Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sunscreen HELP ?!?

I burned my baby.

Ok, I didn't really burn her, but I let her get sunburned and I think I feel just as guilty as I would had I done it myself.

I actually remembered to put baby sunblock on her tiny cheeks and nose... I just somehow neglected her sweet chubby dimpled arms. And now they're mighty pink. (*Sob!*)


I'm terrible about remembering to put sunscreen on my kids. I try- I do!- but so often our jaunts outside end up being spontaneous. We don't spend hours outdoors every single day, so it's always seemed foolish to me to put it on them every single morning. Plus, we're all up and dressed by about 7 am, so will that protection really still be in place when we need it?

I don't know. Obviously, I'm a failure in the "sun protection" department.

What works for me? No clue.

That's why, this week, I'm begging for your wisdom and tips. What can this sunscreen-challenged mama do to do better? What's your best advice for keeping the littles sunburn-free? Please, please, help a mama out...

This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Small-Town Carnival

My husband arrived home from work yesterday afternoon, kissed me, took the baby, and asked if I wanted to take the kids to a carnival in a tiny neighboring town. He had seen a sign on his drive home.

Sounded good to me!

We ate our supper and headed out the door.

Was it cheap? Um, not really. Those ride tickets can add up quickly and, yes, they're pretty much a rip-off. On the surface, shelling out four dollars to ride the ferris wheel makes me cringe...

But then I watch my daughter's face as we climb way up, up, up high as the trees...

And my husband laughs as their eyes get huge when the kiddie train takes off with them in front...

And the baby giggles and holds tight to me as we ride together on the merry-go-round...

And, as I nurse my exhausted littlest one to sleep, I hear my son in the room across the hall, whispering to his beloved Mr. Penguin...

"And then I went on this HUGE slide called the Fun Slide TWO times! It was SO fast, Mr. Penguin. And Daddy and I rode the big ferris wheel. And then I got to..."

And I realize.

We're making memories here.

And that's priceless.

What seemingly "rip-off" things have you realized were worth every penny?

This post is linked to Finer Things Friday.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Legal Abortion = Respect For Women?

Food for thought...

22 "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

Exodus: 22-25

Pro-choicers will have you believe the lie that making abortion legal is good for women, that it supports women, that it- somehow- empowers women.

But what does the Bible say?

Well, for starters, the Bible is clear that the "fetus" is (surprise, surprise) a life. A life every bit as precious and worthy as the "already-born" man who could harm him. Does it matter in God's eyes that the baby is currently living inside his mother? Not a bit. That child is one of His children.

But what about the mother? Is the Bible thus limiting her rights and demeaning her importance by (clearly) saying killing babies is wrong?


Not even close.

In fact, I believe these verses reflect how honored, revered, and protected a woman with child should be. Consider that a LAW was written in to protect her and the precious life she sustains. How different this is from our current, man-made laws that did not hold a gunman who shot a teller and killed her unborn twins accountable for murder. Robbery? Oh yes, we can charge him with that. But murder? Well... they weren't viable, after all...

Who really thinks women are better off with these laws our politicians concoct? Who believes that allowing abortion shows respect and reverence for women?

It's just something I'm thinking about.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How I Do School...

...We had to determine which educational platform would best support our children’s needs and family’s beliefs. Sometime during the 2 1/2 to 3 year old range, my husband and I sat down and looked at the different school options available and discussed each child and his or her needs. We had to consider those specific needs and the personality of that particular child in order to ensure we made the best decision.

I'm guest posting over at Life as MOM today, sharing why our family chose public school for our children. Head on over to see what I have to say and read the great comments! While you're there, be sure to answer my question...

How does your state’s school performance (or lack thereof) affect your choice in how to educate them?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Should I Have More Children?

(It's a rhetorical question, but feel free to offer up your opinion on the matter in the comments.)

Here's what got me thinking...

I made a quick run to CVS today with my three kids in tow- ages 5, 4, and 1. We headed through the sliding entrance doors and, though keeping well to the right (as taught), my two holding-hands preschoolers wound up in the path of a middle-aged Middle Eastern gentleman making his way out of the store. My son pulled his sister with him out of the way, looked the man in the eye, and said:

"Excuse us, Sir."

The (previously rather cranky-looking) gentleman raised his eyebrows, bowed slightly toward me, and said:

"Your have very well-mannered children. Well-behaved."

{I replied, "Thank you."}

"You should have more."

And, with that, he departed.

I have to confess- I laughed. It's just not something you typically hear!

Of course, then it got me thinking...

What should dictate when we decide to stop having children...

Whether we want them?

Or whether we can handle them?

