Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Huggies Slip-on Diapers

Genius. Just Genius. I'm surprised it took them this long to come out with it, honestly. When I saw the commercial for the Huggies Slip-on Diapers, I knew we had to try them.

So thanks to Amazon Subscribe-and-Save, we are the proud owners of a package of slip-on dipes.



Lauren is wearing cloth diapers, but Aaron isn't. It's kindof a long story about why, but it all boils down to the fact that Aaron doesn't seem to be a huge fan of wearing cloth diapers and I believe at almost three, he should be able to voice his opinion about a matter such as this. Plus, he's so close to being potty trained, why bother fighting with him about what kind of diapers he's wearing. Anyway.



I bought the slide-on diapers for Aaron because he is at a stage right now where he often takes off his regular diaper to go use the potty. Then he needs a whole new diaper...and someone to put on that diaper...but he wants to do it all by himself. He's frustrated with having to be helped with his diapers and wants to be independent, but not quite ready to ditch diapers altogether.



Ian has been using pull-ups for awhile now, at nap and bed times, and they often leak after a full night's sleep. The new Huggies Slip-Ons are real diapers. As absorbent as Huggies Supremes have always been. They still have the poop-leak-guard that I love about Huggies Supremes and they still hold their shape, even when really peed. They are made with the same exact materials, the only kind of disposable diapers that doesn't give my super-sensitive-bummed children diaper rashes. (These are all the reasons we arrived at using Huggies Supremes 4+ years ago, when Ian was a little tike. We tried all the disposable brands available to us and he got a diaper rash from all of them except Huggies brand. Regular huggies leaked for us and didn't hold their shape when they were really peed. So we've been using Huggies Supremes. Yep, we're diaper snobs.)



The slip-ons are a God-send for the beginning to potty train child of a mom who has 2 other young children. They give Aaron some independence to diaper himself, but they absorb like a "normal" diaper, unlike pull-ups.

We're sold. I love them. I may never buy another "normal" diaper again! When Ian and Aaron are all done wearing Huggies, we will be all done with disposables, but until then, I hope the slip-ons catch on, because I think they are great!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Baked "Homemade" Ravioli


1 Package Wonton Wrappers
1 small tub ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 egg
a dash of each of the following:
salt, pepper, garlic powder, italian seasoning
Cooking spray
quart size ziploc bag
Pizza or Spaghetti Sauce

Prepare a baking sheet (or two) by lining with parchment paper or foil and spray with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400.

Combine ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, & spices. Put mixture into a ziploc bag, squeeze out the air, then cut off one of the corners.

Lay out several wonton wrappers (quickest to work in batches) and put a teaspoon size (approx) squirt of the cheese mix into the center of each wonton square. Dip your finger into water and dampen the edges of the wonton wrapper. Fold into a triangle and press down the edges while you try to get most of the air out of the pouch. Place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Spray the tops with cooking spray.

Bake approx. 10 minutes, flip and bake 5 minutes more. (You'll need to watch the first batch to make sure they don't get too brown.) When they are browned/crispy on the outside, move them to a plate lined with a paper towel (or a kitchen towel that you can flip over them to keep them warm.) Continue until you've used all the wrappers/cheese.

Serve with warmed tomato sauce for dipping!

Makes: MANY! Depends on how many wonton wrappers were in your package!

*Notes:
-I made these at home in my own oven the first time and the baking time was about 10 minutes on each side, but when I made them at my sister's house, they baked much quicker. I think it's both an oven thing and a type of baking sheet thing...Make sure you watch the first batch so they don't get too brown for your liking.
-These are great as an appetizer, side dish, or main course. I've had them all three ways. They are just plain delicious.
-If you don't like them crispy and baked, you can drop them into boiling water for a couple minutes, until they float, and serve them like regular pasta.
-You can change up the filling... I'm thinking about putting something awesome like cherry pie filling or nutella in them next time. Maybe someday I'll try seasoned ground beef for meat ravioli! They sky is the limit!
-In our grocery stores (both Giant Eagle and Wal-Mart) the wonton wrappers are in the refrigerator section near the tofu.
-I have frozen the ravioli (unbaked) in a single layer until hard and then transferred to a ziploc bag.
-You can use light or fat free cheeses if you so desire.



