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[Comments] (2) : Today is Hannah's 7th birthday. We took Maggie to her Build-A-Bear party. Maggie didn't find it as exciting as I thought she would, maybe because she is still sick. She made a bear named Patrick, with a green shirt that says, "Beary Lucky" and I let her have a few bites of chocolate cake. Then we left because John is getting sick now too. I found him some Tylenol, made him a smoothie and tucked him into bed. Enough of the flu!

: Maggie and I are home sick from church. Mostly we didn't want Maggie's incessant coughing bugging everyone. Also, we are having a birthday party for her and Hannah later today and want her to be well-rested. John headed off to teach our Sunday School class though.

[Comments] (2) My Vacuum, My Friend: Today is Monday. Maggie loves Mondays. Besides the free lunch at IHOP with great-grandma, Monday is vacuuming day! Maggie thinks the vacuum is a weekly play date, or possibly a pet or sibling. She follows it around, pokes its buttons, pulls herself up on it, giggles at it, and gives it toys. The last time I vacuumed the playroom she was setting toys on top of the vacuum for it to play with. She also sneaks into the closet to play with it.

[Comments] (5) New Hit Musical by Susie Chadwick: I'm Tired of Being Mommy Today.
Featuring original songs, "Whine Whine Whine," "Shaken Baby Syndrome," "I Need Chocolate," and "Daddy Will Be Home Soon."

African Curry: I got this recipe from my friend Tasha and tried it last night. It was a hit! Very easy to make, too.

1 lb stew meat cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 can tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 small onion
1-2 T curry powder
1/2 t salt
Simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours. Serve over hot rice and garnish with flaked coconut.

Snazzy: John somehow managed to get two of his firm's $120 tickets to the Jazz/Minnesota game last night, so I went with him and enjoyed my first NBA game. I left Maggie at her grandparents' and took TRAX downtown. We had a lot of fun and it was really nice to get out. Maggie had fun being babysat also. I kept wanting to cheer for the other team. They did a good job making baskets, too! Well, actually... but still! During halftime they had an assortment of small to medium sized girls doing dance routines. John says that's the kind of dance our girls should go into - the kind that DOES stuff (like perform at NBA games).

[Comments] (3) You're Only One Once: Today is my baby's first birthday! We had Tyler, Tasha and Colette over for dinner and I made Indian Butter chicken and Pear Walnut Muffins for dessert. John and I got Maggie some Wiggles DVDs and a Pooh board book. Colette gave her a box of yummy banana cookies. Last week, Maggie got some onesies, a cute outfit, a book, crayons, snacks and baby food. Brook and Erin brought her a stuffed Pooh from Disneyworld; Ember remembered that Maggie didn't have a Pooh. Grandma June gave her a card with $5.

Maggie decided today was a good day to take some real steps on her own. So Big!

[Comments] (1) Tiny Big Girl: We just got home from Maggie's one-year checkup and the grocery store. Maggie had to have three shots, and she started bawling when she saw the nurse in the grocery store after! Poor thing. She's taking a nap now.

In accordance with her new tradition of hardly gaining any weight, Maggie now weighs 17.5 pounds and is 27.25 inches long. She remains in the 10th percentile there, but moved up to the 90th in her head circumference.

Busy Me: At our open house Jon and Sharon gave us a book called "That's Not My Mermaid" that Maggie and I both love so much I wrote a (yet to be published) article about the series. Keep your eyes peeled, it should be published soon. I've been slowing down in the article department, but trying to still write my goal of one per week.

While you're browsing my links, check out the new pictures I posted of our trip to the zoo on Saturday and Maggie's birthday party on Sunday. I also just got some pictures developed and have been scrapbooking a little, so look in my gallery too. There's a cute little cover I made for Maggie's photo book, her latest favorite toy. A bunch of the pictures I developed were for that, and it also occurred to me to put in her photo book pictures from Christmas cards that I kept, but am never going to scrapbook.

[Comments] (3) Good Read: I read a fantastic book today, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Anyone with similar taste in books to me HAS to read this. (Rachel! Jamie!) Apparently, a fourth (and final) book is coming out in August. And the author went to BYU. This is seriously one of the best books I've ever read. It was enthralling. Tasha lent it to me yesterday and is coming by tomorrow to bring me the next two.

ETA: Two things I really like about her writing are her descriptions of facial expressions and the chapter names.

Ooops: I Completely Forgot that I was meeting Jodi and Jamie at the temple this morning. I dropped Maggie off with Susan and picked up Jodi, but we missed Jamie. Still, it was nice to go, and nice to have someone to go with. Better luck meeting up next time. It sounds like Maggie had lots of fun playing peek-a-boo and patty cake while I was gone. Such a spoiled girl.

[Comments] (2) Sitting Pretty: We took Miss Maggie to get 1 year portraits taken at Target this morning. She was a bit fussy, so we got some great shots of her eating her puffs. The difference in quality between the portrait studio pictures and every other picture we have of her is amazing. Between the lighting and the expensive camera, even the not-so-great shots look terrific. I guess we have no excuse for not doing it more often, since there are always great coupons for portrait studios. We ordered one of her eating a puff, one of her clapping at her kitty and one of me and John kissing her to put on her bedroom wall.

We also bought Maggie lots of clothes to last her through the summer (if she ever grows into them). She spent the morning watching and dancing to her new Wiggles DVDs. She loves them.

[Comments] (3) : We're having a nice productive day. I cleaned the bathrooms, the kitchen counters, ran the dishwasher, swept the floor, put together some packs for Jamie, and also did stuff online for her. We also went to cuddletime at the library and ran some errands in the vicinity. Since it is a very nice day outside and the girls have a fever and a runny nose between them, Tasha and I went for a long walk.

