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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Myself, I am.

Me, myself, and I.
JULY 2008
Always a work in progress. I'm none too happy with the way I look, but isn't that how most people view themselves? A little less here, a little more there. Little time, and little motivation seems to be the common denominator. I'm going to be 31 this year, and I've spent quite some time on the number roller coaster on the scale. This pregnancy I would have all ready gained around 25-30 lbs. I'm 7 months tomorrow (27 weeks), and I just hit 20 lbs. For the first time, and last pregnancy, I'm staying aware of what I'm doing to myself. Lauren and Harlow I gained 45 lbs. Yeah...I have over 8 pound babies, and Lauren was 9 1/2 lbs. BUT. I shouldn't have gained that much. 

I attribute it to lack of movement starting around the time the belly gets pretty heavy. Like most women, my lower back just quits and gives up. And so do I. This time I am moving more since the beginning. I have to walk Lauren to school everyday, I have stairs in the house, and I have been stretching regularly every week. I think it all really helps with my lower back. Although in the next month he'll gain a solid 1- 1 1/2 lbs (we're at 2ish lbs now), and from then on...it'll be a constant buffet binge for him. In the 8th month with all the kids I gained 7-10 lbs. I'm trying to avoid such a spike, but I know I have good size babies...and lets face it. He's a boy, have you seen my husband?? I'll be LUCKY if Jason turns out to be less then 8 1/2-9. I'm not stressing about all of this by any means. He'll be what he is, and I'll feel good from light exercise and choosing better foods for most of the time. So if it turns out I gain a little more than I was aiming for, at least I know I FEEL good and not like a whale that moves as fast as a turtle! 

I can't wait for breast feeding to work me back down slowly, and to get back into running. I'll MAKE the time. This time I'll also buy better running shoes. Last pair didn't work too well. Here's to a healthy happy momma!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Git Er' Done!

Shooo! Time to relax. This weekend went by fast. The zoo animals that live here had to be reminded that when Mom and Dad say clean up or else...you DON'T want to find out what the or else is! But oh my goodness, the house is CLEAN. Sometimes in the chaos of producing and running a herd, things get messy. That's ok, as long as we can try to keep some order every once in a while ;o)

Saturday morning we treated the kids to breakfast at Chick- fil-A. They played while CJ and I figured the math on the amount of wood we needed to build this:
We'll paint it white, so Harlow and Jason will be able to both use it. We're adding another plank to the headboard, making the legs taller by 6 inches, and instead of those skinny cross planks- we bought wider wood so that it will be sturdier and less of them. All that took 2 hours to eat breakfast and plus figure out and buy the wood. Lauren said she would be soooo bored walking around HD, and wanted to know if she could go down the toy aisle at Target (right by Home Depot). I said I'd be soooo bored standing there while she looked at toys. You should have seen the look she gave me. Home Depot isn't a toy store, she said. I bet you know CJ's reply!

By the time we made it home, it was lunchtime and a light one at that. Then we told the girls to "Git Er' Done", so the girls worked on the play area in the basement after lunch. Seriously? Who grabbed the room and shook it? THAT took some time. While that was going on, CJ and I worked on the clutter and vacuuming. Wasn't too bad all around, because I've been following my clean/pick up/laundry schedule on my massive marker board all week long. I've changed a few bits and pieces over the past month, I noticed trends that weren't working on certain days. Plus..my belly is getting bigger and I'm picking up less and less that falls to the floor lol. 26 1/2 weeks people, this baby is starting to pack on the weight! No more cleaning bath tubs for a while.

We managed to get finished without breaking a sweat, then we had to go to the store for a few things. We were having our friends and their kids for dinner. I'm making Tanya's boy Christopher his 10th Birthday "Minecraft Cake" in March. So we had details to discuss. Dinner menu included: Atomic burgers (pico de gallo under the cheese), SOUTHERN baked beans (with molasses, bacon, and liquid smoke), and the usual culprit- french fries. Tanya and Mike were the ones that offered to help us unload our trucks when we moved to Colorado back in August. I had posted help wanted on the Buckley AFB page, and she saw it and wanted to help! If she hadn't done that, I would have never met her probably, and CJ would have just walked past Mike 15 times by now between the gym and other places. Ended a productive day with good food, good people, and good fun.

