Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Goodbye Iowa, Hello Indiana

Okay, so a year ago was the last time I wrote on this blog. Yeah, I'm a procrastinator. Since last year we have had Tyler gone a lot with rotations and survived it with no grace whatsoever but we survived. We had a sweet baby boy in December, just in time for Christmas and let me tell you, coming home a day early from the hospital was a doozy but worth it to be home for a fun Christmas morning. Also, the hospital I had Kayley in was not as great this time around. It was a very frustrating experience. We moved to Newburgh, Indiana a month ago since we are now done with the medical school life and are now starting three years of residency here in Indiana.
Landon- Oh, the things I could say about how Landon has tested us these last few weeks. He is delightful and is still a happy boy who loves chasing rabbits, birds, feeding turtles at the library pond, and all things outside. However, like a four year old, whoever said two was hard has not had a four year old like Landon, it has been ROUGH. The move has triggered the crazy in Landon. Have you seen a tantrum? Yeah, you haven't seen a Landon tantrum. We are talking screaming, spitting, kicking, hitting, bargaining, bossing, being mean to his siblings, out of control, peeing on the floor on purpose Landon tantrum. We are at our wits end with this kid and his explosive reactions to not getting his way. I need to learn patience, like, now. He loves the splash pad at the YMCA and is trying to get used to not having friends everywhere we go. It is tough moving from an incredible neighborhood to a place where he does have friends but not the life we used to live. He is signed up for preschool and on the tour he whispered, this isn't awesome to Tyler but he will love it when he starts, every change is hard.
Kayley- our sweet and very sassy and stubborn girl, whew, she's a tough one but for the most part is sweet and mostly obedient. She rarely gets out of control and loves nursery. She is usually picked on by older kids because she's an easy target and I'm trying to help her be more assertive so she doesn't get bossed or pushed around as much. She is always helpful but just needs to be more helpful and be potty trained. Wishful thinking on my part. She loves pink, especially the Pink Power Ranger, she loves feeding animals, she loves food, oh boy does she love food, and she loves being just like big brother.
Carson- Still a bit clingy and rides in the Ergo all day. His smile, his focus face, and his squishyness are all things I love about Carson. He loves singing time in Primary and got to help out last week which just warmed my heart. He thinks his big brother is the best which he is, and Landon can get him to laugh more than anyone else.
Tyler- ever hardworking and tries his best. He is excited for all that comes with residency and I'm excited for him. I can handle the long days and nights and weekends where he's here and then at the hospital in a flash. I'm just grateful he is exactly where he needs to be.

Indiana- a hot and humid place where I despise wearing anything but workout clothes because I am constantly feeling drenched when I do. We have excellent old neighbors on both sides, the kids call one Uncle Dick (he's 83) and Tyler wishes he could call him Richard, haha. We have planted a garden which will hopefully produce something, more specifically a pumpkin for Landon. It is flourishing and growing bigger but no actual signs of vegetables growing on the plants. We love our little house though the kitchen gets ridiculously hot when I cook, hence, I try to use the crockpot or....not cook. People have a lovely southern drawl here and treat me like a celebrity and are always telling me what a beautiful family I have and giving carson a little squeeze. There is no real personal space but it's totally fine, the people here are perfect. One lady took four pennies out of her purse and gave them to me at the store so the kids could ride the Penny Horse ride before we left. Let me give a little more to that story, she stopped me and told me I have great kids, and I told her I bribed them with a ride at the end of our shopping trip so she said she wanted to pay for the ride and gave me her pennies. It was such a kind gesture though I felt slightly embarrassed she was giving me her pennies. It made her happy, so that's what matters. When it's hot, we live at the YMCA splash pad and we go to the Y twice a day, in the morning so I can exercise, then later for the splash pad. There's a park/splash pad about 15 min away that we visited last week and it had tons of ducks wandering around begging for food so Landon and Kayley were in heaven. We may have to be there more in the near future. You wish you had a bargain hunt store where you are, it's great. We love the zoo, it is so cute and so fun for the kids. It is exhausting to get three kids around when two ride in the double and the other is carried like a papoose. I'm getting tired just thinking about it. All in all, we've ended up in a little piece of paradise though Landon isn't his old self, it's still wonderful.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Warm Weather

