Monday, March 28, 2011

Lemon Lovers...

I have had a serious sweet tooth lately. Mainly for something creamy and rich, but I was fresh all out of ice cream and the patience to make chocolate mousse. So as I rummaged through the cabinets, my darling husband heard Lemon Cake and that was that. 
(Disclaimer: This was a quickly thrown together cake, don't judge.)

Well, what is lemon cake if it doesn't have lemon icing? Let's face it- the "Lemon Supreme" (or orange for that matter) cake mixes (because I'm lazy) are really not THAT lemony... well not enough for me, anyway. So I googled... it's always dependable and found this icing recipe

So I followed the recipe to the "T" except that I added more sugar to get the consistency I wanted... a lot more sugar. Like, 2 cups more sugar... and it could have used more. 

OH. and I sift my sugar. ALWAYS sift your sugar when making icing. It makes it much lighter and smoother in texture. 

(What is the difference between icing and frosting anyway? I'd really like to know) 

While I'm on my soap box, the quality of sugar makes a difference in icing too. My mom still thinks I'm frivolous and full of it, but it does make a difference. I use 10x confectioners sugar (Domino brand). I'm not sure but I think the difference is that 10x is finer and so it's makes smoother icing. Also, for some reason the flavor of the domino is way better than the generic I used to get.

The flavor was great. It was very lemony but not overkill... the perfect balance between sweet and tang. Try it. The icing made the cake! If you are a lemon lover... you will love it. Why? Because I said so. 


You know you want some of this dilapidated lemony goodness! 

On that note, it will look like it doesn't make enough icing, but it made more than enough for this cake. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Confession.

Days like today, I feel like a bad mom. I know I'm not (most of the time, but sometimes I am, let's face it...). I feel a lot of guilt. I love my kids EQUALLY and more than I think even I can comprehend. HOWEVER, I don't always LIKE them the same. 


I feel really guilty for that. REALLY, really guilty.


 Liking Trevor comes so easy 99% of the time. He is so sweet and most of the time obedient, which is pretty awesome for a 14 month old! He is stubborn as heck too though... and he definitely has his moments, but he is so so so much easier than Bailey.
She has been difficult from conception. Seriously, my pregnancy was miserable, birth experience was traumatic, post partum- I went nuts... I'm not kidding... I was CRAZY.  She was a very colicky baby and had pretty bad acid reflux (which her doctors wouldn't treat... we switched). She screamed all day long. It was exhausting, mentally, emotionally, physically. I still wonder how we survived. (literally)There was a period from 18 months to 2 years that I remember being super easy (relatively) and fun! She is such a sweet girl. Really, she has a huge heart and WANTS to be good. 


I knew for a while something wasn't right. I assumed it was ADHD, especially with her/our family history of it. So I started asking the doctor last year and then was lazy and never took her to get evaluated, half out of fear and half- lazy. 


I got desperate. Really desperate. Like I wanted to run away screaming and pulling my hair out... and cried constantly because I just did not like my child. I loved her, but I had to work really hard to like her. Did I mention, I am not the most patient mother ever. I try and have made progress, but there is still much to be desired. 


Finally, I made the appointment. We did two evaluations. One with an Occupational Therapist and one with a Behavior Modification/Social Worker type therapist. 


Basically, Bailey (though they can't officially diagnose yet) has ADHD/ADD (potentially), and Sensory Integration problems with modulation and a couple of other areas I can't specifically remember at the time. We have made LEAPS AND BOUNDS since going to both therapies. Somedays (today), are not so good, and she is entitled, heaven knows I have PLENTY of those days. Some of her behaviors specifically drive me to insanity. 
She has little to no spacial awareness. Meaning no idea of personal space or to move carefully around other people.  (Today within 10 minutes Trevor got elbowed, kicked and head-butted, no lie.)
She doesn't understand the concept of danger or using caution. At 4 years old she still runs into the road 80% of the time, completely unaware that cars will crush her like a bug. It scares THE HELL out of me. 