Friday, August 26, 2011

Accepting Help

It's hard to admit that you're not perfect. I'm far from perfect. I don't even try to be pretend I'm perfect. But even in my very far from perfect life, it's hard to admit I can't do it all!

In my former life, the one I lived in the BC* days, we rarely had laundry sitting around for days on end. And our house was at very least not disgusting.

*Before Children

Here I am, though, in the trenches of motherhood with three young children. Our house is rarely clean and our laundry is a hot mess.

So when my girlfriends came over today with their kiddos for a playdate, I tried my best to get the crumbs swept off the floor and the sticky wiped off the toys. I didn't have time (read: opportunity) to fold the clean baskets of laundry. I shoved them into the corner of the dining room and apologized for the mess.

Then... they insisted on folding the laundry for me while I put it away.

It is really hard to accept help for something like getting your laundry piles folded and put away. Am I happy that it's done? Yes, of course! Do I think my friends are fabulous? Yes! Am I embarrassed that I needed help? Yup.

It's just one of those things, though. I know I shouldn't feel like that, but I do. I want to be able to do it all and admitting I can't is tough. It's a lesson in humility for sure.

But if you're reading, friends, I deeply thank you for your service to me. That's the stuff real friends are made of!

I still abide by this, though:

A friend (Jenny K.) posted this awhile back,
not sure where she first saw it.



Thursday, August 25, 2011

Meatloaf Snack

Lauren's in a really strange eating stage right now where she doesn't really like any "snack foods" like crackers or pretzels. All three of my kids have now gone through this stage. So what does Lauren have for snack?

Meatloaf.



Cold Meatloaf.

Back to School Time

My friends who are parents are posting about their children heading to school (some back, some for the first time.) My friends who are teachers are posting about getting their classrooms ready for the new year. My friends who are students are posting about hitting the books.

When I was a student, I would get through about half the summer before I started to get excited about going back to school.

When I was a teacher, I didn't really look forward to heading back to school at all.

Now that I'm a mommy, it's a little of both.

I think about the freedom that having Ian back at school will give me. That makes me a little excited. This year I'm going to be volunteering my time at the preschool one day per week (in lieu of working, although I was offered the job I interviewed for this summer. Turns out, when you make minimum wage and have two kids to take with you to "day care," you end up paying more than you make. Oh, no that's not exactly right. After taxes I would have been bringing home about $2 per hour. Really not worth the time commitment for me this year. When a spot opens up next year, though, I won't have to interview for it!)

The other two mornings that Ian is in school each week I will be free to continue about my business with only 2 kids in tow... Aaron will be going to school one of those mornings so that drops my count down to a morning with just one tot! I'm very much looking forward to spending some one-on-one time with Lauren! I will have the option of leaving Lauren occasionally and having a morning with NO kids and/or having a morning with just Aaron. The possibilities are looking wonderful.

This summer has been hard for me. It has also been really fun. Keeping after 3 children ages 4 and under is hard. But we have done a lot of really cool things, seen a lot of really exciting sights, and generally enjoyed each other. Having all three at home this summer full-time forced me to be creative. Grocery shopping with the children is incredibly stressful. I'm not going to miss grocery shopping with all three...or taking all three to doctor's appointments.

But then I think about my chicks being out of the nest and it makes me sad. Ian's just in preschool and I'm already thinking about next year when he goes to Kindergarten. It makes me tear up. How on earth did we get to the point of sending our children out into the world? How are they old enough for that already? Someone else is going to be teaching them things.

I believe in public education. I believe that it is a good thing. I believe my children are benefiting from going to a school that is outside our home, with other children the same age as they are, and a teacher who is not me.

So why is it so hard to send them?

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Fish Named Sweetie

The tots and I went to the fair today. I let them play a game...Ian picked the toss-a-ping-pong-ball-into-a-fish-bowl game. It was really cheap. 50 cents for a bunch of balls.  No way these two kids are going to win...right?