Iowa totally spoiled us today with 70 degree weather and a very slight breeze. I couldn't have been happier and I'm pretty sure Landon was the happiest boy in the world. He got to play with his friends and apparently learned the word loser which I told him on the walk home would make me feel sad if he said it to me. He told me he wouldn't ever say it again and he was sorry. I was so proud of him for saying that and he said if he hears anyone say it to a person he would tell them not to. As tough as it is to raise a 3 year old boy, I do just love that sweet little boy to death. For the most part he did well at the park and just lived the good life today. I can't imagine anything more fun than 4 little boys running around a park, hitting trees with sticks, chasing birds/rabbits, and being out in the sunshine. We were outside from 11-2:30 then again from 6-8:30 when we finally got home. He asked permission to go "night night" and when I told him yes he promptly closed his eyes and fell asleep. We did have a few "oh boy" moments during the day like when Kayley did a total front flip off of the park bench and landed on her head which definitely got me panicking but she is fine and I can't even begin to count my blessings on that one. Our walk home after her fall was anything but easy with her having reached her limit and I had to carry her, and push my double with Landon in it. I had him walk the last ten minutes to get home and he was such a sweetheart about the whole thing. I was ready for a nap like the kids were but I had some catching up to do with my fitbit challenges. I don't know what it is about Fitbit but I just can't let it go when I see my name towards the bottom. Something in my brain kicks in and I become competitive. I did walk and jog a total of 30,000 steps yesterday. When I got home from the park the first time I only had 6,000 but I jogged 12,000 before we went to the park again. I know what you're thinking, this girl is crazy. It's true. We went to a park on Monday too for about 2 hours with some friends and again, it was three little boys just chasing birds, running, and playing in the dirt for 2 hours. The weather was clear but so cold and windy and those boys just played their hearts out. I just love having a little boy and watching the joy that comes from being free outside with little friends. Landon begs to play with friends and it's always hard when I have to tell him that sometimes his friends have other things to do. I do have to say that a park day with friends is the motivator for Landon, he participated in the last ten minutes of his swim lesson because he knew I wouldn't take him to the park to be with his friends afterwards. He loved it, I don't know why he hasn't wanted to participate before. Kids will be kids.

Side Note: I made a comment on witney carson's instagram account about how chris wasn't nice to her and it set off a storm of comments from people who agreed and disagreed that said stop picking on chris, we are only human, etc. I don't care if he was frustrated, he should not have talked to her that way, it was so disrespectful and from his Bachelor season he just wasn't a nice guy like I thought he would be. Yes, other people have yelled at their dance partner before and yes the pros do push them to their limit but factoring in the fact that she's a girl, and she's so young, I just didn't love how he acted towards her.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My Favorite Recipes - A work in Progress

I love food, period. Here are recipes I love that I have found on my favorite blogs, etc. These are all tried and true and always work.

Overnight Sausage and Egg Casserole- http://ourbestbites.com/2009/12/overnight-sausage-and-egg-casserole/

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes (use regular chocolate chips for a more chocolatey taste) http://ourbestbites.com/2010/09/banana-chocolate-chip-pancakes-with-peanut-butter-syrup-chunky-monkey-pancakes/

Cream Cheese Stuffed Pineapple Upside Down Overnight French Toast, to die for and very heavy- http://ourbestbites.com/2013/05/cream-cheese-stuffed-pineapple-upside-down-overnight-french-toast/

Puffed French Toast (to die for) - http://ourbestbites.com/2008/05/puffed-french-toast/

Blueberry Lemon Rolls - http://ourbestbites.com/2014/04/blueberry-lemon-rolls/

Everyday Cinnamon Rolls - http://ourbestbites.com/2010/06/everyday-cinnamon-rolls/

Ground Turkey Entrees
Sloppy Joes (Tyler doesn't like sloppy joes but these are always a hit with him and the kids and just a note, the crockpot way can be a little more tedious with cleaning since you have to clean your crockpot but either method works great) - http://ourbestbites.com/2009/10/dressed-up-sloppy-joes/

Chicken Entrees

A Light General Tso's Chicken - http://ourbestbites.com/2014/06/general-tsos-chicken-lightened-up/

Korean Chicken Stew- http://www.koreanbapsang.com/2012/12/dak-doritang-korean-spicy-chicken-stew.html

Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole- http://ourbestbites.com/2013/04/creamy-chicken-noodle-casserole/

