Life As We Know It
Hello to all my long lost followers! It's been literally months since I posted anything new. But seeing as we've opened a new and excited chapter in our lives, I figured I better get back at it!
Most of you already know, our newest addition made her grand entrance on Thursday, December 19th, via planned C-Section at 8:34am. She was a whopping 9lbs 4.6oz, and 21 1/4 long. She looks so much like her big sister, but with a mass of beautiful black hair.
Welcome to the world Baby Oopsie!
She kept us on our toes right up to the last moment, and I went into "false" (tell my freaking crazy ass contractions that!) labor at about 8pm the night before my C-Section was scheduled. In the end, she was just pretending though, and contractions started to ease off after getting to the hospital at 4:30am, so we went ahead with the C-Section.
Everything went perfectly, and after a nice short stay in the hospital (28 hours!) we were allowed to go home the next morning.
We've been blessed, so far, with another easy baby who enjoys her sleep. Just like her big sister! We were really lucky to have tons of help from family over the past couple weeks, as we were staying with my Auntie and Uncle, who took amazing care of us.
We got home 3 days ago, and yesterday my hubby went back to work. That meant that I was all of a sudden flying solo! Just me and two girls! I was totally outnumbered! And scared! But I did it!
Luckily, we had a perfect day. Cuddles and coffee in bed to start the day. I was allowed to have my shower! Baby Oopsie even napped long enough for Growly Bear and me to make cookies and dinner!
Honestly, we got a heck of a lot more done then I thought we would!
We're so happy to be home, and I'm so enjoying basking in the bliss of being a mommy to two beautiful girls.
No idea how much time I'll have, but I do plan on getting back on here and blogging more frequently again. I miss it! And I've got some great new recipes to share.
Love and Hugs

Time seems to be flying! Somehow, tomorrow, I will already be 24 weeks pregnant! I partially feel like I can't believe we only have 16 more weeks until we meet this little girl, but then I think about how big and uncomfortable I feel already, and 16 more weeks sort of feels like a long time away.
But, we gotta make the most of these next few weeks and get some stuff done around here! My busy hubby is going to get started on the nursery pretty quickly. I'm still at my nesting (aka: wanting to paint and freshen up and clean and throw away everything) stage. And we are doing our best to prepare Growly Bear for all the fun that's to come!
But, first things first! It's time to move our busy little toddler from her crib (seeing as Baby Oopsie will be needing it here pretty quickly anyway) and get her moved into her brand new Big Girl bed that her Grampa has custom made, extra special, just for her! He's been putting in long hours and tons of work, and it's a masterpiece! We had the big reveal this evening in his shop.
We've been doing some junking out and reorganizing in Growly Bear's room to make sure things are all ready for the new bed. I've been packing up all her too-small clothes and stashing them away. Usually I find this process sad and get all sentimental about it. This time though, it's been kinda fun! I know I'll be pulling it all out and using it again in about two years, so it's mostly with a "see you later!" kinda attitude.
Tonight though, is bitter sweet. I just tucked Growly Bear into her crib for the last time. Her Big Girl Bed gets moved in tomorrow. Her crib gets moved out. I'm so excited for her, but I also can't believe that my "baby" is big enough for her own real bed already!
Growly Bear's last night in her crib <3
I'm hoping the transition goes well for all of us! I'm hoping it doesn't involve too many tears or fights. With any luck it will just be exciting! And with any luck, she will stay in her bed at nap time and bedtime. Wishful thinking? Probably!
As we enter this new phase of unknown territory, and I learn what to do as we go, the one thing I do continue to know, is how to make a delicious dessert! And this particular one I have made three times in the past 2 week. I think I can officially say it's tried and true, and I gotta share it with you all!
So, enjoy!
Love and Hugs

Lemon-Blueberry Yogurt Loaf


For the Loaf:
• 1  1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 cup Vanilla Greek whole-milk yogurt
• 1 cup sugar
• 3 large eggs
• Zest from 2 lemons
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 1  1/2 cups frozen blueberries

For the Lemon Syrup:

• 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1/3 cup sugar

For the Lemon Glaze:
• 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
• 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of one 9 x 5-inch loaf pans; dust with flour and tap out excess.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them into the batter.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing loaf to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.
5. While the loaf is cooling, make the lemon syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, bring to a slow boil, and continue to cook for 3 more minutes - stirring feequently. Remove from the heat and set aside.
6. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the warm loaf. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cake cool completely.
7. To make the lemon glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. Add up to another tablespoon of lemon juice if the mixture is too stiff. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of the loaf and let it drip down the sides. If you have a toddler in the house, or if you need a little pick me up, sprinkle with colourful sprinkles. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.