(This question is asked with the assumption that we are deciding to limit our family size for personal reasons... it obviously does not apply to those who choose to base their family size on however many children the Lord blesses them with. I'm not judging either method... just clarifying.)

The man who spoke to me doesn't know me. He obviously has no idea what my personal "ideal" family size might be. For all he knows, I may have wanted to stop at two and feel like I got "stuck" with my third (I did NOT, for the record). He doesn't know my financial situation or my marital situation. He doesn't know my religious beliefs.

What does he know?

In a nutshell, he knows I can handle my kids (at least mostly). They listen to me. They've been taught to be polite and respectful. In his mind, I guess, I'm the kind of mom who should bring more kids into this world... more "well-mannered, well-behaved" children.

Should that be a requirement?

I'm not sure. I do know I've heard plenty of people mutter, "She's pregnant again? She can barely handle the ones she's got!" So, clearly, we feel entitled to judge other people's childcare limits. Oh, and please know that I'm in no way picking on large families here... I know at least as many moms of one or two children who seem overwhelmed as I do moms of many.

I guess it just got me wondering... would the world perhaps be better off if some of those families choosing to limit their family size for reasons of responsibility (financial, environmental, or otherwise) would instead choose to have more children... more well-trained and, yes, well-loved children?

I don't have any answers for you, but it sure got me thinking.

How about you? What do you think? Do you ever see families who seem like they can't handle the kids they have? Have you ever seen an awesome family and thought they would be doing right in having more children? Oh, and should I have more kids? ;)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Can You Hear It?

I'm 34 now...

and I can hear it.

I credit it with my avoidance of rock concerts, factories, and mowing the lawn- hah!

Can you hear it? (And how old are you?- if you're willing to share.)

Menu Plan: 6/20- Happy Birthday...er, Father's Day!

Yesterday was Father's Day... with both my father and the father of my children there. Fun! It also happened to be MY birthday. Lots of celebrating happening in the Parenting Miracles house! (Random bit of trivia about yours truly... I was actually BORN on Father's Day too. That happens about every six years. The last time it happened, my husband was not yet a father. We now have three kids. :))

B-Cereal, Applesauce, Milk
L-Chocolate Chip Pancakes w/ Whipped Cream & Strawberries (Did I mention that it's my birthday???)
D-Sunday Supper at Bama & Papa's house - Kebabs on the grill... yum! And those of you in Twitterville with me? Remember when I looked for dessert suggestions? I decided on Death By Chocolate with Peppermint Patties.


B-Smoothies, Toast
L-Grilled Cheese, Applesauce, Milk
D-Hot & Sour Peanut Rice w/ Chicken & Broccoli (this is a variation of my Hot & Sour Peanut Noodle recipe... let me know if you'd like details!)


B-Oatmeal, Yogurt, Juice
L-Peanut Rice, Applesauce, Milk
D-Spaghetti w/ Meatballs, Green Beans


B-Cinnamon Sugar Toast, Apples, Milk
L-Noodles, Green Beans, Yogurt, Juice
D-Beans & Franks, Tater Tots


B-Cereal, Yogurt, Juice
L-Hot Dogs on Bread, Apple Slices, Water
D-Whole Wheat Penne w/ Homemade Queso Sauce (waayyyy better than "Mac 'n Cheese" in my opinion!)


B-PB Toast, Apples, Milk
L-Rice & Beans, Juice
D-Pepperoni & Mushroom Pizza


B-Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Bagel Sandwiches
L-En route to Massachusetts... we plan to try to time it so we can go out to lunch at the restaurant we got take-out from the night we got engaged. Aw! ;)
D-*We'll be out of town visiting dear friends in Massachusetts... G's godparents!*

I realized that, since we'll be out of town all weekend, I won't be able to do my usual "every 4 week" Aldi trip. As a result, next week's menu plan will be strictly "eating out of the pantry". Since my pantry is not exactly stuffed right now, it could get interesting. Be sure to come back to see what I come up with!

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday.

Friday, June 18, 2010


It's not a dirty word.

I know it isn't.

But that wasn't always the case...

I can remember, as a teenager and very young woman, squirming in my seat when "that" reading would come up at church...

I know better now. And I'm working on it. I still have a long ways to go, but I'm working on it.

Sometimes it's hard for me. Mostly, I think I just forget sometimes. I live in a world where husband-bashing and feminism reign supreme and, while neither is something I want a part of, I forget the beauty and peace of, well, submitting. Is it hard sometimes? Of course. Most things worth doing are hard. But can I tell you a secret? As hard as it is for me to submit, I think it is that much harder for my husband.

