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High Tech Toddlers

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

iPad, Smart Phones, tv, Leapfrog, laptops, tablets, you name it, and my 19 month old toddler will figure out how to use it in less than 2 minutes. I have to hide my laptop because she will get on it and play. Even my cell phone has a lock code on it now because she was taking selfies and video calling people. I also have lots of texts to friends from her. She will be a pain when she's a teen with a phone.

I swear, they put microchips in the prenatal vitamins so that kids come out and can use the newest Apple products. Of course, I said I wanted to be a parent who didn't rely on technology to help my child "learn" until she was older. Who are we kidding? We need to stop lying to ourselves and admit how much we now rely on technology and the latest gadgets to entertain our kids. I am not ashamed of this. I'm very selective about what she is aloud to watch, what she plays and how much of it all she gets and when.

Lately, when cartoons get turned off, she freaks. Full blown fit with flailing limbs and screaming. So I decided it was time for a break from electronics for her. Get her back to playing with her Duplo Blocks and grocery store.

This day was different though. I am both disappointed and amused at this. We were at my parents playing and she was playing on her toy smartphone (they bought it of course). She puts it up above her head, poses, and says, "Cheee". Pulls it down to look at "it" then raises it back up and says, "CHEEEEESE".
In the meantime, I will try my best to keep her little and laugh at how silly she is.

"Santa's Cookies" Plate

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

If you read yesterday's post, then you know Audrey and I went crazy with the Christmas crafts this past weekend. My house is decorated but not like my friend. Her house looks like what you'd see in a magazine. It's amazing.
I thought it would be fun for Audrey to have a plate she made for Santa to hold his yummy treats. I had one when I was a tiny monster myself. It was so special I thought because Santa knew they were from me, the plate said so. We wanted to make sure Santa came back every year and what's the fastest way to a man's heart? Right! Through his stomach!
To start off, you will need a couple of supplies:
Paint Brushes (craft store)
Acrylic Paints (craft store) or
Permanent Markers (any store)
Ceramic Plates (Dollar store)
Blue Painter's Tape Multi Surface (Walmart)
With her being so little still and not being able to write her name, I decided Mama would help her. I got my fine point brush and started off writing. I did all of the red first and let it dry for a few minutes before I added the green designs. When I was done, I set it in a cold oven and turned it on to 350 degrees. After I saw it had heated up, I set the timer for 30 minutes. Once the timer was off, I turned off the oven and cracked the door to let it cool down fully. After it was cool to the touch, I got my painter's tape and taped off what I had done.
Then I got out Audrey's paint brushes and the paint and let me go crazy. She had so much fun painting the plate. When she decided she was done, I took the paint off and repeated the process of baking it in the oven. I bake it to set it faster. You can let it sit to dry but it will take 21 days it says.
If you don't have acrylic paint or don't want to buy it, you can do the same thing with permanent markers. I used to use them but never got the same effect as I do with the paints. My favorite part, this is all washable. I put Audrey in paint clothes of course and watch her so she doesn't eat it or paint herself. Also, this stuff can be washed in a dishwasher, top rack.
I have decorated so much glassware with this for Fab Flares by Audrey's Mom. It is very easy to use and looks great. Ended up being a cheap and fun project for her and I to do together that we will use for many Christmas' to come.


Just Another Manic Monday

Monday, November 17, 2014

Remember when the weekend was exciting and you looked forward to it all week? Yea, that was a long time ago for me. Long before I even had a kid. It's kind of depressing to think about now. We get so busy and we're rushing and rushing. We just need some slow down time. It has gotten so bad in our home that I have barely spent anytime with Jake in the past 2 months. So I decided it was time for a change. We were going to have alone time away from the child. And start up with some family time.
Don't get me wrong, I do love Audrey, but we all need a break from our children. It's not healthy to devote every second to them and it's not healthy for them. They may get a little mad but trust me, kids get over things pretty fast. These past 2 weeks have been the worst. Jake has had such a whacky schedule and Audrey and I were terribly sick. Thursday, Audrey was just a monster. Everything was no, she was mad at me for everything and just wanted her dad. So Jake took me out on the town for a  very fun night.
We went to dinner at a restaurant on our bucket list, then went to a new bar for some drinks with some friends and home for a movie. It was so amazing to have an adult conversation with him and not worry about the kid. Cleared my head and helped me to relax. I even got dressed up, well dressed up for me. Which means I put on makeup and wore heeled boots. Hey, I was still one hot mama to him.
Friday, I decided was going to be a fun family day for us but Jake had to go help a buddy who had no heat, so I didn't mind. Audrey and I decorated for Christmas. Why not, I love Christmas and love the d├ęcor. Then we painted some pictures.

