Sunday, October 30, 2011


As pictured below I did some cooking this weekend.

Among the highlights were-
homemade chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (oh so healthy), homemade lo mein, coconut shrimp wontons and pumpkin seeds

Let's start with the cupcakes. I do not bake often, mostly because I would be double the size if I did. But my son has been begging me to make cupcakes, so I figured Halloween was a good excuse to bake them. There is nothing like from scratch much better than the box.

Chocolate cupcakes:
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup milk

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
    2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.
    3. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Frost with your favorite frosting when cool.
    This made about 18 cupcakes

    Cream Cheese Frosting
    2-8 ounce packages softened cream cheese
    1/2 cup softened butter
    1/2 tspn pure vanilla extract
    2 cups confection sugar, sifted

    Beat together butter and frosting until smooth
    add in vanilla
    slowly beat in sifted sugar until smooth

    *Note: this is not super is more on the cream cheesy side and soo fabulous with chocolate cake if you ask me. We added in food coloring for festive, orange cupcakes. This makes enough for 18 generously frosted cupcakes

    Homemade Lomein
    2-3 bonelss pork chops sliced into thin pieces
    2 stalks brocolli chopped up and including sliced stems
    1/4 cabbage slices
    2 medium carrots julliened
    3 green onions, chopped
    2 tablespoons seasame oil
    House of Tsangs Classic Stir fry sauce (to taste and found in most asian food sections)
    1 package Soba noodle cooked slightly less than directions call for (I cook the Annie Chung noodles for 3 minutes)

    Heat oil in wok or large stir fry pan
    add in pork strips and cook about half way: 3-4 minute
    Add in all veggies except green onions
    Stir fry until cooked as you like and pork is totally done (3-4 minutes)
    Add in a few squirts of sauce
    Add in cooked noodles and toss
    Continue to add sauce until it tastes how you like, I'd guess that I used 1/8 of a cup
    Turn off heat and add green onions and toss
    Better than restaurant lomein with less crap in it.

    I really wish I could take credit for the delicious Coconut shrimp wontons, but one of my favorite bloggers at Peas and Crayons:, posted this recipe the other day and I had been thinking of it ever since. I was so psyched to try it today. You can find it here. YUMMY!!! I made them almost excatly as she did, excpet I didn't use the parmesan chhese, because I forgot to buy it and I used wheat panko breadcrumbs. In my opinion, the sweet chili sipping sauce was key.

    And last but not least

    Pumpkin Seeds
    Set oven to 325
    Remove all the seeds you can from your pumpkin and blace in bowl
    Rinse the seeds in cold water and seperate any goo
    Lay out on paper towl and pat dry

    Put parchment paper on cookie sheet
    Lay out seeds onto paper
    Spray seeds with olive or vegetable oil (I prefer olive)
    Then sprinkle with ground sea salt, garlis salt, and if you like a little spice, cayenne pepper
    bake for approx 20 minutes, checking frequently..I also reach in and shake them around a bit a few times

    A foodie, fall weekend

    Let's start with some pictures

    This weekend there was pumpkin carving.....
    And randonly delicious recipes (see more below)
    And messy mommy and kid cupcake decorating (I swear they are orange, even though they look pink)..........
    And two cuties in costumes.....

    Saturday, October 29, 2011

    Survival Mode

    I have been a major blog slacker, mostly because I have been going to bed around 8pm every night and am still not feeling too fabulous.

    I am working hard to stay positive and be a good mom. I am certainly not feeling as horrible as I was a few weeks ago, but I am still playing 24 hours a day to prevent getting so sick that I cannot function. I am constantly on guard of having a migraine come on, eating the wrong thing and then puking and of staying on a schedule because somehow when I veer from my eating, waking, sleeping pattern things go down hill quickly.

    On the health front I feel like I am failing miserably, but honestly I am currently in survival mode.

    This past week I went to the gym ONCE.

    I am trying to look at it like:

    well at least you made it to the gym once.

    instead of:

    I can't believe you only made it to the gym once.

    Mostly this was due to the fact that I felt bad much of the week and both of my kids have a cold and we had some seriously bad sleepers the past few nights.

    I am hoping for a better week next week and praying as I approach week 12 that I will feel much better.

    On a happy pregnancy note, I do get to have my NT scan on Wednesday which means I get to see that itty, bitty baby. Ultrasounds are always fun.

    Eating has also been pretty sub par. I eat what I can, when I can.

    This week that meant pizza and Chinese food (for my mother-in-laws birthday). The Chinese food was pretty gross, so luckily I didn't go too overboard. The pizza was fabulous and I really overindulged.

    I am not sure if you were ever a big partier, but pregnancy sickness is very much like having a bad hangover. You are sick to your stomach, tired, have headaches and for some reason greasy food settles your stomach. This seems odd to me. You would think that greasy pizza would make it worse, but it does not.

