Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Easiest Breadsticks Ever

So, I've been wanting to post this "recipe" for a while, but I really thought it needed some pics to do it justice. I put recipe in quotes since it really feels like a stretch to call something with three ingredients a recipe. But that is the beauty of these breadsticks--so easy, a child can (and does) do it. Okay, some of it, although my little helpers couldn't be bothered the night I finally decided to take pics. I just used my phone, so they aren't the best pics, but you'll get the idea. Normally, I would serve these with salad, but we were all out, so I served them with princess gummy vitamins which is totally the same.

You need pizza dough, 3 tbs butter, and 3-4 tbs parmesan cheese. I get my dough from Trader Joe's for $1.29. Gotta love it.

Prepare the dough according to the package. The TJ's kind says to let it rise for 20 minutes on a floured surface.

Melt the butter in the microwave, 30-60 seconds. Brush some of the butter onto a baking sheet with sides (the butter will drip).

Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and shape into a rectangle. Poke holes in the dough with a fork. Score the dough with a pizza cutter into 8 breadsticks.

Brush the remaining butter onto the dough.

Sprinkle the parmesan onto the dough.

Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve with ranch and marinara or whatever you like. Enjoy!

Lizzie took this pic of Addie as they enjoyed their breadsticks "at the little table" in the pit.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I'm finally at a place in life where I can try to establish some sort of cleaning routine. I need to be able to say, "I'm done" at some point each day, instead of feeling the pressure to do it all, all of the time. This is not a new idea, it's something I always want, but put off since I usually just barely keep my head above water, then clean like crazy if someone is coming over. Not ideal, but life comes at ya fast! I have been thinking about this all weekend and how the last time I had a routine was when I had one immobile baby. Today, as I was cleaning my bathroom (yes, it's mine, Matt just has privileges), it hit me that that was FOUR YEARS ago. FOUR YEARS! I stared at myself in the mirror and shared a shocked look with my reflection. That's as long as college! No wonder I feel crazy all of the time! Traveling, hosting, traveling, moving, traveling, moving, hosting, traveling. My life is passing by way too quickly. I have felt at least one step behind since we decided to move to New York, but now I'm not going anywhere for a while, don't have any huge plans, and I'm not moving in or getting ready to move out (yet). Soooo, time to get things in order to have more time for fun.

Other random ramblings: Matt made the cruel, cruel suggestion of just doing diagnostic radiology from home so that we could live in Tahoe, then immediately said, "but that's not what I really want." UGH. Mean, mean, mean. Now I have this thought in my head of becoming an awesome snowboarder and Matt and I going, like, every day while the kids are at school during the winter and then do...boat things during summer. How awesome would that be? Sigh, I guess we'll just have to visit instead. Mean, mean, mean.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hard Day

So, today I went down the wrong aisle at the "other Target" and found myself facing newborn clothes and cute tiny things. I try to avoid that section, but since I still need toddler items, it's hard to skip it entirely. Sometimes, like today, I can't help but think about Emily, how big she would be now and how close we would be to the due date. I'm sure I'd be nesting and getting everything together. I'd be feeling her inside of me and getting to know her better. I still get my baby center bulletins for this pregnancy; I can't bring myself to cancel them. Today the geneticist's report came in the mail, confirming that there were no known problems and that she was a girl. All I can think about is my baby...I wish she were here.

Gotta go get Lizzie from speech.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Emily Rose

So I haven't written in a while because it is hard to know where to start. I'm guessing that if you are reading this, you already know we lost our little girl. I was 15.5 weeks when they couldn't find a heartbeat and had a D&E a week later. There was no reason, were no chromosomal abnormalities, nothing. We are devastated and still mourning, still making sense of it all. There is so much to say, so much we've been through since we found out, but it is hard to put it all down here. We decided to have her cremated, and I took her home in a little box instead of beautiful new clothes and a shiny new car seat, but she is home, where she belongs.

I had to have Lizzie's parent/teacher conference pretty quickly after the surgery and didn't go through all the papers that her teacher gave me until a few days ago. I found a drawing of Lizzie's that said "My Hero" at the top and the teacher had written "Mom" at the bottom, explaining what the drawing was meant to be. This would have meant a lot to me at any time, but it really has been my saving grace now. I have tried to keep going for my kids, tried to cry after they go to sleep, but it isn't easy when you just want to stay in bed all day and wallow in sadness. I still wish I'd had the chance to do that, to feel like I'd really had a chance to mourn, but I am grateful for my little girls, so what can you do? So, I went through a pop-tarts and taco bell, no make-up and bad hair stage, but I'm slowly emerging from that pattern. I have this drawing up in my bathroom and it really changes my heart and helps me get moving. I am looking forward to a couple of weeks without the morning rush, though.

