About Me

My photo

I recently became a stay-at-home mom.  I have an amazing husband and a gorgeous baby girl.  The transition from working mom to SAHM has had it's ups and downs.  Everyday is an adventure as I learn what it means to be a good mom and watch my little girl grow up.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Quick Oatmeal Cookies

I made oatmeal cookies on Monday.  I'd like to say I made them from scratch, but I didn't.  I'm not a huge baker and I don't have a ton of time to bake with Allie Cakes under foot.  That's why I buy mixes.  When you look in my cupboards you see boxes of brownie, cookie, or cake mixes.  I usually buy Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines, depending what's on sale the day I'm at the store.

I've really been into coconut lately, and I wanted to give baking a shot using coconut oil.  So with my Betty Crocker Oatmeal Cookie mix, I replaced the butter with 1/3 cup of coconut oil.  I also added a couple tablespoons of flaxseed, and dark chocolate chips.

I get my coconut oil at Trader Joe's

The cookies ended up being nice and soft, even the next day.  I don't know if it's because of the coconut oil or not.  If you don't like the taste of coconut, you can't actually taste it in the cookies.

Here they are all finished.  They aren't the most attractive, but they are tasty!


From start to finish, these cookies took twenty minutes.  Do you have any quick-baking solutions to share?





Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Scary Dreams

I've been getting a lot of dreams lately.  I mean, I know I dream every night, but lately I've been getting some real strange and creepy ones.  I'm already a sleep talker and a teeth grinder.  Well, as of about a month ago you can add hallucinator to that list.  It all goes down something like this...

I wake up in bed and see my daughter.  I know I'm awake, I can move around, I can talk, and I can hear.  Most of the time I see Allie Cakes, but in reality it's Randsome sleeping soundly next to me.  I get this sense that something isn't right.  I mean, why isn't Cakers in her crib?  I reach out to touch her, and she feels strange.  That's when I hear Randsome's voice.

"Katie, what the heck are you doing?"
"Allie! Where is Allie?"
"She's in her crib."
This makes me frantic because I can hear my husband's voice, but I see my 16 month old staring back at me.  "No she isn't, she's right here," and I start pawing at his face, chest, arms, trying to make sense of what is going on.
"KATIE!  Allie is sleeping in her crib, you're going to wake her up!"
"Randy! I see Allie!"

At this point one of us turns on the light, Allie disappears, and I see Randy again.  I check the monitor, only to see my girl sleeping.  All is right in the world, so I go back to sleep.

Like I said, this is what usually happens.  Sometimes I throw back the sheets, sometimes I start pawing at the wall.  The one thing that has been consistent is that I see Allie.

The other night I woke up in bed, and standing to my left is a man.  He was short, had scraggly hair, he was wearing a dark coat or shirt, and he was holding something.  I couldn't see what he was holding or the features on his face, but he was coming straight for me.  Screaming, I kicked my feet out from the covers trying to connect with this guy's stomach.

The light turned on and he disappeared.  Randy scolded me for screaming so loudly (I'd be pretty freaked out if he woke up screaming, so I don't hold it against him).  After a bunch of cursing, our conversation went something like this...
"Randy, there was a man."
"Katie, no one is there."
"I've seen him before, in other dreams."
"Did you wake up Allie?  Give me the monitor."  I hand him the monitor and she's sleeping.  I'm holding my chest because my heart is pounding so hard it almost hurts.  "Just relax, you're okay," he reassures me again and again.  Then he says, "What's changed?  Why do you keep getting these dreams?"
"I don't know."
"Well, were not watching any more scary movies before bed.  Just relax."

I married a patient man.  I seriously can't imagine how freaked out I would be if he woke up screaming.  In college I went through a spell where I got night terrors.  My roommate once found me crouched in the corner of my room screaming.  She thought someone was hurting me, and even though she was scared, she busted through the door to try and help me.  (Thanks Heidi)  I'm pretty sure that my dreams are a side effect to a new medication I've been taking for headaches.  I'll be taking Advil from now on.  I'll take my chances with a GI bleed over night terrors.

Have any of you battled with headaches?  How about a scary dream you've had recently?

-Katie Lou







Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pondering

Does anyone else feel gloomy on Sundays?  I know I shouldn't because it's a day of worship and rest, but lately I've been getting a sense of dread.  Isn't that awful?  I dread the week to come because that's when everyone goes back to work and the craziness ensues all over again.  I mourn for the two days of free time that have almost expired.  Quite frankly, I'm sad that my husband has to go back to work and won't be able to hang out with me and the baby.

