Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Follow Time!

Welcome to the April 30 Friday Follow celebration hosted by One 2 Try, Hearts Make Families and Midday Escapades! We invite you to join us every Friday to get more blog followers and to follow other interesting blogs. It is all about sharing and having fun.

Friday Follow

Here's how YOU can join the Friday Follow celebration:

* Link up your blog name and URL using the MckLinky below. Only need to add on one blog to be seen on all the blog hops.

* Grab the Friday Follow button and include on your Friday Follow blog post.

* Follow the Friday Follow hostesses listed in the first 3 slots.

* Follow as many other blogs on the linky as you'd like

* Take a moment to comment on the blogs telling them you're from Friday Follow

* Follow back when you get a new follower through Friday Follow

The list is new each week. The links do not carry over. Please link up each week for new participants to find your blogs. The list is only open to add your blog links on Fridays. It will be visible all week to visit the blogs listed.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Note To Self:

Next time you think you have a sinus infection and you go to the doctor and he confirms it.  And he prescribes you an antibiotic......Take It!

Last week I suspected that I had a sinus infection (I had the usual signs: sinus pressure, runny/stuffy nose, watery/dry eyes, sinus pain and headache).  I scheduled a doctor visit and then I felt better.  I told Rich to make me go (I needed my inhalor refilled anyway), sometimes I need a little push when it comes to doctor and dentist appointments for myself.  I went to the doctor and told him my symptoms.  He prescribed a z-pack (I LOVE those).  I went home and set the script down and didn't get it filled, because I felt better by then.  A few days ago, my mouth started to hurt - really bad.  But I didn't really think anything of it.  That same night, my mouth hurt so bad I literally curled up in a ball and cried.  I couldn't figure out what the heck was wrong with me. 

Yesterday, when I stood up, I got light headed and dizzy and my stomach was hurting (probably from taking tylenol and advil on an empty stomach).  I chalked it up to other things and I slept off and on all day long.  Last night, I was in agony again....only this time, not only did my mouth hurt, but my ear was throbbing too. 

Great, that darn sinus infection that I thought had gone away, worked it's way to my ear and was so bad it was making the entire right side of my face throb in pain.  Stupid, stupid stupid!!!! So, guess what I did first thing this morning - Filled that stupid prescription - that's what. 

Why the heck do I do this crap to myself? If if were one of the kids, I would have taken care of it right away.  But me? Oh no - I have to have this I'm fine, everything's great attitude.  Ahhh, one day I'll learn! Hopefully sooner than later!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Life is so simple when you're 4 years old.

Having a 4 year old always makes for some interesting conversation.  They are usually so honest with their thoughts, it's hard to tell what will come out of their mouths or when they will choose to say it.  Usually, it's refreshing....sometimes, it's down right embarrassing.

This afternoon Nathan told me that he hated me and it was all my fault.  Five minutes later he's asking me to make him something to eat......Now, if anyone else in the house had told me that they hated me - I would have told them that they were out of luck in the food department.  When I told him I only make food for people that love me, he said "I love you mommy" - Yeah right, he's lucky I'm a sucker for big brown eyes!

Last week, Nathan and I were talking and I said "oh my belly hurts."  He replied "well, maybe you just have to go poop." LOL!

A few weeks before that Nathan asked me for a treat, when I asked him what the magic word was (meaning "please")........he said, Abracadabra! I gave him the treat. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Paper Flower Bouquet

This is a fun and cute little project for kids.  It would be perfect for Mother's Day (hint to those dad's out there!!).  All you need is some flower colored construction paper, a pencil, some craft sticks (we painted our's green), glue, scissors and a stapler.

Trace your child's hand print on the paper and cut it out

Curl the ends of the finger tips around a pencil

Glue the craft stick to the hand print

Take the sides and shape them around the stick and staple it together

Nathan and I took a vase and put some tissue paper in the bottom of it.  Then arranged the "flowers" in the vase.

I think I like these flowers just as much as I like my real ones!

And Nathan is pretty darn proud of himself, as you can see!

Here is his little garden stone project, he finished it yesterday......

Monday, April 26, 2010

My Thrift Store Finds

My new favorite hobby is rummaging through thrift stores.  I have no idea how it started, but I'm addicted to it now.  I only go to look at glassware or old decorations, like candle sticks that just need sprucing up.  The other day I bought an old and I'll admit ugly candle stick.  The shape of it was really cool, but it was this nasty ugly gold color.  I bought it for a buck and brought it home.  Rich is going to spray paint it white for me.  And I think it will look great once it's done. 