Because of the above two she is always getting hurt and bruised not thinking before she acts. Her attention is really hard to focus. She seeks out that extra pressure by hanging on things and always chewing on crap and it's destructive behavior but she doesn't even have a clue. THAT'S why I feel guilty. IT'S NOT all HER FAULT.... most of the time. Anyway, I could go on listing all the things that are a result of her sensory processing... but you get the point. 


Then sometimes she is just stubborn and spiteful and does it to piss me off. She gets that honest, I really shouldn't blame her for it. 


ok. so I didn't realize she had devil eyes(red) in this when I picked it... but hey, if the shoe fits....


I feel bad having to constantly get on to her, especially when she gets to see me spend nicer/better quality time with Trevor.  We do give a lot of positive reinforcement, and the only reason I know that is because I get positive reinforcement from her, she is very complimentary. 


Sometimes I want to scream USE YOUR BRAIN!? WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!!?!?!?!!! Because she literally does not stop to think before she acts and it's SO frustrating. 


ANYWAY. So you see my point. I love her truly, deeply, madly. Definitely madly


*wink, wink* 


 I find it hard to like her sometimes, though. It's been a tough journey, worth it, but tough. 
We turned our backs for a second, and somehow she managed this... we were visiting Gigi in the hospital after her knee replacement.


On the other hand, let me toot her horn for her. She is one of the most polite kids I know, and I'm pretty darn proud of that. She has a HUGE heart and knows no strangers (also scares the hell out of me). She will talk to anyone and everyone and throws compliments left and right. She is hilarious. She WANTS to please and to be good, I think most kids do, and most adults for that matter. She is pretty mature and very very smart... she shocks me on a regular basis. 




So on days like today- I have to go back through old pictures to remind myself just how much I really do love AND like her. It seems like so long ago. It wasn't. She's only four. It seems like SO much longer and I have a hard time remembering. I feel bad about that too. 
Because she is fearless, she can do cool stuff like this, that others might not have the guts for. 

Am I alone in this or do you sometimes have a hard time liking your kid/s?! Share if you dare.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oh how I love thee...

Reasons I love my husband:


He is a FANTASTIC father.
     For example, we went to pick up the kids from my Gramma's (it's the half way point between my mom's and our house). Bailey while laying across three of us on the couch, OUT OF NOWHERE just starts vomiting EVERYWHERE. On Irvin, my mom, me, herself, the floor, the couch... everywhere.  So we take care of her get her cleaned up she passes out on the floor of the bathroom. Later after she wakes up, he picks her up and snuggles her in his lap and she out of nowhere starts to puke again (bless her heart she wouldn't open her mouth because she didn't want to puke everywhere).
   He was SO patient with her and took her to the bathroom and helped her and wiped her up and talked to her and comforted her and never once lost his temper or complained. He is a fantastic father. We are so, so, so, blessed to have him. (Seriously, my mom came out of the bathroom in tears... telling me how lucky I am. She pretty much adores him. If we have an argument, a lot of times she takes his side....  I KNOW, RIGHT!?)

He works SO hard for us. 
     He works a 40 hour work week and then goes to school at night. Not just easy-peasy classes either, hard stuff like Physics 2 and Differential Equations (and he gets good grades). I've done the work and school full time thing, and it's not easy. I had a flipping mental breakdown. REALLY, I did. It was NOT pretty. Anyway,  then comes home around 9:00 p.m. and starts picking up the house or folding laundry, or whatever needs done, because I'm too lazy and exhausted to have gotten it done earlier. YEAH.

He is low key.
    I'm pretty high strung and he deals with it pretty well. He pretty much gives me leeway with whatever I want, but will definitely speak up if he doesn't like something, which I like. (IE- he bought me a new wedding band yesterday, even though I don't deserve it because I lost my wedding set last September).
Note: I lost it in the car, we just can't find it, but I have a bad habit of losing things, the fairies in Tinkerbell would have a hayday with me!

