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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I'm still alive!!!

Ok, so maybe it's been a millenia or two since I last made a blog post. I have my newest and dearest friend/neighbor to thank for reminding me that I even had a blog.  Where to even start?

Well, since my last posting, we've moved again, although it was only 10 minutes from the last house. My son was luckily able to stay at the same school so as not to disrupt his social life too much.  He has even made a new best friend in our new neighborhood despite his constant concerns that he wouldn't make any friends. He's now in 7th grade, and schoolwork is naturally getting harder.  He does pretty well with the work he turns in..... it's getting him to turn the work in.  Ah, the joys of having a teenager.  Our latest struggle with him, or should I say adventure, has been having him take growth hormone therapy after being referred to an endocrinologist last year for his short stature.  In the past year he has put on 10 lbs and his pants are starting to get shorter. Yay for progress!

Princess is now a 2nd grader and doing exceptionally well in school, was there a doubt in your minds? She is in the gifted program, and last year she was reported to be reading at a 6th grade level. Time has only made her more precocious. Now if we could just get her to not talk out of turn at school, that'd be awesome. Guess there could be worse problems to have.

I believe I mentioned the last post about having gone back to work. I just celebrated 2 years with the agency and am still loving my job. I get paid to tell cops where to go and they have to listen, what a dream job!! Hahaha.... I work the midnight shift, so that has taken some adjustment, but one of the perks is that I can go on day dates with my husband and not have to worry about a sitter.  Our marriage is stronger than ever.  Love that man of mine!!

Since I've been working full time and zombie hours at that, I haven't really been able to bake or be as creative as I once was.  Perhaps updating my blog now will give me the necessary kick in the butt to do something productive at home and not sit on it all day watching Supernatural reruns. (Sorry Jared and Jensen....)

I will do my best to update more often, I may need occasional nudges. Hopefully I can get more than 6 followers!

Sincerely,

Catherine
(a.k.a. slacker)



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Slacking off

So readers, bet you forgot all about me! I know I did... forgot about me that is, not you. We've been living in our new house for about 9 months now, and have slowly adjusted to country life.  As my son put it the other day, "I'm starting to forget about things and people in the old city," 

I spent almost a year as an SAHM, did the whole PTA thing, and while I loved it, it just wasn't as lucrative as I had hoped.  Thus, I have re-joined the rat-race and am loving my new line of work.  Well, it's actually an old line of work I've done before, but in a new place.  I am back to working in emergency communications, and it is wonderful!  I've always felt that profession was my niche, and I'm very happy to be there once again.  Perhaps this will be the occupation I end up retiring from?

Anyway, an update on the family:

Little Princess is now a Kindergartener and wowing everyone she comes in contact with.  She goes weekly to the 1st grade for reading enrichment (surprise, surprise), and is even about to be evaluated for the county gifted program for next year.  She loves going to school, and gets super excited to ride the bus.  I think having her older brother at the same school as her has also helped her adapt pretty quickly.  She comes home telling me she saw him going from one class to another on occasion.  I try to have lunch at the school with her when I can, now that I'm working it's not as often as it once was.  Her tenacity (read: stubborness) never ceases to amaze me.  She gets it from her father.  Ok, and me too.  Kid was doomed from the start. Other than that, she is a real joy. 

My son is in the middle of his last year in elementary school.  We just attended his middle school orientation this past week, and I must admit I was a little overwhelmed.  It's a huge middle school for one, so I don't see how that building can not be daunting to the children. I'm having a hard time coming to the realization that my babies are growing up.  A few months ago, he participated in the school wide spelling bee and got 4th place.  He was bummed about not winning, but the fact that he even made it that far was impressive enough for me.  Makes me feel really good that my children are so smart.  Even if their behavior isn't always up to par.  Guess it wouldn't be fair to have perfect children.  He has made a few friends down here despite the fact he was certain that he wouldn't. Of course I still haven't heard that glorious phrase I've been waiting for, you know, the "You were right, Mom," phrase we all love to hear. Maybe one day....

