Monday, October 31, 2011


Me: Monkey, Sunshine was playing with that.
Monkey: I want it! (he is only 3)
Me: Leave her alone and wait your turn.
Monkey: Humph (followed by a foot stomp and his angry face)
Me: Don't stomp your foot at me.
Monkey: Sunshine hit me and I domp my feet and day humph. (S's are not an easy sound for him)
I suppose it's good that he didn't haul back and hit her and only stomped his foot.  Of course Sunshine didn't hit him.

It's not easy to fake an "angry face" but this is pretty close to it.


Friday, October 28, 2011

A little of everything and a lot of nothing

I have been finding all sorts of little "treats" around the house and in the oddest places.  Bug enjoys carrying them around for a couple minutes to an hour until he gets tired of holding it and leaves his special gifts in the oddest of places.  His favorite items to carry? - cars and magnets.  He likes to carry those small matchbox cars of his brothers and the magnet letters the most.  We've decided that he will only learn half of his alphabet as half of the letters are missing.  Already today I've found TWO magnets in my shoe, an ambulance in my bed, and my absolute FAVORITE, a matchbox car in my bra.  What!  I had been nursing Bug and he must have been holding it.  He fell asleep and as I laid him down, out of my bra came a matchbox car.  Normally he couldn't get to my bed but we're getting new carpet in the bedroom and have been sleeping in the living room.
The kids seem to think mom and dad's bed is the the best place in the world to play.  I will be happy when we haul it back upstairs.  I also normally don't let them play on the furniture with shoes, but they were so excited about their new rain boots I couldn't resist.  It wasn't until now that I noticed the (unsharpened) pencil in Monkey's hand.
I would like to point out the ambulance next to Monkey.  I found it under my sheets.
And just because it's funny... Bug's new face.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy birthday!

It's been 3 days now and my baby is 1 year old.  AAAHHHH!!!  He was such a good boy for his birthday party.  He woke up a 1/2 hour early from his nap and was ready and rearin' to go.  Smiles aplenty and happy to see everyone.  He was a bit overwhelmed for about 2 minutes then was being passed around to eager arms.

Presents were slowly pulled apart.  Monkey helped pull the toys out of packages.  Ooohs. aaahs and aawwws from party goers as he seemed to realize proper etiquette.

That seemed to end at the cake part.  Now Bug doesn't eat any solids except baby crackers and some nasty rice rusks.  No little baby Puffs or dehydrated fruits.  Cheerios are turned away.  If you try to give him a piece, the look on his face is something similar to what you may see on someone who is being poisoned.  It's not really a surprise then when he was beyond angry that I dared to put frosting in his mouth!  Poor baby, the worst of it is?  We all laughed!  The again, it was pretty funny.


Monday, October 24, 2011

"The Hook Up" Giveaway!!!

"If you can dream it, I can crochet it for you!"

Giveaway is closed!  Congratulations Bethany!

Her motto is true, I've seen all sorts of items that she can crochet and I own one of her diaper soakers.  Babies and adults, beanies and hats, scarves, blankets, booties and little bitty baby sandals, she makes it all!  All of her items are hand crocheted not just with love, but with skill.  

I have been given the awesome privilege to host a giveaway for "The Hook Up".  This adorable size 2T Sunburst beret is yours for free including free shipping!

The Hook Up's owner, Heather, is a wonderful lady.  She will respond to any question you may have in a very timely manner and is open to crocheting anything.  Check out her Facebook page.  I've never felt more welcome and checked a business's facebook page as frequently as hers.  Games galore and overall fun!

The giveaway will be open October 24th and last until November 11, 2011 at 8pm cst.

To enter this giveaway you need to follow the first two steps.  Enter your email address in the comment box in a [jane] at [doe] dot [com] format:

1. Like "The Hook Up" on facebook and tell her thank you for the giveaway.
2. Follow The Window to My World via GFC.

You can have 1 additional entry for each of the following:
3. Tweet the giveaway and post it in the comment box.
4. Post it on any other major social network and link back.
5. Follow me on Twitter
6. Follow The Hook Up on Twitter

Good luck to everyone!

Congratulations Bethany!  The Hook Up toddler beret is yours!

The opinions and comments are my own.  I have not been paid or compensated in any form.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Growing up

Bug is turning one.  Well he's turning one in 3 days.  How did this happen???  He is supposed to be my baby and stay my baby!  I now know why the youngest child is babied for so long, their parents can't handle the concept of their baby growing up, of letting go of different stages of their baby's life.

He's going to be one.

