Saturday, February 27, 2010

Silly Saturday

Friday, February 26, 2010


My sweet Camden had some oral surgery yesterday, and he was a brave little guy. He was born with an extra adult front tooth, and we found out last week that the time had come to remove it so that his teeth would have a chance at coming in somewhat normally. The extra tooth was wedged in between his two adult front teeth, and it was growing upside down. So, to remove it, the oral surgeon had to remove his two front baby teeth, and then extract the extra tooth from the roof of his mouth. Ouch!

Posing for his "before" picture, before we left home

Waking up disoriented, post-surgery. Poor baby!

Saying goodbye to Nurse Kelly (yes, that is most definitely Blue Bunny, peeking out from behind the blanket!)

The New Look

Although he's not too crazy about the stitches in the roof of his mouth, he has been a great little patient. We'll have another day of rest today, and then I suspect Camden will be right back to his regular shenanigans.

A special shout-out to the Rogers brothers for stopping by with treats for Cam yesterday - - you boys made his day! Also, thanks to friends who called and stopped by to check on him. He was especially excited when his teacher called him last night. He is well-loved, for sure.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

We're Into It

For this week's "Today, I Love..." post, I'm joining Hope Studio's linky party, "We're Into It". This will give you a little glimpse into some of the things we are currently "into", Way Out West. Here we go:

Right now, Steve and I are majorly into TheraFlu. We wish we weren't. Seriously, what strain of what illness is this, and why will it not go away already???

Camden is into Legos, Legos, and more Legos. I'm pretty sure he'll be into those forever.

Griffin is into wearing his father's cast off Army gear. Everywhere. Even during naps. Those are elbow pads on his legs. He loves them so much that I even caught him hugging them yesterday, telling them how much he loved them.

I'm really into my birdy centerpiece. Take a dead branch. Spray paint it white to give it a birchy look. Add some Dollar Tree birdies. Stick it in a vase. Voila! A bit of spring on your kitchen table.

These little vintage rosebud earrings that I found at my local thrift shop.

McDonald's McCafe Mochas. In fact, if my taste buds were working, I'd go buy myself one right now.

Steve's majorly into the Olympics, or more specifically, any Nordic-related Olympic event. Steve is not a t.v.-watcher, but I think he's turned on the t.v. more times in the past two weeks than in the past 8 years. No joke.

If you'd like to see what other people are into, then head on over to Hope Studios! Thanks for hosting, Jen!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Riley & Roy: A Little Update

I thought it was about time that I posted an update on Riley and Roy, the strangest cat and dog ever. You may recall that we adopted Roy a couple of years ago. He really was just what Riley needed, after he lost his lifelong pal, Sadie.

Riley attempted to be the "alpha" for the first time in his life when we brought Roy home, but after many failed attempts, he finally put his tail between his legs, admitted defeat, and Roy has been in charge ever since.

Their days consist of lounging on the big blue pillow, eating, terrorizing squirrels, and being on the wrong side of the door. Let us not forget Riley's obsessive/compulsive licking of Roy. He can't help himself, he dedicates much of his day to licking Roy.

Riley's health continues to hold pretty steady, although I have noticed a bit more decline in recent months. He'll be thirteen this year. Roy has become rather "hippie", on account of his inability to stop eating. The boy loves his cat food. Roy would also like you to know that he is currently breaking in his second scratching post. I bought him one when we first got him, thinking it was probably the dumbest purchase I'd ever made. Alas, Roy is a dedicated scratcher, and finally killed his original scratching post a couple of weeks ago.

Above all else, Riley remains completely devoted to Camden and Griffin. He may not move too fast anymore, but you'd better not mess with his boys.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lemon-Garlic Hummus

Hummus is super-easy to make, and tastes so much better than the stuff you can buy at the grocery store. Not only that, but it is much more inexpensive. My favorite hummus recipe comes from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. It is very lemony and garlicky...two of my favorites, so, it is perfect hummus, in my humble opinion.

Barefoot Contessa's Hummus

~ 1 cup canned organic chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), drained, with liquid reserved
~ 3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
~ 2 garlic cloves, minced
~ 3 Tbsp. sesame tahini*
~ 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
~ 1 Tbsp. of the reserved liquid from the chickpeas
~ 4 dashes Tabasco sauce
~ drizzle of olive oil

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth. Taste for seasoning. Can be served chilled, or at room temperature. This will keep for a week in the refrigerator.

I love to serve this with Stacy's Pita Chips, or with raw veggies. It is also really good as a spread on a turkey sandwich. Yum!

*You can find tahini in most grocery stores, usually in the peanut butter isle, but if you have a health food store nearby, check there - they usually have the best tahini.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday

Muffin Tin Monday is back! It has been a long time since we've done this, but the boys
really love it, so I'm making sure to fit it in each week. For those of you who are not familiar with it, Muffin Tin Monday is a weekly linky-fest, hosted by Muffin Tin Mom. She offers up a theme, and then she links up all of the participants on her blog. So, if you'd like to see all kinds of other ideas for this week's theme, head on over and pay her a visit!

This week's theme was the color orange:

Starting with the carrots and working clockwise, we have: carrots and Ranch dip, organic mac & cheese, organic cheese crackers, cheddar cheese cubes, mandarin oranges, and, leftover from Valentine's Day, orange Conversation Hearts. I tinted some soy milk orange, which the boys thought was awesome. Camden did some gagging and whining about the mandarin oranges, but I'm happy to report that even after I forced him to eat one, he lived to tell about it.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blueberry-Lemon-Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Before my parents came to visit last December, I asked my mother to go to Reny's (oh, how I miss Reny's!) and pick up a couple of cans of Wyman's Blueberries. The blueberries out West are gigantic, and nothing at all like wild Maine blueberries. I don't like the large ones at all in baked products - - just not the same!