Today I bought these glass canisters and a pretty glass bowl, all for $2.34.  Can't beat that.  I had three people in the store tell me that the bowl was pretty.  One lady even followed me around for a while, I'm thinking she was waiting for me to put it down or something LOL! I think it will make a great dessert bowl or something like that.  Tell me what you think......Good finds ?

These are going on top of the fridge.

Mamma Mia


My family LOVES when I make meatballs.  When they asked what I was making for dinner yesterday and I said "meatballs" they were all happy and excited.  I swear Anthony came into the kitchen 20 times yesterday peeking in the oven and asking when they would be done.  He said the smell was driving him crazy. 

Here's how I make my meatballs....I make a huge batch of them at a time, because I like to freeze some for another night or we'll do pasta and meatballs one night and another night we'll do meatball subs.

Ground Beef
Garlic Salt
Parmesan Cheese (or Parm and Romano combo)
Italian Bread Crumbs
Italian Seasoning

* Sometimes I'll chop an onion up and throw that in too (depends on if I have any in the house)

Preheat your oven to 375*
Get a HUGE mixing bowl and just start dumping everything in.  A little of this....a lot of that.  I usually add a good bit of bread crumbs and cheese in the bowl and then a few dashes of salt, pepper and garlic salt to it.  Then I add the italian seasoning for more flavor and the parsley for a little color.  The eggs hold everything together, so you have to use your best judgement as to how many you need.

I don't measure!

Now, get your hands in that bowl and mix it all together. It's really the only way to mix it up well. Plus, you're hands are going to get messy anyway when you start rolling them into balls.

Start rolling the meat into balls.  I usually make them slightly bigger than bite size and smaller than the palm of my hand.  Then place them in a 9x13 inch baking dish.  Don't add any sauce or anything like that.  Just the meatballs.

Bake them for about 40-45 minutes

Then, take them out of the oven and VERY carefully drain them.  I usually use a slotted spoon and put them in a strainer.  Then get a new baking dish and put a small amount of sauce in the bottom of the pan.  Place the meatballs in the dish and pour more sauce on top.

Reduce the oven to 350*

And bake for another 20 minutes or so...I usually throw them in and make the pasta.  When the pasta is done, the meatballs are done.  

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I have a button.....I have a button!!

Let me first start off by saying that I am not the most technical person in the world.  And that's putting it nicely.  It's more like I'm a stupid idiot and I'm lucky that I figured out how to blog on my own.  I have seen these little button things all over the place that lets people link to your blog.   I always thought they were neat, but figured I would never be able to make one, so I never bothered to try.  Then I saw someone post about how they made one, because A Heart For Home posted a tutorial about how to make them. 

I started reading the post, but I get distracted easily....and seriously, if it's something that's in depth, that would require my complete attention and concentration to figure out, I just can't get into it.  Enter my lovely daughter Amanda who loves all things computer and analytical like her father.....who just happened to want to spend the night at her bff's house.  Aha, bribery ensued and she made me this sweet little button that all of you can now grab for your very own.  Please don't ask me how it was done, because I haven't a clue!

Get My Button:


*The code is also on my sidebar!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pure Heavenly Goodness

Truffle Cake

Oh My Gosh......was this ever good.  I swear my kids don't have any taste though.  Or, no appreciation for rich, deep chocolaty flavor.  This is majorly fattening....(once you see what the ingredients are, you will agree), but it was worth it - Ha!  The recipe says that it's 252 calories a slice (serves 18)....Yikes!

3 cups of (18 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
2 sticks of butter
6 large eggs, at room temp

Heat oven to 425*.   Coat an 8x3 in cake pan with nonstick spray.  Line bottom with wax paper; spray paper.  Have a larger roasting pan ready.

Melt chips and butter together; stir until will blended.

Beat eggs in a large bowl with mixer on high for 7 mins or until tripled and soft peaks form.  Fold in chocolate mixture until blended. Pour into cake pan.

Place large roasting pan in oven; place cake pan inside.  Pour boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan.  Cover cake pan loosely with foil; Bake 40 mins.  (Cake looks soft but sets when cold).

Cool cake in pan on wire rack.  Cover and refrigerate 3 hours or until firm.  Invert on serving platter; shake down sharply to release cake.  Peel off paper.

If desired, lay 3/4 in wide strips of paper in a criss cross pattern on cake.  Sift powder sugar on top.

How Does Your Garden Grow.....