Continuing into Sunday, we cleaned up the garage. It really wasn't THAT bad. We've done worse ha ha. What can I say? You live and learn. We're much tidier with our garage/storage then we were 8 years ago. Next weekend we'll "Git Er' Done" and get the toddler bed made. I've got a few decor projects for Taylor and Harlow's room that I need to get done too. I want all the rooms and their "stuff" organized, clean, and tidy before spring break in 3ish weeks. That's when the big switcharoo is happening. Trying to avoid a headache (CJ..). Quick and easy me likey. Guess I better get off here and get my monthly menus done. We're entering our third month of doing it, and have done a pretty good job of sticking to it. Planning is a busy mom's best friend!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

12 Months to a Year

Everyone owns a calendar of some sort. Whether you made it, photo shopped it, bought it with animals or flowers..everyone owns one. Every month has something to offer. Let's start with our current month:
It's sweet because Valentines Day is a day, in my opinion, to CELEBRATE your love for the people in your life. It's not to prove your love, but just a fun day to make someone feel special. The glory of it is, not every year has to be over the top. They know you love them, but every once in a while it's nice to knock them off their socks.
March and April.
Their celebrations and time off are different every year. St. Patty's Day, Spring break, and Easter. I like it when it's separated. This year the girls have spring break in March, but yet Easter is towards the end of April. I like it that way. This years spring break will be spent playing musical chairs with the kids bedrooms so that Jason's nursery can get put together. Oldest and youngest girls will share, do to personality compatibility. Where the middle girl will have a room to herself for a while. Easter is always fun. I love getting the girls nice dresses, going to church, delicious meal...but- we clash on Easter baskets all of a sudden. My thoughts: ALL their birthdays are are three weeks apart at the END of the year. We try not to buy a lot of toys and stuff in general. Special occasions omitted, and I like the Easter Bunny to put "something" in each basket. Less candy is my reasoning..His thoughts: all I got was candy. Valentines Day, Easter..that's it. Candy. Also, with three girls...we are up to our limit on stuffed animals. I have ideas for this year, we'll see how it goes.
The month of margaritas, flowers, and  final report cards. Cinco de Mayo..mmm mmm GOOD food! Then Mother's Day. I "think" it's my day off...not sure on that one ;o) I can't count how many Mother's Days I've spent with him gone. Friends and family have always been so nice and loving on that day when he's not here. Last year, our sweet friends Adam and Andrea treated me and the girls to lunch at Club Muroc (Edwards afb). That meant so much to me. Of course I paid them back with cupcakes!
Summer time and the living is easy..
CJ's birthday and Father's Day. Just like last month, we've spent quite a few of those apart too. As the kids get older, we are trying to make the ones when he's home more special. Two years ago, he was ambushed by silly string wielding girls. What to plan this year...
The hottest month of the year, and our anniversary is July 5th.  We got married in Arizona, and It. Was. Sweltering. I LOVE July. Fireworks, BBQ, Anniversary Cake, swimming, shopping, family time, and...MY BIRTHDAY!! "Christmas in July" I could care less about WHAT I get as long as there's cake. And I'm not picky. I don't "do" traditional cake, so every year I love it to be different. Last year, some of my closest friends at Edwards came with me to a Warner Brother tour in Burbank, lunch at California Pizza Kitchen, and sweet Kimmi made my lemon raspberry cake. For the love of all that is sugary, it was delicious! I had a blast. Memories like that make life all the better. Miss you beaches ;o)
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!! It's back to school..
New back packs, supplies, and friends. Prepping for college football season, GO GATORS, and putting my house back together after 2 or so months of every day being Saturday. This month isn't too bad. Not any major holidays. But I've always liked August. It's the calm before the storm..
In Cincinnati, Ohio Labor day weekend is soooo fun. WEBN fireworks are a must! If you've never been, and do travel there for family and what not- GO! Best fireworks show you will see. The family that runs it have been doing it for over 50 years. They plan all year for it. It's on the river between two bridges. GOOGLE IT. I want to take the kids when all of them are old enough to enjoy it. Maybe in 4-5 years we will come specifically over that weekend. I get sad that weekend every year, because I know what I'm missing. September is also "finalize your Halloween costume ideas". Have to be ready. It's the time to put out fall decor, plan scrumptious meals and treats.
How I love thee. It is my favorite month. In Ohio, the leaves turn. In Arizona/California, it's the start of nice cooler weather. Halloween.. So fun for the kids, and I just LOVE fall and Halloween decor. It's apple this, pumpkin that. Orange. I love the color orange. So happy and bright. So fire up the crock pots, bake a pie or two, and head to the pumpkin patch but grab a Pumpkin Spice Latte before the festivities!
Taylor and Lauren's birthdays (3 days apart..same due date!) plus Thanksgiving. Cakes, food, games, family time fun. I spend most of last month and this month thinking and looking for new things to make for this holiday. I love tradition, but I also love the tradition of making one thing new. And it's more like Thanksgiving "weekend" then Day. You always have leftover turkey or ham, so if there was a side or two I wanted to make but didn't on the main day..thus born the 2nd Thanksgiving. Half the work is all ready done for you! And gosh darn it, I'm tired of making what every body else wants to have. If I want something with mushrooms- then I'm gonna make it! So, at the Coles house- we have a 2nd Thanksgiving because the food it just so delicious! One of my favorite Thanksgivings as a married adult was back in 2009. We were at Eglin in Florida and as usual we had Thanksgiving with our best friends Sarah and JT. JT did his traditional cajun fried turkey, and we did pulled pork bbq and the fixin's. We had soooo much food...lots of people from his shop came by. Just a good ol' southern Thanksgiving. THAT was my favorite past time Thanksgiving.
Harlow's Birthday and Christmas. I tell you what. Having three kids at the end of the year plus CHRISTMAS is B-A-N-A-N-A-S. It sure is a happy time of year. Holiday baking, the lights and tree, planning surprises galore. Making traditions of our own, crafts, and parties. Busy, but fun. And they love it all.