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I'd forgotten about the fun little side effect of pregnancy known as Nesting! I had it when I was pregnant Growly Bear, but my hubby built me a new kitchen during my second trimester, so that pretty much took care of that!
This time, we have no major renovations in the works. The nursery needs to be done, but we won't be working on that until the Fall when things slow down for us a little.
So instead, I have this mega desire to paint, and buy new furniture, and change the decorating in our house! It doesn't help that it really DOES need a face lift in here. Between pets, and a hubby with a dirty job, and a sticky toddler running around touching (and sometimes drawing!) on everything, it needs a bit of a makeover. It has that "lived in look", to say the least.
Part of me thinks if I washed the walls and gave the moldings and trim a good scrub, it might slightly help. The other part of me, hates to clean (as you all know!) and thinks painting would be a helluva lot easier and more satisfying. (And yes, to all the kill joys out there who want to point out the obvious, I know I still will need to wash the walls before painting!)
So here I am, on the internet, looking at paint colours and decorating ideas and new end tables and a new area rug and trying to figure out how to de-clutter the living room before all those cute little baby things need to be pulled out of storage.
I can guarantee, whatever I come up with is going to be a nightmare for my poor husband, becasue he will of course be recruited to help me! So in the mean time, I will just keep cooking him delicious treats so that he remembers it's worth it to keep me happy!
I've included my latest delicioso recipe for you all! It's a guaranteed husband pleaser!
Love and Hugs!

Frozen Fluffy Chocolate Cheesecake

24  Oreo Cookies, finely crushed
1/2 cup melted butter
4 oz.  Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
4 oz.  Unsweetened Chocolate, melted
2 tubs (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese spread (the block is too hard, uses the spread)
1 can  (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 tub (500ml)  thawed Cool Whip

  1. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper, with ends of paper extending over sides. Mix cookie crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of prepared pan.
  2. Melt the 8oz of chocolate as directed on package. Beat cream cheese in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in condensed milk, then melted chocolate. Whisk in Cool Whip, and pour over crust.
  3. Freeze for 6 hours.
  4. Remove from freezer 15 min. before serving; let stand at room temperature to soften slightly. Use foil handles to lift dessert from pan; cut into squares.
  5. Enjoy!!!!

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Hello my friends!
I knew it had been a while since I posted last, but I didn't realize it's been FOUR months! Time is flying!
Things have been busy, to say the least. We've had visitors from all over. Long lost friends and family coming to catch up. There has been Birthday parties, (Growly Bear turned 2 in May!) and anniversaries, and community events, and fundraisers, and adventures, and fun! And for those of you that don't know.... Growly Bear is going to be a big sister!
Once upon a time, mommy and daddy were told, A baby of their own, they may never hold.
There was a lot of sadness, and lots of tears, And they wondered if they would go through this for years.
Two years later, after lots of help, From doctors and drugs, they surprised themselves!
One September morning, mommy's pee stick revealed, Two dark pink lines! Daddy was in shock, mommy squealed!
Nine months later, I arrived! I'm the twinkle in Mommy and Daddy's eyes.
I am perfect! An angel! Beyond compare. So much so that people often stop and stare.
So they thought, "another baby will make us complete. "A brother or sister for Zo would be sweet."
They didn't know if they'd get lucky again. Couldn't imagine what was ahead, around the bend.
Turns out it was easy, and happened right away! No countless Doctors, and far away stays.
I'm going to be a big sister for Christmas this year. December 23rd is the day we will cheer.
I can't wait to have a new baby to show, all of the wonderful things that I know!
So yeah, I've been busy. Between chasing my cheeky toddler, battling bouts of morning (all day!) sickness, and that crazy exhaustion that comes along with the first trimester, there hasn't been a lot of time.
Growly Bear's vocabulary has really grown over the past couple months, and we are learning we have to be very careful what we say around her. She's way too smart for her own good, and the stuff she comes up with is pretty hilarious!
We've been asking her if there is a girl baby or a boy baby in mommy's tummy, and she sometimes tells us it's a girl baby, sometimes a boy baby, and once, a parrot. One thing is consistent though. It's a "cute little baby! Ooooh, so soft!"
This morning as we were waking up and having Sunday morning cuddles in our big bed, she rolled over and said, "Cute little girl baby in Mommy's tummy! Her name is Oopsie!"
Not exactly sure how to take that one, (this baby was very planned!) and if she tells too many people that, they will get the wrong idea! But still, it made me laugh. If it does happen to be a girl baby, the poor child will probably be nicknamed that for the rest of her life!
Hope everyone is having an amazing summer so far!
Love and hugs