Okay- so I could go on and on.  I will spare you, though. But let me just say this:


I DID NOT want to get married as young as I did (21). I had a plan for myself. I got married anyway because after lots of prayer and fasting I knew it was what I was supposed to do... (oh and I was madly in love with him!) Looking back over the last 6 years, it was THE BEST decision I have ever made. There is no one else I would want to spend eternity with. I am so incredibly grateful that the plan my Heavenly Father had for me was SO SO SO much better than the plan I had for myself. I would be rich, miserable, lonely, stressed and quite possibly in a mental institution if I'd followed my own plan. Instead I have a wonderful husband and 2 (almost 3) beautiful babies that give me more deep found joy and happiness than I could have ever had on my own.
  Not to mention all the boys prior to Jeffrey that I wasted my time on and couldn't figure out why we weren't meant to be, and looking back I can name specific reasons for each of them, and none of them even begins to compare to Jeffrey.


Look how young we were. This was our first picture together, we hadn't been dating long.

I'll leave it at that. I. LOVE. MY. HUSBAND. Thank you for the hardest and best years of my life, and many more to come. There are no words to express....

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Shabby Chic Country Birthday!

Four years ago today, actually four years ago (as of 30 minutes ago) I had the most horrific and phenomenal experience of my life. Luckily, the payoff was great. Who can resist those chunky cheeks? My beautiful Bailey girl joined our family.  It's only gotten better since. Today is a good day for us.. can you tell?
This weekend was her birthday party. I was pretty thrilled when it actually turned out WAY cuter than I had planned on. This would be compliments of alll the stuff in my mom's all too tiny country home. By this I mean all the clutter crap I constantly tell her she needs to toss. I'm grateful she doesn't listen to me very often... it came in super handy! I'm a jerk, I know. I don't mean to be. 
Here are the mediocre pictures from her party, I have more but they were taken on a film camera. GASP. What is film, you say? Film is an archaic form of photography in which has to be processed and developed and then converted to CD to edit.  So we won't be seeing them for a few days. I'm sure if there are some really good ones that ACTUALLY turn out, despite being taken by a clueless, wish-i-could-be photographer, I will post them. 
My birthday baby in all her glory. 

It just so happened that my mom had some wood in her yard that was shaped like a trough. It was GREAT for drinks!
The spread, we did take-n-go snacks so the kids could grab 'em and run... and they did. Though I took this before I finished the table. DER.
Close ups of the table: kettle cooked chips, S'more kits, and rice krispy treats.
Inside the mystery bags was popcorn.
Fresh produce, Trail Mix, and beef jerky. 
**drum roll, please!**

I was most stoked about this. To you it's going to seem pathetic and sad that I am so excited about this, but to me it was an ENORMOUS victory. 
You see, I SUCK at cake decorating. I mean, really, really suck. I can't usually even get a crumb layer done before I demolish the form of the cake, let alone align the layers so that they at least look slightly straight instead of like a dilapidated cake that a one year old has just ripped into. Seriously. When I say I suck. I mean.... bad. So I was STOKED that this actually turned out alright. In fact, I wanted it to look a little homemade/rough around the edges since we were doing a shabby chic country theme. So it turned out dang near perfect, except I was hoping for a paler pink... but we can't have our cake and eat it too, right? heh! I did... a big, fat, whopping piece. It's okay though, because I'm eating for two, and Jesus forgives pregger ladies for just about anything! 
Once again,  DRUM ROLL. PLEASE.

Not too shabby, eh? *wink, wink*


This frame was among the crap at mom's, that just happened to be perfect. So I printed a photo in sepia of Bailey from our last family pictures done by the very talented Wendy Updegraff . I have a small crush on her. It's okay, she knows. So does Jeffrey. 


I cut triangles and tied them together, so simple but such a nice touch for the fire pit to kind of tie it all together. 


Ella (Bailey's cousin), Bailey and Olivia enjoying that victorious cake of mine. 