Then we're back to January. The "IhaveNOspecialGardenFlagNorHolidayI'msoLame" month. I have nothing nice to say about you mister. The month of January means nothing to me. There's no fun fancy holidays, there's always of course someones birthday, but other then that..I could do without the month of January on the calendar. For us- we are packing away pretty decorations, and awaiting to file our tax return. So exciting right? I found no garden flag for January. Home and garden must have thought it sucked too.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

13ish weeks

So many things to do. And he'll be here in roughly 13 weeks. Yesterday, we had a day out and about. Had IHOP for breakfast, which we hadn't had in YEARS! Then we bought a leather rocking recliner for Jason's room. I have never been so excited about a furniture purchase lol! It's in the loft right now, awaiting Lauren to vacate his room. It must be good since I fell asleep in it while testing it out. Can't wait to clock some time rocking my baby.. 

I took a 2 1/2 hour nap, had to collect some more zzz's because I only clocked 5 hours the night before. I was taking my time making these beauties for a sweet new friends daughter who was turning 4. 
So cute right? It was a Sofia the First royal birthday party. They look dark (it was after midnight by the time I finished) but once they dried the purple lightened a lot. So many ideas for decorative cookies floating around this brain..

After our nice naps, this belly decided he wanted pizza (what boy doesn't??). No delivery here, we went out to a pizza place by base. A little mom and pop shop. Everyone liked it, and that doesn't always happen. 

I don't get down to the base area very often, since we live 30 minutes north of it. It's been YEARS since I've lived near a Hobby Lobby..this home decor junkie was itching to walk the isles. So after dinner we went to it. I love all their wall decor, signs, mirrors..lucky me all that was half off yesterday :o) so we bought these: 
I picked out "Hey Batter Batter", and CJ picked the other saying he liked it better. So I put both in the cart, to which he replied "both?" 


He doesn't argue with a mom-to-be of her first boy. 

Projects aplenty in the Coles house, stay tuned for pics! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Every mom cherishes nap time. It's the one time of day where you can literally sit and do nothing but what YOU want to do. Some days I do chores that wouldn't get done if I sat down, but mostly that is "me" time. If I worked out, it's my shower and relax time. If I wanted to eat a lunch that I didn't want mooched, then I savor it with one of my DVR shows. Those are my top two favs. Since Pinterest came along, I've pinned quite a bit. Nap time is a great time to look for recipes, DIY ideas, cleaning tips...you name it- they got it. Those E-cards that make fun of it all cracks me up, because to a certain point...they ARE true. 

I don't bother to make a cup in the morning anymore. Too much to do, and I won't finish drinking it until 3 pm after reheating it 5 times.


Every pinners dilemma. 

Even if she doesn't sleep, at least she will continue "quiet time" safely in her crib. First kid, you're so excited to get them in to a big bed, twin bed at 2 years old. Second kid, you're half and half. She's crazy so you want to keep her in it as long as possible...but she's crazy..she won't physically stay in the crib. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Third kid, keep her in as long as possible, because second kid is still fresh in the mind. Plus..lets face it. This third kid does as she's told (so far), so I will keep her in the crib as long as I can. Well..until second and third need to share because here comes #4. 

On the agenda:
DIY crates
Copy cat Starbucks Lemon Loaf

DIY Salt Dough Eggs for Easter Tree

There's just a few that will definitely get done in the next month. Don't you wish there were more time in the day, more days in the week, and more naps? Oh wishing tree, where art thou? I've always wanted to be the mom that does cool crafts with the kids (the kind that will hold up over time), but I'm hit or miss. Just have to remember to TAKE THE TIME, not wait for the time. There may not always be "nap time", but eventually..they do require sleep. Have your kids asked you "What do you and Dad do after we go to sleep"? That's a loaded question..HA! We watch TV, and peck around on our cell phones...AND SO DO YOU!! LOL

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Dad & his daughters

This week was such a pain. Sub zero temps plus we all caught an air born head cold. Just run down, little snot, low fevers, slightly achy, and a cough. "Taylor started it."  Haha...then it was Harlow (barely sick), then Lauren and me, and now CJ. Totally screwed our plans. Tonight is the "Daddy Daughter Dance" at the first school the girls have attended that offered one. And we're all sick. Poor Lauren is going to have a fit when I tell her she (and Daddy) is too sick to go. BUT. We'll be here for about 3 more years, there will be more. We just hate having to break her little heart. It's all she talked about this week. She even had a dress in mind to go buy. 

