Friday, November 30, 2007

Welcome Back, Chubbs

Little update on our Thanksgiving. We went to a friends house here in Pittsburgh for dinner, where we had some yummy food. I tried making mom's rolls, but failed to capture the magic. But that didn't stop me from eating a dozen, single-handedly, at dinner. To be honest, I have never been much of a pie fan, and so when I was thinking of what I could make for Thanksgiving dessert, I kept craving mud pie. Totally not thanksgiving-ish, but still a pie, right? Well, like I have been doing much of lately, I caved to my craving and made mud pie. Yummers. I want to make it again. Soon. I have more craving.

That night we came home to a cold house. It was cold, not because were are cheap and don't turn on the furnace, but rather because our furnace is cheap and is choosing to not work. Cody couldn't get the pilot light to stay lit so we bundled up the kids and climbed into our beds. We knew it was going to be a cold night.

Wait, wait. I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that I have run out of creative juice and am stealing past blog stories, because you've heard this one before. You are right! You have heard this story in the angry, ranting rant of having our furnace busted just this past March and paying a pretty, pretty penny getting it fixed. Well, to make a long story short _____ we paid someone else to come fix our furnace, again. This guy was a lot, LOT cheaper and we found out that the problem was the first guy (who was only cheap in his quality of labor) installed the wrong type of thermo-coupler (don't feel bad if you don't know what that is, apparently our first plumber didn't know what it was either). So that just ticked Cody off, he called the old guys back, got refunded part of our money, and now we are sitting pretty (not literally, I have no make-up on) in our warm house. Here's to another 18 months without any furnace problems.

Well its a week later, we are back in the swing of things, I don't feel like its time to decorate for Christmas yet, and my cravings for cookies have not subsided. So while my growing chubbs aren't cute, I thought I would post a picture of someone who's chubbs are to die for. Goodbye November.

{That's Claire fake 'cheese' face-Morgan seems SCEPTICAL}
{This doesn't do her smile justice- it makes your heart MELT}

{notice those chubby thighs- HEAVENLY}

{And those cheeks-DELICIOUS}

{she's pretty}
ps. The Goose Girl is a good read.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Night Cookies

Lately, I have been a bit obsessed about cookies. It's probably because I am trying to lose weight. I have never been a good cookie maker, but to appease my obsession for cookies, I have been trying new recipes and have found a couple I really like. Last Friday night, Claire helped me make a new batch of cookies and they were nummers.
After my first pregnancy, I craved Swedish fish. This postpartum I have been craving chocolate and peanut butter combos. So here are a couple of really good recipes:

Peanut Butter Chip Chocolate Cookies


1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups peanut butter chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into creamed mixture. Finally, fold in the peanut butter chips. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until set. Cool on wire racks.

And now my personal favorite-

Heath Bits Peanut Butter Cookies


1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
3 Tbs milk
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups (8-oz. pkg.) Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits, divided


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, milk, and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add egg, beat until just blended. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. Stir in 1 cup toffee bits; reserve remainder for topping.

Drop by heaping teaspoons about 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet; top each with reserved toffee bits. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until set. Do not over bake. Cool 2 minutes. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely. About 3 dozen cookies.

Hope you enjoy them! Now, send your good cookie recipes my way!

I am obsessed.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Bug of Randomness

I saw how it was spreading like a virus. I could see people all around catching it and then infecting others. It has been really interesting to see how fast it moves, how people seemingly unconnected catch it sooner or later. And I got hit from two sides. I have been blagged, to borrow a term from rabidrunner, by said rabidrunner and Libby. So here I go, manifesting the symptoms of the randomness virus.

1. Sometimes I feel like I belong in the 1940's- I love their movies, their music, their clothes, and the way they talked. I love big band and I especially love the Andrew Sisters- I have their whole CD memorized and I sing it every chance I get.

2.I graduated from BYU when I was 20 years old. I had just turned 20 and felt thoroughly unprepared to be a college graduate. But I was. It is something I am really proud about, border-line conceited about. I have to try really hard not to bring it up in every conversation I have. "Linda, can you pass the cookies, by the way, I graduated when I was 20." It sounds a lot more grand than it actually is. I am not smarter than the average bear, but I was lucky to live in a school district in high school that let me go to a community college when I was still a junior in high school.

3. I like radishes.

4. It really bothers me to see cars with bumper stickers, or fridges with magnet's on them. Of course my fridge does have magnets on it, but that is besides the point. In a perfect world, cars and fridges would be clutter free.

5. I love plays and musicals, and love to be in plays and musicals, except that I am completely self-conscious and fully aware that I can't act and I can't sing. My most embarrassing moment ever is caught on tape- a solo I had in a high school play. When I watch it I want to pull my ears off, roll over, and die from embarrassment. Good times.

6. I started a story in my head in high school that was inspired in part by an old movie (probably from the 40s) that involved Maureen O'Hara, a ranch in South America, and attacking fire ants. I tell myself the story at nights when I have trouble following asleep and I do it in great detail, like I am actually writing the novel in my head. I have repeated and refined the story three times since college. It takes me months to get through the story. It's one of my favorite things about falling asleep. . . and its an old-time western romance. . . Okay, THAT was embarrassing to confess.

