Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I'm now an official member of the Gravy Club!

So today I have reached an important milestone in my life. I have made old fashioned cream gravy. Although I feel quite proud of my achievement, my husband doesn't seem to share my joy quite as much. He just must not understand how truly hard it is. :)

My dad (hereinafter referred to as the "Gravy Master") is an exceptional gravy maker. He can make it on the stove or over a campfire and it always comes out perfect. So this morning (Matt's day off) I decided to make biscuits and gravy, and who did I call for instructions? Of course, the Gravy Master. He graciously took my call even though he was at work.

Now he's always said that gravy takes a lot of practice beofre you get it just right. My first attempt was many months ago, and it came out tasting like flour. It was thick and disgusting, and even though it looked like gravy, it tasted nothing like it. We threw it out right away.

My second attempt was this morning shortly after the conversation with Gravy Master. He said, "Cook the flour and oil until it starts to smell like baking bread." Well, I forgot to put the lumps of meat in the concotion, first off, and I also managed to forget the seasonings. Apparently these ingredients contribute greatly to the "baking bread smell" because my first attempt this morning - I kept waiting and waiting for that smell. The mixture kept getting darker and darker, and finally it DID smell like bread - but burning bread. I figured that must have been the thing I was waiting for, so I took my now dark brown goop off the stove to wait for it to cool and add milk.

Just to make sure, I called the Gravy Master again and ask if it's supposed to look like diahrreah? He says I might have burned it a little. Hmmm .... Well I added the milk anyway, hoping the milk would turn it to the right creamy color. Nope. It wasn't supposed to be the color of beef gravy, was it?

I made the decision not to posion my family with this "crappy" batch and threw it out. (Meanwhile Matt comes by and says, "So they'll be ready by lunch then?") Haha! Then I started my second batch. I remembered to add the seasonings and the meat, and VOILA!! After a few minutes of cooking, it certainly did smell like baking bread! The rest of the process went by smoothly, and the gravy came out excellent. Not even a lump. :)

So, thanks Dad, for the advice and directions. I am now an official gravy maker. :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

How the cat taught me the lesson of never using generic brand trash bags ...

So here it is, nearly 12:00am, and I'm not even close to going to bed. My husband is out of town working tonight, so it's just me and Kyleigh (and two dogs and a kitten).

Poor Kyleigh was crying, and I went into her room to investigate. She was only half awake but seemed in pain. I gave her some homeopathic teething tablets (she's finally cutting her left bottom front tooth) and tried to pat her back to sleep. Then I noticed a not-so-pleasant smell coming from her crib. I saw the cat sleeping there, so I picked him up, and sure enough, he smelled like .... well, he hadn't properly cleaned himself after a recent #2. *sigh* Fantastic, I thought, I have to wash the cat's butt at 11:00 at night. This is a first though, normally this cat is impecably clean. So I put the cat out of Kyleigh's room and continued patting her back to sleep. I kept smelling the smell. *great* So I started pulling stuffed animals out of the crib and smelling them one by one. Three of the five stunk. Woo hoo. So I put those in the hallway - they'll have to be cleaned. Poor Ky just couldn't seem to fall completely back asleep. I figure the smell must be in her crib. I leaned down into the crib, but can't seem to locate anything on the sheets. I moved her to the other side of the crib and within three pats she was out like a light. I'll wash the sheets tomorrow, even though I can't smell anything on them. Better than waking the poor child up completely when there's a perfectly good side for her to sleep on.

So - yes, the story gets even better - I went out to clean the cat. Put on some disposable gloves and, er ... cleaned the cat. He looked quite undignified, but didn't put up too much of a fight. (Now I know how poor nurses must feel.) I got him smelling all nice and "Dial Antibacterial Lavendar" fresh, and he ran away looking as though he felt slightly violated. Now he's hiding from me. So then I went to start a load of laundry and wash the blankets (which don't smell but I'm washing anyway) and the stuffed animals. One stuffed animal, a puppet Elmo, is not "machine washable", so let's just say that poor Elmo is no longer with us. The others are happily getting soaked on the "heavy soil" cycle.

After all this, I sit down and pull up google to see if my little three month old kitten could already be spraying, and to find out what this nasty smell was and how to keep it from coming back. Apparently, spray smells like urine, which is NOT what this smelled like, so at least he's not spraying. (Note to self - call the vet tomorrow to schedule the neutering.) One of the cat sites I was looking at said that sometimes poor feline hygiene can be attributed to an overly dirty litterbox, and that a quick and easy correction was tidying up, and washing the litterbox out with "mild" soap (can't I please use BLEACH?) and not using scented cat litter (what? I have to smell natural cat odors all day?). I decided that maybe I'd just ignore that last part for now.

So, now it's 11:30, and I'm cleaning out the litterbox. The kitchen trash was only half full, so I took the whole canister outside with me, in addtion to the litterbox. I very carefully dumped all the insides of the kitty litter into the only half-full trash bag. Then I took apart the box and went and sprayed it down good with the hose. Decided I'd leave them to dry while I took care of the litter.

Tied up the handles on the trash bag, started pulling it up out of the canister ... and yep, you guessed it ... 11:45pm .... and I'm cleaning up spilled garbage, kitty litter, and other *unmentionables* off of my front porch after the generic brand kitchen trash bag I was using ripped and spilled its contents everywhere.

So now that I've hosed off the front porch, swept up the mess, bleached the broom and dustpan, and put the kitty's box back together with some fresh (but scented) litter .... I'm finally able to come inside and relax - after scouring my hands with Dial, of course.