The party was a success, the kids wore them self out bobbing for apples, running around, bludgeoning a pinata to death, it was beautiful weather, and lots of root beer floats and cake :) I am SO glad it's over. My fat prego behind is still recovering. The end. 





Sunday, March 13, 2011

T-shirt Dress Tutorial

A friend of mine asked me to post step- by- step next time I made an appliqued shirt. So here it is!

Another friend of mine told me I really needed to check out the blog Prudent Baby . Thanks Ash! (So I did.) I now have about 15 new projects added to my "want to do, but probably won't find the time" list. HOWEVER. I saw THIS super cute horse appliqued hoodie... and HELLO! I had a cowgirl themed birthday party coming up for my oldest... it was perfect. I had to make it happen. So below is how I did it.


First, I went to the link above and printed the applique template, copied and pasted it into my word processor and resized it according to my needs (since I was making it for a toddler and not an infant). Then I printed it out and traced it onto some iron on transfer paper. 


I then measured the bottom of the shirt so I would know how much material I would need for the ruffle skirt. I decided on 3" and 6" wide ruffles. The shirt was 12" across so I new I wanted at least 36" around to get a decent gather. I think I ended up doing about 42" to be safe. 


So I folded the material in half and cut the top ruffle at about 4" for seams. Then I did the same with the bottom ruffle but made it 7". 


Since now I knew how much material the skirt would take, I ironed on both of the transfer templates to the wrong side of the material and then cut them out. Then I ironed the horse silhouette onto the oval and then ironed the oval (and horse) onto the shirt. 


After they were securely ironed, I put the appropriate color thread on and ironed around in a straight stitch outlining each but leaving a tiny edge. (Since this was a cowgirl party, I wanted the edges to fringe a bit. You can do any kind of stitch you want...zig zag, blanket stitch, applique stitch see the T-shirt  post... etc,etc. It's up to you.)

Now we are ready for the skirt. 

Remember I previously cut the ruffle material out. So I re-checked them to make sure they match up correctly and trimmed where I needed to in order to have straight and even sides and edges. Then I lined them up on top of each other to make sure I liked the size of the ruffles. 


After this I ironed down a 1/4" seam and then folded it and ironed another 1/4" seam for neatness. After I ironed the seam straight and even I hemmed the bottom of each piece of ruffle material, as seen above. 


I realigned them on top of each other and did two basting stitches (one at 3/8" and one at 5/8"). My gramma said it helps the gather to be smoother. And what gramma says, goes... because I really don't have a clue about any of this... 


After I pulled the tops of the basting stitches to get the gather I liked... (this took me a while, I was close to a mental breakdown at this point. Also, one of the basting stitches broke and so part of it wouldn't stay gathered... I later learned that you can tie a small knot in the end of the thread to help keep it from straightening back out. FYI.) 

Where was I? OH. After I liked how it was gathered and remeasured to make sure that it would fit the width of the shirt, I folded it in half (right side to right side) and stitched the side seam (starting after the basting stitch, in case I sucked and needed to redo it, it'd be easier). 


So, because I wanted to throw it all out the window and cry like the hormonal psycho chick that I am right now, my lovely, patient and understanding Gramma took over as I tried not to lose it.


Gramma, this is the world. 
World, this is Gramma. 

So basically what she is doing as I crumble under pressure... Is marking a straight line in pencil across the part of the shirt where I want the skirt to be sewn on. She is lining up the gathered edge and pinning it in place to ensure that it's straight. Because she rocks. 


So I sewed on the skirt (with a basting stitch, in case I screwed up)with about a 1/2" seam. Then I lined it up and pinned the ribbon on, said to hell with any more basting stitches, I was going for it. I Sewed on the bottom side first, since it was an uneven surface and would be easier to keep the top part down as I sewed it. Then I sewed the top seam of the ribbon. 

