Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cookie madness

Today was the first annual playgroup cookie exchange. And it didn't disappoint!

I came home with 10 dozen cookies in 5 varieties. The baking was pretty easy. It took me 2 hours to make 13.5 dozen cookies (not counting the first batch I burned). The hard part will be letting all those cookies walk out the door as Christmas presents for friends and neighbors.

I made a peanut butter cookie with a hershey kiss on top - a classic cookie if you ask me. My recipe should have made 12 dozen, but I ended up with way more! In the past I've tended to make my cookies too big and come up short on my count, so I think I was being overly cautious and made them a little too small.

My tummy is happy I have extra, but I know my hips are gonna be pissed.

P.S. Sorry no pictures; our expert photographer was absent today on account of her lil guy being sick. Missed ya Nata-Leigh!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Stickers - Reward or Bribe?

I'm not sure what the big deal is about stickers, but every kid seems to like them. Except for Sergio. He eats them.

Hailey is no exception to the mass of kids who love 'em. She started showing interest in them within the last few months, but now she's obsessed with them. So, now I've figured out how to use that obsession to my advantage.

So now I ask: Stickers - reward or bribe? You decide...

My reward system started when I was trying to encourage Hailey to eat a meal without crazy antics such as rubbing the food in her hair or throwing it on the floor. I wouldn't tell her she was going to get a sticker for eating well; I just gave her one at the end of the meal and told her how happy I was that she'd eaten well.

I know that's no big deal, but my dilemma started when she caught a cold recently and I wanted to squirt saline spray into her nose. Normally this is a two person job: RJ holds her hands down and her head still and I do the squirting. And all the while Hailey screams and kicks.

I decided to try and offer a sticker instead of go through all of the drama involved in holding her still. And it worked! She sat completely still while I squirted the saline and held out her hand promptly after to accept her sticker reward.

So, what do you think? Is this an act of bribery or just a reward for a job well done?

Be honest...I can take it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Easy treats

I've been perusing a lot of blogs recently. Clearly I'm addicted.

Anywho. A lot of blogs are sharing recipes for holiday eat & treats. I'd like to share this one with everyone because it is so good and so easy. Emphasis on easy.

I'll say right up front that is not my recipe; my very "Martha-esque" sister, Lori, made it for a cookie exchange.

Rolo Pretzels

Rold Gold round pretzels
walnuts (optional)
wax paper

Place a sheet of wax
paper on a cookie sheet. Place pretzels on cookie
sheet. Insert a Rolo in
the center of each pretzel. Place a walnut on top (if
using). Bake at 250
degrees for 5 or so minutes - just until the chocolate gets
soft enough to
conform to the pretzel.

And voila! You have a delicious homemade, easy treat! Enjoy!

Hook, line & sinker

Yes, I am one of the millions of fans hooked on the Twilight series. And yes, I did feel a bit embarrassed by that, but I'm so totally over it. These are great books! I highly recommend them to anyone who likes a good edge-of-your-seat-thriller book.

If you're thinking about starting the series because of my glowing recommendation, remember one thing: NOTHING will get done around your house. No cooking, cleaning, watching tv, blogging or sleeping! Husbands have been known to object.

I just finished the third book (there are four books, which you probably know unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months) and I so desperately want to run out and buy the fourth book right now. But I can't...the kiddies are sleeping. Would it be wrong to wake them up and take them to Target on a book shopping adventure? He-he.

Naw, I'm not that crazy. Why wake a perfectly good sleeping baby?

Friday, December 5, 2008

O Christmas Tree

Hailey and I put our Christmas tree up last weekend. We have the Anti-Christmas Tree: an easy to assemble pre-lit one, so it takes me all of 10 minutes to get it set up and lit.

And once it was lit, the "oohs" and "ahhs" came pouring out of Hailey. I let her hang the first ornament, which is a plastic Elmo one. She refers to Elmo as "La La", so every time she sees him on the tree she points enthusiastically and says "La La". So cute!

We toyed with the idea of no ornaments on the bottom half of the tree, but instead we put all plastic ones on the bottom. She's been good about not touching them (too much)!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Snow day

Yesterday was a great day in the Chicago area if you love snow. And I long as I don't have to drive in it or shovel it. RJ loves the snow even more than I do, so he was happily elected for snow removal duty years ago. And since I work from home, I get to skip the driving in it part most of the time.

As soon as RJ got home from work yesterday, Hailey asked him (okay, I asked for her) to take her outside and try out her new snow gear. It turns out she loves the snow too!

Hailey and her Daddy played outside in the snow for about 45 minutes. RJ tried to bring her in a few times, but she kept saying "no". So they kept on playing!

Luckily her winter gear turned out to be good quality...her fingers were a bit cold, but everything else was toasty warm.

I look forward to the day when Hailey & I can share a cup of hot cocoa after a snowball fight!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Don't worry...I'm alive

Shame on me! I haven't posted in a bit, but in my defense I get so busy around the holidays. As does everyone, I'm sure, so it's not really a good excuse.

My Thanksgiving weekend was fabulous! My sister Lori hosted Thanksgiving this year. Her and her hubby made turkey and prime rib (yum!) And Hailey had her first sleepover at Aunt Lori's!

Amanda and I went shopping on Black Friday. We got started at JCPenney at 4 a.m. and shopped until about 9 a.m. Wal-mart was the craziest store...we even lost each other for about 20 minutes or so. But, it was all worth it because my shopping is 98% done and we got some great deals.

My dear little Sparky had to go to the vet yesterday and she's now on anti-biotics and cortizone from an infection. Last week she got away from me when I was letting her outside and tried to attack a dog 10 times her size in the backyard. Needless to say that wasn't a smart move on her part. She got bit on the back, the ear, and on her muzzle.

I wish I could say that will teach her to mess with bigger dogs, but she's been doing this ever since I can remember. She's almost 11 now. I guess you can't teach an old dog new tricks.