Thursday, July 28, 2011


I'm housebound for the time being with my car at the spa getting her nails done. And home alone! I took some time to peak in on the garden.. sadly vegetables that are supposed to be notoriously easy to grow <i.e. ZUCCHINI!> are not making an appearance in my garden. So now my hopes lay in my MIL and FIL for a bumper crop of zucchini so I can make some bread and zucchini pancakes and zucchini faux crab cakes that we love so much. I also harvested a single cucumber...which I think I let go a bit too long because it's got a bottom like I *used* to. ;) And it's turning a yellowy color.. I'm not sure that's good. I'll find out when I bite into that sucker! I appear to have watermelons growing..teenie things the size of a 50 cent piece. They're still in little, dad? Are you guys ready for them??
I don't think there's enough time for them to grow before the evil Frost comes back to visit. We'll see.
My second batch of carrots are growing nicely and I planted my third this past week. Two different variety comes in a rainbow of colors. I'm very excited to see those.
I've also got buttnernut squash coming along VERY least 3 if not more, from two plants. And then there's my five tomato plants...all doing very VERY well. And all going to turn red at the same time. lol oh well. Salsa may be in order...really it depends on the weather. I'm pretty exhausted still from all the strawberries I canned. But I am DEFINITELY getting some blueberries and some apples this fall to make into canned pie filling. I'm geeky excited about pie filling - it's the reason I learned how to can. Just so I could make pie filling. I was at our local health food store a few years back and saw this sexy jar of blueberry pie filling "Made in Maine" sticker with a simple homemade label...and I was totally won over. Except for the price. Which is why making your own is so much fun! That and the sharing bit. Last year I bought the special kind of pectin off the interwebs that you need for pie filling. It is not carried in stores.
I am so ready.
I'm also eating a taco for breakfast.
I cannot describe how badly I needed this time off. Thank you car, for needed a spa day!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Plum Upside Down Cake

So Angry Chicken keeps talking about this rustic fruit dessert and it's been driving me of course I had to make's quite unlike anything else I've ever had. And delicious. Buttery. Crumbly and moist, slight vanilla flavor...and a tartness I wasn't expecting.. Delish!
I've been debating what kind of fruit tree to plant in our yard (and uh...WHERE to plant it) and plum has been at the top of my list. I like that it seems old fashioned. Pear is another top of the lister. We have loads of Apple picking places in the area so that doesn't seem necessary. That and there isn't much to do in Maine when it gets cold so I figured I wouldn't rob my family of an annual apple picking tradition by planting an apple tree or two in our backyard.  

Doug did it too!

Doug got a promotion at work! He's now the Lead UA...UA = universal agent = customer service rep in normal person speak. Which means he has to be to work at 8 instead of 9, and he doesn't know what time he'll get out and he doesn't know how much of a raise it will be. It might be as little as .50 cents an hour, or a dollar. Either way he did it! YEAY DOUGGIE!!!

I did it!

I submitted my paperwork to my supervisor for a desk audit..if approved by my supervisor and the person that investigates my request - then I'll officially be a "level II nutrition associate"...and get a whopping .60 cent raise! Every little penny counts! Doug also applied this week for a position at work that would give him $1.00+ an hour raise if he is chosen. A coworker who also applied for the position told Doug she thinks he'll get it. We're hopeful. If you'll remember a few posts back I was complaining about money...this would be lovely if we get these raises!

In the potty training update Zari is not using the potty at either Grammies house. It makes it really frustrating when she doesn't do what she does at home at EITHER place even though one of the Grammies even has the same exact style potty she has at home. But she is in pull ups at both houses and we'll try the training underpants when I receive them. I also requested a book from called Potty train your child in one I know this is not possible, and I read the reviews and found out that the "method" for this is basically just throwing a big deal potty b=party for your kid where you make a huge deal out of them, give them a doll that poops and pees and have them "train" the doll in the morning...then in the afternoon you train your kid and supposedly they'll be so into it they'll continue with it. She also suggests A LOT of rewards, some I don't agree with (like food and candy) but I can come up with other things. I'm going to try doing my own version of this with her... I'll report on how it goes. It will have to be on a Saturday and it will NOT be tomorrow since I need time to gather supplies for the "party". :) Never did I though I would throw a party about poop and pee. Shesh.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