The end. My baby is upstairs crying and choking on phlegm. I must go and love and squeeze him so he makes it until the morning and then off to the doctors, we go! 

Good night, and good luck! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Woes of a Prego

This article is by a girl I know. She is HILARIOUS and a talented writer. She is the author of the book "Motherhood Is Easy".

Beautifully Unsexy

This pretty much sums up the way I feel right now, except it's worse, because I'm still in my twenties. Though, my body has never bounced back from pregnancy. After I delivered Bailey it took about 2 years for me to get back to my old weight. YEAH.  After, Trevor, it was going a little faster but I obviously got knocked up again so quickly that it didn't matter.

Anyhow, enjoy the article, it's great!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

SSSSSSnakes!

Oh. my. goodness.

I'm not one easily spooked by snakes. I grew up in the woods. Seriously. Ya know those stories your grandparents tell you starting off with "When I was your age, we had to walk a mile down a dirt road to get the bus..."? That will be me one day. No lie. Though a lot of the times we (we= me and my older brother Blake) would just cut through the woods and it would shorten the hike to about 3/4 of a mile instead.

Where was I?

Oh. Snakes. So I've seen my share. Black racers, grass snakes, rat snakes, water moccasins, rattle snakes... I've even *GASP* eaten snake. Yes, you heard me. (Tastes like chicken). I'm from the country, okay!  So, I'm not overly phased by a snake if I see one. Unless I hear a rattle or it's striking at me. I do feel unsure though, because I never took the time to learn how to tell the poisonous ones from harmless ones (important, I know).


(This is the trench my strapping hubby filled in with dirt)

Bailey's birthday party is next Saturday and we went to my moms to help them clean up the yard and start the garden for the spring (I planted potatoes, with Irvin, big belly and all). The kids spent the night with them Friday night. So, right after Jeffrey and I get there we walk out to the garden where everyone was and Bailey comes up and says the following:

(Mom and Bailey planting some sort of vegetation, prior to this dialogue)

B: Mommy, I found a snake in the garden it was THIS big! {here she indicates a size that is obviously exaggerated} But I didn't touch it I went and got Poppi and he KILLED it with his axe (which was really a garden hoe).

Me: {Internally freaking out!} Oh you did? {to the side: Mom, seriously? she found a snake? MOM: OH. Yeah....}

 To Bailey: Good job honey! NEVER touch a snake! Always go get an adult. I'm SO proud of you for not trying to touch it.

Turns out it was a flippin' water moccasin! His life was taken briskly... but don't worry, he got a proper burial. I guess snakes bug me more than I realized... when it comes to my babies anyway!

BUT WAIT. THERE'S MORE.

That afternoon after lunch, my baby brother Chad's girlfriend Katie was leaving and informed us that there was a small snake that hit her ankle and then went under the car.  (REALLY? ANOTHER ONE?) So she backs her car up so we can see what it was and Chad traps it's tail with a 2x4. That sucker was charging him! He was a viscous little beast... MAYBE 12" long tops.

This is said Pygmy snake charging anyone who got to close. It's a lot of bark for such a small bloak, I think. But I guess he has a bite that can back it up. 

 So we called Irvin over and he was trying to decide what it was. It looked like a Pygmy Rattle Snake, except that it wasn't brown, it was gray. The eyes were oblong which apparently is an indicator for a poisonous snake... good to know. By the way, apparently Pygmy's are one of the most poisonous snakes around. Don't quote me on that, I'm gullible, and that's just what Chad told me.

This little dude lost his life briskly too. I think with the garden hoe, as well. Who knew they were so functional! I felt like a murderer witnessing it. I'd do it again, my babies play in that yard.

So. YEAH. Lot's of snake encounters. In hind sight, I should have waited to post this until AFTER Bailey's party so those terrified of snakes wouldn't be scared. C'est Lavie. Sorry about that.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Applique'd Shirt


This was my practice shirt. I thought it turned out pretty cute, considering I used scrap fabric and had never sewn an appliqué in my life. Which apparently circles are harder because you have to constantly be watching and turning as you go. SO, what did I do? I picked a freaking flower to start with, REALLY BRIGHT. At least now I know I'm capable!