He has teeth, he crawls and pulls himself up.  He is so proud of himself and smiles at every new accomplishment.  He can sign "more" and "all done" and has said "papa", "mama", "up", and "key" for kitty.  He has opinions and they don't always coincide with what should be happening.  It's ok though because his temper tantrums involve him making this face that is quite funny and possibly crying although he usually ends up laughing during it.  Of course when you tell him no, he looks at you, flashes a dimple, and goes about doing his business, completely ignoring you.  His smile lights up the room and makes everyone he looks at feel as though they are the best, most exciting person in the whole world.

It's hard to imagine that at this time I was counting the days to my due date.  At this time I had 10 more days, my feet were so swollen my socks left huge marks in them, and I was so huge that the ability to see those feet had long passed.  Sitting on the toilet was uncomfortable and getting up was even harder.  Geez, no wonder people questioned me if I was having twins.  Yet, I tried to remember and cherish every kick and roll that he did, knowing that the end was coming.  I'd rub my swollen, hard belly and think about soon the baby would be entering this world and there wouldn't be my little bug poking at my kidneys and bladder.  Soon that rock hard belly would forever be empty and I'd be left with squishiness.  *sigh*

I can't believe he's going to be 1.  It won't be long that I change that number again and again and again.  For now though, I'll hang onto this stage and keep him my baby as long as possible.

Did I mention I was HUGE!

This was October 21, 2010.  Bug was born the next day, a week early.


Shepherd's Pie

Ok, when my friend told me she was going to make me shepherd's pie for dinner after Bug was born I was a little nervous.  I always had shepherd's pie with meat, potatoes, and canned green beans.  This was awesome!  I gorged myself on it until I was absolutely stuffed and then ate some more.  I made it in a large corning ware dish and the 4 of us ate it in 2 days.  There was a lot of chopping, cutting and slicing so I would recommend doing more than you need and saving some for other dishes you may be making later in the week.

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
9 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 medium onion, diced
3 medium carrots, sliced and quartered
1 celery stalk, sliced
1/2 lb mushrooms, quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp oregano
1 Tbsp salt, divided
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup canned low sodium beef broth
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
ground black pepper
4 cups mashed potatoes
1/4 c grated parmesan (optional)

Ingredients for mashed potatoes:
1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes
2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
6 tbsp butter
2 tbsp fresh parsley


Peel and boil potatoes in water until soft.  Mash in large bowl with the salt, milk, and butter.  Cook until there are no or few lumps.  Add the parsley and mash it in.

Preheat oven to 375

Heat the olive oil and 2 tbsp of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms, garlic, oregano, and 1/2 the salt.  Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the tomato paste and cook until mushrooms are soft and tomato paste has turned brick red, about 8 minutes more.  Stir in the beef, the broth, the remain salt, the worcestershire sauce, and some pepper, breaking up any large clumps or meat.  Cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the meat and veggies to a 2 quart oval casserole dish and spread the potatoes over the top, leaving a 1/4" boarder around the edge.  Sprinkle with cheese and dot with the remaining butter.  Bake until potatoes brown and the juices bubble around the edge, about 40 minutes.  Cook for 10 minutes before serving.


Monday, October 17, 2011

A what?

We were all sitting around the dinner table tonight and Hubby asked me about the Smart Boards they have at Sunshine's school.  He said he had wished he'd asked her teacher about them at the parent/teacher conferences.  He asked me a question about it, not quite sure what it is anymore, and I know I answered that I have no clue, I'm not even sure what a Smart Board is much less how it works.  So Hubby asks Sunshine.  This gets her going, please picture her with her arms going in Italian speed (something she definitely picked up from me).

"Well.  There's this board, and it has this thing with it.  You can't write on it but the teacher can write on the other thing.  And it doesn't have markers, it only has special tools and we're not able to do it.  And then Miss Z. writes a letter or number up there and we have to figure out what it is.  That's how it works!"

I was ready to stop with the questions, but Hubby tried again, "Do you know how they erase the stuff off of it?  Is there a special eraser?"

"Uuummm, no."

Hubby has no realized that he is not going to get the answers that he wanted from our 5 year old.  He said that he thinks they had one at college, but it would have only been in the big lecture halls.  I said I wasn't sure at all, maybe in the lecture halls, but I wasn't sure although I wasn't paying attention.

Sunshine is obviously confused.  "Mommy did they have Smart Boards when you were in kindergarten?"

"No, they didn't even have computers when I was in kindergarten."

Her mouth physically drops open and she asks, "Well what did they use?"

"A chalkboard."

"A chalkboard?  What's that?"

"It's a big board that would be as long as the wall and you write on it with chalk."

"Then how do you erase it?"

"With a chalkboard eraser."

I never, ever, ever thought I'd have to explain a chalkboard to my child.  Ever.  The funny thing is, the whole Smart Board conversation originally started from me telling my husband about how we always thought it was a privilege to take the erasers outside and bang them together to get the excess chalk dust off of them.

