Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I've always wanted to make a whole roasted chicken but never attempted it until today.  It always seemed very June Cleaver to me, but I wasn't in a dress, pearls & heels as I whipped things together.  Instead I wore purple scrubs and threw Cheerios on Reese's highchair so I could get the dang things into the oven so we could eat at a reasonable time.

When I told Mike that I followed Pioneer Woman's recipe, his response was, "big surprise."  Lets just say I make a whole lotta PW recipes!  Click here for the recipe.  I didn't follow it to a T since I used "poultry" herbs since they didn't have straight up rosemary.  My blend had thyme, rosemary & sage.

I made two so we'd have leftovers for whatever; quesadillas, enchiladas, chicken salad, you name it!  I think we're going to go with the chicken salad & throw in some grapes, celery & almonds or walnuts.  I read that the chicken roasts for about an hour & twenty minutes & every recipe I read showed different cooking temperatures.  I started at 500 for twenty minutes to get a nice, golden color & then I knocked it down to 425.  I was paranoid that it would burn, so I brought it down to 375.

I had no idea where to take the temperature, so I Googled it & found that it's between the breast & the leg in the thigh region which is the thickest portion.  The temperature should read 165 degrees.  Mine was a little over temp but it was still really juicy.  I let it rest for a good ten minutes before Mike carved it so the juices could settle.

I don't adore handling raw meat, especially in whole form like this; as I rinsed the chicken before work this morning, I imagined the poor little fella running through a meadow.  But, I quickly got past it & we enjoyed it along side a salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette. 

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Saturday, March 23, 2013


Ahh, it's Saturday morning, I've just laid Reese down for her morning nap & I'm sitting at the breakfast bar in my pj's, sipping hot coffee.  This is the moment I look forward to all week long!  And what a long week it was!  Speaking of naps, I'm pretty sure Reese is dropping from two naps to one but since she's teething so badly, we decided to give the cranky girl a rest. 

Wednesday Cam tested out his photography skills & shot a few pictures.  Here's a picture of Reese's baby in her stroller.  We discovered last night that she's afraid of her baby... that's never a good thing when a mama is terrified of her baby.  We were playing when she continued to say, "Bye-bye!" and "Nooo!" as she looked at her baby in fear.  I can't say I blame her; when you feed the baby her bottle, her mouth mechanically moves as her eyes blink.

As the termite guys finally finished up, Cam caught me making lunch as Reese settled in for her nap.  $1200 later, we are officially termite free!!  Awe yeah, party time! 

No photo session would be complete without a self portrait!

We're always looking for breakfast ideas & since Cam loves muffins, I looked around for a healthy recipe & whipped up a batch.
They were quite tasty & paired well with a cup of coffee!  The coffee was for me, not the kids.
As we baked, the princess lounged on her throne as any princess would.

We've had amazingly gorgeous weather, so we've been playing baseball in the backyard before bed.  We met a family of ducks & fed them an evening snack on Thursday.

Reese was showing her saucy side (big surprise!) as we drove to school yesterday & was none too happy that I wouldn't give her my phone.  Such a drama queen!

Cam and I kicked off the weekend with a movie night after Reese went to bed.  Mike was out with the guys, but the two of us enjoyed popcorn & candy & had a great time.  I'm so thankful the weekend is here & we have no plans but to spend time together as a family!
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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

St. Paddy's Day 2013

No matter what the holiday, I love it!  Any reason to be festive & celebrate is good enough for me.  I'm about 25% Irish, but love St. Patrick's Day 100%!  This weekend my parents happened to be in town to visit with Cameron & Reese.  Mike & I rarely get out... maybe once every few months on our own.  With our budget, we've been creative about outings so Saturday evening, after visiting with my parents, we headed to see Identity Thief with our AMC gift card = free date!  The movie had horrible reviews but we thought it was really funny & I'm glad we went.  We ended our date with Thai food using a $25 gift certificate we had.  It was probably the best Pad Thai I've ever had!  I've been craving it for so long & it totally hit the spot.  Speaking of money saving, I haven't been buying many candles which has been heart breaking for me.  Candles are one of my great loves.  I light them, smell them, enjoy them & all is right with the world.  Most nights, I have a minimum of 2 candles burning.  My wonderful SIL, Melanie works for a candle factory & she was so sweet to send my mom up with a bundle of new candles that they consider "rejects" for one reason or another!  