In the mood

I got out my Christmas fabrics yesterday and got them washed and folded.. I want to make something. I don't know what. Something decor-y. A runner for the mantle, maybe a Christmas stocking, and I need to finish the Christmas tree skirt I started after Christmas last year. I'm doing this now so it will hopefully be done by December. Har har. Have I mentioned we've lived in our house for almost 2 years and we have STILL haven't primed and painted the living room walls? Yeah. Time stands still in our house. But at least I won't age like the rest of you! =P
Anyways if you're like me and get "the bug" I recommend skipping google and going straight to and and searching for "Christmas"...they've got awesome lists of stuff (awesomely LONG lists).

It's been such a scorcher here this past week, and today will apparently be the worst of it. This is of course, the day I have to work late, AND outside in the afternoon.. I am not a small woman by any means and any sort of MOVEMENT makes me sweat. So this is going to be rough. I need some sort of reward when I'm done today. But instead I get to go pick up my kid at Grammies. My kid that will probably be tired, cranky and ready for the dinner I've not yet made. Ugh.

On the potty training front she went twice on Sunday (day 1) on the potty, and day 2 she sprinkled in the potty once (literally 4 drops lol). Day 3, went twice in the potty, and day 4 peed three times on the floor and pooped in the bathtub. Did I mention I was home alone with her that night? There was a lot of cleaning. Her bath toys are out of commission until they get their own special bath... I kind of want to just put her right into underwear and just deal with it when she poops and pees in it. It's summer time and she won't be able to go around half naked like she is at our house now once it cools I really want to help her make the most of this. We are planning on traveling late August and I'm totally taking the easy way out and just keeping her in Pull Ups for that. No travel potty for us!

BTW If you have kids and you HAVEN'T visited you REALLY need to! They have a ton of parents contributing reviews, info and tips on all things parents/kid's so handy to those of us that like to research and take advice!

Okay.. I should really do some work while I'm at work...

OH OH! By the way I made a living succulent wreath the other day (have I written about this already? I can't remember) it is totally rocking my world...this is the tutorial I used..

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Success x2!

She did it! There was pee in that potty TWICE and within 40 minutes of each other! FANTASTIC! I have photographic evidence too. I'm just so surprised since we would ask her periodically if she needed to use the potty throughout the day and she always said no <in a rather short way..too funny>. Then tonight she willingly sat on it and asked daddy to read her some books, and while he was doing that SHE did THAT! And then as a reward we let her watch tv...Elmo's Potty Time DVD appropriately...and after that she went and sat on it again this time asking me to read to her...AND SHE DID IT AGAIN! I know this isn't rocket science, but it's a pretty big deal to our little family! :) Here's the rockstar with her rockstar pee..


These two things have been stuck in my head all week. I just got finished making beautiful flower petal "pictures" for the front door glass panes..Just stick flower petals on clear <or frosted...very cool> contact paper <thanks for buying me some dad!> and slap that puppy on the freaking cool! I'd take a picture but it's like a billion degrees in here and we don't have the air conditioner just making those things took everything out of me. Maybe by next summer I can show you a picture.

OTHER cool thing floating around in the noggin is watermelon popsicles. Slice watermelon and cut out with cookie cutter shapes. Stick a popsicle stick into the shapes and place in freezer until watermelon is frozen. Take out and enjoy!

Then there's the taking nubs of chalk, grinding them up and adding just a tiny bit of water to make a paste or "paint" and then use a paint brush to apply to the sidewalk outside.

I just added a bunch of kid friendly blogs to my reader and I'm too lazy to look up the sources for each of those ideas, but they're not mine! I'm just an admirer. :)

I should totally be at the beach today..but I'm too lazy.