Hubby is enjoying his longer commute to work, honestly he is.  Only because it's at night and he doesn't have to endure rush hour.  There is the rare occasion when an accident or construction will delay him, but luckily it's only once in a blue moon.  Of course now that I have said this, he will come into contact with one or the other on a more frequent basis.  Sorry, honey!  We're still working on getting our schedules to meld nicely so we don't have to involve the horrible cost of childcare, but for right now he has enough leave time accumulated to take a few hours off here and there to make sure he's home in time for me to go to work. Luckily both children are in school, so he's able to sleep while they're gone.  It's not a dream arrangement, but it works for now.

One of the endeavors I attempted while staying at home was to take a few cake decorating courses.  I think I did a decent job at it, here is my final cake from course 2:





I've decided to work on that a little more as a side thing when I have the time.  I'm hoping to be able to make decent cakes for my kids' birthdays now instead of forking over the dough for grocery store ones.  I'm also investing in nail art supplies so that I don't have to spend money on manicures anymore:

That enterprise will take a little more practice.  So even though I'm working again, I am still attempting to be frugal.  Now to get the balance of working and housework down pat.  Soon, I hope!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Rollin', rollin', rollin'...

Sorry I've been neglecting my blog again.... Bad Catherine, bad.  But, I have an excuse!  I'm been crazy busy packing.  No, not for vacation, although that does loom on the horizon.  The Douglas household is moving!!  Got us a big beautiful house about 30 minutes from where we are now.  We're excited.  Well, most of us.  My son is concerned.  He's 10, so it's the end of the world that he has to leave his friends behind.  He will never make new friends (his words, not mine).  One of these days he'll forgive us.  Like the moment he makes friends in the new city and can't believe we didn't move sooner.  It's a fresh start for us, and this will be great.  So I have been busy de-cluttering, packing things up, driving stuff to the new house a little at a time. 

Princess is super excited about the move, and everytime I pack up a box, she has to pack one up too.  Of course, the boxes she packs up usually contain one or two of her toys.  They're sizeable boxes.  And she's packing happy meal sized toys.  At least she's cute.  She then proceeds to write her name on the box and what's inside.  I may have use for her after all.

So I'm realizing after 8 years in this place that I've accumulated quite a bit of junk that I'm going to try to get rid of at a yard sale.  Hopefully we'll be able to offset some of the moving expenses, not to mention some of the purchases I've already made for the new house.  (hint hint, readers, come to my yard sale! This Saturday, 6/30, shameless plug....) 

For those of my blog readers that I know personally, thank you for the friendship and love you've shown to me and my family during our time here.  We will miss everyone and hope to be back periodically to visit.  Don't be strangers, either.... you guys know where we're going...

Adieu for now, maybe I'll get a blog post in before we move, maybe not. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

DIY, Chocolate Cake & Word to your Mother!


We've been feeling crafty for the past few days in the Douglas household.  I decided to look through my pin list on Pinterest and finally do the things I re-pinned forever ago.  One of the things I attempted yesterday was homemade sidewalk chalk paint, found here: http://hammerandthread.blogspot.com/2011/08/sidewalk-paint.html.  Princess had a great time with it, and I did, too!



It was super easy to do, and also super cheap  I already had all the necessary ingredients: corn starch, food coloring and water.  I think another great idea would have been to put all the different cups of paint I used in a muffin tin to keep them from getting knocked over while we were outside.  I came across some spray bottles in the $1 aisle of Target and thought I might put another Pinterest idea to use today.  I found it here, but I used the other recipe instead of the one on this page: http://www.infarrantlycreative.net/2011/06/chalk-spray.html.  We went outside and Princess and I just had a blast splattering the sidewalk:



This activity only lasted a few minutes though, and we were out of paint.  So we came back inside and decided to do some real painting. 

Here's what I painted, don't laugh.... I was hungry at the time.  :)



I polished off my soda and thought I would apply another Pinterest idea found here: http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/cherry-blossom-art-from-a-recycled-soda-bottle/.  I gave Princess my soda bottle and the remainder of our paint and she had a blast making these "flowers":


We've been very crafty and having a blast every minute of it.  I shall spend more time this evening perusing Pinterest for more ideas. 