Spaghetti Sami's


It was dinner time. And I had an epiphany. I get those a lot, usually on things that most people already knew, but I get super excited when I have them. I don't know about you but I LOVE bread. I can't eat italian food without garlic bread. It shouldn't even be legal.  So I took a loaf of french bread and made it nice and garlicky. Made spaghetti... tossed it on the bread with some parmesan and mozzarella cheese stuck it under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese got nice and bubbly and the bread was crispy. HEAVEN. In fact. I haven't had lunch yet, and that's sounding pretty dang good right now. AND. I happen to have the tail end of some french bread. HELLO!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Tornadoes


Bailey, turns FOUR in less than two weeks. She has dang near endless energy and a whoooooole lotta' spunk. She has a huge heart and capacity to love everyone and she knows no strangers. She is also VERY stubborn, intelligent and has a ridiculously good memory... unfortunately for me. 

Trevor turned ONE in January.  I was just pregnant with him. I think that time warped and skipped ahead. He is such a big charmer. He flirts with everyone and loves to give chimp hugs. He is usually pretty compliant, except for when he's not... and then he laughs the cutest laugh on the planet and does it anyway... but you can't help but be charmed. He is also really stubborn and has started manifesting that and giving it all right back to Bails. She is in for it in a few more months. Poor girl, doesn't even see it comin'. 

Callen is still in utero but is expected to be here around the end of May. Here's hoping for a timely delivery. These kids like to hibernate. I guess I'm good at growing humans since they don't want to leave! 

Hello!

I'm Kylee and I'm a desperate housewife. (The real kind, not the ones you see on TV with disposable income and nannies). 

 From the time I was little I KNEW that I was going to do something great.... specifically, a country singer or an attorney. The rest of the things I loved I decided I would make them hobbies, since I'm a jack of all trades kind of girl. I love learning and I'm a freakish perfectionist. I'm learning to deal with that. So. I'm not a country singer or an attorney. Probably never will be. That depressed me for a while. 


    I recently had a breakdown/epiphany. I AM doing something great. I may not be employed but I have the most important job of anyone. I'm raising my kids. It's the only job I've got, so I better do well at it, otherwise I'm a failure. Also, my kids won't always be little and things won't always be so hard. 


My mom gave me a book for Christmas. It is called "Contentment: Insights for LDS Mothers" by Maria Covey Cole.  YEAH. I mentally rolled my eyes when I opened it. 
However, I was desperate for help, and I didn't care where I got it from. Something (my perspective/attitude) had to change... I was on the verge of who knows what... and was still not thrilled to be pregnant AGAIN. 


So I picked it up one night and started reading it, despite the frequent rolling of my eyes and many mental "yeah, right"s, I kept reading. Wow. Some was stuff I already knew or believed... but it was good to be reminded. Other's were new perspective and ways of thinking about motherhood and our role as mothers that I hadn't previously considered. 


I decided that I would suck up my pride and thank my mom for the book and tell her that it really has made a huge difference in my attitude and the way I look at things.  
Then she tells me, "I didn't get that for you. Irvin did. He saw it and thought it might help you. It really upsets him and makes him sad to see how overwhelmed you get sometimes and he thought it might help."  (or something like that). 


No lie. I got choked up.  Irvin, by the way... is my step dad. They've been married 5 years. It was touching. In fact I'm slightly choked up right now. He is a great man. 
This is my point and my purpose for this blog. I have realized that I need a place to express myself and feel like I am accomplishing things.  So here I can post projects I work on and insights I have and they can be revisited and provide something concrete to make me feel like I accomplish more than crappy diapers and taming temper tantrums. 


How do you like that I took a novella to get to that point? Sorry about that. Especially if you are still reading! They won't all be this long. I promise... as long as you don't hold me to it.