***Edit: Here is a picture of the flower arrangement on contact paper..i think this stuff is sooo cool looking!

Pull Ups

Oh yeah...and we're officially in Pull ups 24/7 now. We no longer have any diapers in the house... and Zari ran to the potty half way through breakfast to "try" to use it...nothing happened, but she sat on it for about 5-10 minutes reading to herself, so that's good. We've told her that her Pull ups are very special underwears...and we don't poop or pee in them. And WHERE do we put the poop in pee? Why in the very lonely potty of course! Yes, sanity is wearing thin in this house.
We are officially potty training. <gulp>

Bathroom experiments

I just came out of the downstairs bathroom and heard the UPSTAIRS bathroom toilet lid slam shut. Doug is in the living room. The cats do not have thumbs. I called upstairs to ask Zari what she was doing and she came to the top of the stairs and said she's playing with Kirby. When I went upstairs she asked me what the toilet was and started to open it...
I'm afraid I might have one of THOSE pictures to show you...with the kid wrapped in toilet paper and the rubber ducky floating in the toilet with the kid standing there using my tooth brush to stir the toilet water...

Family photos went well. We went to Spencers Ice Cream afterwards... then had a hankering for Pat's Pizza and by the time we got there our pizza and rings were ready...then we headed home, walked about 8 steps from the car, sat down in the grass and ate pizza. Zari picked off all the black olives and ate only that, while Doug and I gorged ourselves on a piece and a half each. We're such cheap dates now. Well rounded nutrition sort of day. And by the way...the homemade Orange Pineapple ice cream at Spencers is OUT OF THIS WORLD good. Doug's Pumpkin Pie ice cream was a little too weak in the flavor department, and he says he liked Zari's Red Raspberry ice cream the best..I still think mine was the yummiest. :)
And Wendi, it's in Bradley on the right side, BEFORE Claudia's if you're headed towards Brewer..There's a big ol' sign with a picture of an ice cream cone..I know you had said you hadn't been there before last year.. I'm hoping that's changed by now but if not... :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Potty training. I gave it my best shot...

I took Zari to the potty and told her the potty was sad because it had no poop or pee...and all it wants is to be peed's so lonely.. I thought maybe she'd like to "help" the potty by peeing on it.
Perfect plan..that is how we manage to finally get her to let us brush her teeth..she "helps" her Thomas the Tank Engine toothbrush get toothpaste to the people of Toothpasteville... I thought that by having her help the potty maybe we'd make some progress with the potty training. The books and DVD's and gentle encouragement haven't worked. We've had the potty since December. <sigh> Oh well. I'll wait for one of her little friends to get potty trained and then we'll let peer pressure take over!

Tomorrow we have a mini photo shoot with an area photographer...who it turns out, is a girl I went to high school with. She was a year or two younger than me. I'm super excited to be able to get a picture with the three of us in it together! :) Oh..and it's also supposed to be 90 degrees out tomorrow and the photo shoot is outside. FUN!

As I write this we're rocking out to "Old Dan Tucker" by the Wiggles. Good stuff.
Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Oh Oh OH!

Free Burda Shrug pattern..

And I still REALLY want to make an "Infinity" scarf for this fall/winter ..I wanted one last year but never got around to making it...really sewing is the most impossible hobby to do with a toddler. I think that would be a super cute thing for Christmas gifts too...god I can't believe I'm thinking of that already! But I loooove the infinity scarf in jersey knit type fabric..soooo cute! And on the topic of clothes, I am totally digging the knit maxi dresses... by the time I make or buy one summer would be over. Oh well. Better off planning Christmas gifts in July.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Work is just one big bundle of nerves for me this week. I'm working on a project with someone I've never worked with before and it's been a practice in patience. I cannot wait until this week is over. And thankfully have some very dear girlfriends who have agreed to go out with me at the end of the week so I can hopefully come down off the ceiling.
Making matters worse is that it's a billion degrees in my unair conditioned office. And it's stunning outside. I'd really rather be outside with Zari right now, instead of studying curriculum's, photocopying and snacking on my daughters Teddy Grahams from the car.
To Do:
I need to figure something out..we're having a heck of a time financially lately. I've been pursuing my own interests, which benefit my family (i.e. Gardening, landscaping, canning) but still it does not come cheap..we've been living pay check to pay check with no wiggle room and our savings has dwindled. I'd love to find out what Dave Ramsey is all about but guess what? HE COSTS MONEY. The money guru to help you save money, costs money. Blurgh.
Anyways...ramblings from a crazy woman at work. Resume your business.