Then it happened. Ian won a gold fish. Then Aaron won a gold fish. And we became pet owners.

No biggie. They're just gold fish. We can handle it...

Ian named his Speedy because he was splashing all over the plastic bag. Aaron named his Sweetie. (No help from me!)


As we were headed home, I noticed Sweetie wasn't looking so well. Kinda floating sideways, but still swimming. I started to prepare the children for the possibility that Sweetie was sick and might die before we made it home. When we got home, we checked and found Sweetie has passed. Aaron was ok with it at first, but a few minutes later, he was standing in the kitchen with me and asked to see his fish. I told him Sweetie had died and was gone. He burst into tears. "but he was MINE!"






Break.My.Heart.

So we went to the pet store tonight to buy fish food and to replace Sweetie, the fair gold fish who was a part of our family for just a few short hours. Poor little guy. Aaron picked a new gold fish...which cost us 22 cents!  Score! And named him Sweetie. *sigh*


I am now momma to three children and three fish: Ian, Aaron, Lauren, Speedy, Sweetie, and Spyler.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Pittsburgh With Toddlers: Marburger Dairy Tour

Just up the road a little bit in Evans City, PA is the Marburger Dairy. Tours are available for groups and today we went on a tour with our playgroup. We saw, touched, smelled, heard, and tasted* cows today and had a great time!

*we tasted cows' milk today.

That's a great use of our senses to explore our city!

Ian and Aaron, who are quite afraid of most animals, were not afraid of the cows at all. I was impressed. They each took their (many) turns touching the cows and being licked by the cows.

We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the barns, the milking room, the calves, but the best part for the boys came at the end: each child (and mama! and one daddy!) got a complimentary carton of milk to enjoy. And, as Ian found out, if you ask nice you can have a second carton of milk. Delish!

Marburger dairy supplies dairy products to a large area in Western Pennsylvania and is a completely antibiotic and hormone free operation. They use milk from over 70 farms, all of which adhere to their strict standards for milk purity. They even do home delivery, if you live close enough, which sadly we do not.

What a great way to spend the late morning! After the dairy, we went to a nearby playground for a picnic and play time with our friends. And it's Friday, which makes life even better because daddy will be home all weekend!

Here are some of our photos from the day:



Can you see the look on his adorable little face?



Trying to give kisses



As I was reading back over this, it struck me that there aren't any photos of Lauren...and when we have outings like this there are rarely photos of her. It's not because she didn't get to go. It's because I was wearing her on my belly (or back). She needs to learn to walk so she can be in more pictures! Get going girlie!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Blog Topics?

Anyone have anything they'd like to have me talk about? Parenting? Cooking? Social Studies? Marriage?

Submit any and all requests!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Lauren's One Year Photographs

I had a photographer meet us at a local park recently to take pictures of the children for Lauren's birthday. I didn't get to post the pictures until today because, well, mama has a new laptop! Yes, it's happy birthday, merry Christmas, happy Valentine's day, happy Easter, happy anniversary to me... but that's fine. I waited patiently (for the most part) for almost 8 months for a new laptop and it's finally here. I've been typing so long on that Chrome Netbook that now my fingers are typing weird on an actual keyboard. Go figure. Anyway... praise the Lord for a new laptop for me. I'm so thankful. And blessed. As you are about to see...

You can click on the image to make them bigger.






















If you're interested in having a print of any of these photos, please let me know. (which one and what size)


Missed an Anniversary of sorts

I have been thinking about it a lot lately, but finally got around to looking it up today.

on August 12, Ian celebrated one year of wearing under pants instead of diapers! He still wears some kind of "protection" at sleep times and he still has some accidents, but for the most part, he is doing great!

We're very proud of him!

A Family Weekend

We had a pretty great weekend together! We went to a baseball game. We went to Idlewild. The boys got to go on their first ever rollercoaster ride. We went to the water park part of Idlewild. Today the kids & I are unwinding at home on this gloomy day.