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OK, so according to different comments I've seen on Facebook today about this link I'm sharing, I've come the the conclusion that you have to be a mom (or someone who knows little people well) to appreciate this! I saw tons of not-so-nice, snarky, and down right mean comments from people who obviously have never spent a day like this with a little person who they love more then life it's self.
Me, however, I find this @#*&ing HILARIOUS! (Especially seeing as it's not my kid!)
I don't often share other peoples Blog posting, but this one is SO WORTH it!
"Reasons My Son Is Crying"

Pretty sure anyone who has spent time with little people will see the humor in this! And mommies, we've all been there, haven't we?
Hope you enjoy a giggle like I did!
Love and Hugs

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So, little Miss. Growly Bear has been talking like crazy! Her speech seems to be developing at lightening speed. You can have a complete conversation with her, and she knows exactly what you are saying, and usually responds with 3-4 word sentences. She also has a crazy memory, and loves to tell you all about things she's said and done. Like "Pooking (puking) in da tub, in da baf'room (bathroom) blaaah!" We are still talking about that one, 3 weeks later!
I have to keep reminding myself I now need to be reeeeeally careful what I say around her! Chances are, it will be repeated.
The other night was the perfect example.
She came up behind me with a putty spreader while I was working in the kitchen, and was laughing and said "Mommy! Is'a punking stick!"
I said "A what baby?"
She said "a punking stick!" *giggle*giggle*
I said, "I'm sorry sweetie, I don't know what that means?"
She moved around behind me and starting tapping my butt with it, laughing, saying "Punk! Punk! Punk!" with each tap.
I said, "OH! A SPANKING stick?"
She said, "Yeah! A punking stick!" *more giggles*
This is clearly her bad daddy's doing becasue she's certainly never been spanked with a "punking stick". He likes to playfully "spank" me with spoons, spatulas, books, whatever, on his way by me if he has something in his had. So this one is on him.
When she burst out saying she'd "sharted" the other night though, that one was possibly my fault just a little...
Yeah, for sure need to be much more careful now!
Love and Hugs

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I got to go out with some crazy awesome ladies this weekend. I need it! It was good for me. Not so good for my head the next morning, but good for my soul.
I don't go out very often for Girls Night anymore, and when I do go out, the lead up always leaves me with mixed feelings.
I'm excited to get the hell outta the house on a Saturday night. But I also always feel a little guilty for leaving Growly Bear. Especially seeing as I've always just worked and been away from her for the past 3 days.
My hubby is awesome though, and assured me they would be perfectly fine, and to go have some fun. So I did!
I have no idea why things always seem so "cool" in the moment, but after a few drinks and laughs, we decided our night would not be complete without finger mustaches. And we rocked those 'stashes all the way to the bar, and for the entire night.
Pretty sure we thought we were a lot funnier then the rest of the people around us, but we were having and awesome time, and that's all that matters!
Hopefully you all have some fun ladies you can go out and get cray-cray with! Cuz sometimes, it's necessary to blow off a little steam!
Love and Hugs

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I've mentioned before that I seem to have created a little foodie. As her language develops, so do her food demands. Nine time out of ten she will tell me exactly what she wants to eat, and lucky for me, it's usually pretty darn healthy.
Yesterday however, wasn't one of those times. She came racing into the living room where I was, and demanded "Chair pease! Cook cookies, with butter!"
Seeing as we are still recovering from the Cookie, Brownie, Oreo Squares, I opted out of more baking, and we made a tasty new dinner recipe instead.
My girlfriend made us something similar when we went to their house for dinner a few weeks ago, and it was delicious! She was worried it was too "red-neck" to serve to dinner guests, which is funny, cuz we're pretty red-neck.
We decided though that the addition of bacon actually made it pretty classy, and so, it was a completely guest worthy dish.
Here's Growly Bear and my version. I served them it with gravy, and my Scalloped Sweet Potatoes and Carrots au Grautin. Enjoy!
Love and Hugs

