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Menu Monday

In my attempt to completely domesticate myself, I am forcing myself to publicly post what I plan to cook for the week. (In a feeble attempt at actually following through with it.)

The situation with me and cooking is that I need a plan. Mark (and my mom) can stand in front of the pantry and just invent a wonderful new dish. He is definitely an improv chef. I’m not. I need a recipe (that I’ve researched), I need a trip to the store to buy everything in that recipe, and I need a clean kitchen (I’m anal like that).

So that’s what I did yesterday. I picked some dishes I’ve wanted to try, I went to the store, and now I am ready to cook for the week. Here is this week’s selection:

  • Cowboy Pot Roast with Mashed Potatoes (today)
  • Chicken Verde (a family recipe) with Creamy Succotash
  • One-Pot Pasta (a ravioli dish) with salad
  • Chili Dogs with Green Beans (for the 4th of July)

We will have one or two days of leftovers at some point, Mark will cook on Sunday, and we might get take-out on one night.

It’s difficult finding things that Mark and I will both like. He does not like casseroles — or as he puts it, “Anything that has cream of something in it” (cream of mushroom, etc). Carson won’t eat potato items (tots, mashed potatoes, potato salads, etc), which I think he rather bizarre and I hope he grows out of it. Kate is the biggest challenge because she simply won’t eat unless you give her exactly what she wants — which is usually fruit, crackers or things that I consider junk food. (She is getting better though.) As for me, I know I need to explore beyond comfort foods and pastas.


Kids’ Bathroom Progress Report

My mom has been wanting to see what I’ve done to the kids’ shared bathroom upstairs. So I thought I would post a “work in progress” photo. Basically the paint (most of it; had to stop when my back crapped out on me) is done and the new shower curtain is up.

I wanted something fun, colorful and unisex. I think it will look great once it’s all done.


Ever since my return from Houston on Monday, I have been in full-blown cleaning and organizing mode. I tend to get like that around this time of year. I suffer from true spring cleaning.

Currently my house is the cleanest it’s ever been. Usually I have a mound of laundry, but everything is cleaned…and put up! In fact, I went so far as to wash all of the bath mats in the house because I figured my washer and dryer were having withdrawals.

Now that everything is clean, I am onto organizing. The two main areas are the pantry and our master closet. They are truly horrible. To prove how horrible they are (and to peer pressure myself to actually do something about it) I am  posting these embarrassing photos for the world to see.

Exhibit A…the pantry from hell

I find it strange that a 3,000 square foot house has such a tiny pantry, but it does. It is a total nightmare, and I need to organize it.

Exhibit B…the master bedroom closet from hell

When we moved into our house last May, the twins were only 3 months old. So I obviously did not have the time to organize the closet while we were unpacking. We just tossed everything in and tried get a few hours of sleep. Now that life is more normal, it’s time to deal with this disaster zone. We have so much that needs to be sold or donated. It seems like most of my clothes are work clothes from another life. All I need now are my comfy yoga pants (a mom standard), an over-sized t-shirt and some flip flops. 🙂

I also am planning on finishing the painting in our master bathroom. Our big ladder would not fit in the shower, so I was unable to get the top section.


I HATE the Broadway lights above the vanities. They really bug me. I have already picked out their cool replacements, but I won’t be able to buy them until next month (damn budget). I also have the window treatments, mirror frames, wall decor and new towels picked out too. I will post the finished product in a month or two…or whenever this gets done.

It took some getting used to the color*, but now we like it. The bathroom was just so white and so typical. I wanted to use a darker color and warm the room up. I think every bathroom in our suburban neighborhood looks exactly like ours.

The twins are doing great. They both had A+ days at Miss Jennifer’s this week. I am loving our new bedtime routine. It has made our adult life 10 times better. At 7:30 PM the twins go to bed. Carson never puts up a fight, and Kate limits hers to about 5 minutes. Often we can hear her talking to herself on the baby monitor and then finally going to sleep.

They are waking up at 6:30 AM like clockwork. Carson usually sleeps through the night, and Kate usually gets up around midnight. I have been just holding her on the gameroom sofa for about 10 minutes and then she is back to sleep. She hasn’t slept with me since Houston.

I can live with this schedule.

We have big plans this weekend and into next week. My mom is coming in for a visit on Easter Sunday and will be staying until Wednesday. When the twins go to Jennifer’s on Tuesday, we are having a mother-daughter day — out to lunch, hair cuts, mani/pedi, etc. I can’t wait!

I think we will probably be getting together with my aunts, uncles and cousins too. That’s always a lot of fun!

* “Toffee Crunch” by Behr

Progress Report on Carson’s Room

Welcome to Carson’s room!

I’m not too hot on that little lamp, and an oak nightstand is on my wish list. The white table will just have to do for now.

This is a family heirloom dresser. It was originally in the room that my dad and Uncle Tommy shared when they were boys. Aside from it being a beautiful piece of furniture, I love that Carson has something from my dad especially since Kate’s furniture is my mom’s childhood furniture.

This is above Carson’s crib. The bat was from my dad’s last team.

And, YES, the bat is securely on the wall. I have hit the wall, slammed doors, jumped up and down on the floor, and placed it too high for Carson to reach. It’s not falling.

The last thing I want to do to the room is hang his window valance — which is cloth napkins that we made to look like pennants. I just need to find some time.


  • I finally got around to painting our half bath (or powder room). I picked a color called New Brick by Behr and I LOVE it. I usually suck at picking out paint color, but this is my favorite color. It’s not for everyone, but I love russet-ish looking colors. My whole house is essentially russet red, muted gold, and chocolate brown (with the big exception being Kate’s room). I will post a photo once it’s completely done.
  • The mystery as to why the twins are almost 11 months old and still toothless as been solved. My mother-in-law told me that Mark was 14 months before his first tooth popped through. I had a mouthful by my 1st birthday, so they must get that from him.
  • Dawn designed very cool birthday invitations for the twins, and they are going in the mail tomorrow. I wish I could post a photo of it, but…well, it has our address on it and I am too lazy to blur it out on PhotoShop. Trust me, it’s cute. The invitations are slightly Valentine’s Day themed with chocolate, pinks and reds. But, hey, when you are born two days before Valentine’s you might as well go with it. I figure next year they will want Elmo or Higglytown Heroes, so for this birthday I am doing what I want. 🙂
  • Carson has taken off. For the most part he is sticking with Army crawling, but he has gotten surprisingly fast at it. We seriously need to child-proof our house this weekend. I am amazed at the things they are drawn to — like the DVD player and one particular end table — so I will have to just put up everything.

Whew! Carson’s Room is Painted.

I still have a ton left to do, but at least the painting is completed. Yay! (I hate posting photos of unfinished projects, but my mom is dying to see the bed she bought Carson for Christmas.)

Here’s the Carson’s Room Project To-Do List:

  • Decide on window treatment & get them
  • Find new quilt for bed
  • Finish setting up his crib area
  • Find a nightstand
  • Find a lamp
  • Hang artwork/pictures
  • Install ceiling fan
  • Move-up the glider
  • Move-up antique highboy dresser (was my dad’s as a child)

If anyone cares…

Paint: “Hunting Coat Red” by Ralph Lauren, “Restrained Gold” by Sherwin Williams, and “True Blue” by Ralph Lauren. Oh, and Ralph Lauren paints sucks! It’s almost as thin as water.

Bed: Rooms-to-Go Kids. I just love the bed. It’s my favorite part of the room.

Here’s to hoping Carson likes sports! 🙂

Carson’s Room & Carson’s Rump

Since the twins were at Miss Jennifer’s today (well, one of them…more on that in a second), I started working on Carson’s room. His big boy bed arrive on Saturday night, and I just love it! Given Carson’s lineage (damn, that sounds snobby), we decided to do a sports themed room for him. I will finally have a place to put some of my dad’s baseball stuff. Anyway, the headboard and foot-board are made out of baseball bats….love it.

I am taking my first crack at painting stripes, and I’m a bit nervous about it. So far so good, but I’ve only done the easy part so far. I can’t decide what to paint that middle stripe. I wanted to do UT’s burnt orange, but the paint guys at Home D*pot are full of crap when they say they’ve cracked the copyrighted code to that color. What they gave me as a sample looks more like the University of Tennessee orange. I am open for suggestions. Oh, and I have some left-over dining room paint, and that could be an option too. The goldie yellow would look good with the blue & red. Cast your vote.

Mr. Carson was sent home at 10:30 this morning from Miss Jennifer’s because of severe diarrhea. I don’t know what’s going on with him. He seems to be feeling okay, and if anything he has been hyper. However, for the past two days he has refused (turning his head to the side) all baby food and has been on some poo producing world record. Seriously, NINE blow-out poos just today (and it’s only 4:30 PM)! He hates PediLite, so I am going to make him keep up on water to avoid dehydration. Thanks to all of these blow-outs, Carson is also suffering from some nasty, nasty diaper rash. I’ve done Butt Paste, Balmex, baby powder, and corn starch. The poor baby just screams when I have to change his diapers. 😦 The pedi nurse suggested switching him to a soy formula until this passes, and soaking him in a warm bath several times a day.

So cast your vote for the paint color on that middle stripe, and we are off to pick up Miss Kate.

P.S. The paint was still wet when I took the above photo, so it will dry even darker. Also, I still have another two coats to put on — damn that Ralph Lauren paint…it’s like slapping on water.

April 2018
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