I tried to take it easy on Nathan this morning, since he is still recovering from his shot trauma.  And we worked on some cute little garden projects.  I found all the items we used at Target, in their Dollar Spot section.  They have tons of cute little garden products for little ones.  Everything from little tools, flower and vegetable seed packets, little pots that have seeds already with them, kid sized gloves, flower pots, buckets, etc.  They also had a make your own garden stone kit (I bought the last one at the store that I visisted, other wise I would have bought a few more).

Since the stone takes up to 24 hours to set, we worked on that first.  Nathan was disappointed that he couldn't decorate it just yet.  Which is why I did a second project as well, to sort of tie him over until he can paint on the stone.  He LOVES painting projects.

The create a garden stone project was somewhat messy, I would recommend laying newspaper on the table (I didn't - and had a HUGE mess to clean up).  Adult help is a must.  Not only is it messy, but it dries very quickly. 

The second project we did was planting some flower seeds in these cute little tin, kid sized buckets.  I filled them with potting soil and then let Nathan add the seeds.  He went a teensy bit overboard........

I think he was disappointed that they didn't magically grow the instant he poured the water on top. 
Patience, my son.....Patience!

Good things come to those who wait!

It's Friday Follow Time Again!!

Welcome to the April 23 Friday Follow celebration hosted by One 2 Try, Hearts Make Families and Midday Escapades! We invite you to join us every Friday to get more blog followers and to follow other interesting blogs. It is all about sharing and having fun.

Friday Follow

Here's how YOU can join the Friday Follow celebration:

* Link up your blog name and URL using the MckLinky below. Only need to add on one blog to be seen on all the blog hops.

* Grab the Friday Follow button and include on your Friday Follow blog post.

* Follow the Friday Follow hostesses listed in the first 3 slots.

* Follow as many other blogs on the linky as you'd like

* Take a moment to comment on the blogs telling them you're from Friday Follow

* Follow back when you get a new follower through Friday Follow

The list is new each week. The links do not carry over. Please link up each week for new participants to find your blogs. The list is only open to add your blog links on Fridays. It will be visible all week to visit the blogs listed.

Have Fun!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Remembering When

What are some of your favorite childhood memories? Are there certain things you do now that remind you of your childhood days? Are there times that your child does something and you flashback to when you were a child? Do you do things with your children that your parents did with you?

Today, I took Nathan to the doctors for a routine appointment.  He had to get all of his shots updated so that he will be ready when school starts.  He ended up getting four shots...four years old, four shots.  Poor baby! The nurse gave him a little pinwheel to blow on while she was sticking him.  You should have seen his little face, tears streaming down his cheeks, trying not to cry while concentrating on blowing his little pinwheel.  That's the kind of stuff that breaks a mother's heart. 

I also had to get some blood work done, so since I was in the area, I went ahead and got that done too.  The lady that did it was asking Nathan about his pinwheel and I told her it was because he got shots.  She felt so bad that she gave him a lollipop.  Then, we went to Target to check out the dollar section (you know me and my obsession with Dollar stores and sections).  I also was looking for a cookie jar that I had seen previously.  It was marked down to $2.48, I couldn't pass it up a deal like that and ended up getting two of them.  We found some other cute things, that I will post about another time.  At the check out the woman asked if he brought the pinwheel in with him and I said yes, it was his treat for getting shots.  When I told her he got four of them, she felt bad and offered him four stickers (one for each shot), and two mini Hershey bars. 
Leave it to my kid to figure out how to milk the sympathy for getting shots hahaha.  He ended up with four stickers, a pinwheel, a lollipop, 2 mini chocolate bars and the nurse gave him not only a coupon for a free dessert at Bob Evans, but also a coupon for a free kid's kid made out like a bandit and it didn't stop there.  And mommy got squat!

As we pulled into the driveway, I saw that he had fallen asleep and it tugged on my heart a bit more.  Poor little guy must be in pain and worn out.  So I carried him into the house.  At the top of the stairs I hear this little voice say, just put me on the couch mom.   Yep, Mommy got played!! My little bugger wasn't sleeping.  He was just faking it, so I would feel bad and carry him.  He was probably thinking - Suckerrrr! the whole way into the house.