I was so happy!  It's the little things in life..  Anyway, my parents were nice enough to watch the kids as we met some friends at a St. Paddy's Day fest.  We went for a few hours, had a couple of beers & enjoyed live music & good conversation.  

As much as I love & adore my children, an occasional outing without them is very nice!  We could talk without doing fifteen things at once & being distracted!  Amazing!  Last year we took the kids to this same fest as you can see in this post.  Reese was only four months old!!

Looking at these pictures makes me realize just how short I am compared to all of my friends!

After we left, we headed home to make my parents bangers & mash which was so yummy!

After my parents headed home, we just hung around the house, played around & relaxed until it was time to hit the sack & gear up for another work week.  Hope you all had a Happy St. Patrick's Day too!

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Getting to the root of it

Shortly before Christmas my dentist told me he wanted me to have my old silver fillings replaced with the composite filling.  Apparently, over time silver fillings can break your teeth down, acting like a jackhammer from all the expanding & contracting with hot/cold foods.  So I bit the bullet & had my back left tooth done first.  Since the moment the Novocaine wore off, I haven't been able to comfortably chew on that side.  The following week I had the right side done & haven't had a single issue.  The problem tooth was done by the female dentist whom Mike cares very little for.  The good replacement was done by the husband dentist that we both prefer.  I've gone back several times to be sure the bite wasn't off since that can cause sensitivity.  Nope, didn't fix a thing.  It was mainly an annoyance, so over the holidays I managed to ignore it & just chew on the right side.  That's until 2 weeks ago when throbbing pain & severe cold intolerance decided to show up.  Back to the dentist!  She tells me she thinks I need a root canal & refers me to an endodontist!  I nearly cried as I walked out the door, referral in hand, head hung in defeat.  It's not the fear of pain that bothered me, but the fear of the money it would cost to not only have the root canal done but also the crown that must follow.  It seems now that we're buckling down on our budget, everything needs fixing!  Luckily I have dental insurance so I'll have some coverage.

I tried to relax in the chair that overlooked the trees.  Serene music piped through the Zen-like office & the staff was super nice.  I was extremely excited when I found out they have TV glasses to help distract from the procedure!

So I strapped on these bad boys, popped the ear plugs in & watched There's Something About Mary as the dentist drilled away.  I have to say, it made things go by so quickly!  When Ted zipped his "boys" into his tuxedo, I had a hard time suppressing my laugh as they talked about franks & beans!  I figured laughing with a drill in your mouth is not a good idea!

Otherwise the week has gone fairly well.  Cam & I had our weekly park date last week & plan to do the same tomorrow.  We'll finally be fixing our termite problem which has been a long time coming!  That's another quick hunk of money, poof, out the door!  Termites & dental work is the last thing I wanted to do with our money.  UGH!

In other news, we've finally decided to switch Reese from her infant seat into the regular one that faces forward!  She was fine weight-wise since it goes up to 30# but her length was getting a little tight.  She was in seventh heaven last night when we tested her in it for size & when it came time to come out, she was none too happy!  Mike drove her to school today so I was disappointed I wasn't able to see her, but he sent me these pictures which made my morning!

Cam is now in a booster seat which he says is "very comfy."  Mike said Reese basically beamed the entire way to school.. so cute!