What's a chalkboard.  Now that's a keeper.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Marketing and advertising

We generally watch PBS.  We have the rare show that isn't on PBS that we watch that is on some other non-kid related station.  Sunshine was addicted to Jeff Corwin on Animal Planet for the longest time and we will watch other shows on Animal Planet.  Shows that are kid friendly but not specifically geared towards kids.  A while back, Hubby bought a Scooby Doo DVD.  TV shows on DVD rock, no commercials and they're still the same amount of time.  They now know what Scooby Doo is and have decided they like it, they also know what they are seeing when I scroll through the TV guide on our DVR.  The one day I folded and let them watch it on tv (I don't know if it was on Cartoon Network or what) and it was the worst television watching mistake I've made since Calliou.

Commercials every 2 minutes and they repeat the commercial from one break to the next.  Everything looks so like much fun, they are all things that you never knew you needed.  I hear both of the kids saying, "Ooh, I want that!" and "Mommy, can I have that?"  Monkey said it about everything, he should be easy to shop for this Christmas.  Sunshine insists that those walkie talkies are the absolute best idea she's seen.

A week later, the Toys R Us ad comes in the mail.  Sunshine is looking at it and announces that she wants this toy.  I've never seen it or heard of it and as far as I know, the friends' houses she's gone to don't have it either.  I ask her why she wants it and she replies, "Well they showed it on Scooby Doo and now I want it!"  Wow!  If I ever wondered if commercials worked, she answered it!  It appears it does and easily.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mardi Gras

Here's our pooch... decked out in Pretty Pretty Princess necklaces and rings.  She's all set for Mardis Gras.

Monkey took the pictures, I think he did a pretty good job.


Chicago Toy and Game Fair Giveaway!!!


I've been given the awesome opportunity to go to the Chicago Toy and Game Fair at Navy Pier.  I'll admit, I've never gotten to go but it is supposed to be so much fun for kids and parents of all ages.  They have all sorts of new and upcoming toys from popular well-known brands and others that I probably haven't been exposed to with Sunshine only being 5.

I plan on going, letting the kids play and have a wonderful time.  Yes, you read that!  The kids can play with the toys, it's the ultimate toy store!  Christmas and birthdays are coming up, I can see every type of toy out there in one place, under one roof.  I may be more excited than the kids.

From Star Wars Breakfasts to a Young Inventor's Challenge, there's something for everyone.

The Fair is November 19th and 20th at Navy Pier.  Tickets would run $5 for kids ages 3-13 and $10 ages 14 and up.  I have FIVE FAMILY PASSES to give away from now until the fair (parking is NOT included).  One pass will be given away on every Tuesday from now until the fair.  The first drawing will be on Tuesday the 18th at 8pm cst.

But Vicky, how do I get these tickets?  Simple!  Leave a comment for each entry with your email in a [name at this place dot com] so I know who you are.

Mandatory entry (sorry, there's gotta be a mandatory entry right?).
1. Follow my blog and post why you'd like to go
Each of the following is one extra entry, be sure to make each entry in a new comment.
1. Go to ChiTAG and tell me what you'd like to look at while there.  ChiTAG's blog
2. Follow me on Twitter
3. Tweet about this and post the link back here
4. Post on facebook, your blog, or some other social media site that I probably don't know about and post the link

Good luck to you!

Week 1 Winner: tragicoptimist - congratulations!
Week 2 Winner: Kelly - Congratulations!
Week 3 Winner: Katie - Congratulations!
Week 4 Winner: Lori - Congratulations!
Week 5 Winner: Brandi - Congratulations!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Supporting a good cause?

I have no self control.  I have long since decided this.  I really just need to stop looking at all the adorable diapers out there but I just can't see to break away.  Like any addict, I convince myself that this time will be different, this time I won't click on that button, this time the diapers will be kind of cute instead of stinkin' adorable, I tell myself that "I'm just looking, I'm not going to buy anything".  Before long, I have clicked and bought another set of wool longies, 2 more diapers, an extra soaker and a diaper that was for auction.  This diaper though, was for a good cause!  The WAHM that makes them is sending half of the money for Breast Cancer Awareness.  It's a good cause!  It's ok then right?  This will definitely be my last purchase for the next 1 1/2 year that Bug is in diapers.  I am done.  Forever.

...Or until I see another adorable diaper.

How could I NOT buy it.  Right?


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pizza Soup

This is my own soup, my husband named it.  I've tried breaking from it, but like so many things, once it's been named, you can't change it.  The recipe makes a huge pot so be prepared for either company, lots of leftovers, or freezing.  The soup has a nice zest without being spicy.

