Wednesday, May 30, 2012

No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

This is not one of my own recipes. I've got to give credit to Southern Living for this one. But make these--they take all of about ten minutes to make. And they yield 3-4 dozen, so there's enough for you to take some to your girlfriends and your co-workers!

You will need:
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 1/2 cups of uncooked oats
  • 3/4 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tsp. of vanilla extract
1. Combine sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk in a saucepan; stir well. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil; boil 1 minute.
2. Remove from heat. Stir in oats, peanut butter, and vanilla.
3. Drop dough by spoonfulls onto lightly-greased wax paper. Let cool completely.


I know what my friends are thinking: "Isn't your husband deathly allergic to peanuts?"

Yes, yes he is. And I thought he wasn't going to be home until 8:00 PM at the earliest. The toddler and I were both licking peanut butter off of spoons and basking in the fact that the entire house smelled like peanut butter right as my husband walked through the door at 6:40.


Needless to say, to the toddler's extreme delight, there was much lighting of candles, opening of windows, spraying of Lysol, and turning on of ceiling fans. :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

From Couch Potato To Climbing Everest


We were so excited about Memorial Day weekend. I mean so, so, so, so excited. We had plans with friends for each glorious day that involved grilling, swimming, pizza, beer, laying out, popsicles, and anything else that you can group into the Americana-perfect-way-to-spend-a-lazy-sunny-day category.

This weekend was also going to be the calm before the storm. My hubby wasn't on call all weekend, and Tuesday would mark the beginning of four weeks of see-ya-honey-while-you-get-up-at-3:00 AM-and-get-home-at-9:00PM.

You get the picture. We were partying hard and living it up this weekend.

That is until I got a scratchy, sore throat and the toddler had green snot coming out of his nose on the exact same day. That night, the toddler cried like a newborn, and we were up with him off and on until 4:10 AM. I know, because at 4:11 AM, I crawled into a warm bath and clutched tightly to my throat like I was suffocating. It wasn't Strep, I knew, but it was a freaking bad sore throat.

And then, at 7:00AM, came the pounding headache, my snotty nose, and extreme exhaustion coupled with the toddler's 102 fever, sore throat, snotty nose, and extreme exhaustion.

And that's how we were all.weekend.long. No hot dogs smothered in mustard. No hanging out with friends. No cannon balls into the pool.

Nope. It was Kung Fu Panda 2, Despicable Me, Fireman Sam, and Robin Hood when the toddler was awake; and it was too many episodes of Bethenny Ever After and Don't Be Tardy For The Wedding when the toddler was asleep. (Don't judge.)

All weekend long, this is what we did: sat on the couch and watched television. Sorry, James Dobson, I just threw your "no more than 30 minutes of television per day" out the dadgum window. We sat and cuddled and were miserable, while my husband studied and ran out at mealtimes to get food for us. Pathetic, I tell you.

But today is better. We aren't feeling rotten; I just have zero energy.

One of my friends texted me today: "How are y'all feeling today?"

My response: "Pooped. No longer too sick, just no energy. I just went grocery shopping and I feel like I just climbed Everest."

Not kidding. Get me a freaking Sherpa because by the time I got to my car, I was just about shaking.

But I have managed to run a few errands for the toddler's birthday party (insert applause). He acted awful. I looked like a zombie, or a poorly-equipped individual plodding many yards behind a Sherpa (I'm sorry, I'm on the Sherpa metaphor again), but we got some stuff accomplished. Oh, and I discovered Dollar Tree. My life is now complete.

I bet your Memorial Day weekend was tons better than mine, huh? Shut up, I don't want to hear about it. ;)

Friday, May 25, 2012


When my husband's family moved to America, they bought a house right down the street from the beach. So my husband grew up loving the water. In fact, whenever it rained, he would grab his galoshes and goggles and run outside to welcome the precipitation with open arms.

It's no surprise to me that my son adores the water because the H20-loving gene is in his DNA. :)

No summer day is complete in this household without some water fun. (And some stripping down in the yard.)

All this time in the sun is bringing out some adorable freckles that I'm completely in love with and cannot kiss enough times during the day. I'm sorry, but freckles are just about the cutest thing in the world to me. And when you put them on my blue-eyed, strawberry-blonde hair, little boy, I.melt.

It doesn't matter if it's a sprinkler, a garden hose, a swimming pool, or a blow-up pool, if you've got water, the toddler is thrilled about it.

All you have to say is one of the magic words: water, floaties, or swimming pool. He's screaming and jumping before you can get the rest of the word out.

It's gunna' be a water-filled summer. And I'm a-okay with that. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Taking Steps Backwards

You hear oftentimes about the parent who, in a fit of desperation at 3:15 AM, loads the little one into the car and drives around until the baby falls asleep.

I was never that parent.

Until now.

The toddler believes that now that he's in a big-boy bed, he doesn't have to nap. He can play, scream, talk really loudly, read books, bang on the door. Pretty much anything but nap.

So I have a new system. Yes, I am now that creepy woman who just drove past your house for the third time. Please don't call the cops on me. I've got Jewel's lullabies blaring, the cold air set to 2 in the back, and a slowly-but-surely-winding-down-and-falling-asleep two-year-old angel in the car seat.

