do not have a photo to go along with this recipe. Take my word for it though, it is as appealing to the eyes as it is the nose and mouth.

This weekend I will attempt to make something that should be equally delicious, Martha Stewart's Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing. Oh my! I will post photos later, along with what I anticipate will be a raving review.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Time Has Come...and Doughnuts

I've been afraid, very, very afraid of putting this on paper. I was sure doing so would jinx us and bring an end to our newfound success. I'm going to go ahead and risk it, the breakthrough is definitely worth documenting.

For the past two weeks Hayden has put herself to sleep.

Let me explain...
There have been nights in the past 15 months, even a few nights in a row, where she would allow me to put her in her crib and walk out of her room without a whimper. Those nights were few and far between, much to our dismay. On the off nights (which was almost every night) I would hold her while sitting on the couch in her room until she fell asleep and then I would lay her in her crib. The things mamas do. I've written about this before. I stated then that I honestly didn't mind the bedtime routine, and I don't, didn't. I would do it all again, and I mean that. (I don't mean I'm ready to do it, just that I would go back with Hayden and do it again, no regrets, you know.)

When daylight savings time kicked in I cussed it. I did. Don't get me wrong, I love the extra daylight at the end of the working day. What I didn't like was the way it affected Hayden's bedtime routine. She went from going to bed at 7:30 to staying up until 9:00. I've since adjusted and prefer it the way it is now (of course I do, my child puts herself to sleep). The extra hour and a half actually feels like three hours. There is more time for the good stuff when I get home. No rushing. We eat, sit outside on the porch, take a bath, piddle around in the house and then the craziest thing happens. Hayden, who has been rolling around with her blanket for the past ten minutes, comes over to me and buries her little head into my legs. She rubs her face around and waits for her daddy to come scoop her up (only he can do this, I've tried, it doesn't work). He does and she leans towards me for a kiss and hug. It gets better...she waves to me and starts holding her hand out to her room, her crib. That's it for me, that's all I see.

"What does she do when you carry her in there?"
"She just reaches for her crib, I lay her down and she curls up with her blanket. I'm floored. I still can't believe it."

Neither can I. It took 15 months to get to where we are now. The only explanation I can come up with is that she is ready, developmentally, emotionally, I don't know. That and it is 9:00 for goodness sake, she has to be exhausted.

I'll take it, whatever the reason. The new bedtime routine is indeed a welcome thing. It can stay as long as it wants. Tonight maybe it will bring its friend, the one who's name is sleep through the night. I'm not asking for much.

As with most baby-related things (and life in general)'s just a matter of time.

To celebrate...

It's National Doughnut Day!
I'm going to go eat a doughnut...or four!

Photo Credit

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Pretty Good Thing

I have been making oatmeal before work in the mornings and leaving some for Hayden. Turns out Hayden isn't the only one eating the goodness, my husband is as well.

"Dude, that oatmeal is pretty good. How do you make it?"

"Seriously? It's oatmeal."

Then I got to thinking about it and it's not just oatmeal, it's mama's oatmeal, and that explains it all, right? Right!

2 cups whole milk (the fatty kind)
1 cup oatmeal
Brown Sugar
Butter (the fatty kind)

~ Honestly, I never measure the brown sugar, butter and spices, I just guess. If I had to give approximate amounts I would say 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp butter, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of nutmeg.

Mix the milk, brown sugar, butter, cinnaman and nutmeg together in a pot and bring to a boil.
Add the oatmeal and stir.
Cook approximately 5 minutes, stir often.
Serve with more butter and cinnamon on top.

Very simple, very tasty and yes, very sweet, but hey, low cholesterol.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sunny Spring Weekends = A Whole Lotta Fun

Before the Josh Turner Concert

Josh Turner

Carter's Lake

Swimming in muddy Georgia water.

Windblown baby hair.

Playin', jumpin'!

Eatin' forbidden fruit, mama's unripe blueberries!