Monthly Archives: January 2016

Something chicken cordon bleu-ish

As the stomach bug continues at our house I have not been cooking anything too exciting. But here’s an experiment I tried a few weeks ago. I can’t call it chicken cordon bleu…. but it’s a similar idea. And it’s easy and yummy. So good enough, right? All you need is:

2 chicken breasts

4 oz ham steak

2 slices of cheese (I used cheddar but it would be more chicken cordon bleu like with Swiss)

Ranch dressing

Bread crumbs


First preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Then put a slice of cheese on each chicken breast. (I ripped them up so they fit the shape better.) Then top with ham (again, I cut it to fit.) Spread ranch dressing over the chicken, then sprinkle bread crumbs on top. Stick a toothpick in to keep it all together and cook for about 40 minutes. (Time will vary depending on the size of the chicken breast.) ¬†Enjoy! ūüôā

Tummy Bug Diet

In my 22 months as a mother I’ve been very lucky to not have to deal with any stomach bug… until last night. And Lucille is just like her mommy, when she gets sick she gets sick hard and fast!! She got sick at 5 pm, puked 10 times by 8:30 & was in bed by 9. But not for good… she woke up dry heaving around 10:30. Then at midnight insisted on going downstairs where she drank water, then puked twice more. She was in bed for good a little after 2 and slept til 7:30.¬†Today she’s only gotten sick once. I know she’s feeling somewhat better but she’s not 100% and it breaks my heart. She’s napping at the moment so maybe she’ll awake her cheery self.

The worst part about having a sick baby is they don’t understand. When she’s vomiting she has no idea what’s happening to her body! I try to give her a bowl to aim into but this confuses her further. She either runs while getting sick, getting it everywhere. Or she hugs me or daddy.

She also doesn’t understand why she can’t have milk. It’s all she wants. And she keeps screaming for it! Which brings me to the point of this post. What can I give my honey Bea when she’s not feeling well?


Luckily I have a sister who has been a mom for 9 years. She told me this is what her kids eat until they are well enough to keep food down: Saltiness, rice, bananas, toast and applesauce. And to drink just water. And no matter what, no milk!!




Part of what drew us to the name Lucille is comedienne Lucille Ball. Not only was she extremely talented, but she was a very motivated, brave and strong woman. Characteristics I want my daughter to have. However, I truly wonder sometimes if Lucille Ball’s spirit was reincarnated into our daughter’s body as a result of this. Everything Lucille Bea does is to get a reaction! She loves to make people laugh. Here are a couple recent stories.

At Christmas we played a Christmas trivia game. When we knew an answer we had to raise our hands. Lucille caught on real quick and started raising her hand whenever my brother in law would start asking his questions. Then she’d look around to see who thought it was funny that she was playing along.

Our dog’s name is Santana Banana but we sometimes call her Doot-Banan. Lucille pronounces it “Doo Doo Mon”. Like some Rastafarian poop man.

Lucille loves milk. She also calls every beverage milk, or more accurately “miiiww”. Whenever she finishes her drink she runs to the gate that separates the dining room and kitchen, tosses her sippy cup over it, yells “miiiww!” as if placing an order and then runs full speed to the couch where she sits and waits for her order to be delivered.

Have I also mentioned she’s a walking fashion statement?

She does her own hair

She does her own hair

Don’t you wear a sun hat with your pajamas?

Our little bag lady, wearing a car seat cover.

Our little bag lady, wearing a car seat cover.

Rocking a superhero cape AND a helmet just in case....

Rocking a superhero cape AND a helmet just in case….


Tilapia with Veggies

I have always been a big fan of seafood, but for a very long time I was scared of cooking it. But it’s not scary! In fact, here is one of the easiest dishes I’ve made. And besides 2 tilapia filets, you likely have all the ingredients in your house already. All you need is:

2 tilapia filets

16 oz bag of frozen cauliflower and broccoli

1/2 tablespoon of butter

Pepper, garlic salt and old bay seasoning

And here’s all you do:

  1. Preheat oven at 425
  2. Spray a baking dish with non stick and put 2 tilapia filets in it
  3. Put butter on top of fillets and then surround with veggies
  4. Season with pepper,garlic salt and old bay
  5. Cook for 25-30 minutes

So very easy, so very yummy. My favorite thing about it is it tastes so light! I was completely full when done with my meal, but didn’t have that yucky overly full feeling that I often get after meals that are heavy on the carbs.