With the Washington (PA) Wild Thing




Wait. Your house doesn't look like a
Lego bomb went off on gloomy days??

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pigtails

First time ever. Do you see them? Isn't she so sweet?



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The WoodChuck's Wood

And The WoodChuck's Wife

I had no idea until very recently that my cousin Natalie & her husband have a shop on Etsy! As I was browsing, I started realizing that I'm in love with their products.

McKenna's Marbles Nursing Necklace

There are a bunch of awesome nursing necklaces, but this one is my favorite! And the nursing & babywearing mama part? You've got the right girl!

It's not just nursing necklaces, though. Art, games, and other beautiful finds are all showcased at their Etsy store. The woodworking is all hand-done and the designs are great. You can read the story behind the The WoodChuck's Wood Shop here.

Custom Corn Hole Game Boards
I don't know about you, but my kids love to play corn hole...and so do I. These boards look fantastic...well, except for the Browns part...

Do yourselves a favor and head on over to The WoodChuck's Wood and get acquainted. I just had an idea... anyone interested in a giveaway?

**there will be a link on the sidebar coming soon**

Burgher Thoughts: Books I'd Like to Read Soon










As our vegetable garden in our front flower bed has grown and been harvested this summer, I have started to desire to do more. More vegetables. Any way we could grow some fruit? How much can we do for ourselves instead of buying it? It's an addiction, I think.

This year we had 2 crops of strawberries (one ripening right now!), three crops of green beans, peas, 9 ears of corn out of 14 seeds planted, tomatoes (just ripening now, with new buds all over the plants!), and a couple of carrots. Our broccoli, green peppers, pumpkins, zuchini, and spinach died...probably because we didn't do anything special to care for our garden, just planted it and kept it watered. We're already starting to think about how we can possibly increase our garden space for next year.

Here are two books I'm hoping to read before next spring... I'm not sure I'll get to, but if you see them in a discount bin, would you buy them for me?


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Uranus is:

We have a book about the solar system that Ian & Aaron really like to read. The other day we were recalling information from the book while at the dinner table...

Roger: Aaron, Uranus is...what?

Aaron: My-ranus is a planet.

Hilarious.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Around Western PA last week

Last week wasn't quite as busy as the previous, but we were out and about, running all week long. Not much time to blog. Nevermind that I'm STILL using the stupid netbook computer...so getting pictures uploaded from the phone or camera then put on the blog is a major pain in the buns. Dear Lord, please make a new laptop for me possible soon. It's been months and I've been trying really hard to just be content with what I have because there are so many more important things that need funded right now, but a new laptop would really be nice. (Sorry for that, I'm frustrated.)

Ian had his second week of swimming lessons and on Thursday, I packed lunches and we stayed at the pool for a couple of hours. It was lovely! It wasn't (very) stressful, except for when Ian wanted to go in the big pool and I had to manage all three tots by myself in water that was over 2/3 of their heads. But we survived and had a lot of fun. Thursday night I went out to dinner with my girlfriends and had a wonderful time! I'm feeling pretty blessed that I've been able to go out with them twice this summer. Totally refreshing.

Friday we went up north to calling hours for a family friend and then we spent a couple hours at Papa and Grandma's house. We picked blackberries, (and a couple of blueberries) an apple (sour...not yet ripe...but Lauren loved it) poked around in the great outdoors, rode on Papa's tractor, went and saw the trains, and had lunch at Perkins. A grand old time. Aaron hasn't stopped talking about Papa's blue tractor and Ian is still wishing he would have barrel rolled down the hill when he had the chance! I guess we'll have to go back again soon. :-)

Saturday we got rained out of our tent camping trial. Sunday we went to Erie to visit with family. We had a great day, even though the drive there and home was awful. Lauren is still not content in the car. I just don't know what to do about it. Crying it out isn't an option because the rest of us are losing our hearing. It's a bad, bad situation. This week Ian is enjoying one last camp experience of the summer!




Ian playing little people on Saturday

Lauren's big-girl ponytail!

We had a campfire and made s'mores on Saturday evening,
even though we weren't camping.