I'm getting some bingo words ready for April - I'm going to do an Earth Day theme. Check out Earthday.net for a depressing ecological footprint quiz among other things.

Hot Pockets:
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons molasses (or honey)
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Mix dough and rise until double. Divide dough into 11. Roll until about the size of a pita it will be VERY thin. Brush dough with melted butter and put aprox 1/2 c. of filling in the middle. now bring up both the sides and pinch together. Gently turn it over into your hand and place on greased baking sheet pinched side down. Tuck the ends under. Let rise for 10-15 minutes.

Filling ideas: I used ham, broccoli and cheese. Could also do hashbrowns, eggs and crumbled bacon, pepperoni and cheese with a little tomato sauce. These were very easy to make and so cheap compared to the real thing. They tasted just like actual Hot Pockets. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and brush tops with melted butter and I sprinkled mine with fresh cracked pepper and cracked sea salt. Move to cooling wrack so that they don't get soggy. When cooled wrap in paper towel and put in a freezer bag. To heat, microwave on high 2-3 minutes.

[Comments] (3) Happy Easter!: We had a fun time with the Chadwicks and our annual egg hunt. There were very few eggs hidden this year, but lots of other fun stuff. Maggie got some fruit snacks, some peeps, a stuffed platypus, some bubbles and a little bit of candy. It was a lot of fun to watch the kids look for their stuff; with the huge age differences we ended up labeling almost everything with names. Maggie was well-behaved enough to sit with her aunts and uncles and her grandma and also said "bye grandpa", which was darling. Check my picture link for fun pictures of the event.

[Comments] (2) So Fast: 87 words

Sweet Green Bean Bundles: Made this yumminess for dinner tonight. Here's the actual recipe:
3 cans whole green beans, drained
1 pound bacon, cut in half
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 t. garlic salt

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Wrap 7 green beans with bacon and place in prepared dish. Repeat, using all the green beans and bacon. Combine butter with brown sugar. Pour over green bean bundles and sprinkle with garlic salt. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Sweet Green Bean Blobs: Here's is how I will make it next time (a cross between how I made it this time and improvements I think it still needs):
1 can green beans
2 slices bacon, cut in half
1/3 c. brown sugar
Dump green beans in a 9x9 baking dish. Sprinkle brown sugar over them. Lay bacon over the top and bake until bacon is crisp.

Szechwan Beef Stirfry: Here's a quick recipe I made for dinner last night. John and Maggie and I loved it.

Thin strips of beef sirloin steak
1 T. cooking oil
1 can corn
1 c. thinly sliced carrots
1 red pepper cut into 1 inch pieces
1 T. red wine vinegar
3 T. soy sauce
1 T. water
1 t. cornstarch
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
crushed red pepper
1/2 t. black pepper
Heat oil in skillet. Stir fry carrots for 2 minutes. Add corn and pepper. Stir fry 1-2 minutes more. Remove vegetables, add meat. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes until meat is slightly pink in center. Stir together sauce ingredients. Add to center of skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Return vegetables to wok. Stir all ingredients together to coat. Cook and stire 1-2 minutes more. Serve with hot rice.

Brag: Maggie and I were reading some stories (she loves books) and I said, "where's the doggie?" and pointed to it, and she reached over and pointed to a dog on the opposite page. Now, that's not so impressive seeing as she loves dogs, sees them all the time in the neighborhood, dogsat Jazmine etc. But on the next page I said, "where's the piggy?" and she pointed to the pig. The pig was sitting at a table with all the villagers, btw, this wasn't a simple little picture book.

I was telling Jamie about some of the recipes I've tried recently and she pointed out, "you never follow the recipe!" That's why there's always the real version and the Susie version. The Susie version is faster, cheaper and healthier (see Sweet Green Bean Bundles).

The Fun Times, Weekly Edition: I've done a lot of fun stuff this week. I guess I was so busy doing it I forgot to write about it. On Wednesday, for our weekly playdate, Tasha and I took the girls to Wheeler Farm. It was so much fun. The girls could see everything from their strollers, unlike the zoo. There were a lot of animals, and some baby ones too. I wrote a forthcoming article about the attraction.

Last night was Girls' Night Out with the girls in John's extended family, which was tons of fun. I love getting to know some of his cousins better, especially since the same ones (and me and my sisters-in-law (and Susan and Grandma June)) are the only ones that ever go.

Today was Tyler's second piano lesson. He did great, especially considering it had been three weeks since his first one. Maggie's just about got the piano lesson thing down and was pretty happy to play with Jamie. Shortly after that, Jodi came over. We went to IKEA and looked around (ended up putting all our would-be purchases back). Then we came home and played with Maggie until she finally took at nap at almost 4:00. I think I'm liking Jodi having Fridays off work.

: You can lead a herring to water, but you have to walk really fast or you'll die.

Edited: Apparently, it's really "You can lead a herring to water, but you have to walk really fast or he'll die." My version was much funnier.

[Comments] (2) Priorities: Our combined lesson on Sunday was on emergency preparedness. One of the teachers made a very good point regarding what preparations should be a priority. "You can go 4-5 weeks without food, and 3 days without water, but hypothermia will kill you in 30 minutes."

We are working on building our 3 month supply of foods from our regular diet. During March I've kept track of all the canned/packaged stuff I used. Now I can multiply by three and see about how much I need. Of course, I'll need extra canned meats, fruits and veggies since we eat so much fresh. We need to buy a 55-gallon water barrel and some sleeping bags.

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