Picky Eater

When I was young I was the pickiest eater! I are ramen noodles, microwavable pizza, hot pockets or eggs for dinner every time I didn’t want to eat what the rest of the family was eating. I don’t want to have to have to play that game with my kids! And I can already see that Lucille is just like me!

Not only does she not like trying new foods, but her list of acceptable foods grows shorter every day. I don’t blame her for being sick of yogurt after having it almost every day for 6 months but this leaves me with the following foods that she will eat: peanut butter and jelly, baked beans, sometimes oatmeal, sometimes squash… she likes lots of junk food like popcorn and goldfish crackers but I can’t turn those into meals…

I really, truly believed before I had kids that if you just put all sorts of strange foods in front of them when they’re young they’ll eat them. Then when they’re older they’ll be used to eating whatever is given to them and have minimal complaints. My gosh, I was naive.


There is no real point to this post except to say the struggle is real. I continue to encourage Lucille to try everything we eat. Occasionally she surprise me, but for the most part, she hasn’t tried any of these new recipes I’ve made.

Sloppy Jose

A mexican spin on one of my favorite comfort foods!
1 lb ground turkey sprinkled with pepper and garlic salt
1 diced onion
8 oz of salsa
Combine all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on high for 4 hours. Put on bread. (I put a slice of cheese on the bread. Because when don’t I add cheese to a meal?!)


My hubby also discovered that this makes good nachos. Put over tortilla chips with shredded cheese.

Sweet BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

In the middle of winter I miss the yummy summer time food. This crock pot recipe is the next best thing when the grill is covered with snow. 4 ingredients dumped into a crock pot for four hours. It doesn’t get much easier (or much more delicious)!


Put 4 pounds of chicken drumsticks (fully defrosted) in a crock pot. Cover with 2/3 cup of grape jelly, 2/3 cup of barbeque sauce and a tablespoon of sweet chili pepper sauce. Cook on high for four hours. Serve with your favorite summer time side dish.

16 Month Age Gap: The First 3 Months

When I was pregnant with Lennon (read more about that experience here) people constantly commented on how unmanageable life would be with my kids so close in age to each other. I told them I suspected the 1st year would be the hardest, as Lucille would be too young to understand the baby’s needs and would still be very dependent on me herself. I’ve decided to document the 1st year of my journey, broken into 4 quarters. Perhaps this will help other mothers who have families similar to my own. At the very least it’ll remind me of this year in our lives. It’s all going so fast right now I imagine I’ll look back one day and it’ll all be a blur.



Like Lucille, Lennon came into the world via c-section. This made the transition from 1 kids to 2 kids particularly interesting. 1st, it meant that I had to stay in the hospital longer and 2nd it meant that I had a longer recovery ahead.

I can honestly say that the emotional aspect of this recovery was worse for me than the physical aspect. Every day that I was in the hospital Lucille came to visit me. I am very grateful for that. But a 20 minute visit from my darling daughter hardly seemed enough, I missed her so much!

Worse than that was the fact that I could barely care for her. For 2 weeks after my c-section I was instructed not to lift my other child. I was very lucky to have family that was able to help me care for Lucille during this time so that I could (usually) follow this rule. Some days Peter stayed home from work, one day my Mom came and stayed with me while he worked, and several times Lucille went and spent the day with family members while Peter worked. Though I appreciate everyone chipping in and caring for my daughter for me in these weeks, I must admit, I hated having to depend on them. Partially because I’m an independent person who doesn’t like to depend on people for help,¬†ever. But more so because I just felt like a terrible Mom. I felt like Lucille might think she was being replaced. Now that I had the baby I wouldn’t have time for her. I¬†even¬†worried that now that I had the baby I wouldn’t have time for her.

This recovery phase was short. I believe Lucille was too young to feel that she had been replaced, and honestly I think she liked having extra time with her family! It was definitely harder on me than her. There were times she’d get upset that I wasn’t holding her and snuggling her like normal, but with distractions from Daddy or other loved ones, she would forget she was upset¬†quickly.

Though this phase was hard I knew it was important to take this 2 week recovery time seriously. If I had not I likely would have hurt myself. And then I would be struggling to take care of my kids for much longer than the 2 weeks. Because I found the help I needed in the 2 weeks following my surgery, I was able to go back to life as normal by Lennon’s 15th day with us.

Sleeping Arrangements

If you read my pregnancy post you know Lucille slept with us until the day Lennon was born. The day we brought Lennon home we decided to try setting up an adult, full size bed in her room. We called it her princess bed and she fell in love with it. One of us still needs to lay with her to get her to fall asleep. But, it’s still a big win for us.