I held onto those cans for over a month before I finally decided I could part with one of them - - after all, that is why I'd asked for them. So, I turned to my copy of Stonewall Kitchen Harvest for some inspiration. If you've not had the pleasure of thumbing through this cookbook, you are missing out. It is full of wonderful seasonal recipes, and I have many, many pages marked for future cooking and baking adventures.

This recipe produces a cake that is light, delicate, and super, super moist, with a layer of blueberry, cinnamon, and nuts in the center. Lemon zest adds a nice touch, and it is covered with a nice crumb topping. Definitely worthy of my coveted can of wild Maine blueberries!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan and set aside. Make blueberry filling:

~ 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (or, one can Wyman's Wild Blueberries)
~ 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
~ 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
~ 1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
~ 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Set this mixture aside. Next, make the crumb topping:

~ 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
~ 1/4 cup granulated sugar
~ 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Set this mixture aside, too. Now, make the cake batter:

~ 2 cups all-purpose flour
~ 1 tsp. baking powder
~ 1/2 tsp. baking soda
~ 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (do not use margarine)
~ 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
~ 2 large eggs
~ 1 cup regular sour cream (do not use fat-free or reduced fat)
~ 1/2 Tbsp. grated lemon zest

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside. In large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with mixer at medium speed, until fluffy and pale yellow, approximately 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add half of the flour mixture, beating until well-incorporated. Add half of the sour cream and all of the lemon zest and mix well. Add the remaining flour and then the remaining sour cream, scraping the bowl as needed, and mixing until smooth and completely mixed.

Spoon half the batter into the prepared Bundt pan; smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the cake batter. Top with remaining batter; smooth gently with spatula. The batter will be a bit thick and difficult to work with - don't worry, the cake will turn out fine. Sprinkle with crumb topping. Bake for 55 minutes to one hour, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 30 minutes. You might need to use a table knife to gently release the cake from the pan's sides. Then, invert onto a serving plate and gently remove the pan. This cake will keep at room temperature, tightly wrapped in plastic, for several days. It can also be wrapped and frozen for several months. Delicious!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Catching Up

We've been pretty busy in these parts, over the past month, so I thought I'd post some pictures and catch up a bit.

Celebrated my 38th birthday with my two favorite boys....

Followed by more celebrating (and silliness) that evening...

....followed by getting struck down by a nasty stomach bug for the following two days (while Steve was out of town, unfortunately). Griffin was a trooper, thank goodness, and let me lay on the couch and whimper.

Then, there was a day of skiing at Bogus Basin. Camden had a lesson, Griffin tried his skis again, and we all had a great day.

There was some Spiderman-costume-wearing...

A couple of little boys were very excited to receive their own wallets in the mail from their Papa, complete with pictures, and of course, some "dollars"...

Someone lost his first tooth...

Camden filled out his classroom Valentines...

We had a Valentine's Day/Chinese New Year celebration...

...rounded out with a Mardi Gras celebration on Fat Tuesday with some good friends. FYI... Camden is not wiping his nose on his shirt sleeve...he tells me he was "kissing his muscles".

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Today, I Love...

In an effort to post on a very regular basis, welcome to what will be my recurring Thursday post, "Today, I Love..." This will be a simple post that shows you an item or miscellaneous tidbit that I am loving at the moment. So, on with it!

Today, I am so, so, SO loving the little package I received in the mail yesterday morning. Inside were two beautiful rings, hand-made by my dear friend Kate. I have known Kate for practically my entire life. She is a very busy wife and mother with a full-time job, who also happens to make beautiful jewelry. One day, out of the blue, Kate sent me two of her Scrabble tile pendants, along with two pair of matching earrings. I love them so much that they are pretty much my "every day" jewelry. Imagine my excitement when she recently opened her own Etsy Shop, Maine Days Designs. I quickly snatched up two of her rings, and I just love them.

Take a moment and pay Kate's shop a visit - - lots of beautiful things and great prices.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

An Epic Battle

So. Maybe you have been wondering what happened to me. Or, maybe you got sick of seeing the same post pop up, day after day, and gave up on me a while ago. For the past few months, I've been waging an epic battle familiar to women everywhere - - trying to maintain balance. Balance between housework, child-rearing, laundry, taking care of my husband, taking care of my children, and so on and so forth. Like many women, anything to do with my own self-care, such as reading, hobbies, exercise, time alone, etc., tends to falls by the wayside. The more unbalanced life feels, the more out-of-whack things become, it seems. I love to write, so when I go days and then weeks without updating my blog, it is a clear indicator to me that things are not in line.

Tonight, after every one else was tucked into bed, I decided to ignore the clothes in the dryer that were waiting to be folded and put away, and the dirty dishes lined up on the counter top. Instead, I poured myself a lovely glass of Riesling, got out some nail polish, and turned on "Three Sheets" (um...that show is HI-larious). I suppose this is all I really need to do - - ignore the chores...they will always be there...and instead make time to unwind here and there. Seriously, I think half of the time I am my own worst enemy. So, I'm asking all of you busy women out there, whether you have children or not, how do you make time for yourselves? Do you stay up late? Do you get up early? Do you hire a babysitter? Do you lock yourself in the basement? Does self-care come easily to you (meaning, do you make it a priority), or is it something you struggle with? I can't wait to hear what you all have to say.
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