In the past, this would be the week that I return to work.  I'd begin making lessons plans, arranging my desks, setting up my grade book, putting up a bulletin board, and a million other things that a teacher does to prepare for their students' arrival.  It's an exciting, stressful, and nerve-wracking week.  I won't miss the anxiety, but I will miss that feeling of being part of a team and that sense of being part of something.  I'll miss the teachers that I smiled at every morning for the last eight years.  I'll miss my former students stopping by to say hi, and to tell me how much they hate their new teachers.  I'll miss the look on my new students faces when I tell them a corny or sarcastic joke, and they stare back at me totally confused.  Most of all, and this is a real slap in the face; I'm going to miss that paycheck.  I was good at what I did, and I worked hard at it.  People tell me that the school community doesn't know what it lost when the budget cut me out, but the thing is, it wouldn't matter even if they did.  What's done is done. No one single person or community controls the economy.

It's not just this particular Sunday that I've felt so gloomy, it's been off and on all summer.  The one thing that has made me feel better is this new blog.  It's an outlet.  I've always wanted to write, so I finally am.  Even if I'm not that great at it yet, I'll get better.  Despite the sense of loss, I truly believe this is where I belong now, being a good mother, and sharing my discoveries and misadventures with readers.

With that doom and gloom out of my system, I'm going to spend the remaining hours hanging out with my family.  To make things more positive, why don't you tell me about something good that went on this weekend?  I had banana bread french toast yesterday, and it was TDF.  To Die For.
-Katie Lou


Friday, August 23, 2013

Overcoming A Weak Stomach

Allie Cakes barfed this morning.  I was washing dishes when I heard it; that deep down in the belly huahhh, huaaahhh.  Every time I imagine the sound of gaging, I picture Chunk from The Goonies confessing to the Fratellis about the time he threw fake puke over the balcony at the movie theater. He says, "all the people started getting sick and throwing up all over each other.  I never felt so bad in my life."  I know I shouldn't be comparing my Allie's upchuck to the 1985 cult classic, but there is just this distinct sound of someone losing their lunch.  In Allie's case it was her morning bottle of milk that splattered in sour, curdled, chunks all over my dining room floor.  I can tell you right now, I can totally relate to Chunk when he says he's never felt so bad in his life.

I have probably one of the weakest stomaches East of the Mississippi. I've got a nose like a blood hound, and I still gag when I look at raw chicken; but when little Cakers got sick this morning, I have to say I handled it well.  I felt so bad for my baby, I didn't even gag.  I once told  my husband that I knew I loved him when I casually picked something out of his teeth.  I've got the same love for Allie Cakes.  When I became a mom I discovered that anything that came out of my baby (whether it be boogers, vomit, or poop) doesn't bother me in the same way as if were coming from some other human.  I guess that's what parenting is about. You love your child so much, you are willing to do anything to make their pain go away.  You put aside the fact that they reek of sour milk and dirty diapers, cuddle them close, and tell them it will be okay.  I'm lucky enough to have a mom who did it for me, and proud to say I can do it for Allie.

Here she is trying out her new kicks.

I'll see you on Monday folks.  Have a good weekend.

-Katie Lou

Thursday, August 22, 2013

It Itches: 3 Home Remedies for Poison Ivy Relief

The homestead has been taken over by a nasty outbreak of poison ivy.  Okay, so my husband is actually the only one with the ivy, but I feel like it has taken over the house.  It has spread between his fingers, up his arms, legs, forehead, and his well, you know...

It started off with the little irritated bumps, moved onto a deeper rash, and now it's starting to turn yellowish.  The puss has started to ooze.  Our countertops are covered in Benadryl, Calamine lotion, and some anti-itch spray.  I've tried to recommend a few home remedies, but he's not into it.  Here are a few of the remedies I've suggested:

1.  Baking Soda Paste *He actually did try this, but it was with a lot of complaint.  He didn't like how it flaked off onto the couch.

Recipe: Three parts baking soda to one part water

Directions: Apply the paste to the infected area.  Allow it to dry completely, it will crack and flake off.  For best results apply every few hours.  The baking soda draws out the fluid in the blisters.

2.  Oatmeal Bath*Aveeno actually sells an oatmeal bath treatment, but it's cheaper to make it at home.


Recipe:
1 cup oatmeal
1 old sock or pair of nylons *you don't want to have to clean oatmeal out of your drain
1 rubber band

Directions:
Fill your sock with the oatmeal and attach it to the faucet in your tub.  Fill up your bath, occasionally squeezing the sock to release the avenanthramides (that cloudy residue you see when you get oatmeal wet).  The proteins help dry out the skin and block histamines.

3.  Chamomile Tea Bath


Sorry about the tiny print on my tea.  It's camomile :)


Recipe:
10 or more tea bags
1 filled bathtub

Directions:
Fill your bathtub with water and add the tea.  You should "steep" in your tea bath for a good twenty minutes to relieve the itching.  Chamomile tea contains anti-inflamatory properties that help with the itching.