Along with my submission comes great responsibility for him.

I'm not honestly sure that either one of us is ready for a full-on submissive role on my part. That's where we're at. But, really? It is a beautiful thing to be able to let my husband be the head of the household. It does not mean that he gets to make all kinds of selfish decisions that I must go along with... far from it.

It means that he must find a way to do what's best for our family, at all times.

Sometimes I forget.

And then, there I'll be, filling out forms to receive freebies, giving feedback on a poll, leaving comments on blogs... and I just keep clicking the same word over and over again...

Submit... Submit... Submit...

I'm so willing to submit all day long... surely I can give my husband the same honor.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

When He Grows Up...

My five year old graduated from preschool last week. Not a fancy-pants, organized graduation, mind you... just a little party at the school. During this party, the children received "yearbooks" with photos and profiles of their peers. (Super cute! And I plan to share more about them when I get my camera's memory card back... )

The last profile question for each child was this:

"When I grow up, I want to be..."

The answers included the following...

  • policeman (x4)
  • fire fighter
  • video game player
  • Super Why
  • teacher
  • video game player
  • doctor
  • mermaid
  • vet
  • super hero

There were lots of smiles and laughs as the children read off their answers, but I can't say that any of them were huge surprises.

My boy stood up.

"When I grow up, I want to be an uncle to G (his baby sister)'s kids."

(Insert audible "Awww..." heard from the crowd.)

I was proud of his answer. And touched. But not surprised. We are working hard to raise children who value family.... who are proud to be good role models... who aspire to grow up to be like some of the greatest people they know-- their uncles, aunts, grandparents, parents...

And that's a greater ambition than being Super Why in my book.

This post is linked to Finer Things Friday.

Mimi's Babies Giveaway Winner

... and the winner is....

Alyssa! Congratulations!

True Random Number Generator 8Powered by RANDOM.OR

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cooking With Wine

I love to cook. Absolutely love it. Cleaning? That's a different story, but, for today, I'm talking about cooking...

There are so many different ways to add depth and richness to our meals, but one of my favorites is cooking with wine. Even for those who don't choose to consume alcohol, wine is a wonderful option for cooking since the alcohol cooks out and you're left with just the amazing flavor.

When you choose to cook with wine, here is my one tip for you...

Use real wine.

Don't buy that cooking wine in your grocery story. It is inferior in taste and has added salt. Buy a decent quality (read: decent does NOT equal expensive) bottle of wine and use that to cook. You'll likely save money too as those "cooking wine" bottles are only about half the size of a regular bottle of wine.

The flavor of wine gets more intense as you cook it and it reduces.... it only makes sense that you'd want to start off with something that tastes good straight out of the bottle. Works for me!

** Never cooked with wine before? Not sure where to start? Think it has to be complicated? Here are just a few of the many (simple) recipes I make that use wine:

Monday, June 14, 2010


Image credit.

We adore migas around here, even though I totally pronounce the name wrong. I can't seem to manage to say it without a hard "g" sound... but, no matter how you say it (or slice it), this dish is super yummy for all ages. And simple!


9 eggs, scrambled
1/4 tsp salt
dash pepper
8-10 corn tortillas, cut into Frito-size strips (now isn't that an interesting dimension? ;))
toppers- salsa, taco sauce, sour cream, green onion, hot peppers, diced tomato, whatever you like!


Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Toss in the corn tortillas and cook 'em up, tossing every few minutes, until they start to get crispy. (Some people just use crunchy tortilla chips from a bag... I prefer starting with fresh corn tortillas.) Pour eggs evenly over tortilla pieces and season with salt and pepper. Allow to set up and then turn. Do not worry overly much if your egg mixture breaks up- it all tastes the same. Once cooked through, top with 1/2 cup or so of your favorite cheese- we usually use cheddar around here. Turn off the heat and pop a lid on until the cheese melts. Serve with toppers. (I like everything but sour cream on mine.)

These quantities feed the five of us (two adults, three kids five and under) quite generously. I serve my migas along with fresh fruit and call it good!

This post is linked to:

Menu Plan: 6/13 - School's Out!

Tuesday is our last day of school! While that doesn't mean much in terms of my menu planning, it does mean that most of our mornings can be a little more low-key now. My middle child, who occasionally likes to sleep in a bit (takes after her daddy, that one) can do so now. Just because the schedule gets more lax, doesn't mean my planning does! The detailed plans continue...

