Monday, March 26, 2012

When Pins Come to Life

I love me some Pinterest, but the interesting thing is that I actually try to make the things I pin!  I know!  Crazy I tell ya. 

So here are some of what I've managed to do during nap times.  If you follow me on Instagram (embehrens626) then you've already seen some of this. 

First off, for the entry way.  I've wanted a unique painting, and saw this idea on Pinterest...

So I made this...

Then I saw this idea...

So I took an old window from changing ours out...

Sanded and painted it.

 Glued a different fabric on the back side of each pane.

 Made my poor, dear, sweet husband hang the 40 lbs. monstrosity on the wall.

Added some knobs from Anthropologie to hang aprons on.

Seriously, how cute are these.  I couldn't pass them up.

And finally, I saw this...

I loved all the frames painted the same color.  So I found a bunch of cheapies at TJ Maxx and opted for coral.

Once some new pictures arrive in the mail, I will once again put hubs to work hanging things I find for him on our walls.  It's officially his least favorite hobby.  Especially since these will be in a stairwell.  Good luck honey!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It Rained, So I Made Soup

The amazingly glorious warm weather has taken a couple day hiatus, so it automatically became time for soup.  Comfort food soup at that.  I like thick, creamy soups than fill you up and aren't too brothy.  Is that a word?  Anyway, here you go ladies and gents.  Some (obviously gluten-free with a too long name) creamy chicken veggie wild rice soup.

Creamy Chicken Vegetable Wild Rice Soup


4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups water
6 chicken thighs, boiled and shredded
1 cup long grain and wild rice mixture (not a quick cooking package, the real stuff - I used Lundberg wild blend)
1 T garlic salt
1 T onion powder
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 cup mushrooms of your choosing, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1/2 cup all purpose GF flour blend (I used Bob's Red Mill) or brown rice flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 cups whole milk
olive oil


1) In a small pot, combine 1 cup rice blend and 2 cups veggie stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 40 minutes.
2) In a large pot, saute your veggies until soft in olive oil.  I would do you mushrooms separately since they only take a couple minutes and the others will take longer. 
3) Remove all veggies from the pot and melt your stick of butter.  Whisk in the seasonings.  Add your flour a little bit at a time and whisk thoroughly.  By the time all the flour is in there, it will be a thick paste.
4) Add your milk about 1/2 cup at a time.  Whisk each addition until well incorporated and heated.  Continue to heat and stir after all is added until the mixture is nice and thick.
5) Add in your veggies, chicken, 2 cups broth, 2 cups water, and rice.  Cook over medium heat (low simmer) for about 20 minutes.  Or if you are making this during nap time, it should all fit in a standard crockpot, so you can put it all in there on low and it will be ready whenever you are for dinner. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Where To Go From Here

I read a good amount of parenting books and blogs and such before having children.  The general consensus was good parenting in = good children out.  If you are consistent, and set boundaries, and discipline using this method, your children will bend to your will and your days will be enjoyable.

Your child will be well trained to follow the rules.  She will sleep through the night.  She will clean her plate.  She will come when you call.  She will answer questions when asked.


Enter into the picture: Dear Sweet Evelyn

There is no book on Evelyn.  There just simply isn't. 

It started very young for her with her food and sleep issues.  It's not normal for a child to suddenly stop gaining weight for 9 months.  All the while to be sleeping worse than a newborn, up every 5-10 minutes for hours at a time screaming bloody murder in the middle of the night.

I don't know if what we are dealing with now is a result of that time, or if it's just part of who she is.

But I do know that life now is a constant challenge with her.  I want to look forward to my time with her throughout the day, but there are days that I dread it.

Away from home and around other people she can be a completely different child.  Sweet, quiet, introverted.  But when it's just her and I (or Scott) at home...

This week has left me exhausted.  It's been days and days of battles and behavior that I don't even know how to begin to tackle.  Each isolated incident is not that strange for a 3-year-old, it's the combination.  It's the fact that it's not a singular event in the week, it's an all-day every-day thing.  The whole time we are outside I have to tell her over, and over, and over again to not throw dirt on the driveway, throw rocks, destroy plants, go past where she can ride her bike, get things out of the van, etc.