    Some morning, when I am sitting on the couch thinking of how bad I feel, I think about the bad hangovers I have had and I just cannot believe I would have ever bring that level of illness on to myself.

    So after two other babies, I know this wont last forever. Survival mode will turn into cute little belly mode, which will last for a few months before starting I feel like the Titanic and my back and hips make me want to cry mode. This is why I am hoping to get back into my exercise routine in hopes that it will heal some of the aches and pains.

     My short term goal is to try and stay away from the Halloween candy. I am taking the kids to a town trick or treating event today and my will power sucks. JUST SAY NO TO PEANUT BUTTER CUPS.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    My love for them.

    I am terrified to write this post, or maybe a better word is intimidated. How do you capture the love you have for your children in one blog post? I guess the best way to think of it is that you can't and you won't-but I would like to attempt to do some justice to my feelings on this.

    As I begin to announce that we are blessed enough to be expecting a third child, I have come to realize that I am constantly apologizing for who I am. I have been anticipating the comments people have such as "another one!" and "what are you crazy?" and trying to avoid and make excuses instead of admitting who I truly am and clearly stating why I am over-joyed.

    The fact of the matter is, that despite my profession, and my other roles in this great big world...I was born to be a mama.
    In fact, I love being a mama more than I could ever love anything else I have ever done in this world. And I know that I may help thousands of other children in my 30 year teaching career, and I guess it is always possible that I could help solve a world crisis or develop a way to cure disease, but all of that would still not hold a candle to the joy of all joys, which is raising my babies in a loving, happy, accepting household.

    I am convinced that my life would hold no purpose without my children. Watching them discover and grow and start out on their own life journey is by far the most rewarding observation I have ever been allowed to make.

    I know that some people cannot understand this, and maybe they never will...but I would sacrifice every part of who I am if it meant giving my kids a better life.

    Why? Because when my son came into this world he taught me what it meant to have full responsibility of someone's innocence. When he was born there was not one speck of hate, of self-doubt, of jealousy or fear in his entire being. I know this to be 100 percent fact. And as his mother I consider it my life's mission to protect as much of the goodness in him as possible.

    Being loved by my children and having the pleasure of watching them become people is something I will never take for granted.
    It is easy to almost do so. After a day of tantrums, and talking back, of "I don't love you anymore mama's" from the mouth of an over tired 3 year old and of grouchy mama's who take out their frustration on their equally grouchy, over-worked and over-tired is easy to think, why would we have another one? But without fail something always makes it worth it.

    This week
    it is a baby girl who claps for herself every time she takes two steps and falls down.
    it is a son whose tantrum always comes to an end and then asks his mama if she will be his number one girl forever.
    it is waking up after a night from hell to find your son's hand wrapped in your hair because he is afraid you will leave him in the night.
    or a baby girl who loves to ask 'dada, where are you?" whenever her favorite man on the planet is not in the room.
    or two kids who love to chase each other and laugh uncontrollably because the youngest of the two has finally understood the concept of hide and seek.
    or a son who declares that he loves his sister and if we have to have another baby it must be another girl and we will call her Charlotte number 2.
    or a husband who loves his kids as much as their mama does and spends as much time with them as he can.

    So how could I ever make excuses for that? how could I ever not want more of it?

    It's the most real thing there is, my love for them. And despite the fact that I have locked myself in the bathroom at 3pm with a pint of ice cream and cried in exhaustion and frustration...being loved unconditionally is worth it every time.

    I wish for every person I know, that you may experience that level of love as much as possible for as long as possible.

    Monday, October 17, 2011

    The BIG announcement, and baby makes 5!


    After spending the past 6 weeks or so being vague, avoiding people and trying not to puke when anyone is around, I have finally gotten to the point where I cannot keep it in anymore.

    I am 10 weeks preggo with baby number 3! Wohoo.

    I know it is still very early, and there is always the possibility that something could go wrong...but I am hopeful that all is well and honestly, I am just sick of holding it in. I am just not a secretive kind of person.

    I mentioned my "injury" a few weeks back. This was all related to my pregnancy. I had some bleeding around 5 weeks, which ended up being a hematoma. The result of that was taking it easy and being careful...especially careful not to have sex (poor hubby) and not to lift anything heavy (poor muscles).

    Honestly, it was a bit hard to deal with at first, but then I ended up with such bad ALL DAY AND NIGHT sickness that I didn't get much done in the exercise world anyway. It was bad. I am talking a migraine and puking all day long kind of bad. I ate like crap because crap was all I could hold down.

    With my son I was not sick at all. I had it almost as bad with my daughter...but this time was the worst of all. Another girl perhaps?

