Monday, May 31, 2010

Blueberry Recipe #1

I don't know if you recall, but I included a short lament about not being sure what I should do with two whole containers of blueberries that my sweet husband brought home so that we could eat healthier. "You'll make something really great" he said :) Well...really great I can do - healthy, maybe not so much.

I thought you'd like to see the fruits of my labor (get it? fruits?).

Memorial Day Blueberry Muffins (mostly stolen from here)
Prep time = 20 mins
Baking Time = 25 mins
Yield = 12 servings

Muffin Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 heaping cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 container (1.5-2 cups) fresh blueberries

Crumbly Top Ingredients:
6 tablespoons butter - cubed and softened
3/4 cups white sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup all purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
2. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Separately, mix vegetable oil, eggs, and milk. Mix little by little with the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder mixture. (The original recipe doesn't say this - in hindsight, it's the right way. I also upped the milk ratio. It should have been 1/2 cup for a 12 serving yield. It definitely needed more to get the right consistency). Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top.
3. CRUMBLY TOP: Mix together sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon. (original recipe calls for mixing with a fork. I beat the tar out of the stuff with a mixer...it worked like a charm)
Sprinkle over muffins before baking.
4. Bake for 25 minutes in preheated oven (or until done). (This was the perfect amount of time for ours).

These things look a MESS when you pull them out of the oven, but they are DELICIOUS!

Stay tuned for a second installment of "What's Kendra gonna do with all these darn blueberries?"

And although blueberry muffins are of the utmost importance:

I'd like to take a couple of seconds to also say that there are a lot of things that I take for granted on most days - things like life, liberty, and the pursuit (NOT the guarantee - the pursuit) of happiness. I appreciate those blessings, and I appreciate the men and women who have given their lives in the service of this country so that we can maintain our precious liberties. Did you wake up free this morning? Are you going to bed free tonight? Please take a moment to remember who made your freedom possible.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants..." - Thomas Jefferson

Happy Memorial Day!

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Book and a Plush

We went to Barnes & Noble tonight. My apologies to anyone who was there while we were in the store...Sadie hasn't quite grasped the concept of "quiet in a bookstore" yet. All three of us needed new books...I'm almost done with the second book in the series I've been reading, Sadie's bookshelf needs a "big girl books" update, and Eric's always looking for a good current events/politics read.

We're quite a bookwormish family, which is why I stole a page from Auntie Heather's handy gift idea playbook for kids...a book and a plush! We did this one tonight:

Kohl's always has a really good book/plush toy combo right at the front near the checkout lines. Barnes & Noble is getting some better ones too. Most kids I know have toy overload - including mine - but I don't think a kid can have too many books. Here are a few of our favorite combos:

(thanks to Auntie Heather for pig and mouse, and to Nana for the Grinch!)

So there you have it - if you're out of ideas, this one is awesome.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mommies Protect Their Babies...a Bathtime Lesson

Sadie has one of those thermometer ducks from when she was a baby - it's supposed to tell you whether or not the water is too hot - you know the kind I mean, right? She also has a tiny duck that used to light up when it hit water. After the big duck outlived it's thermometer usefulness, and the little duck stopped lighting up, she began affectionately referring to them as "mommy duck" and "baby duck." During bath time tonight, I thought I'd teach Sadie a lesson about how mommies take care of their babies.

Me: "Sadie, what would happen if somebody was mean to baby duck? What would mommy duck do?"

Sadie: {stares blankly at me like I am making no sense...why would anyone be mean to baby duck?}
Me: {determined to prove my point} "Like, what if Mr. Lobster came up and was mean to baby duck" {series of what I imagined to be lobster-like growls and snorts in baby duck's general direction}

Sadie: "Oh NO!"
Me: "That wasn't very nice, was it? What would mommy duck do?"
Sadie: {Hurls mommy duck toward baby duck and the lobster - diversion, maybe?}
Me: {picking up mommy duck and Mr. Lobster and facing them toward each other} "Mr. Lobster, that was NOT very nice! You better be nice to MY baby duck!!"
Sadie: {carefully picking up the lobster and throwing him into her frog pod} "NO - I'm putting him away, he is NOT nice!"
See Mr. Lobster peeking out at the bottom?

Me: "You're right - that wasn't nice. Maybe he'll be nicer tomorrow."
---
5 minutes later
---
Me: "Ok, time to get out of the bath!"
Sadie: {takes out each of her other toys, one by one, and places them neatly in a row on the side of the tub}
Me: "No, they all need to go into your frog pod so I can get you out"
Sadie: {looking at me in horror} "Mommy, that lobster will GET me!"
Me: "Sadie, the lobster can't get you - it's just pretend, and mommy wouldn't let it get you. Please put your toys away so we can get out..."
Sadie: {lower lip protruding out, eyes widening...and reddening, tears starting} "No, Mommy, don't make me, I can't - I can't...he's not nice, he will GET ME!" {hysterics ensue}

It was at that moment, when I saw her start crying, horrified by the thought of putting her hand in the same frog pod as the lobster, that I realized that my lesson about "mommies protecting their babies" had been lost on her. Not only that, but for some inexplicable reason, the entire scenario was so hilarious to me, that I had to shove a towel in front of my face because I couldn't stop laughing. Tears now streaming down BOTH of our faces (mine from laughter, hers from terror), I gallantly swooped in and placed all of her toys into the frog pod. She's never going to want to play with that cute little harmless lobster again. And I won't make her, because mommies protect their babies.