If you're squeamish about poop stories, I warn to you conclude your reading of the post right now.  I'm warning you, baby poop will be talked about.  If you are disgusted and/or offended, don't say I didn't warn you... Okay, so, speaking of Reese, last night we decided to let her have some "naked time."  It's good for her lady bits to get some air since she prone to rashes.  I'm cooking dinner & Mike is coming in from work when he says, "What's Dempsey eating?"  He goes to investigate & finds a half eaten turd on the floor!  My stomach was already yucky from the stressful work day & now he's holding poop in his bare hand!  YUCK!  I told Cam, "Do NOT let Dempsey lick your face, she just ate Reese's poop!"  A minute later he shouts, "MOOOOM, Demps is licking Reesey's face!"  This is the chaos that is my life with 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 cats.  Someone is always crapping or puking!!  Thank goodness for my beloved Spotbot to help me clean it all up!

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Woke up, got out of bed...

Every so often I like to do a day in the life post so I can look back & remember what my day looked like in different seasons of life.  I find that any time I think about doing this post, A Day in the Life by the Beatles pops into my head.  Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head!  Anyway...  So, I'll do a run through of what a typical Monday looks like in my life.  Not that I imagine you care so much, but I do!  I'll post pictures from my cell that I took over the week as I babble.

Enjoying the lake near our house last Wednesday

My alarm blares out at 5am as I miserably drag myself out of bed & head to the gym.  Most mornings I think that I'd give my right arm to sleep a little longer.  Then I tell myself that I'll go to bed super early that night, though I rarely do.  I'm back from the gym & in the shower at 6:30, get both kids up around 7 & head out the door at 7:30.  I drop the kids off at daycare & clock-in at 8:15.  After screening patients & figuring out who I'm seeing that day, I head up to ICU rounds at 10am, see patients until 12:30 & then head to lunch.  Thirty minutes go far too quickly.  I chart for the rest of the day.

I clock-out at 4:45pm, get the kids & get home by 5:30.  I've changed my Tuesday/Thursday schedule & work from 7:15-3:45 which is awesome.  Mike takes the kids to school those days & before he's home from work, they're already bathed & in their pajamas & we've even had time to take a walk around the neighborhood.  When I get home on Mondays, I bathe the kids, get them in their PJs, reheat leftovers from Sunday & by that time Mike is getting home.  

Bath time!
We eat, play & put Reese to bed by 7pm the latest.  The girl is out cold within minutes since daycare wears her out so much.  Cam goes to bed a little before 8pm.

I try to take a 15 minute afternoon walk everyday

Mike & I hang out & watch TV until I head to bed to read until around 10pm or so.  As much as I'd love to stay up later, it's not worth feeling exhausted the next day, so I make myself go to sleep.  After about fifteen minutes of reading my Kindle, I can no longer keep my eyes open & I go to sleep.  Wake & repeat, wake & repeat until it's TGIFn'F!

Our meals are usually pretty quick & simple during the week.  Monday is always leftovers from Sunday, Tuesday is something quick like these make ahead muffin melts from the Pioneer Woman.  Mike was sweet enough to make the mixture Monday night as I watched the Bachelor finale at Lauren's house.  I topped English muffins with the mixture, popped them under the broiler for about ten-fifteen minutes & dinner was served.  Since I'm home Wednesday, I make a better meal that extends leftovers to Thursday & Friday is always pizza & salad.  Since we're following a tighter budget, we've switched from Perno Pizza Friday or pizza delivery to frozen pizza.

Speaking of budgeting, I'll be following the envelope system in style thanks to my incredibly sweet friend, Lesli.  No plain, boring envelopes for this gal; I'll be toting these colorful babies that Lesli so craftily made!  Thank you so much, Lesli, I love you!

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Recent happenings

We have had a very busy week!  We've been working through Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover & getting into a more solid budget & routine.  I'll blog more about that later, but one of the biggest things we've changed is completely planning out our weekly meals, shopping for everything on Saturday and paying with cash from a budget we've set for ourselves.  I made a list of meal ideas on the dry erase board in our laundry room & pick from it each week.  As I come up with more ideas from shows I watch, I add them to the board.  It's made menu planning a lot easier!