1 lb ground Italian sausage, browned (I use mild)

1/2 stick or 5-6" pepperoni sliced and quartered
1 can tomato paste
2 diced tomatoes
1 diced onion
1 red pepper, chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 can or 1 sm carton fresh mushrooms, sliced and broken in pieces
1 chicken bullion cube
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
celery flakes
Either pasta (we use 1/2 box of the mini fusilli) or Italian/French bread

I don't measure any of my spices, I just add them.  I also forgot to add the celery flakes and it tasted just fine without.

Add everything to the pot except the carrots, pasta and mushrooms.  Add carrots and mushrooms 1/2 hour before you plan to eat.

Cook for as long as you like.  I've let it cook for a couple of hours but the other day I was out doing errands and only had about an hour to do all the chopping, browning and cooking.  It still tasted great.


Thou shall obey thy mother and father...

Hubby and I were getting dinner ready and the older two were sitting at the table.  I had  asked Sunshine to do something and she had whined a "but, but, but" at me.  Hubby jumps in and tells her she needs to obey her mother.  Sunshine asks, What's obey mean?  A legitimate question, I don't think I've ever used the word before.

So I explain.  "When I tell you to go upstairs and brush your teeth and you go upstairs and do it right away, that is obeying me.  When I tell you to go upstairs and brush your teeth and you don't or you complain and whine, that is disobeying me."  I thought it was a pretty good explanation personally.

"Oooohhhhh."  She seems to get it.

I decide to push it and ask them, "So do you like to obey Mommy (said with a nice happy smile), or do you like to disobey Mommy (said with that warning voice you learn when you become a mom)?"

Sunshine thinks... "I like to... obey Mommy."  Good girl.

I foolishly ask Monkey then.  His reply,

"Um, I liiiiike... to disobey Mommy."

At least he's honest. 


Friday, October 7, 2011

Piddle Poddles Review

Over the summer I saw a post on my cloth diaper board about Piddle Poddles and their "Cadillac" diaper.  Intrigued, as I always am when it comes to fluff, I headed over to the website to check it out.  I couldn't believe my luck, they were having a 1/2 price sale!  Awesome, Paypal here we come!

Back up about 15 minutes.  I would like to add that I did read about the diaper and didn't just look at the cute fabrics.  The 'Cadillac' is an AI2 diaper with waterproof PUL on the outside.  The inner layer is a combination of microfleece and organic bamboo fleece.  The double snap-in soaker is organic bamboo fleece and organic bamboo velour and is soooo, soooo soft.  I didn't want to wash it and risk loosing the silkiness (good news, multiple washes later and it's still soft).  The legs are turned and topstitched so there's no ouchie rubbing against their little legs.  Piddle Poddles claims to have been tested all night for 10+ hours with no cover.

Wait, what?  Ten hours with no cover in an AI2?  Now I have some pretty sturdy diapers that have held up for 4 or 5 hours but beyond that, I usually need some kind of cover. - Please realize, I do NOT have every type of diaper out there - yet.

Even more intrigued.  I always enjoy testing if someone's "claims" are for real, I went ahead and bought one.  It's an adorable owl diaper with brown snaps, brown thread and coordinating brown thread on the soaker so I will know that this is the exact soaker that goes with this diaper.  Yes, I am that anal.

It arrives, it's prepped and it's promptly put on Bug's butt.  This has a fold-down rise and I must say that I really like it.  I've had a couple with this type of rise but the never laid flat for me or the rise would then be too short.  This has a nice high rise for all babies.  He wore it quite a few times, even going out of the house when he ended up wearing it overnight.  It just kind of happened, I was at my parents' house, put the diaper on him and he fell asleep on the way home.  He slept for 9 hours and was still completely dry.

Enjoying his new diaper, but not being very cooperative for the camera!

I now have 2 more of her diapers and 2 on the way.

Robin is upfront about the timeline and turnaround on the diapers.  She gets back to you quickly and professionally.  She also regularly has sales so if you miss one, you're bound to get in on another.

You can find her store on Hyenacart at:


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Crock pot potato soup

I wish I could take credit for this, but alas, I cannot.  It takes a bit of effort since you do need to get it ready in the morning.  I think next time I'll make the bacon and use the leftovers for the soup instead of making the bacon for soup then eating the rest of bacon as I put it in the fridge.    

5 large potatoes, diced - not sure how large a large potato is, I had too many in mine, I'll need to try less
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cans of condensed chicken soup
2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried dill weed
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups (1 pint) half and half cream
1 12 oz can evaporated milk

6 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces - Hubby said 6 was not enough but I thought it was fine


1. Lightly brown the onion with a small amount of butter or margarine.
2. Put onions, condensed soup, water, potatoes, salt, dill weed, and white pepper in crock pot.  Cover and cook on LOW 6 - 7 hours stirring occasionally.
3.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and half and half.  Stir into the soup along with the evaporated milk and bacon.  Cover and cook another 30 minutes before serving.

Serve with chives and cheddar cheese.