Tuesday, August 31, 2010

KSquared in the Kitchen: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

I love each of the four seasons for their unique sense of style.

Spring breaths new life into everyone and everything - flowers, green grass, warming breezes are all welcome after a cold winter. Summer is full of adventure - backyard barbeques, long dusky evenings, kids playing outside and cicadas providing the soundtrack. Winter gives me a feeling of nostalgia - we slow down, burrow under quilts, snuggle in front of fires, spend time with our families and eat comforting foods. personal favorite. Fall is the shy, modest sister. Spring, Summer and Winter are outgoing with their wild temperates and suprising storms. Fall is calm, she is soothing, she is predictable. Fall and I are good friends - she brings me crisp evenings, Halloween, hues of orange and deep reds. She encourages me to eat soup and wear my favorite worn out jeans. Most imporantly, Fall brings me apples fresh from the local orchard and pumpkins straight from the farm.

I love all things pumpkin. Sweet or savory, I do not discriminate. This recipe is as easy as it delicious. 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

1 box spice cake mix
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 bag mini chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350.  Mix the three ingredients and drop by the teaspoon on a lighly greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Makes approximately 42 cookies. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Case Of The Mondays

I'm having a case of the Mondays.  No particular reason...maybe a million inconveniences, but nothing terribly unusual.  I decided that whenever I was in a funk I should list 10 reasons that today is a good day.  Here we go...

1)  Sandwich with a homegrown tomato.  Yum.
2)  Getting to work to find a cute email from the husband
3)  Being married to The Husband
4)  Being mom to The Bug
5)  Two furry love balls - Barley & Chloe
6)  Newly improved vision (Lasik rocks!)
7)  Friends who understand life's frustrations
8)  Hugs (and free dinner) from Mom & Dad
9)  The knowledge that this too shall pass...whatever 'this' might be
10)  God's grace

Whew, that does help.  So does looking at cute pictures.  Muuuuuuch better!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Haley vs. Barley: Throwdown In The Octagon

This morning, Haley is sitting on my lap enjoying a bowl of Cheerios.  An all-American, classic breakfast. And, our new morning routine. 

Baby Girl is enthusiastically munching on her breakfast cereal when Barley The Wonderhound approaches.  To Barley's delight, Haley's bowl of Cheerios is at snout level.  To Haley's chagrin, Barley attempts to snarf some Cheerios.  Not off the floor and not out of the bowl but off of the spoon.  (Full disclosure, our dogs are spoiled.  They were our first 'kids'.  We occassionally give our dogs people food, they are allowed on the downstairs couches, and they sleep in our bed.  But we have never, NEVER spoon fed either of the dogs.) 

I was trying to shoo Barley away while balancing Haley on my lap and a bowl of Cheerios in my hand.  Haley decided to take matters in to her own hands and took a few swings at Barley's snount.  He was not detered and came in again, goobery Basset Hound mouth dangerously close to her spoon.  I could forsee disaster.  Haley lunged towards him, and he retreated.  She took an extra big bite of Cheerios and said "mmmmmm", just to rub it in his face.  I think this is only round one of many more breakfast brawls to come.  The gauntlet has been thrown.

Haley - 1.  Barley - 0.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cuteness Personified

Taken at the Overland Park Arboreteum, August 2010. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ever Had One Of Those Days?

Ever had one of those days (mornings, afternoons, evenings, anytimes) when you question your ability to be a good mom? Mine arrived this morning, neatly gift wrapped in the form of a newly minted one year old and a tantrum of epic proportions. Arched back, gritted teeth and wailing that sounded like it should come from a wild animal. I powered through and managed to get her dressed, fed and cleaned up all done with maximum effort. Back and forth this dance went, all morning long. Small hands came flying towards my face and hair. Body, willing itself from my arms. Sippy cup was chucked at me and my baby girl laid herself on the ground and cried for no apparant reason other than it was Monday morning.

Meanwhile, I'm breaking out in a sweat trying to remain calm on the outside. An internal dialogue sounded something like this, "You're an adult and she's a child. Keep it together. Don't lose it. This is normal, all kids do this. She's just a baby." Deep yoga breaths kept me going and before long, there was quiet. I look and see angry, fat tears rolling down her chubby cheeks. Her arms outstreched and her small body lunging towards me, accompanied by a plaintive "mama". I reached down and picked her up - she placed her head on my shoulder and sighed. It was over.

Maybe I'm not such a bad mom afterall.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Month 12

August 5, 2010

Dear Haley,

Happy, happy, happiest of birthdays! I am amazed that you’re one already - this first year has been incredible and amazing and completely wonderful - all because of you. You’re arrival on the scene has changed the dynamic of our family of 2 to a great big 3 (or 5 if you want to include the dogs). And you’ve changed our family in the best possible ways. Daddy and I are over the moon for you!

I have loved each stage, each month of your first year of life for different reasons. Each one has been my favorite. The whole first year is all about falling in love over and over again. The newness of having a baby (She’s ours! We made her!) is overwhelming. It’s like Christmas each and every day. Then bits and pieces of your personality start to peek through. Then the baby chub arrives. Soon we had smiles and chuckles. Then came mobility - first with rolling over and wiggling, then with scooting which turned into crawling. Now we’re standing up - you’re still thinking about taking those first steps. You’ve made noises from the beginning - squeaky at first, then a jazzy alto of babbles, now you’re full of chatter. Daddy and I love how expressive you are - already full of opinions on important matters like food and music.

I look back at pictures from August 5, 2009 and can still so vividly remember first meeting you. I remember hearing you cry and the wave of emotions that came over me. I knew I would love you from the start, but I was unprepared for the depth of that love. My heart beats for you little lady bug.

Thank you for making our first year together so memorable and so much fun. I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for us.

You are the sun, the moon and the stars in my sky.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me!

I'm one today! I'm pretty excited about this milestone -I heard something about eating cake and getting presents. Sign me up! Mama said I have three parties; one at daycare, a mini party tonight and a BIG party on Saturday. Yahoo!

p.s. Happy Birthday to Barley the Wonderhound! He's 4 years young.