This got me thinking about when I was a little girl and the many times I would pretend to be asleep so my dad would carry me into the house.  I remember the day when I was too old for it anymore too (man did I hate that).  I loved those times.  It gave me a sense of security.  It made me feel loved and special.  Seeing Nathan do it today, not only reminded me of those days, but also of my dad.  I hope my kids will look back one day and remember these times just as fondly as I remember mine.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Story of Nicholas

In my interview, I gave a little introduction about my children.  I referred to Nicholas as "our sick baby".  I explained briefly his little health issues, but I didn't go into a lot of detail (simply because there wasn't room for it, plus there is a time and place for everything and I didn't feel like that was the place).   As a result of what they read, someone asked a few questions.  So I thought why not just post his story and answer those questions at the same time.  It may just help someone else or it may just let me share his story none the less (and yes, I spelled it wrong in my interview - chalk it up to trying to do an interview with 6 kids running around and working, etc.).

It all started when I was pregnant with Nick.   I was sent for a routine ultrasound.  That ultrasound showed that his kidneys (particularly his left kidney) were enlarged.  They said it could be something simple, but they wanted to rule things out.  Rich and I were sent to a genetic counselor.  We had to write out as much of our family history as possible, any diseases, causes of deaths, literally everything we could think of.  The counselor told us that the reason his kidneys were enlarged was due to cysts as a result of  Polycystic Kidney Disease.  She then went on to say that most people have this and don't even know it.  That most likely his kidney would eventually atrophy and be absorbed into his body, before he was even born.

We walked out of there confused and upset....our little guy was only going to have one kidney !?! The months wore on and dozens of ultrasounds were ordered.  Every one showed that his kidneys were still there and still enlarged. 

Fast forward to the day he was born.  I had been walking around effaced and dilated for a few weeks, nothing major.  I also thought I was leaking fluid, so I made a doctor appointment.  As I was sitting in the doctor's waiting room, I was having contractions (about every 10 minutes or so).  The doctor tested me and said that I was indeed leaking fluid.  So between that and the contractions he sent me to the hospital.  I called Rich from the Taco Bell parking lot (after I went through their drive-thru).  My thoughts were such that they wouldn't allow me to eat once I was there and I was hungry, plus I had already been walking around like that anyway....what was another 10 minutes.  LOL! I guess when you have as many kids as me, it's all routine eventually, even if you've had emergencies and had to take an ambulance to the hospital for one birth and a life flighted helicopter ride to another....sorry got off topic there for a second.

During his birth, I had a lot of trouble pushing him out.  I had an epidural (which I think are wonderful and did have another with Nathan, but I think they do make it harder to push - just my opinion).  The doctor offered to "help" by using a suction cup thing (not sure what the techincal name for it is).  The first try the suction cup slipped off of Nick's head and he tried again...same result.  Finally he came biggest baby (all 8 pounds and 12 ounces of him).  We didn't notice at the time that the failed attempts of the suction cup literally scarred his head.  Thus, the reason he has two scars on his head.  No hair has ever grown over those scars. 

Shortly after his birth they did another ultrasound on his kidneys.  They were still there and still enlarged.  He was prescribed an antibiotic to ward off any potential bladder or kidney infections and we went home.  The next day, we had a home health nurse as per our insurance stop by to check on us.  As she was listening to Nicholas' heart she said she thought she heard a murmur and recommended that we take him to his pediatrican to check.  Off we went and sure enough...they heard the murmur too.  We were sent to Children's hospital where they ordered tests, ultrasounds, etc.  What they discovered was that there was a small hole between the bottom two chambers of his heart.  We were told that it would probably, eventually heal and close on its own.  But we were on hold with any other tests on his kidneys until it did.  The waiting game continued. 

The hole did close on its own.  And he was cleared for the kidney tests and procedures, which included bladder scans, kidney scans, blood work galore, ultrasounds.....The pediatric urologist threw names at us like kidney reflux and everything.  And he continued using the antibiotic as a precaution.  During one test they had to insert an IV.  One nurse kept poking and jabbing at his foot so much that I made the mistake of looking away from his screaming little face and looked at the needle she was trying to shove in there and I almost passed out.  I thought God, now not only will they be treating my son, but me as well.  I sat down and they sent us home after they couldn't get the IV in.  We had to go back in a few weeks so they could do that all over again.  It was horrifying. 

Finally the doctor decided that it was kidney reflux, where basically the urine backs up from the bladder and it builds up fluid in the kidneys.  He told us the best thing to do was to put a stent in there, because what mostly likely happened is the flap that usually does that job, probably didn't develop correctly.  So at 9 months old, he was scheduled for surgery.  On the day of his surgery, after having Rich's parents come from Florida to watch the kids so we could both be there for the surgery, the hospital calls and tell us that they might not be able to do the surgery anyway (due to scheduling).  Rich decided to take a leap of faith and trust that God was in control and we went anyway.  They tried to turn us away, we waited hours in two different waiting rooms....then a third, after the doctor told them he was doing the surgery regardless.