Next I'm going to go on ebay and find a "kitty toilet training litterbox" that actually trains the cat to go in the potty on its own ... eventually not requiring litterbox anymore ...

I know what I'll be dreaming about tonight ...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pictures of Kyleigh

Kyleigh and Mommy in the windy (but beautiful!) mountains of Colorado!
Just being cute ...

Kyleigh's birthday cake at her party in Lincoln, Nebraska ... What a MESS!

Kyleigh and her daddy at a restaurant in Aztec, New Mexico ...

Her first time eating Lasagna ... She LOVED it!

Kyleigh's turning ONE!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KYLEIGH ABIGAIL! It's so hard to believe how fast it goes by. She turns one tomorrow, July 13, at 6:48 pm. *wow* She's a blessing! Parenthood is really tough, but it's so worth every minute. I just absolutely love being a mom - and now that my husband has this new job, I get to be a stay at home Mom for good!!

Some things about Kyleigh: She's been walking for over two months already. She can count to three (which is SUPER cute to hear, by the way); she's still a petite little thing and doesn't even weigh 18 pounds yet!! She's still in size 3 diapers, and has just now graduated to a size 3 shoe. She also has three teeth - one on bottom and two on top. She loves to play outside - LOVES it!! She's a really good eater and loves to eat vegetables! Her favorite is green beans. She's not a very good sleeper though - and still usually wakes up at least once a night and she's really hard to get down for naps sometimes.

She can say lots of words already and knows the meaning too, including - Mommy, Daddy, Grandpa, Grandmom, puppy (comes out like "puh puh"), kitty, duck, ball, yummy, num nums, night night, shoes, oops, "Lamby" (her stuffed lamb toy that my mother-in-law gave her), no, uh oh, juice, milk, all done, hot ... I'm sure there's a few more, but that's all I can think of right now.

She claps her hands and says "yay!" when she gets excited. When you put sunglasses or a hat on her, she smiles and says "pretty pretty!" When she's upset or sleepy or just feeling cuddly, she comes to me. When I pick her up, she leans up against me, tucks her arms underneath her and lays her head on my shoulder and says "Mommy's baby". She knows how to give hugs and kisses. She follows the kitty around the house and says "meow, meow". When we see other babies in the stores, she points and says "baby!" and then usually proceeds to say "hi!" to the parents (or anyone who happens to be standing nearby and is looking her direction!) She's very social. When she's holding a phone or especially a cell phone, she holds it up to her cheek and says, "hello?" Sometimes during the day while Matt is at work, she roams around the house looking for him, saying "Daddy? Daddy?" She puts EVERYTHING in her mouth and I have to make sure she's not eating things she shouldn't. She now knows what I mean when I tell her to "spit that out!" and put my hand up to her mouth. (She reluctantly relinquishes whatever small treasure she's put in her mouth!) She knows what "sit down" means because I always have to tell her to do that in the bath tub. Sometimes she even tells me "no" when I make her sit down.

Her absolute favorite toy right now is a ball. She LOVES balls of just about any kind. When we're at the grocery store, she sees watermelons, apples, onions, and other various produce items and says "BALL!" and then gets really mad if we don't put one or more of them in the cart. I think watermelons are her favorite "balls" and she always throws a fit when I don't get one. (NOT looking forward to the terrible two's, just FYI) For her birthday we got her a Dora the Explorer blow up tent thing where the bottom is filled with balls - like those kind we all used to play in at McDonald's. I got the idea from my friend Robin, who had one for her daughters Jinjer and Olive. Kyleigh was loving playing in it when we were visiting last. (Thanks, Robin!)

Being a mom is amazing - and I'm so thankful for her! I hope that the Lord will allow us to have several children. I think Kyleigh would make a great big sister someday.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Been a long time! Oops!

My mother reminded me that it was time to post. Holy smokes I should have done it a long time ago!! I can't for the life of me figure out how to post an image as our main photo, so I suppose posting them on the post itself will have to work! There's our little one - getting so big!

Kyleigh is a little over seven months old now. It's AMAZING how quickly she grows. She's such a sweet heart. :) She's almost always laughing and smiling and having a good time. What a blessing! We're almost scared to have another child. She's so great that surely the second one would be a holy terror!

She is almost crawling, and is starting to pull up on stuff. Baby proofing the house is something we've got to do now!
It snowed here last night, about 4 inches or so, and they're expecting more today and tonight. Oh, the joys of living in Nebraska. *sigh* It takes a few weeks to melt, and seriously, the DAY after everything finally melts, it snows again! I think there's pretty much been constant snow and ice for the last two months now. I'm tired of snow and ready for Spring already! Being from West Texas, I never thought I'd say that. But this stuff is annoying to drive on, takes forever to melt, and it's not like we're in a mountainous (or even hilly) place where we could go skiing or sledding or do anything FUN with it. Plus I'm looking forward to Spring when we can take the dogs to the park and show Kyleigh how to play outside. She'll be old enough to toddle around and explore the outside world by the time Summer gets here. How exciting!!
Poor Matt got the stomach flu the other day. Having a sick husband is terrible, but having a sick child is so much worse! And apparently, he gave it to Kyleigh because she's been throwing up all morning and hasn't kept anything down. She's sleeping now, but it certainly worries me. I'm praying that she'll get over this super quick and start being able to keep down the Pedialyte we keep shoving down her. I'm going to go and take care of her and clean up all her toys now.
I'll try and post more often ... sorry!