The hard part about our sleeping arrangements is that our rooms are all super close. So when Lennon cries, it wakes Lucille up. Most of the first three months, every time Lennon woke up to eat, Peter had to go snuggle Lucille back to sleep.


Once we got past the emotional first couple weeks the biggest challenge was definitely Lucille’s climbing. I had Lennon’s baby swing downstairs in the living room so he could nap in it and still be in the same room as us. Whenever he wasn’t in it she climbed it. I could NOT get her to stop. Several times she climbed into it and fell out and hurt herself. And even then, she still continued to do it.

Our couch in our living room is right next to a bay window. Towards the end of my pregnancy with Lennon Lucille kept climbing the couch and hanging out in the bay window. Then she started banging on the glass and dancing in the window. Obviously, she was always taken out of the window immediately. However, once Lennon came along it was harder to get her out of the window quick enough.

These are just 2 examples of dangerous climbing situations my daughter landed herself in repeatedly. I could go on, but you get the picture. I wish I had some great advice on how to stop this behavior. But, at 16 months old, there isn’t much I could do to make her understand why she needed to stop. She was too young to grasp the concept of consequences. Our couch was moved to the opposite side of the living room and Lennon’s swing was moved up to his room.

Eager to Help

Lucille is a born mother. She loves babies and animals and anything little and cute! From the moment she met Lennon all she’s wanted to do is take care of him. She tried picking him up the day we came home. She often tries sharing her water with him. She even wants to help change his diaper! If there was someone over the age of 5 around that was as eager to help as her, I’d be in heaven. But her help was frightening at first.


Instead of scolding her for trying to help, however, I’ve always praised her. After all, her intentions are good. Usually I say something like “thank you so much, but mommy can get brother. He’s too heavy for you. Why don’t you get Baby Bugsy?” (Bugsy is the name of her doll, featured in the picture below.) ¬†By redirecting her attention to her baby dolls, Lucille felt she was still helping. It wasn’t long before she started getting a baby doll on her own to change it’s diaper, feed it, etc. right beside Lennon. (Peter loved coming home to me breastfeeding Lennon and Lucille sitting next to us with her shirt up feeding one of her dolls.)


Remembering They’re Both Little

In Lennon’s first few months I caught both my hubby and I saying to Lucille “you’re not helping!” What a stupid thing to say! Of course she’s not helping, she’s 16 months old. Yes, it’s hard to breastfeed when Lucille is climbing me like a human jungle gym. But she’s a baby too, and I found I need to constantly remind myself of that.

Our babies are only young for a short time. It would break my heart to think that Lennon coming into our lives has forced Lucille to grow up faster. I don’t believe that it has, but it easily could. SO I find reminding myself of this constantly helps.

The Good Stuff

The first three months with 2 under 2 was challenging. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. These babies love each other more than anything! I love,that Lennon has an older sister who has literally made him her whole world! He watches her with such admiration. I think he likes her more than he likes me, and I’m glad for that.

Obviously, Lucille loves him too. And I love that she loves him completely, without jealousy. She will never remember life without him so I don’t think she will ever resent Lennon for coming and changing her life.

I always wanted to be a stay at home mom but after I became a work from home I started to worry. What if Lucille, who’s always been so social, became one of those kids that is shy around everyone other than her mom? How could I make sure her and Lennon would get the socialization they need? Though I do try to make sure they get play dates throughout the week, I love that by simply having each other they are getting used to being around other kids their age. Learning how to share, love, communicate…. more than anything I just love that they’re best friends!

Lennon is learning so much by watching his sister. And she’s learning so much about being a moral and responsible¬†person from having him around. I think these little pals¬†are the best thing that ever happened to each other!

Corny Chicken and Rice

Most of my recipes come from not having stuff in the house to make other people’s recipes. So I tend to just throw what I do have into a crock pot. This one turned out much better than other had expected, so I thought I’d share. Ingredients include:

  • 1/2 pound of chicken
  • 16 oz bag of frozen corn
  • 1/4 bottle of Italian dressing
  • 3 servings of minute rice
  • 1 spoonful of Dijon mustard
  • A few drops of Frank’s sweet chili sauce

Mix the first 3 ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 4 hours. Then make 3 servings of minute rice in the microwave, and mix the last 2 ingredients in with it. Put rice in the crock pot with the chicken and corn. Mix well and serve.