Audrey made her cookie plate for Santa and painted me a snowflake and a Christmas Countdown. While she made a huge mess, the fun we had was worth it. She made it the best day and then we made one of our favorite dinners for dad, sliders. Yum!
Saturday was fun. We spent the morning together and then caught up on Sons of Anarchy. Sunday is FOOTBALL! GO SEAHAWKS! Audrey and I also made some delicious sugar cookies.
Monday is here and I am not happy about it. Jake has another crazy schedule this week. I am going to do my best to make it easy on all of us so we can enjoy next weekend and do our family photos with a smile.
What do you do to make family time special?

Not Your Gramma's Apple Pie

Thursday, November 13, 2014

We've all heard of moonshine and the old stories of bootlegging. I'm pretty sure most adults have seen a movie or two where they make it. There's even a show on Discovery Channel called "Moonshiners". But did you know how easy it is to make your own flavored liquor? It's actually pretty easy which is great since it's holiday season and we all need something to warm us up.
Now, we all know what apple pie is and that's what I am going to teach you how to make. This isn't your Gramma's Apple pie though. This is apple pie flavored liquor (yes, we're rednecks). I have seen people do it with Vodka but you truly need a flavorless alcohol to get the right taste. So we're using good ol' Everclear. If you know what Everclear is then you probably just cringed like I do. It's a grain alcohol that is illegal to sell/purchase in some states because the proof is so high. It's 95% alcohol, 190 proof. You know it's going to be strong when you see three separate warnings right on the front label.
We will be doing practically everything other than distilling the liquor. It's a very simple process but it does take a while to make it. Of course, if you want to get really fancy (like us rednecks) you can bottle your end product in mason jars.
What You Need:
2-3 Dozen small to medium tart apples.
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon all spice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 large sheet of cheesecloth
Bakers twine (butchers at the grocery store can give you some)
6 Quart Mason Jars (for obvious reasons)
Large Pot
1/5th of 190 proof Everclear
1/2 Gallon Apple Juice
1/2 Gallon Cider
Making Cider: You can buy cider or apple juice to do this if you don't have the time or patience. I am making my own from the apples Jake picked me. You will want a tart apple. Rinse them off. To get the most flavor, slice them up. I have a large pot so I just filled as full as I could with apples. You will want at least 4 inches of water in the bottom of the pot. That took about 9 cups for me. Then take your cheesecloth and fold it up into a big square. Place two cinnamon sticks, cloves and all spice in it. Some will leak through on to your counter and that's alright. Roll it up and tie it shut with the twine. Then set it in with the apples. I wanted my cider to be dark and rich so I let it cook for an hour on medium low heat with the lid on. I didn't stir it either. Once it has cooked and your apples are soft, very carefully strain the liquid into another bowl. Don't press the apples or it will get pulp like applesauce.
Apple Pie Moonshine: I am the type of home cook who hates measuring. So for me, this was easy to do. Pour in the apple juice to the pot. Then fill up the same container with the cider and now you know you will have equal parts. SIMPLE. Next, add your full bottle of liquor. Take a swig first if you'd like. I won't tell. If you still have the cheesecloth full of spices, toss it back in, or start a new one if needed. Turn the heat on low and let it heat through. This will help blend and infuse all of the flavors together. After an hour, taste it and see what more it needs. It's hard for me to suggest what it may need because cider and apple juices all vary so much. Feel free to check it as much as needed. Once it tastes like you bit into a fresh apple pie, you know it's done.
After you have let it cool to room temperature, fill the mason jars and enjoy!

Sick Kid Meals

Monday, November 3, 2014

It's finally snot season. Yuck! I don't have an issue with any body fluid other than snot. Just thinking about it makes me gag.I'm sorry, Audrey, but when your nose runs, I want to run and hide from you because it's repulsive.