We had a bunch of friends stay with us a couple of weeks ago, and it brought some much needed joy to our house. We are looking forward to the holidays, too, although I'm dreading hearing anyone else tell me that everything happens for a reason. I just don't believe that. I've witnessed too many bad things in my life, and while good can come of bad things, I don't think God works that way. My mom always quoted a verse about bad things happening to good people, "He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous." Matthew 5:45. I guess when you grow up with bad things, you are more comfortable knowing there are a lot of things that can't be explained, that don't happen for some greater purpose, that you can't wrap up in a shiny, pretty package and say, "this is why and it's worth the pain because of x, y and z." So, if you are reading this, don't tell me "everything happens for a reason", cuz I'm pretty sure that the next person who says that is going to witness Brenda the New Yorker and might lose a few teeth. Nothing is worth this pain, no other child will replace this child, no good can outweigh this bad. And that's life, kids.

So, while we are in the midst of life's ugliness, all we can do is look for and appreciate the joy. While our friends were here, I took Lizzie ice skating for the first time. One of our friends, Jeff K. (a much better ice skater than me), took his little three year old, too. We struggled to get a quarter of the way around the rink before Lizzie had a complete meltdown and had to be rescued by another friend of ours, Jeff P. I skated around to meet them at the entrance, and he asked her to try again for a couple of pics. She hit the ice with such determination that my heart just soared. She kept saying, "Try again, keep trying, hold on tight!" I'm crying as I write this because it is my favorite moment as a mom, ever. For her to learn that lesson, to really keep trying means everything to me. It is one of my goals as a parent to make sure that my kids aren't intimidated by failure, so this was a huge step in that direction. She went all the way around with me, then let Jeff K. drag her around the ice a bit and had a blast. Oh, being a mom...

There's a poopy diaper with my name all over it and a Christmas chapel to get to, so that's all for now.


Friday, May 07, 2010

Nothing much

My house is totally destroyed, I have about 4 loads of laundry to put away and at least 7 to wash, so, naturally, it is time to blog. Well, we are definitely in the home stretch now. Matt will finish his internship 6 weeks from today...well, he will start his last shift 6 weeks from today. Ka-razy. I am so excited for him to come home and the loneliness has really been killing me lately, BUT I am not looking forward to living with a boy again! I'm not gonna lie...I like the bed to myself, I like the bathroom to myself, I like the TV to myself and I like not having to deal with someone else's agenda (and Matt always has an agenda, but don't we all?). In some ways, it is like getting married all over again, but this time we actually have--get, I mean GET--to spend time with each other. We knew we would spend our twenties investing in our careers and our future, but it has worn us down more than we ever could have imagined. Now we get to have a simple life and I'm not sure we will know what to do with it. I think it is going to take time to learn to have fun again! It is a welcome challenge, of course, but our life is going to change over night and that makes me nervous (use your Olivia from the caf voice when you say that to yourself)!

We have had a lot of ups and downs with Lizzie over the last few months. We go back and forth between being really impressed with all of her progress and wondering if there is some other issue that we are not addressing. We have given some thought to Auditory Processing Disorder and dyslexia and are going through the steps to have more testing done by the school district. They won't actually test her until next school year, which is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because she will be older and we think it will be more clear as to what is going on, a curse because any possible issues will go unaddressed for another four months. She has been having some problems at preschool with obedience, so we had to have a meeting with the teacher. She launched a positive reinforcement system that she had used in the past and is really going the extra mile for Lizzie, but I can tell she feels strained by all of it. We still feel that this preschool is the best place for her, so if you are a praying person, please say a prayer for the relationships between Lizzie and her school staff. We have launched our own positive reinforcement system at home and are doing a new "chore" chart this weekend using pictures instead of a list and we are really hoping this encourages her to be more obedient, cuz, lemme tell ya, she will sit in time out half of the day and still laugh in your face when she doesn't want to do what you ask. She is a pill and a half. I pray every day that I can help guide all of that drama into a positive direction and shape her into an amazing woman, but it is easy to run out of patience and picture spending the rest of my life having meetings with teachers and school administrators about my disobedient daughter. She scares the bejesus out of me! Deep breath, I can do this...I hope, hope, hope that she will chill out a bit when Daddy moves home for good and actually comes home every night, but I am guessing it won't be that simple. Sigh.

Speaking of little pistols, my other one is really kinda just like her, except different. Addie hates getting into her carseat, and yesterday when I put her in, she hit me! I scolded her and she didn't like it, but she thought it would be fun to keep testing me and I had to give her a time out later in the day. I am in trou-ble with these two! She is talking a bunch, though, and still a cutie. I wish she would let me put her hair in pigtails or a ponytail! She would be a little doll, but she takes anything I put into her hair out immediately.

Hmm...other stuff. I have actually gotten to know some of the other moms at preschool and think I might be able to fill the summer with playdates. I am nervous about Lizzie getting bored this summer with no school and no speech, but we can't really afford a daycamp type of thing right now, so I am hoping to spend time at the beach, park, Y and hopefully some playdates. I finally seem to have found some moms that aren't over forty and that have busy husbands like me, so even if we aren't best friends, it could be really good. I am still going to the Y a lot. It is my only chance to "relax". I have been taking lots of different types of classes--zumba still (of course, it is the best), but also a yoga/pilates/tai chi one, a kickboxing one, and a group barbell one. I like the variety, but mostly I like that my kids are having fun and I get to not worry about keeping them alive for an hour or two. I seriously don't know how I would have survived this year without the Y. I'm pretty sure I would be a complete lush...