We were just talking last night about making it up to Lauren (Taylor wasn't too excited because it's called a "Dance" which she says she doesn't do. Like father, like daughter..) Guess Dad is gonna have to take her on a "date." This is from a category of stuff I think he should do, but hasn't thought about doing. Three girls, they need to be shown how they should be treated. Flowers on their birthdays, dinner out- just them, and eventually maybe a concert when they're old enough. Those are things that build a good relationship, and set the mental picture of how men should court and treat a woman he cares about.
Did your Dad take you on "date's"? Mine didn't, but that's not his style. Our style was to see movies, watch tv, go to sport events, amusement parks. We did stuff, plenty of fun stuff. Where ever Dad went, I wanted to go. Who ever he talked to, I wanted to know their names and how he knew them. Dad knows a lot of people, so it wasn't like I would see that random person again. It would be later, but I'd most likely remember one thing about them: who (they are), where (I saw them), or why (my Dad knows them). What I learned from that is, a man should be an open book about the people he knows and/or surrounds himself with. Just live life, and not hide you (or the relationship) away. If neither one of you are an open book, then you'll only be a paragraph in each others book instead of being the main character of the book itself. 

CJ is in a career where he knows a lot of people too. Although the girls aren't with him at work or too many functions, they ask about the same kind of questions I would have asked my Dad. I find it funny. It makes me think...what would it be like to have your husband as a Dad? I think I'd be damn lucky. Guess that means I picked a great guy..

~The Lumineers

Monday, February 3, 2014

The food was better than the game.

So. We're not going to talk about the game. We opted to stay at home (thanks for the invites friends!) and watched "the game we're not going to talk about." What we will talk about is the FOOD. It's was Mexican theme for lunch and dinner. One new, and one a staple. One of our favorite meats is shredded beef. SUPER easy and versatile. You could use it for many things. Tacos, nachos, sandwiches, chimichangas, burritos...the list is just mouth watering.

Simple easy crockpot Mexican shredded beef

2 pounds of beef chuck roast
One can of beef consume
1/4-1/2 jar of pickled jalepenos 
1/4 cup of jalepeno liquid 
Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, cumin, and fiesta fajita seasoning (order here). 
Place meat fat side up (if fat is on the side, disregard)
Pour can of consume and jalepeno juice over meat  
Drop jalepenos on top
Sprinkle your desired amount of seasonings listed. Use your nose, when it smells good- it'll taste good. 

Turn slow cooker on low for 6.5 hours, open and pull off fat. Shred in the crockpot, let it go another 30 mins. 

So easy, so good. Spread the word.

Today we made something new with it. Started with this recipe: 

It was pretty good, we did the insides completely different. I always wanted to make homemade chimi's, but I didn't want to drop it in the fryer. Faux fry it is. This was very easy, and light. The options are endless. The sauce was pretty good, but I have idea for where I will combine two recipes for a future meal. For the insides we did this:

Little bit of meat, a tablespoon or two of warmed jarred queso, and a healthy 4 finger pinch of Monterrey jack cheese. Our favorite queso to use for this was the 4 cheese Pace queso that they don't make anymore. It was delicious and thicker, and just...amazing. So we used Mission salsa con queso. It's thin, so don't use a lot. Next time I think I'm going omit it and use some cotija cheese inside for this particular white sauce recipe. When I use a red sauce, my recipe was a copycat of Chevy's queso burrito. I ALWAYS ask for shredded beef, because for some reason they serve it with ground beef. Ours was delicious...darn you Pace for denying the world of awesome 4 cheese queso..Rant over.

After baking, see how some had too much queso?
It was so nice to have something new, something different, and it turned out great. Whenever I find a recipe, I always adjust it to make it my own (what home cook doesn't?). Restaurant quality food doesn't have to be hard. This was seriously easy. Go ahead and make your weekly menus, but don't forget to leave a night for new recipes that (if you're nervous) someone has tried and raved about or that you found. Restaurants are a nice getaway from home, the dishes, and clean up. BUT when you make a meal that is as good (or better) then theirs..pat your back- heck I'll do it for you! It's almost like I'm having you over for dinner, which I would but for most of you...plane tickets aren't cheap anymore. So when you make something that I shared, I got clean-up ;0) 
Bon Appetite!