She won't answer your questions when you ask.  She won't do what you ask of her.  Everything is a battle.  Even leaving the house to run to the store has become a war of wills.

Her attitude is better when we are outside, it's just her behavior that isn't.

She ate her usual breakfast this morning, the only thing she will eat in the morning: yogurt, granola, and raisins.  And they have to be in that order.  This morning some raisins got underneath the granola and the world just about came to a screeching halt.  It was disastrous for her.

Then while I went upstairs to sort laundry, she got a large cup down and filled it with water from the fridge multiple time.  Each time dumping it out on the floor of a different area of the house.  I came downstairs to a virtual flood that managed to wet down even the surface of all the cupboards and appliances in the kitchen.  While I was cleaning up that mess she melted into a screaming puddle because her pj's had gotten wet in the process.  After disciplining and feeling like she understood, I went upstairs to get her dry clothes and bring down more laundry.  While I was up there she dumped another large glass of water all over the dining room.  Sigh.

So we don't know what to do next with her.  She is already seeing multiple doctors for her Celiac and food intolerances and now has the addition of weekly appointments for speech therapy.  Do I drag her to more specialists to try to get more labels attached to her?  Would it even help?

How do I deal with the judgment I feel from those around me that say things would be better if I just did x,y, and z?  Disciplined more, used a different method, took her off more foods, gave her more attention, gave her less attention.  And if I ignore the judgment of others, I suppose I would have to then deal with the judgment I impose upon myself.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

February Is A Bit Past Over

This was our dining room a month ago.  It's only been a month since Valentine's Day, so it's not too late to post on it, right?  I love creating fun memories for my girlies.  So they came down to this in the morning and heart-shaped pancakes.

And apparently this is the only picture I got of Belle that day, which is better than what I got of Evelyn.  And yes, she's biting chunks out of a raw potato.  Is that weird?

One of the perks of Scott's job is that his firm buys tables at different fundraisers.  Some of them we get to be the guests at.  A couple weeks ago we went to one for St. Luke's SPOT (speech, physical, occupational therapy for children center).  It was a blast!  There was a DJ, face painting, confetti canons, a bounce house, and all kinds of kiddo activities.

Evelyn is now a patient/client (I'm not sure what the right term is there) at St. Luke's SPOT for her speech woes.  She tested even lower than I thought she would.  So we will be regulars over there every week attempting to play catch up with her.

The rest of February and now early March is marked by amazing weather.  We are definitely ready for all kinds of warm weather, playing outside, and gardening.  Evelyn has a garden that she works diligently in.   There is nothing planted in it yet, but she keeps hoping something will start growing.  She let me know that her garden isn't a flower garden, it's the kind you can eat.

Meanwhile, the girls have been busy building nests for rabbits and leaving food for them.  We have yet to have any takers, but they hold out hope none the less.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Bit of Birthday Perspective

I'm approaching my last birthday of my 20's tomorrow.  In many ways I'm excited to only have one year left in my 20's and ready to embrace 30 in just a short year.  My 20's have been good for me, I graduated college, got my first real job, married the love of my life, moved to the city I love, gave birth to two beautiful girls, and Lord-willing will adopt a child.  But something about 30 makes me think I will feel more grown up.  Maybe that never really happens though. 

I was shoved back into the reality of the short number of our days this last week though.  On Friday, a guy we grew up with, who himself had just celebrated turning 29 in October, left this life.  In the blink of an eye his time here was done leaving behind a grieving wife, parents, sister, and grandparents.  It feels too soon, but yet I know the truth that God alone numbers our days and it wasn't too soon in His eyes.  It was still with a heavy heart and wet eyes though that I watched my husband help carry his casket to its resting place.  That image as well as my view of his mother, wife, and sister holding hands as they walked behind it may never leave me.

So I thank God alone for the 29 years He has given me, and pray that I live out the days He has left for me here how He would choose.  Living in His truth and will.

And because I've been asked, this is all I want for my birthday.