B-Cereal, Yogurt, Juice
L-Migas, Fruit, Milk
D-Sunday Supper at Bama & Papa's house


B-Mini Egg Burritos w/ homemade salsa, Milk
L-PB&J, Applesauce, Water
D-Steak Frites, Pickles, Green Beans


B-Oatmeal, Grapes, Milk
L-Baked Potato w/ Cheese, Applesauce, Water
D-BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Corn


B-Amy's Yogurt Muffins, Apples, Milk
L-PB Toast Triangles, Crackers, Grapes, Water
D-Garlic Spaghetti w/ Diced Tomatoes


B-Yogurt Muffins, Berries, Milk
L-Noodles, Yogurt, Apples, Water
D-Chicken Quesadillas w/ Caramelized Onions


B-Oatmeal, Applesauce, Milk
L-Cheese Quesadillas, Grapes, Milk
D-Cracker Crust Pizza w/ Peppers & Onions


B-Bagels w/ Cream Cheese, Grapes
L-Grilled Cheese, Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
D-Bacon Cheddar Turkey Burgers, Corn

We'll be resting when we can this week... Sunday the 20th hits us with both Father's Day and my 34th birthday in one fell swoop. (34??? That's officially "mid-30's", isn't it? Sigh...)

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Clone Turns One...

One year ago, I called Amy from the hospital so she could share the news with the blogosphere... I'd given birth to a precious baby girl! From the start, G. was the first of our babies to look like me. I got no credit for the first two. ("Did you have anything to do with this baby???" "Um, YEAH.")
We moved from Indiana to Connecticut when she was two weeks old and she took it all in stride..

She was- and is- my snuggle bunny and my constant companion. She loves to be where Mama is.

At four months, she was full of sweet smiles.

At seven months, she was sportin' the shark fin hairstyle.

At nine months, she started saying "Mama" and "Dada" and that wide smile greeted me every morning along with raised chubby arms.

At eleven months, she was scooting, crawling, and cruising to get anywhere she wanted to go. I continued to decorate her head with bows and flowers- it's what I do. :) (If you'd like to win an adorable headband like the one in that pic, go here!)

Tomorrow, my sweet little look-a-like turns one. As I brush a tear aside, I am full of pride and awe. My baby girl has grown and learned so much. She has been pure joy to me every single day of her first year of life.

And that... is most certainly a finer thing.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Decorating My Baby's Head

That's my baby. Big blue eyes and a flower on her head. That precious girl has had something decorating her head pretty much since birth. I can't help it. The NICU nurses used to glue tiny bows on my first daughter's head and now I've taken it upon myself to make sure a bow or flower always graces my second little girl's head.

This particular flower headband? It was made by Mimi's Babies and it is a.dor.a.ble. Seriously. The sweetness is overwhelming. We love it! I love the freshness of the lime green and turquoise together... don't get me wrong, I like pink and lavender as much as the next girl, but these colors are a fun change! They also make those peepers pop!

Do you have little girl of your own whose head could use some adorning? Or perhaps you know a special little someone who would enjoy a precious flower headband? Well, then, you've come to the right place! In honor of my baby girl turning one this Saturday (*sniff, sniff*), Mimi's Babies sent me a headband for Baby G. And you can win one too! (By the way... it needn't be a baby whose head you want to adorn... these headbands stretch to fit an adult head! I don't look as cute as G. in these things but, hey, whatever works for you...)

To enter:

  1. Visit Mimi's Babies and check out their flower headbands, then come back and tell me which colors you would choose! (Required)
  2. Follow Mimi's Babies on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know. (<-- Far and away, one of my fave peeps to chat with on Twitter!)
  3. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment that you did so.

Good luck! This giveaway will end the evening of Wednesday, June 16th.

This post is linked to Things I Love Thursday.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Customized Baby Gift

My baby girl turns one on Saturday.


We'll be having a little family gathering and giving her some little gifts. I'll be making some cake balls a la Bakerella because, while not a sweets lover, my littlest child loves them.

Because she is my second daughter (and I have nieces), we do not need much in the way of clothes. Because she is my third child and babies do not need oodles of things, she does not need anything in the way of toys.

I still want to give her something. Something besides the cute socks I found.

I asked myself...

"What does this sweet baby like to do more than anything in the world? What occupies her during church and stops her crying when stuck in traffic? What do I give her to play with during long t-ball games?"


My wallet.

There is nothing G. enjoys more than opening my wallet and pulling out all the cards and photos. I let her do it- because she adores it- but it's a bit stressful ensuring that I leave wherever I happen to be with all that I came with.

For her birthday, my sweet little girl will be receiving her own wallet with pictures of family, playing cards, and daddy's business cards tucked inside.

I think she's going to love it.

