Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Playground...

It is weird how things happen. J and I have often discussed our desire to to get a play ground for the boys. Not a rinky-dink toddler playground in plastic, but a sturdy piece of outdoor furniture that the boys could get lost in for hours. But, seriously, these things are EXPENSIVE. They sell them at Costco, which seems to be the best place to get anything of this nature, and even THOSE were crazy expensive. Lately, G-Ma & Papa have been batting around the idea of a playground for the kids... but again... so much MONIES! 

And then randomly, out of nowhere, a lovely couple that live across the street from Ma & Pa stopped by and asked if we might be interested in the playground their daughter had outgrown. We hopped on the offer quickly (though not quickly enough for Mikey's taste). It took the better part of a Sunday to get this thing pulled apart and moved from their yard to our yard. In the process, quite a few boards were... dislocated, lol. A few boards were even broken. This baby needs a little TLC in the form of some pressure washing and a chemical hose down, and some boards being nailed back in place, but hopefully by this weekend we will have a fully functioning playground with swings, a slide, a sandbox and an awesome fort complete with it's own canopy. 

Please excuse my disheveled forest. Ahem.

And AMEN for awesome neighbors.

(and for now, try to imagine the finished product - I'll update with pictures when it is all done!)

PS - I'm going to try and embed more music here. I have been listening to this non-stop:

Monday, October 21, 2013

Last Week

{J brought me a pretty Gardenia Bloom. It stunk up my kitchen beautifully!}

 {Lately we've had the sliding glass door open, along with as many windows as possible, and little Fitz sure does appreciate the sensory overload}

 {It has been chilly in the mornings, and we've had cause to break out the footie PJ's!}

 {Elephant Ears}

 {Trying to appreciate the pretty leaves before they end up as mulch}

 {It trips me out to see how large these Elephant Ears are next to my boys - I can't imagine how large they will grow next year!}
 {The wilderness on the left side of our house. If I was a little, I would probably want to spend hours out here every day - it is like or own enchanted forest. The entire perimeter of our property looks this way, but I rarely get to this side of the house for some reason}

{The next door neighbor boy "B" showing off the fruits of his father's latest hunt. The boys seriously think this boy is THE end all be all, and hang on every word of his 8 year old wisdom}

And finally...

{Estimated due date of June 30th, 2014. Hold your breath...}

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Roasted Chicken

I should probably make a list of all the "adult" things I haven't done because I'm too intimidated to try, just so I can start crossing them off the list. At one point, cleaning a toilet was on that list. There are so very many things that I didn't "have" to do growing up, and many things that for some reason or other strike me as too complicated to even attempt. Roasting a whole chicken was one of those things until the other day.

Ever since I started paying attention to food prices, I started to notice that the more "effort" something was going to cause me, the less expensive it was to purchase. Case in point, a whole chicken was 1.29 lb, vs 4.99 lb for chicken breast. And what did I do with it except throw it in a crock pot anyway? So finally, armed with Ina Garten's recipe, I bought a whole fresh chicken, and set forth in my quest to conquer a chicken.

First things first - here is a link to Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken.

As always when using an oven, pre-heat that bad boy. The recipe called for 425, though some reviews complained this left them with dry Chicken. In my experience, the chicken was still moist, so I guess you need to know your own oven.

Then you prep your bird. I have to admit, it was odd handling the naked little carcass. Mine weighed as much as a small newborn, and with the wings and legs still on, it somewhat resembled a little person. But anyway, take your baby bird and rinse out the cavity and outside (after you have removed the giblets) and then pat her dry. 

Then, you liberally apply salt and pepper to the inside of the bird. I just sprinkled it in, but I did use a LOT of salt. Apparently this is where most people go wrong - USE ENOUGH SALT!

I then quartered my lemon, halfed my head of garlic, and took a silly amount of dry Thyme (I would have used fresh if I had it) and stuffed the cavity of my bird. After that I tied the legs up with floss (because I didn't have kitchen twine) so the legs wouldn't be spread wide while cooking (this can cause the chicken to dry out as well). 

