Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Most of the time...

I'm really glad I'm a grown-up.

There are a lot of perks to being a grown-up:

driving the car (love it just as much as I did at 14)

going to bed whenever I want (I want early nowadays)

drinking a soda on days other than Sunday (that was the rule growing up)

 chewing gum whenever (well, whenever there's any left)


However, sometimes there are things that make wish I could be a kid again.

For instance: birthday parties!

Our kids have been invited to some pretty spectacular parties, but McClain's party this past Saturday really took the cake.

If you're from Iowa, you know that we are all slightly obsessed with our hometown Olympian, Gymnast Shawn Johnson.

Well, guess where the birthday party was held!

Chow's Gymnastics know, home of our Olympic Champion!

We were going to try to catch some pictures on the sly,
but we soon noticed that all the other parents were unashamedly taking pictures.

So we jumped in.
Have a look!

Pretty sure Shawn Johnson has her picture plastered on just about every major wall space.
A Gold Medal gives big bragging rights!

Below are some pictures of the actual party.
McClain had a blast...even if the party was for a girl!


Friday, September 16, 2011

Fat Friday

Confession:  I love brown sugar.

I usually judge whether a recipe is going to be good or not based on the amount of brown sugar that will be dumped in. 

lots = good 

not so much = not so good

I'm pretty sure it's healthy too.

It's easy:

Brown rice:  healthy

Dark chocolate:  healthy

Unbleached flour:  healthy

deep colored fruits and vegetables:  healthy

Brown sugar:  healthy

Yep, it's all pretty logical.

Brown sugar is good.  You should eat a lot of it. 

At least on Fat Friday.

*Tomorrow, this confession will be dissolved and all brown sugar will magically poof into natural sweeteners used in moderation.

Lunch Box Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups uncooked rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small bag m&m's

  (This recipe is so easy that the kids did it on their own!)
Heat oven to 375°F. Combine sugar, butter, egg and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add oats, flour, baking soda and salt; continue beating until well mixed.

Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Top with a few m&m's.  Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire cooling rack. 
Watch out!  They go fast!

 A very happy onlooker!

**Just wanted to add a huge THANK YOU for all your sympathetic comments and advice with the mastitis!  I visited with a lactation consultant today.  Turns out, there were several issues going on over the last ten weeks that were the causes of massive amounts of pain.  Solutions are in place and results should be seen in the next week.  PHEW!  Ironically, one of the solutions involved eliminating sugar from my diet.  I just died a little inside!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Can you guess what word my iPhone auto-corrected with the word nasties?


Crazy but true.
Pretty much spot on too.
{All sympathetic comments, advice, and survival testimonials are welcome.}

So while I'm dealing with nasties, my family is doing an awesome job bringing the sunshine.
 Yep, totally my Superman.
Also sports the "New Dad" shoulder badge quite well.
Maddox is the first Crigger baby to ever like the feel of grass.
He not only liked it, he smiled and cooed the whole time.
Hmmm...future turf builder?
"How many Cloe's can I get in this picture of myself?"

McClain is such a morning person and really wanted Carson to wake up happy, too.
He went into their room, rubbed Carson on the back, and said, "Wake up, Buddy!  It's your birthday!"
The happiness worked for about two seconds with Carson, but McClain sure made the morning for the rest of us a little funnier!

I was watching Skateboarding on tv with the boys.  We saw some pretty amazing tricks.
I asked Carson, "Enjoy skateboarding?"
He got the biggest scowl on his face and said, "NO!"
I asked, "Why the snarky reply?"
"AUNT JOY does not skateboard!"
Okay dokey then.
Time to tune up the 'ole hearing, buddy!

Whelp, back to my lovely heating pad.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Guess who?

Guess who... now two months old?

...weighs 12 pounds and is 24 inches long?

...sleeps 8 to 9 hours a night?  (except Saturday nights, of course!)

...smiles and coos and tries to giggle?

...drools and blows raspberries?

...has the most crystal blue eyes, chubbiest cheeks and kissable little lips?

...loves his brothers and sister like crazy?

...snuggles and nuzzles with daddy and mommy every chance he gets?

...has stolen the hearts of his entire family?


Friday, September 2, 2011

Fat Friday

Dear Wet Polly Ponytail,
It's time for us to break up.  You've been a faithful friend these last eight weeks, making my hair look as if I really had a style.  You provided a smooth look when I was sleep deprived, emotional, rushed and couldn't muster up the effort to use a blow dryer.  I hope you know, it's me not you.  I just can't enjoy you anymore.  I need clean ends and little more style.  Your constant availability has been very much appreciated.  You've been a lifesaver.  Please don't be sad.  I'm sure there will still be mornings I'll revisit your johnny-on-the-spot availability.


P.S.  Tell your friend, Miss Baby Belly, that I'm kissing her good-bye next.  But first...a little taste of this delicious, fruity treat!

Blueberry Peach Crisp

1 c. rolled oats
1 c. flour
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. butter

Mix dry ingredients.  Using a pastry blender, cut in butter.  Mix well until it becomes a nice crumbly texture.  Set aside.

6-8 cups peaches, peeled and sliced
1 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)
corn starch

To quickly peel peaches, drop in boiling water for about 30 seconds.  The skin will peel off easily.  Slice and place in large casserole dish or 9x13 pan.  Toss in blueberries.  Sprinkle the fruit with a little sugar and cornstarch.

Poor crumbly topping over fruit.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes until topping is golden brown.  Serve warm.

 A delicious fruity summer dessert. 
Oh wait a minute...
Add a scoop of yummy French Vanilla ice cream and enjoy!