*The wallet pictured above is not "her" wallet... my camera's memory card is currently in Indiana. Yikes! We should be getting it back soon. :)*

This post is linked to:
Works For Me Wednesday

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Egg Sandwich

Ah, the humble Egg Sandwich. It's been a lunchtime staple in my life as long as I can remember. There are many, many variations on the Egg Sandwich... I've made them on thick toast, bagels, English muffins or biscuits. I've topped them with ham, tomato, caramelized onion, cheese, and more. But the basics? The real cut-and-dry, simple as they come Egg Sandwich?

It goes something like this:

2 slices soft sandwich bread (I love homemade bread people, but I admit I like the store bought sandwich variety for this.)
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper to taste
bacon grease (You can use butter, if you must, but bacon grease is superior.)
ketchup (You may not need or want ketchup- I do. Don't judge me. ;))

Melt grease in small skillet over med heat. Add egg and season with salt and pepper. When slightly set-up, flip to cook other side. Serve between slices of soft bread. Cut in half. Dip in ketchup. Yum.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Menu Plan: 6/6 - My Baby Turns One!

June is firmly upon us and, while my seed packets try to tell me some of my veggies should be ready for harvest, the fact is they are NOT just yet. No worries... more yumminess for later in the season! For now, my cauliflower is still the frozen variety but, hey, it gets the job done...

B-Cereal, Yogurt, Juice
L-Cinnamon Rolls, Sausage Patties & Links, Fruit, Milk (This may be my family's favorite "after church" lunch!)
D-Loaded Nachos


B-Smoothies, Toast
L-PB&J, Applesauce, Milk
D-Shrimp, Carrot & Broccoli Lo Mein w/ Sesame Ginger Sauce


B-Oatmeal, Blueberries, Milk
L-Mac 'n Cheese, Juice
D-Chicken Parm, Rotini, Cauliflower


B-Cinnamon Sugar Toast, Apples, Milk
L-Rotini w/ Sauce, Yogurt, Water
D-Mexican Veggie Baked Omelet


B-Cereal, Applesauce, Milk
L-Egg Sandwich, Yogurt, Juice
D-Chicken Medallions, Roasted Garlic Rice, Cauliflower


B-P, B, & J Toast, Cheese, Water
L-Chicken & Rice, Apples, Milk
D-1/2 Cheese & 1/2 Sausage Pizza


D-Batter Dipped Chicken Sandwiches, Pasta Salad (Baby G sure does love her pasta salad!)

Saturday the 12th is my baby girl's first birthday! Hooray! And boo hoo! It's just one of those kind of days... ;)

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

You're Making It Hard For Me To Defend You...

Dear Formula Feeding Mommies,

Awhile back, I wrote my post on why I feel bad for so many formula feeding mommies. I still do. This post isn't about most of you, but, still, it needs to be said...

There are some among you who are giving formula feeders a VERY BAD IMAGE.

Since hitting publish on that post, here are just a few of the remarks I've heard while out and about...

"I tell all my friends, you need to get that baby on the bottle so you know how much he's eaten and then you can just let him cry it out- if you breastfeed, you'll never sleep."

"Yeah, well, you can't shove cereal in a boob and get that baby nice and full before bed!"

"Oh, you're doing the nursing thing?" (Said to a new mommy- not me- fyi...) "I know they say that's best, but it's not all that it's cracked up to be... you'll see."

"You know what I did, right? I just stuck him in his car seat and propped the bottle on a receiving blanket... I think I only had to hold him to feed him maybe, twice, in his whole life!"


These, these, are the women giving bottle feeders a bad name. These are the mommies who make me mad... not because they give their babies formula, but because of their attitude toward motherhood.

I cringed at every last one of these remarks.

I said nothing. (Well, I did offer a few words of encouragement to the new mommy who was nursing, but other than that, I said nothing.)

I said nothing because I didn't want these women to think I was being critical because I nurse my daughter. That I somehow feel superior because of that fact. I admit it, I did feel critical, but not because I nurse. The battle-lines were drawn in the sand long ago, however, and if I spoke up, I know that's how it would be construed...

So, do me a favor, will you? Would some of you awesome formula feeding mamas please speak up when you hear this nonsense? Please? I know most of you are doing a rockin' job taking good, loving care of your babes... help me talk some sense into these ladies.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Swinging Our Cares Away

It was a hard day.

A trying day.

Just one of those days.

You don't need the list of what went wrong... you've had your own "days like that".

With Daddy many, many states away and a dinner that went awry, by the time 6:15 rolled around, I was tempted to throw on a show and call it quits.

We all ended up here...

... three kids and me, just swinging our cares away. What is it about a porch swing that just makes the world a better place?

This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday.