March 30, 2012

Black Beans and Bananas

This past week I've been slightly adventurous (well, at least compared to my normal) in some of the foods I've been making.

It started when I saw a recipe on Money Saving Mom's blog.  She had found the recipe HERE.  The recipe is for Black Bean Brownies.  I had heard of this recipe a long time ago, but I have a serious aversion to beans--all beans.  In the spirit of trying something new, and possibly more healthy, I gave the recipe a try.  It was super easy to mix the ingredients together in the blender.  I used mini chocolate chips with the recipe.  While the brownies were baking they smelled great and very much like regular brownies.  They had fluffed up while baking.  I was very pleased with their appearance.  Once they cooled, I covered them and waited to try them later.  When I went to try them later, I noticed they seemed to condense and were less of the fluffy texture they appeared just out of the oven.  From reading the reviews, I knew this was okay.  The consistence of these brownies is a mix between fudge and brownies.  They are a very moist brownie.
I had Pat try one first.  I hadn't told him how they were made.  He ate it and seemed to enjoy it.  When I let him in on the secret ingredient, he refused to eat any more.  My little boys really enjoyed them.  For two days straight, they insisted on standing on chairs over by the counter eating browning after brownie.  As for myself, I thought they were pretty good, although not the typical texture.  But seeing as I hate beans, it was hard for me to mentally get over that part.  I will say they definitely did NOT taste like beans, and I did eat my fair share.  So if you want to try fiber filled brownies yourself, give this recipe a try.  (Unfortunately I didn't take a picture.  I think I was waiting to see how they tasted, and then I forgot)

The other food I tried out was Banana Dogs.  I am sure I saw it pinned on Pinterest, and my creation certainly was not as pretty as the one I saw on there.   I had all the ingredients on hand and have recently been craving strawberry jam, so the other morning I decided Banana Dogs would make a great breakfast. I spread some peanut butter into a hot dog bun, added a small banana, and spread some strawberry jam around the top and into any crevices.  I thought it was pretty good.  It kept me full for a long time, which these days is a small miracle.  My boys, however, were not pleased with this breakfast.  Their dislike was not based on the taste though.  Ryan thought it looked messy and refused to try it, and Sean was wondering where the real hot dog had gone.  If you find yourself with a craving for banana and PB&J, this will hit the spot.  Or if your kids are more adventurous than mine it could be a cute snack.

March 28, 2012

I'm Back!

I did not anticipate taking quite as long a break from blogging as I did.  Once I was out of the loop, it seemed really hard to come back.  But I do miss it.  So let me fill you in quickly on what has been going on.

I took a two week trip to visit my family.  The kids loved it.  I missed Pat, but it was great to be around so many other people that I love.  After two weeks away, coming back to TN was a bit overwhelming for all of us trying to hop back into the "normal" schedule.  At least this week is spring break for Ryan, so it's allowing us to slowly get back into the swing of things.

Speaking of spring, apparently I missed that in the two weeks I went away.  I left wearing a sweatshirt, and now it's full fledged summer weather and temps around here.  I can put away all our winter stuff, we won't be needing that.  I don't like that about TN.  I prefer to ease into Summer since it is my least favorite time of the year.  I like that we can play outside now, but it seems to be just a matter of time before it is too humid, hot, buggy, and just gross out there.

I'm 28 weeks pregnant.  I'm bigger than a house.  I'm not one of those tiny girls that says that and annoys everyone.  I've been gaining lots of weight this time around.  You would think by the third one you would work harder at self control, but I just seem to be putting on the lbs no matter what.  I like to pretend that carrying a girl is different than it was with my boys, but really I'm probably just getting fat.

But the best news that has happened since I've been gone is that I became an aunt again--and this time X 2!!!!  My sister and her husband welcomed perfect boy/girl twins yesterday.  I am beyond thrilled for them and cannot wait to meet the babies.      

I have a few photos and recipes or things that I want to share, but I'll have to work on that this week.  Also there may be news about a move in my future too.

March 6, 2012

What I'm Loving

I feel like I'm in a good place now and there is so much to love right now. I thought I'd share a few things with you.

*I'm loving the Lisa Leonard necklace I just ordered from GroopDealz.  Click on the link if you want to buy one too; the deal is around for a few more hours.  The necklace is called You Can Fly-- and the description is "This little birdie is the perfect reminder that sometimes you just have to take a leap in order to fly."  I just could not pass it up.  A reminder like that is so vital to a few things going on for our family right now and in the near future.  So I informed Pat that he bought me a great gift and thanked him.  I even told him I could write a great love not and sign his name to it if he would like, but he said he'd sign it himself ;)  For $19, this deal is something I'm loving.

*I'm starting to feel a bit down about how I'm looking lately.  I know I'm pregnant and weight gain is normal, I'm just feeling a bit yucky since I can see I'm gaining weight in more places than the belly.  (I did with my other pregnancies too of course, but this time I am already seeing it in my face, thighs, arms, butt, etc.  And I still have months to go)  So this weekend I made a quick trip to a Clinique counter.  I have always had dry lips, but right now they are very bad.  I picked up All About Lips which feels (and looks) like a moisturizer that you put on your lips.  It help to stop them from flaking.  So far I'm pretty happy with it.  My lips are much less dry.  While I was there I also wanted to pick up a new color of the Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Color Balm.  I have the graped-up color, but wanted something a bit lighter for spring.  I bought mega-melon and LOVE it.  I highly recommend these little lip sticks.
*Last night we had a hail and farewell with Pat's unit.  It was held at the bowling alley on post.  We were able to bring the boys.  This was their first time bowling, and they had so much fun.  When Ryan saw Pat this morning the first thing he said was that he wanted to go bowling again.  We'll have to take them again in a few weekends.  Maybe I'll snap some pictures next time.  

*Tomorrow I leave with the boys to go visit family for two weeks.  Originally this was planned when we thought Pat was going to be in the field, but that was cancelled.  But then it was still a good plan because our house was supposed to be on the market, and I was going to go house hunting for our next home.  Unfortunately, that plan was destroyed by the Army too.  So now I am leaving Pat for two weeks without much reason, but on the positive side I get to spend all that time with my family.  I am looking forward to seeing them.  (However, I'm not looking forward to flying with the boys by myself.)

March 2, 2012

On My Mind

With any quiet time I find these days, I'm realizing how certain parts of my life are like necklaces tossed into a jewelry box that get knotted and tangled.  They are completely different necklaces that you would want to wear separately, but because they were tossed in the box they are affecting each other.  It's funny to think about how much completely different aspects of life can impact other parts.  (Does that even make any sense?  It does in my head, but I'm not sure it's coming out right.)

One thing that has been on my mind lately is how people are always chiming in on how others raise their children.  I feel pressured to fit into molds.  I keep hearing my kids have to do this, have to know that, must be able to do such and such by a certain age.  Who makes up these rules?  Why do we have to follow them?  Lately I've felt a lot of people imposing their standards onto my children, especially Ryan.  And being that Ryan is my first child, I feel like I succumb to the pressures of what to do/not to do.

It's a hard place to navigate.  You don't want to ignore what people say for fear that you may be missing something, but if you blindly listen to everyone, you may not hear your own mommy voice calling out what you need to hear.  I know as a parent we know our children best, but how do we know when to push our children vs. when to say mind your own business to other people.

Sometimes with all this I begin to feel like a failure.  I feel like I'm lost and confused.  I want to feel like I know exactly what I'm doing and what needs to be done.  Maybe that's wishful thinking about parenting though.  I don't know.  I think I've just lost my confidence lately.

March 1, 2012

24 Weeks Update

I'm about 24 weeks pregnant now.  I feel like the time between 20 weeks to 30 weeks goes by pretty slowly.  Things are going well.  I feel the baby move a lot.  Somedays she moves more than others.  Usually I feel the movement down very low still.  I have Pat feel the baby move frequently, but it sometimes freaks him out feeling something moving inside me.  Lately no food has been satisfying to me.  Nothing tastes good these days.  It doesn't taste bad, but it just seems blah.  I've never felt that way in pregnancy before.  I'm sleeping okay--not great, but I'm getting by.  I'm feeling pretty big, and I still have a lot of time to grow.  I suffer from heartburn almost every day.  Overall though, things have been going great.  
We haven't bought almost anything for baby girl.  We did buy a carseat though.  Ours is old, and I caught a good deal on amazon.  We haven't purchased any clothes though.  I'm not sure why we haven't.  I feel like we need to make a shopping trip soon.

During my first two pregnancies, I was hoping for boys.  I was really drawn to boys clothes with cute little animals on them.  This time I was secretly hoping for a girl and have found an appreciation for all the pink and ruffles.  It feels like I'm exploring a whole new world with the girl stuff.
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