When the surgery was over, the doctor told us what he did.  He said that he put a small incision and inserted a camera to make sure that it was the kidney reflux, but what he found was Nick's urethra tube on his left kidney was kinked and tied in a knot.  So, he cut out the kinked/knotted section and fused the two ends together.  Nick has two scars on his left small tiny one and a two inch one above it where the procedure was done.   We had follow up appointments that showed that the kidney was still enlarged, but it was working.  The doctor said it would probably always be enlarged, because it was filled with the extra fluid for so long.  But he would be fine.  I will say this, we did have a really hard time potty training him.  He also had several bed wetting issues (I'm not saying this to embarrass him, just trying to inform people).

At five years old, the doctor looked at his throat during a routine physical and said "his tonsils are huge" He then asked me if Nicholas snored a lot.  And I said yes.  He also slept sitting straight up in the bed or on the couch.  I would find him in different places through out the night, as if he was waking up and sleep walking or something.  Plus, he had had the bed wetting issues on top of it.  So off to Children's we went.  Not only were his tonsils enlarged, but also his adenoids.  They said the reason he wasn't sleeping so well and sleeping sitting up was that when he would lay down his tonsils would completely cover the airway making it hard for him to breathe.  It also attributed to some of the bed wetting issues.  The summer before he went to kindergarten he had both his tonsils and adenoids removed.  His sleep issues have gotten much better since then.  The wetting issues slowly went away.  I no longer find him sleeping sitting up and he usually stays in his bed all night.   Also the heavy breathing and snoring he did also aren't as bad as they once were.

I guess his issues could have been a lot worse than what they were.  I'm grateful that each one has been dealt with and that we had found such wonderful doctors.   And like I said, Nicholas is the most happy go lucky kid.  I don't even think he realizes half of what he's gone through.  Never cares about his scars.  I guess to him, it's just a part of who he is and you can take it or leave it.  We all have scars in one form or another.  His just happen to be external.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Check It Out.....My First Interview!!!

My very first interview is posted today on the Homemaking Cottage Blog.  Click on the link below to check it out.  Can you tell I'm excited LOL!

Mothers of Large Families Series: Charlene Juliani

 I have been reading this website for years and have gotten lots of great information. I regularly use it as a resource, not only from a mother of a large family, but also as a homemaker. The site has alot of great ideas on everything from parenting to decorating your house, gardening, cooking, etc. If you haven't checked it out before, you should totally do it now. I'm super excited about it. I think it came out rather well. I made a few boo-boos here and there, but it looks great. Thanks Shiloah for all your hard work!

Last Night's Dinner Recipe by Request

I got this recipe from someone on a board at  The recipe called for sour cream, but I omitted it, because other than beef stroganoff (where it's hidden in the sauce), my kids don't really like sour cream.  I also burned mine (hence the reason I don't have any pics of it finished), because I threw it in the oven and ran to pick up the twins from ball practice and no one checked on it while I was gone.  It still tasted really good, despite not having sour cream and being slightly crispy.   Now, that I have made you REALLY hungry for this recipe (haha), I'll post it.

As you can see, I save money by buying store brand....who cares, it all tastes the same anyway.


Rachel via Taste of Home Best Loved Casseroles

1 tube crescent rolls
2 cups crushed corn chips, divided
1 ½ lb. ground beef
1 can tomato sauce
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 cup sour cream (used 2)
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Unroll crescent rolls into a rectangle; press onto bottom and 1 inch up the side of a greased 13x9 baking dish. Seal the seams and perforations. Sprinkle with 1 cup of chips. Set aside.In a medium skillet, cook beef until no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomato sauce and taco seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes. Spoon over chips. Top with sour cream, cheese and remaining chips.Bake uncovered at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned.

It's Been a Long Day

We played with toys......
Lincoln Logs and Legos and a Potato Head too......
We did some sponge painting.....

And hung up our fancy art work.....
Played with Mommy's hair....Isn't it beautiful? LOL!
Made a run to the library to drop off our books.....
Took one kid to ball practice....

Started dinner....

Brought 2 kids home from ball practice....

Supervised Big Brother's painting skills....

Drooled while Mom took pictures of her latest cupcakes.......

Begged for one more cupcake.....

Folded tons and tons of clothes (no wonder Mom complains about the laundry)....

Filled out kindergarten registration papers....
Report card day....All A's for everybody again (well Zach got all A's and 1 B)......

And guess what - We get to do it all over again tomorrow!