Chicken Fajitas - http://ourbestbites.com/2010/08/chicken-or-steak-fajitas/

Baked Chicken-Bacon Alfredo (good if you like pasta)- http://ourbestbites.com/2010/04/baked-chicken-bacon-alfredo/

Chicken and Bacon Stuffed Pizza Rolls - http://ourbestbites.com/2009/06/chicken-bacon-stuffed-pizza-rolls/

Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup- http://ourbestbites.com/2009/09/homemade-cream-of-chicken-soup/

Baked Lemon Chicken and Orzo(I use mozzarella instead of feta, feta isn't my thing) - http://www.everyday-reading.com/2014/09/baked-chicken-orzo-with-lemon-feta-and.html


DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookies ( definitely need to let it rest for 8 hours for best results and bake for 13 minutes) http://ourbestbites.com/2015/02/doubletree-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies(bake for 10 min.) - http://ourbestbites.com/2009/03/chewy-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars-

Marshmallow Caramel Popcorn(sooooo good)- http://ourbestbites.com/2015/03/marshmallow-caramel-popcorn/

Mississippi Mud Brownies (aka Marshmallow Brownies) - http://ourbestbites.com/2011/07/mississippi-mud-brownies/

Cookies and Cream Cake (lots of Oreo goodness) - http://ourbestbites.com/2014/07/chocolate-fudge-cookies-cream-cake/

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cooking and Spring Weather

My mom was just here visiting and she told me she doesn't love to cook, well, I feel a little differently. I love to cook and bake. I think baking is more rewarding because who doesn't love a sweet treat? Finding a delicious and easy recipe that doesn't turn your kitchen into a smelly mess is the tough part. I have two kids, I don't have the time to browse through tons of recipes so my time on Pinterest is limited and let me tell you, pinterest recipes don't taste great for the most part. I really have only found a few that meet my cooking standard. Tyler told me that he has the same standard now and that too many recipes are just blah to him too. We aren't picky but there has to be some flavor to the food. I'll have to post some of our favorites here so they are kept for later use.

Do I gravitate toward Asian food recipes? Yes, yes I do. Whether I acknowledge it or not I am a consumer of Asian food and I always want to eat Asian food. Okay, that's not 100% true, I do love a good taco or pasta dish every now and then. I am not clever, creative, or bright enough to formulate my own recipes, I don't have that kind of brilliance in me. I do love to find a good recipe, make it, and declare it a total success and I have a binder full of recipes that are Kristy approved. Apparently bread is not something I can successfully make so when I have a few minutes to re-post all of my favorite recipes, bread will not be among them. I have been in a recipe finding mode, you'd think I have enough with my huge binder full of them but I must be going through a cooking crisis of sorts. I have this insatiable hunger for a good recipe, a new recipe, or just a better version of a recipe that I have. Some blogs that I love for recipes are le creme de la crumb, our best bites, and everyday reading. I haven't tried every recipe and my pinterest board titled Bleh recipes can attest to some from blogs that I do not love. For the most part, those three blogs are my staples. Sorry Mel's Kitchen Cafe, you just aren't quite to my standard yet.

Is Spring here?
I think living in Iowa for almost three years has steeled me against the fact that spring may come someday. I want to believe that spring is here with all of my heart but at the same time I just can't let myself believe it just in case it gives me false hope. Landon, Kayley, and I have enjoyed the spring weather the last few days and are so ready to be playing outside after what felt like an eternal winter. Kayley has re-discovered her love for swings and runs as fast as her little feet can take her and will sit happily in a baby swing for a half hour at least. She's so happy and cute when she's in one it will be hard for me to tell her no as we go out more often to parks. Landon had a big playdate yesterday with a bunch of his friends at the park and he was in playdate heaven. I think Kayley was one of three girls at the park, the boys definitely outnumbered the girls and I think boys need to run out some energy more than some little girls do. Notice I didn't say all little girls, I know some who need to get energy out and who wouldn't after being cooped up all winter? Landon may have committed a small crime at the park last night but hey, what are you supposed to do when the bathrooms are still locked until who knows when and nature calls?? Don't worry, it was only number 1. I'm tempted to have a garden spot again this year but with Tyler gone all summer I don't think I will be motivated enough to tend to one and try to keep my kids out of everyone else's gardens. It's a lot of work. I may just have to get some pots for my front walk and garden that way.