Corny Chicken and Rice

Tis the season

Our holiday season was crazy hectic (isn’t everyone’s?). In addition to all sorts of holiday fun I had 3 large events for the radio station I work at, my brother graduated college and my best friend had a baby, all in December. I wish I had kept track of all the fun activities better but since I didn’t, here’s a little recap. This is an email I wrote my kids. (I made each of my kids an email address when they were born. I send them emails to document their lives, my emotions about their milestones, etc… In all honesty it’s not something I do nearly enough!)

I just wanted to send a note to thank you both for giving me such a magical holiday season. In 2012 around the holidays I told your daddy that by Christmas 2013 I wanted a baby on the way because kids are what makes Christmas fun. Well, by 2013 Lucille was on the way, 2014 we celebrated her first Christmas and by Christmas 2015 we had Lennon and got to celebrate another first Christmas.

This year we did a lot that I hope we will do again and make into traditions.

To kick off the holiday season we went to Christmas in Perry with the intention of meeting Santa. The wait, however, was over 2 hours. So we skipped that, but we did watch the parade. Lucille loved watching all the lights on the fire trucks, as did cousin Walter who we met there. Lennon, you slept through the whole thing.


The next day we went and got a Christmas tree. As we’ve done for years we went with Nay Nay, Pop Pop, Aunt Kray Kray, Uncle Adam, Uncle Joe and Aunt Marcy. Meaning we had to pick out 4 trees. The weather was beautiful. I had you both dressed in winter outfits and I had to strip you down because you were overheating!

We went to Byrncliff to try to meet Santa again, and this time it worked out much better! We were the first family to get to the buffet breakfast and when we finished Santa was supposed to be arriving in 10 minutes. We went to the room he would be in to get in line and nobody was there yet. There were activities set up: a coloring table, cookie decorating table, a place to write a letter to Santa and a marshmallow toss. So Lucille did all these things with the elf that was there until Santa came. When Santa came we had him all to ourselves. Lennon was more than happy to sit on his lap. Lucille liked him from a bit of a distance. She did give him several high fives. I think it was really special that we got to see him all by ourselves. It definitely made it less scary for you two.

We also got to make Christmas cookies with your cousins Tristan, Maddy, Gus and Alli! Making Christmas cookies is my very favorite thing to do in the holiday season and I’m so glad we have an extended family that we can enjoy it with!

My favorite part of the holidays this year was our new Christmas Eve tradition. Instead of going from place to place on Christmas we decided to celebrate with my side of the family on Christmas Eve. This makes Christmas last 2 days!! We had so much fun spending the entire day with our loved ones, watching Christmas movies, opening presents and then playing with them, and of course eating!! Then before we left Aunt Sarah got emails from Santa Claus for each of you, as well as one for each of her kids. Lennon, you of course didn’t understand yet. But Lucille you loved watching the videos, way more than I expected!


Christmas day we woke up and opened presents at home just the 4 of us. Then we spent mot of our day at NayNay and Pop Pop’s. Again, it was so nice to see them for a whole day instead of just a couple hours. In addition to the immediate family Uncle Mike, Uncle Beaver, Carmen, Kris and Khloe all came over too. Lucille you followed Khloe around like she was the coolest kid in school haha. Lennon, you have been so happy throughout all these festivities. You’re definitely at your best when you’re surrounded by friends and excitement!!

A few days later we went back to Aunt Sarah’s for our extended family holiday celebration. Uncle Tom and Aunt Sherry were visiting from Vermont and Uncle Mike and Aunt Kathy from Wisconsin!

For New Year’s Eve we went and had an early dinner (3:30 so our noisy kids wouldn’t disrupt most people’s dinner plans) at the Club. I loved bringing you 2 out to a fancy restaurant with us to celebrate the end of a fantastic year and the start of a new one! This is definitely going to be a yearly tradition. When you get older you can have some Shirley Temples with dinner. Lucille, we tried to give you crab cakes because you loved them when you tried them over the summer. But, you refused to eat them and just ate our oyster crackers and most of our dessert, which was sherbert. Lennon, you pooped yourself shortly after we got there and then slept the rest of the outing.


I love you both so much and I know next year the holidays will be even more special!!



On another note, now that we’re a week into the new year I’ve also finally set some resolutions:

  1. Blog at least twice a week
  2. Try a new recipe or attempt to improve an old one once a week
  3. Read to the kids every day
  4. Go on a date with Peter every month
  5. Don’t let stress make me a grumpy mom. Enjoy all my moments with my kids and remember they are what’s most important. Not my job, how clean my house is, etc.