If you choose, you can contract the randomness bug from me and share with others on your website.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Yesterday was a tragic day. A day of mourning. Something that I was dreading and fearing for a long time, hoping, pleading, praying wouldn't come to pass, did. I really don't think I have felt this devastated in a long time.

It all started when I was putting Morgan down for a nap yesterday morning up in my bedroom. As I came out of my room and started heading down the stairs, I see it. I start screaming, a loud panicky, "NO! NO! NO!" Over and over. I keep going down the stairs, pleading that it wasn't true, that the damage was not as bad as it looked, that somehow I could have been mistaken. But I wasn't. As soon as I saw Claire, I saw the devastation, the carnage, the irreversible damage. I collapsed and started sobbing, those great heaving, trumpet-of-the-swan sobs I have told you about. I was heartbroken.

She had done it. She had found a pair of scissors and cut off her beautiful hair! Oh, say it isn't so!! But it is. If you have never seen Claire before, let me just tell you how beautiful her long curly hair was. We had never given it more than a trim since she was born. 3 1/2 years of hard work down the drain. She now has a short, short bob, and wicked bangs. And I am not okay with it. I hate it!!! And if you think I am throwing a tantrum about it, you are darn right. It doesn't look like my little Claire. I think she looks a mix between Haley Miles, the 1970's Charlie from the Chocolate Factory, and my cousin Ashley when she was 10. The bottom line is, I just want her hair back!

But there is nothing I can do. The mourning continues.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Walking Heavy

Last night, I was getting Claire to bed a little bit later than normal. She was really tired and the book she chose to read was really long. So we did a first couple pages and then she started acting really silly, which is Claire language for saying she is really tired, so I closed the book and said we would finish tomorrow. This started off the big fireworks of tears and screams. Five alarm fire. So I throw her in bed (figuratively, not literally) and let her scream it out. So after several minutes of her screaming at the top of her lungs, I go back in her bedroom to try to talk her down off the ledge (also figuratively), but she was at the point where she was so tired, she was just obsessed about finishing the book. "No," I keep telling her, but she is not having any of it, and I wasn't going to cave into her fit. She starts the gasping for air cry as she tells me "I, gasp, just, gasp, want to, gasp, read the, gasp, book, gasp." Over and over. It was breaking my heart, because she doesn't usually do that hard of a cry. But I was standing my ground, not allowing myself to be manipulated, being a responsible parent, right? I felt bad that she was going to have to sob herself to sleep. I left her again, she continued to scream, and after about ten minute Cody finally goes in to talk to her. After a few minutes, Cody comes out and Claire is quiet. What was the trick, you ask?

He went in and asked Claire what the matter was. She told him in the gasping sobs, oh the humanity, sorta way, "I, gasp, want to read, gasp, the book." So Cody asks her what book she wants to read and she says in a feeble, wounded way, "Can I, gasp, go pick it out, gasp." And she gets out of bed, sneeks across the room as if she was afraid that the small gleam of hope she has been offered might be sucked away at any moment and takes the book to dad. She gets in bed, pulls the covers over her and waits to be told the story. Cody reads for a couple minutes, artfully abridging it, and then kisses Claire goodnight. She goes to sleep peacefully.

When Cody told me what happened, I started to cry because I felt like such a crappy parent. I felt like if I would have just thought it out, I could have done what Cody did and instead of her staying up for an extra half hour crying, she might have gone peacefully to sleep. I felt like I had chosen the wrong battle and in turn, wounded Claire. But I knew, without a doubt, that in the morning, Claire would come knock on my door (that's right, she gets up before I do) and be happy as a lark, showing and feeling no resentment at all for what happened the night before. Isn't that amazing. It's a trait I think most kids have. That unconditional love that lets them let go of someone's mistakes. Unconditional love. And it doesn't hurt that they also have a short memory span.

Speaking of short memory spans, Cody operates in a similar fashion to Claire. I think most men do. They can get into arguments with their friends, be pretty upset about it, and then the next morning, they're done with it. No resentment, no awkwardness the next time they see their friends, no apologies, no grudges. It's just done. Isn't that amazing?

And then there are girls. First off, we take offense at everything; we hold grudges; and we have good memories, so we store, categorize and alphabetize the offense so we can throw it in your face when the most opportune moment next arises. Now, before you take offense at what I just said, let me note that this is a very general generalization. I think very few women actually possess all three traits. But I think probably 90% of us struggle with at least one of these (my personal beast is the third, just ask Cody). And it gets so old. My biggest pet peeve is people getting offended for any and every reason. Then everyone has to walk on eggshells around you. And I am NOT an eggshell-walkin' kinda girl. I walk heavy on my feet! If you know me, you know I am always sticking my foot in my mouth, but really it is in good nature. I don't attack people, I don't want to put people in their place, I don't want to hurt people. I am just an idiot sometimes with how something comes out of my mouth. This is why I need good friends. Good friends with short term memories, who every morning wake up forgetting any past grievances and are ready to laugh at Awkward-Remark Brooke. That is who I surround myself with. Good friends.

Now that is amazing.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


The butterfly emerges from her cocoon.

Stretches out her wings.
Slowly, her eyes get use to the new light.

And for the first time she sees her new surroundings.

She takes nourishment from the leaves around her.

And finally, the butterfly is ready to strike out into the wild to find her true nectar of life. . .
Happy Halloween!