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Friday, May 28, 2010

These are a few of my favorite...

...Facebook groups :)

One of these days, maybe I'll become a "fan" of them. Until then, I'll just enjoy them here:

  • I secretly say "righty tighty, lefty loosey" whenever I go to open something.
  • Dr. Seuss could have been the greatest rapper alive.
  • Changing the date on your essay so it looks like you didn't procrastinate.
  • I used to blow air back into my Capri Sun to make it look like it was full.
  • I love it when my shampoo and conditioner run out at the same time.
  • When I was younger, I would put my face to the fan to hear my robot voice.
  • Why don't mosquitoes suck fat and cellulite instead of blood?
  • I randomly burst into song because of what you just said.
  • I use my cell phone to see in the dark.
  • After every good movie trailer I lean over and say, "I wanna see that!"
  • Stopping the microwave before it hits 0:00 so you don't hear the beeps.
  • Accomplishing something before the microwave hits 0:00.
  • I hate it when I'm making a milkshake and boys just show up in my yard.
  • Lowering the music when looking for a street address so I can see better.
  • Saying "Wed-nes-day" to yourself when writing "Wednesday"
  • I get nervous when I see a cop, even when I'm not doing anything wrong.
  • "You're killing me, Smalls!"
  • I say "ouch" before I'm even sure it hurt - just in case.
  • Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you still have hours to sleep.


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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Errant Thought Roundup 7

I love, I love, I hate, I hate
I like, I wish, for goodness sake...
I hope, I hope, I pray, I pray
I will, I won't, and for today...

I love playtime with my sweet girl...
I love the quilt my mother in-law made for Sadie for her birthday, and not surprisingly, so does Sadie!
I hate motherhood guilt, but I get to experience it every day. It doesn't help to tell me not to, I'm going to whether you think I should or not. Every time I walk out the door and leave the care of my daughter to people I basically consider strangers, I want to cry. No one's ever going to love her like I love her.
I hate junk mail.
I like interesting food...nowadays every place you go serves something "interesting," though. And I always feel somewhat shocked at the combination of ingredients, but then I think that if I said something it would make me look uncultured...so I just sit there and say things like, "mmm, seaweed and marshmallow flavored rice with curried shrimp and sprouts! Delightful!" I'm so cultured, huh?
I wish there were 30 hours in a day.
For goodness sake, treat others the way you want to be treated. I don't care what someone's role or position in life may be, they're no less a human being than you are.
I hope it rains like this all night - this storm could be the makings of a delightful sleep!
I hope I can come up with something creative to do with the TWO boxes of blueberries Eric bought at the grocery store. He doesn't really like blueberries, but he thinks we should start eating healthier so he's sure I can "make something really great" out of them. Thanks for the vote of confidence, hon.
I pray that the long weekend feels EXTRA long. I need a brain break.
I pray for little Madison's grandmother. They think it's serious...could you pray as well?
I will request a catalogue for play beds...I really want one of these for Sadie Lou...adorable, right?
I won't forget to send my sweet nieces their birthday presents this weekend...I'm such a slack auntie.
And for today, aren't they awesome?
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In Search of a Project

I got home tonight, sort of made dinner (leftover broccoli and rice from work today plus thawing and searing fish doesn't necessarily constitute "making dinner" in most circles), and then started playing with Sadie. When she asked me if she could paint tonight, I realized it's been a little too long since we did an art project.

Not feeling like we really had time to mess with paint tonight, I fumbled through some parenting magazines and found a pinwheel template.
Easy Pinwheel Instructions:
1. Pull out some heavier stock decorative paper (because I know you have some on hand)
2. Let the artist choose which paper they want to use
2. Make sure the paper is a perfect pretty close to a square.
3. Cut a straight line from each corner to about an inch from the center of the square
4. Let the artist choose a bead (you can skip this step, but it's pretty cute...we used it for the center of our pinwheel)
5. Bend in every other corner to the center of your square making the pinwheel shape and fasten with some sort of fastener (a brad would work fine - we used one of those earring stopper thingies that looks like a silver push pin)
6. Attach to some sort of stick. I cut the end off of a super long lollipop (~1 foot) to use as the stick. Oddly, we don't have many sticks in our house.
7. Pretend the thing actually works.
8. Listen to your daughter say, "I don't think I really want to play with that" as she eyes it skeptically.

After you abandon the pinwheel, you should probably make a bead necklace.
Easy Bead Necklace Instructions:
1. Pour out a giant mound of beads that you haven't touched since you were 9 years old.
2. Let your artist painstakingly pick out each of the pink ones
3. Cut an appropriate length of elastic and tape one end to a hard surface (this is important so that when the little artist does the threading, the beads don't fall off the other end).
4. Bite your tongue (and clasp your hands) to resist the urge to "help" with the beading process. Beading is an important fine motor skill. Just let them do it. Help when necessary.
5. Realize the "appropriate length" of elastic is 6" too long. Cut the 6" off.
6. Watch "Daddy" take the 6" and sneakily begin to make a matching bracelet for the little artist.
7. Once the necklace is completely beaded, tie it off (and the bracelet, if need be). Cut the excess length from the elastic.

TA DA!

Two fun projects in one night - one of which will actually be used!

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Monday, May 24, 2010

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