    I am feeling better now and I can honestly say I am thrilled and just praying that everything is okay and that we have our third and final child.

    I know this will be our last time, so I am trying to enjoy each moment. I know from past experience that it flies by and that no stage lasts very long.

    I have been exercising again and am generally feeling pretty good about myself. I am really hoping to travel down a healthy and active road the next 8 months.

    So my blog will probably take a bit of a turn here. I am hoping to focus on maintaining my happiness and health while pregnant, working, and caring for 2 toddlers. And then refocusing on regaining my post baby weight and staying active as a momma of 3.

    I am due in May and this time I am hoping to have a gender surprise. So here's to another healthy baby!

    Thursday, October 13, 2011

    It's 4am, what are normal people doing?

    Yup, I still wake up this early to go to the gym. I took about a week off last week due to the restrictions the doctor put on me and the fact that I didn't feel well and just needed a break.

    But here I am again, back into my old routine.

    I like my morning workouts. Most days it isn't even hard to get out of bed. However, I am a bit worried about the winter.

    I started this routine last April. Before that I had been working out at night in my basement. I had no choice at the time, as my daughter was still nursing around the clock and I couldn't leave at 4am.

    Now it is October (still warm) and I am dreading the onset of cold weather. I HATE being cold. I live in New England, the mecca of cold, unpredictable winters and 4am is going to be miserable in January.

    I am worried about getting lazy and giving up. Maybe I can save up for an automatic car starter?...hmm.

    Perhaps I can plaster pictures of Jessica Biel's Body to my alarm clock and mirror just in case I get tempted to slip back into bed.

    I don't know...but maybe thinking this through now will help me next month. Scraping windows, in the dark, at 4am is frightening me already.

    Can I convince the husband to move to California? Probably not.

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

    Because the Fall always makes me feel better...

    Even though I have felt down in the dumps lately, I have enjoyed some fabulous Fall days. I love the Fall, and during the Fall I love doing family road trips, our annual weekend in Maine with friends, pumpkin picking, apple orchard visits, etc., etc., etc.

    It's unfortunate that I have to go back to work in the Fall, otherwise I'd call it my favorite season of all. But because of the work factor, it comes second to Summer.

    Aside from the fact that I haven't been feeling so HOT lately..the other reason for my blogging absence is all the Fall Fun I have been having.

    So far the highlights have been:

    A kids fun fall farm day with my friend Steph and her son where the kids saw lots of animals, painted pumpkins, ate junk, ran around in the corn maze and went on horse pulls and tractor ride.

    Our annual town pumpkin day with my mom where she comes every year to spoil the kids, and pays for them to do fun activities like face painting, slides, hay rides, etc. The weather on this day was particularly fabulous.

    Day our with Thomas the Train at Edaville Railroad. if you live in Massachusetts, you probably know is pretty iconic around these parts. We had excellent weather to ride on Thomas the Train, play in a massive playground, ride rides and listen to music and stories.

    And of course our annual weekend to Naples, Maine. Mike and I have been renting the same cottage on a River in Maine for the past 6 years (before kids and marriage). For the past 3 years we have gone with some of our close friends and their kiddos. We always have a blast cooking on the fire, exploring and going to kid friendly places.

    So here are some pictures from the last few weeks. I expect that there will be a few more fun, Fall festivities before October comes to an end.

                                              All the kiddos, fireside in Maine
                              My sexy hubby and Charlotte at Portland Children's Museum
                                            The hubby giving fire instructions
                                              Ms. Charlotte hanging out
                                        A horrible picture of me, but the only one I am in.
                                              Riding Thomas the Train

    Sunday, October 2, 2011

    Control Freak

    I think I am done pouting and am staring to deal with the fact that I have to change my routine for a while.

    Sometimes I just get down in the dumps. I like control. I might just love control. Ask my husband what I'm like when I don't know what is going to happen. I am pretty sure he doesn't like me too much in these situations. Control and I are BFF's. Without control I am lost.

    The good thing about this is that I tend to take full responsibility for my actions. I usually can only blame myself when things go wrong because I spend so much of my time controlling what happens. I have learned that if I am going to be like this, I cannot go around blaming anyone for the outcome of things.

    But let's face it...there are a whole lotta times in life when you simply cannot control what happens. My body is in control right now, and I am along for the ride.

    Therefore I am learning to deal with the fact that I cannot workout like I really want to. I am working on figuring out a routine that will work. Starting tomorrow I am headed to the gym for 30 minutes of cardio and some stretching (which is about all I am supposed to do right now).

    I went for a walk with the kids this evening and pushed the double stroller up some hills.

    I am going to do what I can, while I can, and wait for my doctors appointment, where I am going to try not to act like a total freak to my doctor due to the fact that I am praying and hoping she will give me some news that will allow me to regain some control in my life.