If you're at all familiar with Dave's program, you create an envelope system for any of your non-bill needs & budget each paycheck down to the dime.  When the cash is out, the cash is out.  No borrowing from another envelope.. if you don't have it, you wait!  It's teaching me a lot of patience!!!  We've been thinking more & more about our future & want to be sure we have our ducks in a row so we can retire at a decent age, send our kids to college, be able to travel, etc.  Working through this book has really, really helped us get on the same page financially.  We used to get into a fight any time we had a budget talk, but this has seriously made a world of a difference.  We've set weekly budget meetings for every Wednesday night.  I'm sure you'll hear me blather on about this more in future posts, but I'll stop now!

I'm still working on The Happiness Project too, but February somehow got away from me!  Last month focused on marriage.  Since a solid marriage is strongly associated with happiness, this is a big goal for the project.  Mike & I met when we were 16, started dating a month after I turned 17 & got married on my 23rd birthday.  We have always had a very solid relationship, even as high schoolers.  We've never done the drama bit, breaking up & making up.  But like any relationship, if you become complacent, things can suffer.  The book states that marital satisfaction drops substantially after the first child arrives.  I found this to be very true... the sleepless nights & stress of having a new baby really tested our patience with one another.  I feel like the foundation of a good relationship is sticking together through the tough times.  I recently read someone from a long-term relationship say that they're secret was knowing there would be some bad years mixed into your marriage.  Can't just expect peaches & cream all the time; I know I'm certainly not always a ray of sunshine!!  Especially when it's PMS week... yikes, run for cover, Mike!!

Weeknight walk in our PJs!

My biggest goal for making a positive change is to think before I speak.  When I'm tired, stressed & frustrated with things that have nothing at all to do with Mike, I tend to be snappy, impatient & rude.  He doesn't deserve it!  I also want to be more outspoken with my appreciation of him & more considerate.  Do you ever notice that sometimes you're more considerate & charming with a stranger than your own spouse?  It's crazy when I think about it.  
Reese, where's your belly?!

Look at that big attitude in such a small package!

As I'm rambling, I'm posting pictures off my cell that I took throughout the week.  The kids are celebrating Dr. Seuss week in honor of his birthday & Monday was mixed-up Monday.  We sent the kids totally mismatched so I was shocked when they were seriously the only mismatched kids in their classes as I dropped them off!! 

About two weekends ago, our girl decided walking was a great idea & she's never looked back!

So, back to The Happiness Project..  My goal for January was to tackle some nagging tasks & I really feel like I succeeded.  I finally went to the dermatologist for a skin test & I'm so glad I did.  I had three moles removed & biopsied.  I got a call back last week; two were benign & one was dysplatic which is also benign but has an increased risk for developing into cancer.  Once the scab is gone from the biopsy site, I need to make sure there is no trace of the mole; if there is, I have it further removed.  The latest I go back is 6 months from now.  I've also been hammering away at my continuing education hours.  When I started 2013, I had zero & now I have 13.5 out of the 30 I need by mid-May.  It feels so good to get things that have been bugging me off the to-do list.

My big helper!

We've been having some issues with Cam & his teacher lately.  Daycare pick-up has not been pleasant since I'm getting a negative report nearly every day.  I'll never have the mentality of "not my child!" but I do feel like his teacher is part of the problem.  She is so abrasive & impatient.  I see her yelling at other kids when they're doing nothing but being kids.  Monday, he was so happy when I picked him up & she was quick to swoop over & ask me why I didn't return his soccer coach's phone call.  (Every Monday he is part of a soccer team that comes to the school.)  I told her there was no phone call to return & she told me they were not happy with his behavior.  Mike called the coach who said there was no true problem & that's why he hadn't even bothered to call us.  He said Cam's attention span was a little short, but otherwise he was great.  That tells us that Cam's teacher is just looking for trouble.  If this keeps up, we'll have to call in a meeting with her & the director.

And lastly, our little Drama Queen has gotten into throwing little tantrums on the floor.  They are hilarious to watch, let me tell you.  It starts with a very ungraceful belly flop where she then rolls & flops around like a fish out of water!  Such a nut!!  Anyway, that's what's going on in our neck of the woods.. hope you're all having a great week too!

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