Good thing gas is so cheap right now, huh?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I Was Missing My Chauffeur

One thing that you always hear when you're pregnant with your first is: "You won't be able to imagine your life before, without him."

When I was in the middle of Newborn Land, where you teeter precariously on the edge of insanity, and you do cartwheels if you get four hours of sleep, I used to think, "What on earth were those people talking about!?" Of course I could remember life before my two-week-old screaming/pooping/constantly-needing-something child. I could remember relaxing in Mexico, going to parties, being thin, hanging out with friends until 2 AM, getting 10 hours of sleep per night, etc etc.

Okay, you get the picture.

But then, over time, something happens. You think of that fabulous date that you went on, and you can't imagine what you talked about. Didn't you want to jump up and suddenly say, "Wait! We're missing somebody!"

And there you are. You really can't imagine your life before your child. Welcome to Motherhood, pretty much the greatest/most exhausting/most exhilarating/most hilarious/most challenging thing in the world.

My Mother's Day was wonderful. It started off with my hubby telling me to stay in bed, and while I relaxed in bed I could smell breakfast cooking and my sweet son came in just to give me a kiss. Heaven. :)

Then it was time for breakfast in bed. Funny, I don't remember the toddler eating half of it last year!

And then what did I do? I turned on my favorite Pandora station. . .

Dropped this beautiful bath bomb in the tub, and took a long, relaxing bubble bath.

Before we headed out the door, I took some pictures with my little man.

My son is so thoughtful; try not to be jealous. He chauffeured me all around town! He even drove me to lunch and opened my door like a perfect little gentleman! ;)

This afternoon was made even more delightful by the toddler taking a four-hour nap, and I got to enjoy a three-hour nap!

Every day, I thank God for my little boy. He brings more joy into my life than he will ever know. He makes me crack up laughing all the time. And even on those days full of time-outs and spankings and desperate prayers, I love my little Butch Cassidy with every cell in my body.

The blessing of motherhood is indescribable, isn't it?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Many Miles Under These Stroller Wheels

One year ago, my friend Christi and I decided to start walking every day together. When we started walking, she was 8 weeks pregnant, so little man in the middle there was really little, and she wasn't having to push a double stroller. :)

Somehow, in the midst of crazy busy schedules, a pregnancy, and the general insanity of life, we managed to walk at least four days a week, one hour for each walk, for the past year! And yes, my amazing friend was pushing that double stroller two weeks after giving birth.

I love our walks, and I think the kiddos do, too. Sometimes, it's the only way my guy gets a nap in! In the past year, we have had a near-death experience involving two speeding cars, had a near-death experience involving Cujo (okay, I'm exaggerating), come across a snake, encountered eight deer at once, had a run-in with about 57,000 pelicans, and called the police once. Yes, we now walk with pepper spray--so be warned. :)

But also over the past year, we have laughed hysterically together, cried together, prayed together, and been there to talk through things that are going on in our lives.

And these kiddos? They love each other. Now, they'll hit each other in the face and shove each other into the dirt (baby excluded), but they'll also hug and kiss each other and share their goldfish. :)

And yes, my child did fall asleep with his hand in the goldfish cup. :)

I'm thankful for the many miles I've put on my poor Adidas tennis shoes and my amazing jogging stroller. Here's to many more!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Something Came In The Mail Today

Something came in the mail today that made me cry. Made me cry big old soppy-wet tears of joy. Tears of gratitude.

Don't ask me what it is, because I'm not telling you. :)

But it made me remember something that God has been pressing on my heart lately: God is good. In the midst of whatever we go through, God is faithful. Life is about trials and challenges and growth and perseverance, but it is also about surprises that come in the mail. And about ice cream dates. About watching our child take his first step or say his first word. About birthday parties. About blessings that we could never fathom.

A little something came in the mail today, and I am humbled and reminded to rejoice in the Lord always.

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
-Ephesians 3:14-21

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Water And Fire

Yesterday afternoon, when the temperature hit 90, I made an announcement to my little family of three: "We're going swimming!" We all put our bathing suits on, I stuffed the pool bag with the usual necessities, and we headed out the door.

I thought that this summer, all the little nugget would need were arm floaties. I think they're perfect! He is so comfortable in the water, and I knew he would be. He puts his head under the water in the bath tub, so I figured the swimming pool wouldn't be any different. In fact, he took the liberty of jumping into the pool when neither of us were in the pool. Needless to say, the hubbs jumped in 1 second later. But, the toddler had his floaties on, and he came up with an enormous smile on his face! :)

The torpedoes, which were immediately renamed "rockets," and the "doodles" (noodles) were his obsessions.


Then today, in honor of Cinco de Mayo (and the fact that the hubbs is on call this afternoon), we decided to go grab lunch at Cozymel's. Yum!

After lunch, we swung into the Best Buy parking lot, where Fire Engine 21 was just waiting for my son to get in the driver's seat.

Yep. He was in Heaven.

And the captain let him put on his helmet!

But then, some other little boys walked up with their mom. And I knew. I knew it was going to get ugly. In case you don't have a toddler, the words "taking turns" and "sharing" don't generally go over very well.


Yeah, it's nap time over here. Happy Cinco de Mayo! :)