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaves

  • 2  eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup Barbecue Sauce (I used Honey Garlic)
  • 1-1/2lb.  lean ground beef
  • 1 box Stovetop Stuffing Mix for Chicken
  • 3/4cup  aged cheddar, shredded
  • 6 slices thick cut Bacon

  1.  Whisk eggs, milk and barbecue sauce in large bowl until blended. Add all remaining ingredients except bacon. Mix well using hands.
  2. Let sit for 10-15 mins, and the stuffing mix will soak up the liquid and you will be able to form it with your hands.
  3. Shape into 6 (1-inch-thick) patties; wrap bacon slice around edge of each patty. Place on a greased cookie sheet with a lip.
  4. Heat oven to 375ºF. Bake patties for 35 mins, or until done. Serve with gravy. Enjoy!

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Happy St. Paddy's Day everyone! Hope everyone has had their fill of green beer and... well, I really don't know what else goes with St. Patrick's Day... I always just concentrate on the beer.
Today, Growly Bear and I decided to hide out from the crazy weather, and spend a little time in our favorite room in the house, our kitchen, and we created an insanely incredible dessert.
You may have all seen a similar recipe floating around on Facebook. However, that recipe contained box mixes and other pre-made ingredients. And as you all know, I don't like to cook like that. I like the real deal!
So, here is our version. And it's crazy good! Like in the top 10 list of the best things I've ever made, ever! It's that good!
Love and Hugs

Cookie, Brownie, Oreo Squares

***Grease a 9x13 baking dish, line with parchment paper, and grease again, and set aside***
-Preheat oven to 350

Chocolate Cookie Bottom Layer Ingredients:
1 Batch of my Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup butter melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups good quality, mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, and sugars until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, and eggs until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.
  • Using hands, press into prepared  baking dish, making sure dough is flat and evenly distributed.
Middle Layer:
  • 1 bag of Double Stuffed Oreos (you probably won't use the entire bag)
Place a single layer of Oreos over cookie dough, fitting in as many as you can by placing them closely together.
Top Brownie Layer Ingredients:
1 batch of my Best in the West Ooey Gooey Brownies
  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 4 tblsp prepared strong coffee, cooled
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup good quality cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chip
  • Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and coffee. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with whisk after each addition. Add cocoa and beat until well blended. Add flour, baking powder and salt, beat well. Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Pour batter over Oreo cookies.
  • Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 15-25 minutes. Please note, the brownie will still be slightly under-set. It's suppose to be - that's where the fudgy'ness come from.
  • Let cool completely before cutting — brownies may still be gooey in the middle when still warm, but will set up perfectly once cooled. Enjoy!!

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Yup... except it's Tea... not wine...
It's 9:30 on Saturday night, and you wanna know where I am?
In bed.
Drinking tea.
Watching "Friends" re-runs.
I know you may read that and pity me, but don't! I'm not exactly sure when I turned 102, but I actually really like it!
My hubby went out to see a buddy, my baby girl is peacefully sleeping, and I have "me" time! That NEVER happens!
I'm suppose to be studying, and I did for a while, but I got side tracked looking at house plans, and fattening recipes, and doing a little online shopping.
Apparently there is a dance tonight in town... I'm so completely out of the loop I didn't even know about it. Apparently it's in celebration of St. Patrick's day. (Is that this weekend?) Apparently my girlfriends just assumed I would want to go with them. Apparently they were dead wrong!
No offense to my girls, whom I love more then life it's self, but there is nothing I would like to do less at this moment then go to a crowded hall with a bunch of drunk people and get caught up in the music and the tequila shots and get home as the sun is coming up and need to sleep the next 2 days away to recover. Trust me, I've done my fair share of that in the past!
Plus, all that would require a bra. And I'm just not into anything requiring a bra past 8:00pm!
So for now, I'm going to enjoy my big, cozy, fresh bed (at least until Growly Bear decides she needs to come join me in here in a few hours), and my quiet house, and my wicked TV viewing, and my favorite Winnie the Pooh mug of tea, and I'm going to veg.
I hope you all are having fantastic Friday nights as well!
Love and Hugs

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Life As We Know It