Now, for those who are keeping tabs on my blog solely for the purpose of seeing what divine delicacies I have been whipping up, here is the mother of all Pioneer Woman recipes so far.  OMG, I got rave reviews on it, and I couldn't keep my hands off of it, either.  Here's the link to it on her page: The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever.  I have to concur.  This cake was the best ever.  I didn't even get a picture of it.  Like her recipe says, please make this cake.  She doesn't want you to be without it a moment longer. 

Oh, and I promised my friend, Angie, that I'd write a shout out to my mother here on my blog and link to her blog in recognition of Mother's Day approaching.  That's this Sunday the 13th for those husbands or children that haven't gotten their mothers or wives anything yet.... hint hint.... and please follow Angie's blog if you aren't already.  She's hilarious.  And an awesome person. She's uber-cool.

Dear Mom,

How do I love thee, let me count the ways.... Ok sorry, that's a bit cliche.  Mother, I can't begin to express how grateful I am for everything you've ever done for me.  You've been a shoulder to cry on (despite the 2300 miles that separates us), you've given me excellent advice, and you've passed on your horrible Sunday Punday gene.  Ok, maybe I'm not so grateful for that one.  Thank you for letting me make mistakes even though I'm sure that you wish I hadn't.  I needed them to help me learn. I think I turned out ok.  I'm glad you never stopped praying for me, especially when I needed it the most.  I am proof positive that your prayers were answered, too.  Don't stop praying, though.  I can still use the prayers.... You're the role model I'm emulating now in this new endeavor of stay-at-home mommyhood.  You made it look effortless, and I am sorry that I didn't make it any easier for you.  Thank you for cleaning my room numerous times after telling me 100 times to do it and then giving up when I hadn't done it and just did it yourself.  I finally understand.  Why couldn't I have inherited your clean-freak gene instead of the horrible punning??  Of all the things you did for us though, I must say the thing that impressed me the most was that you could braid my hair with one hand.  That's just super Mom right there.  I love how I can call you almost anytime and you cheer me right up.  Or vice versa.  Or at least I hope I cheer you right up when you're down.  I love doing our puzzles on a daily basis, it keeps both our minds agile.  My only wish is that I lived closer to you so that I could visit you more often and make you all these yummy treats that I blog about.  Thank you for teaching me to cook at such a young age.  It made all the difference, let me tell ya.



My mother, pregnant with me

Mommy holding me

Mommy, I love you more than words could possibly express, and I'm so glad to know that we're a forver family.  Happy Mother's Day to both of us, and I hope you're crying, cause I am too. 




Love,

Your favorite daughter (I can say that cause I don't think my sisters read my blog)




Ok, Angie... here's the link to your Mother's Day Blog as promised...

http://www.bloglovin.com/m/3687528/458729218/fb

Friday, May 4, 2012

I came, I saw, I pinned!

Today I decided to finally attempt some of the cool ideas I've seen on Pinterest.  I know so many people spend hours pinning, but never get around to following the links.  Ok, maybe that's just me.  One pin that I saw today, that looked really simple was this time-out bottle.  Follow the link here: Relax Bottle/Time-out Timer.  Princess chose the color pink for her glitter (are we surprised?) and this was the result.... shaken up and then after settling:


They didn't have red glitter at the craft store, so my son chose gold.  Still looked pretty cool!



The other craft that I tried was homemade slime using Borax, water and glue.  We couldn't get it to solidify enough.  After 15 minutes, we gave up.  Now I have a box of Borax that I'll have to find other uses for.  Oh, and in case anyone has seen the pin about glow in the dark Mountain Dew after adding baking powder and hydrogen peroxide?  Doesn't work.  At all. 

Tonight's Pioneer Woman recipe was a chili recipe that also seems exclusive to her cookbook.  One of the ingredients that I've never seen in chili before was masa (or corn flour).  I ground some up (with my Kitchenaid grinder) out of popcorn.  My dad told me that popcorn kernels yield fresher corn meal than corn kernels themselves.  My grinder wouldn't make it as fine as flour, but that's ok.  It seemed to work out well for me, and I wasn't about to make a special trip to the global food market for masa.  It became a matter of principal at that point.  This was the result and it tasted fine.  Not a recipe I'm going to go gaga over, but it was acceptable and hubby seemed to enjoy it.