Behold! The child that eats!!

For a week now we've been practicing sit down family style dinners at our small little household of 3 (in our even smaller kitchen). We also upgrade Zari to a booster seat, and have explained to her that as soon as she requests to get down, the food is going away - no more until the next scheduled snack or meal time. All this was done after rereading Ellyn Satters "How To Get Your Child To Eat, But Not Too Much". I'll be the first to admit I have issues with food, and assumed because of me my children would too. So far Zari has had the OPPOSITE problem of me. Thankfully she's always been healthy, but there was her initial entrance to the world, and my dawdling milk supply issues. And then as an older infant she didn't exactly ENJOY solid foods. And now as a busy toddler we're lucky to get her attention on food for 30 seconds.
Thankfully I think sitting down at the table together is such a NOVELTY for this child that she sits happily and eats with us...even trying a few new foods <!> ATTENTION PARENTS OF PICKY EATERS: TRY READING THIS BOOK!! I have no idea if it will work for you, but the nights I've wasted worrying about my child eating enough are no more! She's doing just fine, trying new foods, and enjoying meal time with us. That child even sat and talked and ate with us for 40 minutes Saturday night!! :) Now she also eats about as fast as I do geometry, but still, nutrients are making it INSIDE my child. Yeay!

And...I canned 5 quarts of pickles and harvested 2 lbs of beets from my little square foot garden. And we ate all the peas I harvested Saturday.

Oh, and while I was outside our living room window planting my hollyhocks Zari walked over to the window and started talking about pooping in the potty, and I told her that sounded like an excellent idea, maybe she should go try. My husband told me later that she had in fact pooped. But not on the potty. And not in her diaper. But instead on the heating grate in the living room!
I'm still laughing about it.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Rose By Any Other Name...

So my mom doesn't "get" the Home and Hiney name...let me spell it out for you.. Home refers to my small life and that of my household, and Hiney is to highlight my favorite Hiney that needs regular diapering, patting and sometimes a tickle and a pinch.

On the HOME front... I went strawberry picking with a friend earlier this week and have worked hard to can the 12 quarts of berries before they spoiled...or rather, before the fruit flies figured out how to air lift the berries right out of the house. So far I have something like close to 30 jars of strawberry jam, strawberry kiwi jam, strawberry lemon marmalade and kiwi daiquiri jam. AND strawberry lemonade concentrate (we tried some with dinner tonight and OH YUUMMMMO. Sorry folks but you couldn't pay me enough to share this!). The Lemonade was a huge pain in the HINEY to make... we had to squeeze 7 lbs of lemons for 4 cups of fresh lemon juice. Doug had to take over half way through because my wrist was getting ready to file a lawsuit.
As for my favorite HINEY.. I've been contemplating potty training. I'm pretty sure when you decide to do it, you're supposed to like...stick with it. But I'm a little hesitant. LOL YES IM HESITANT TO COMMIT TO POTTY TRAINING. Frankly I'm fine with changing diapers, but I knew a woman whose 4 year old son wasn't potty trained and I don't want to be That Mom. My favorite Hiney also shows no interest in actually producing something ON the potty. We've tried numerous times over the last 7 months, but nothing to take a picture of. Eh, maybe she's just not feeling it either. :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Clean slate!

Unlike my kids chalk board, Home and Hiney is a clean slate, a fresh start, a pristine couch just waiting for the marker art of a 3 year old. Welcome! :)