Okay, I know this post is long, but one more thing. We got to go to Santa Barbara last weekend to celebrate my mom's second 59th birthday. It was so fun. It was really beautiful there (haven't been there since I was 12) and it was nice to see my family. We went to the zoo, the beach, the wharf, but I have to admit that the highlight of the trip for me was swimming in the hotel pool. Becky juggled her two girls and Matt mostly played with Lizzie while I swam with Addie. She was hilarious. She wanted to jump in off the side over and over again, and every time she would say, "I jump!" She was having so much fun. Lizzie was doing really good at going underwater for a bit, too. Matt was throwing her high in the air a lot, etc. and they had a blast. Then Matt threw Addie SO HIGH in the air that I almost had a heart attack. I thought she would be terrified, but all she did was say, "I jump!" So, so, so cute. I will post pics of our trip on fb soon. Hopefully this weekend.

Well, that's all for now! Love to you all.

Monday, March 01, 2010


Okay, so the following post has been sitting unfinished on my computer screen for over a week:

So...nothing big going on here, just keeping the blog going. Matt's month off is over, which is awful and wonderful at the same time. Awful because he is gone again, wonderful because we are really in the home stretch now. He went back to work a week ago and it wasn't as bad as it could have been, but it is still emotionally challenging to have him home, then gone, then home, then gone and only knowing his work schedule at most 4 weeks in advance, then trying to figure out when he will home from that, etc., etc. However, we do have one week down this month, then we have my mom coming this weekend, then Matt's parents soon after that and by that point we will only have three months to go! Woohoo!

We have been through some big changes with Lizzie over this last month. We finally found the right preschool for her after a few months of searching. It is at a Lutheran church and school that is really close (some of the other ones that seemed reasonable were as far as Cupertino which would be at least 20 minutes each way). The teachers are so loving and helpful.

I know I should probably indent those paragraphs, but I'm not gonna. So, yes, the preschool is great! Our life is very different now. For a few weeks we had speech MF and preschool TTh, but now speech has been consolidated to one longer session on Fridays only. The extra day off makes a big difference. For a while there I felt like I never got to sit down! I love preschool days (like today) because I get to run errands with only one baby or stay home and spend quality time with Addie. I try to get work done around the house, but Addie is usually so excited to have me to herself that she wants to play or be held and I am happy to give her that one-on-one time that she deserves. She is down for an early nap today, so here I am. Matt is actually home today. It is his one 24 hour period that they are legally required to give him each week. Lucky him! But he is off running his own errands and I am trying to get lots of paperwork-type stuff done. Life is so much work!

I am realizing that none of this is very interesting, but if I wait for interesting stuff, I never blog. mom was just here, which was really nice. I got a lot done, but mostly it was really nice for the kids to see their grandma. Matt's parents are coming soon and we have some other stuff planned, so hopefully this month will go quickly and we will be that much closer to the end of this crazy year!

I am really looking forward to this summer! We have had some "warm" days (I think they are warm, but when I check the temperature it is only in the high 50s--ha!) and it is getting me excited to make lots of beach trips and hopefully swim lessons for both girls. I am a little worried about Lizzie getting bored without preschool, though. Matt will be around for at least weekends, so we should be able to do some camping and fun stuff! Our first real summer in California with kids--I can't wait!

We are finally uploading tons of old videos...hopefully I will get some on here soon. :)

I guess that's about it! Lots of love to you all!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Potato Taquitos

So, I am pretty far from starting a food blog, but I am starting to cook again now that we are pretty settled and I am in more of a routine. I finally found a way to make potato taquitos in a fast, easy way. I used to be embarrassed by my white girl tactics when it comes to Mexican food, but after seeing some of the stuff that passes as "Mexican" across this fine country, I am over it. So, next time your vegetarian friends come over, here is a good, filling option. My kids loved it, too.
You will need:
10 corn tortillas
Corn Oil
1 bag of steam and mash microwave mashed potatoes
1/2 bag of shredded cheese (I use the Mexican four cheese blend)
2-3 heaping tablespoons of sour cream (I use light sour cream)
2-3 tablespoons of green salsa
Salt, to taste (I use Sea Salt)

Preheat the oven to 425, put about 3/4 inch of corn oil in a pan or skillet and heat on medium low. Oil a baking sheet or metal pan. Microwave the potatoes according to the package. Mash them just a little, and instead of adding milk and butter, add the sour cream, salsa, salt and a small handful of cheese. Once the oil is warm, place one tortilla in for a few seconds until soft (handle carefully so it doesn't tear). Place on the baking sheet. Spoon the potato mixture in a line down the center. Fold the sides over the mixture and flip it over so the seam side is down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and mixture. They will be about 1.5-2 inches in diameter. Bake until crispy, about 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and cheese when they come out of the oven. Serve with sour cream, guacamole and salsa.