I can wipe a nasty butt any day, in fact, I have been lately. My little bug has come down with a bug. She has a phlehmy cough and she's practically lost her adorable voice. Like most people, appetite is an issue for her when she's sick. I pump her full of Powerade but have struggled to get her food.

Today she had terrible diarrhea. So bad, it stunk up the whole section of the pizza place we were at. I leaned across to my dad and asked him if he had just farted, he said no. I lean over to Audrey and bam, got punched hard in the face by the smell. A smell that you would think came straight from Hell! I ran her to the car and got her changed. Even worse, had to leave the diaper in my car for a bit because there was no where to dispose of it.

When we got home I realized that I know the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) for when you have nausea but no foods for diarrhea. So I turned to Google. It gave me some great ideas for meals when your munchkins are sick.

Audrey loves applesauce which is great since I just made about a dozen pints. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on it and she eats the whole bowl. Easy on the stomach and it helps with hydration. Once she started perking up again, it was time for some more filling substance. So we made up some tuna and mayo then served it on saltines. She devoured it.

Soup is not very easy to feed her just yet. But I do like to make up some chicken broth with garlic in it for her and a grilled cheese sandwich. Makes it go down easier. And of course, everything either gets Powerade or some orange juice with it for extra vitamin c and hydration.

Most importantly, play it by ear. Your little one will give you queues. Don't forget the cuddles of course and if it gets bad enough, call your child's pediatrician.


I'm having a heart attack, no, it's a stroke.

It's Saturday night, Audrey is going to bed because, well it's obviously bed time. Tara is rubbing her gross face on the carpet and spinning around like a monster. I am waiting on the water to boil so I can make some Kraft Mac & Cheese.
Suddenly, I get this pressure in my chest. Ouch, now it's getting extremely sharp. Slowly, it starts moving it's way up into my neck. I go in my room and lie down next to Audrey, who is watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, give her kisses and say, "Remember how you figured out how to call 911 on mom's phone? If I die, you need to do that. Mama loves you more than anything baby. You're the best thing that's ever happened to me."
I start trying to find my pulse in my neck and begin freaking out. I can't find it. I've taken so many first aid and cpr classes and I know not being able to feel it is bad. OH FUCK! I'M DYING! I'M HAVING A HEART ATTACK! No, no, I am fine. I'm not a doctor, it's all in my head. I will be okay.
I kiss Audrey again and get up and go to the living room. No way I'm going to die in front of my daughter. I decide to Google my symptoms like any other sane hypochondriac would do. As I'm searching, I begin to get a terrible headache. Nooooo! It's a blood clot moving to my brain!  I start singing "Do You Want To Build A Snowman?" to see if I'm getting the symptoms of a stroke. Still singing off key and my face isn't sagging yet, good sign. Arms can still flail around. I begin stretching and start some push ups. No clue why I thought starting an exercise routine while I'm dying would reverse it.
Well, if I am going to die, I am going to at least make that mac & cheese because I'm still really hungry. I began to finish it up and start tearing up a bit, not sure from the pain or fear. I don't want to die. I'm only 26. I know I drink a lot and eat way too many cheeseburgers but I still get some exercise and I am not as big as a house!
Did you know that mac & cheese can be gross? Well when you're upset because you think you're dying, it does. Some comfort food. I start drinking some milk with it. Suddenly my chest pain in dissipating. I just sit there and begin to talk with God. All of a sudden there is this ridiculous burn in my throat and I let out the biggest belch, one that would shame most men!
GAS! IT'S JUST INDIGESTION! I'M NOT DYING! Thank you, Jesus! Seriously, this is why you don't leave a hypochondriac alone for a weekend. If she doesn't die from a heart attack, she will probably die from the stress of thinking she's dying from a heart attack.
This has not changed my opinion on my drinking or eating habits. Nor do I plan on buying a million dollar work out plan. But I do think I may need to start taking some acid reflux medicine.
I'm going to celebrate surviving my fake heart attack with some low fat ice cream now.

Happy Halloween

Friday, October 31, 2014

Yay, it's Halloween, a day of fun for our little ones. They get to dress up and get some sugar filled candy. Sounds like fun to me.

I wanted to remind you to be safe and tell your kids the rules. I got the help of one of Audrey's favorite characters for this. Take it away Doc McStuffins.
Of course, have fun. Take lots of pictures and upload them for us to see! We love cutie's all dressed up.
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