My children on the other hand, have expressed extreme distaste for chili no matter how many different variations I try to slip it to them in.  Thus, my son elected to pass off one of his Faith in God requirements to make a meal all by himself.  I left him make English Muffin pizzas as they're fairly foolproof and they both love pizza.  He did a great job and was really pleased with himself!  Princess said it was the best pizza ever.  Guess he passed that requirement!



Sorry, no fresh desserts to salivate over, we still had leftover pineapple upside-down cake from last night.  My poor father read my post about the cake and was heartbroken that I had made his favorite dessert 2300 miles away and then posted it for him to drool over.  Sorry, Daddy!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Love me some Pioneer Woman!!

Today was puke-free.  Hallelujah!  No one else seems to be sick at the moment, either (knocking on wood).  It gave me the opportunity to work on scrubbing the carpet stains from where Princess missed yesterday.  So with a little bit of housework and errand running, I feel a little more accomplished than yesterday.  I even had the energy to pull out my new Pioneer Woman cookbook and make a few things.  For dinner, I made what she calls The Marlboro Man Sandwich.  (That's what she calls her cattle rancher husband).  Recipe can be found here: The Marlboro Man Sandwich.  This sandwich got rave reviews from hubby and I.  Of course, my hubby picked off all the onions.  Wimp.  I couldn't help myself, I was almost moaning with every bite.  I highly recommend this recipe to others.  I forgot to take a picture, it didn't last long enough.  Please, please, please try this sandwich, you won't regret it.  For dessert, I made a recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake that's found only in her cookbook.  Since I don't have her permission, I won't type it out here, but here's a picture of how mine turned out!


And yes, it was every bit as good as it looked!  I love that her recipe calls for cooking it in a cast iron skillet.  I'm sure I gained 20 lbs today just with dinner and dessert alone, so I'll be sure to take Princess to the park tomorrow so that I can chase her around a bit and burn it off.  So far, all the recipes I've tried from this cookbook have turned out perfectly, and I've got some very happy campers in this household.  Can't wait to try some more out! 

A bug... not an insect

Ok, so let me get back on the blogging wagon since I fell off.  Today's agenda was put off due to the fact that in the wee hours of the morning I hear the pitter patter of little feet running into my room followed by heaving sounds.  I believe there was a comedian that once said something along the lines of no alarm clock works better than the sound of a child puking.  There is no snooze button!!  The victim of this nasty bug was no other than Princess.  Once sucessfully steered toward the bathroom, I quickly realized that she would need to sit on the toilet instead of facing it and hold a bucket at the same time.  Now that I'm sure I have successfully grossed you out, I spent a better part of the day cleaning carpet stains and doing laundry in between running her to the bathroom a zillion times.  Maybe this was my penance for the sinful brownies from the night before.  By dinnertime, the bathroom trips had ceased (thankfully) and she started to seem like her cheery self.  Shall we start taking bets on who gets hit with this little bug next?  I'm going to roughly quote the Hunger Games and say "May the odds be ever in my favor!"

So dinner tonight was a slew of leftovers in an attempt to clean them out of my fridge, and also cause I was just so worn out from the multiple bathroom runs and super early wake-up call.  I don't have a job anymore, I thought the waking up before the sun rises was over.  HA!  I didn't even make a dessert tonight, sorry kids.  (You're welcome, waistline.)  Perhaps it's a good thing as planning to make a few recipes out of a new cookbook I procured the other day based off a popular blog: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/ by Ree Drummond.  This cookbook is by no means diet friendly, it's more along the lines of comfort food with recipes like creamy mashed potatoes mixed with cream cheese and homemade mac and cheese, for example.  I think I need to make my next investment an elliptical machine or something. 

I don't claim to be Julia Child or anyone like that in the kitchen, but luckily my recipes typically seem to turn out as planned and for that I am grateful.  Still trying to find out of there's a hidden talent that I have that just waiting to emerge and wow everyone.  So for the time being, I will continue baking stuff, and perhaps try to be a little more creative in the kitchen as opposed to following the recipes verbatim.