I hope you don't get poison ivy, but if you do, maybe this post can help you out!
-Katie


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Weigh in Wednesday

Even though I hate most reality shows, this summer I've found myself hooked on Extreme Weight Loss with Chris Powell.  If you haven't seen the show, Powell works with these morbidly obese clients for one year, pushing them to live a healthy lifestyle.  Most of the people go from like three or four hundred pounds, down to a healthy, normal weight.  It's crazy what these people accomplish in one year.  They are totally inspirational.

Even though I'm not morbidly obese, I'm not oblivious to the fact that I could lose some weight and live a healthier life.  The problem is that I love food, and I don't exercise as much as I should.  I love baked goods, chocolate and ice cream.  I hate running, crunches, and bike rides.  I do like to downhill ski and hike, but both of those activities become a little more difficult when you have to carry a baby on your back.

The first time I watched Extreme Weight Loss I was eating a large and delicious bowl of ice cream.  With each bite I took, the person on t.v. took steps to improve their life.  I felt pretty crappy when I finished the ice cream, and at the end of the episode, Powell's client weighed less than I do.  That's what hooked me.  Week after week I've been watching this show and feeling inspired by these people.  So, I've decided to make some changes.  This week I began walking with Allie Cakes in the morning, this hasn't been great because traffic on my road is really fast, and I've started to make some changes in my diet.

Today I made a healthy banana bread, and I think it's a good example of some of the changes I've started to make.  I found the recipe on Pinterest, but I made a few changes to suit my tastes.  Instead of using oil and sugar, I used honey and applesauce.  I also added cinnamon and nutmeg for additional flavor, and flaxseed for fiber and omega 3's.

My ingredients before I mixed them all together

I use Raw Whole Flaxseed

Here is the finished product!  Yummy!

Banana Bread
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup flaxseed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar free applesauce
3/4 cups honey (or agave nectar)
2 eggs, beaten
3 mashed bananas

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and spray bread pan (I used a stone, so I didn't spray).
2. In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients
3. In a smaller bowl mix together the applesauce, honey, eggs, and bananas. Blend well before adding it to the flour mixture.
4. Pour your batter into the prepared bread pan, and bake for 60-65 minutes

Here is the link to the original recipe I found on Pinterest.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Toddlers and Toilet Seats

8/20/13
Last month Cakers and I were alone at my in-laws when I gave her my cell phone to play with so that I could run up to the kitchen to make her a sandwich.  I figured I would have a good three minutes to slap some peanut butter on some bread while she was distracted by my illusive cell.  After hurrying together a pb&j I looked down into the t.v. room and noticed she had gone missing.  I ran down the stairs calling her name.  That's when I heard her splashing around in Sittoo and Pepere's new toilet.  She looked at me with a big grin.  Even though she can't talk, her eyes were saying, "isn't this great Mom?" and she continued to splash.  

Mortified, I grabbed her and held her at arms length.  That's when I saw it: my two-month old smart phone lying at the bottom of the toilet.  With a scream I put Cakers on one hip and dunked my hand in to retrieve my cell.  After washing her up and disinfecting my phone, I threw it in a bag of rice.  The phone was a lost cause, and I discovered it's way more difficult to watch your child in someone else's home.  Since then, I've learned to keep all electronic devices away from my daughter, but it wasn't until this morning that I learned yet another valuable lesson.

Getting ready in the morning with a 15 month old under foot is no easy task.  This morning was no different.  I have curly, knotted hair, and as I was brushing out the knots, Little Miss Cakers opened the bottom drawer, beneath our sink, and threw an open bag of feminine products into the toilet.  It's fairly easy to grab one solid mass from the depths of a toilet, but try grabbing seven absorbent sanitary napkins in one swoop!  If I could've, I would have flushed them, I mean no one wants to plunge their hand in again and again, but I'm in no position to be purchasing a new porcelan god. 

So, after years of nagging my husband to keep the seat down, the time has come where I have to practice what I preach.  Lid down folks!  Lid down!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Welcome Home

Dear Readers,
My name is Katie and I've been wanting to start a blog for over a year now.  I decided the time was right when I lost my job as a teacher because of school budget cuts.  Being laid off sucks, and it hasn't been the easiest of summers for me or my family, but I figure now is the time to try things I've been putting off for years.

I've always loved reading and writing, so I figure I'll fit right into the blogging world.  I'm pretty sure my posts will vary quite a bit in subject (I have a lot of interests).  My hope is that I will make connections with other moms, crafters, writers, readers, cooks, designers, homemakers, and more!  One common thing I've noticed from other bloggers is that if you stick with it, you can really build great relationships with people and share awesome ideas and stories.  That is exactly what I'm looking for.  Like any job worth doing, I know that it won't be easy, but here I go anyway!

Katie Lou