Then I melted butter, and spread butter all over the outside of the chicken. After that, all I had to do was sprinkle (liberally) salt, pepper and more thyme to the outside of the bird.

Meanwhile, I threw a heap of carrots and half an enormous onion cut in strips into a "roasting pan" - or a casserole dish, whatever - an drizzled the vegetables with a little olive oil, and tossed them with salt, pepper, and yet again more thyme. Finally, I threw my baby bird onto the vegetables, and stuck her in the oven for 1.5 hours. That was it - I didn't check her out, push her around, stick her with a meat thermometer. I just waited, and when an hour and a half had passed, I had perfection:

Since Papa was our guest of honor (and I didn't know what I was doing) I let him carve our bird up. It was delicious AND easy, which means I will definitely be repeating this recipe again!

Friday, October 11, 2013

POAS (& other things from the TWW)

Does that all sound like gibberish?

It used to, to me, too. I found myself "knocked up" with my first two children without much fanfare or thought. It was easy.

And now, this. 3 chemical pregnancies, and I've become frantic in my quest to conceive a third child. When you can't get pregnant, the answer usually resides in ovulation issues. Usually. Easy peasy. Bam. Clomid for you, and now you shall have all the babies. But, for me, I CAN get pregnant. If I get pregnant again this cycle, it will be my 4th time in 7 months. Even if I don't get pregnant, I'm still batting a .500, which is pretty phenomenal, considering a healthy couple only has a 20% of conceiving each month they are actively trying. And, I have had two healthy babies, so I'm left to wonder, WTF is going on?

I feel confident that I will eventually conceive and remain pregnant with our 3rd child, but the wait is really starting to get to me. This month I took Soy Iso (referred to as Nature's Clomid) and am supplementing my progesterone since I confirmed ovulation. If that doesn't work, I will try Clomid next month (the downside to Clomid is the increased risk of multiples, but I don't even consider that to be a risk at this point. I want some babies, dangit!) along with progesterone supplements again. Apparently progesterone is vital to sustaining a pregnancy, and is the first thing to diminish as you get older. Because I'm ancient at the age of 30. Apparently.

Someday, I will show my 3rd child this post, so they can know how crazy they made me, even before they were conceived. If you are reading this now, you were totally worth it.

{when you get really neurotic about trying to get pregnant, there are other things you can pee on besides pregnancy tests. These are ovulation tests. When the test line is as dark as the control line - or darker - you will supposedly ovulate in the next 12-48 hours. I peed on about 30 of these this month, so thankfully these cheap strips are only about .20 cents each. Of course, now that I'm on the other side of ovulation, the madness of waiting until I can pee on sticks again. I'm pretty sure this must be what meth addicts are like.}

Thursday, October 10, 2013

1st Week of October

The first week of October went by in a flash. The boys tried on last years halloween costumes, I hung up a few decorations, made porcupine meatballs, we spent a sick day (or two) making soup and crafting ghosts out of coffee filters. The weather cooled down for a few days - and we'll get a few warmer days this weekend. After that though - the night time cools way down, and the days will be struggling to crack into the 70's - which is my FAVORITE kind of weather. I <3 Fall!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Rewind: September 2013

September was slow, and long, and both wonderful and sad all at the same time. We found out we were pregnant (again, for the third time this year) and then found out I was miscarrying only a week later. We enjoyed the last bits of delicious summer fruits and salads all month long. We drank lots and lots of coffee. We cooked a lot of meals in big pots (and crock pots) which I will try to start adding to this blog so my babies, and their babies, can enjoy all the food they grew up with when they are out on their own. We had fuzzy insect friends visit our driveway.We purchased two amazing boxes of produce from Marvin's Produce as part of a school fundraiser. We watched the leaves change. We fried pickles. We ate yummy deserts. And, at the end, we talked about all the exciting things ahead of us (Halloween, Thanksgiving, our Elf friend coming back, Christmas, and the boys birthdays all in the next few months). September was an amazing prelude for what is to come!