Welp, I'm Coming Out of Hibernation

Don't have a heart attack. Lots has happened since April and maybe
I'll get around to making a quick update on it all. Anyway, what
spurred my need to post was something Izzy said this morning.

We were laying in bed and she starts randomly singing the Happy
Birthday song to her stuffed animal (coincidentally today is Annie's
30th bday). She then turns to me and says something that I don't quite
understand, followed by, "right?" Then it dawned on me, she was
saying, "April 17, right?"

When did my 2.5 year old learn and commit to memory her own birthdate?
I mean I'm sure she has no concept of what April is, but she knows
that April and birthday are related. It absolutely blew my mind.


Finished Just In Time For Spring

Hopefully it fits her this winter too, or I may have to make another one!


I Adore Them, I Really Do

This weekend Matt gave me a much needed break from these two angels.
You see, Alice hasn't been sleeping well and it's been making for some
very bad days in the Bathje household. Since I spend every waking
minute with the girls (wouldn't have it any other way) it has been a
very hard week for me stress wise.

So I got the chance to go out and get a bite to eat by myself, browse
an antique mall, do some Easter and Izzy bday shopping, and spend two
uninterrupted hours at the craft store with out children in tow. Let
me tell you, it was AWESOME!

Many thanks to my wonderful husband who took the reins for the day.
I'll gladly let you do it again in the future!

Oh, yes, that's Izzy "reading" a chapter book that takes place during
the depression. I have several juvenile chapter books on the bookshelf
and Izzy is obsessed with this one for some reason. I'm always
catching her pretending to read it!


I Have My MIL to Thank for Dinner Tonight

And probably my lunch tomorrow since it is oh so good cold too. My MIL got a great deal on bacon that she just couldn't pass up so Matt and I (and Ann and Fred as well I believe) reaped the benefits. So with it being near St. Patty's day cabbage is on sale, guess where my mind immediately went when she offered us the bacon...

That's right, fried cabbage!

Go ahead, get closer. Looks divine, doesn't it?

I assure you it was spectacular and it made me remember good memories I have of my mother. I've been having a lot of that lately. I inherited a lot of craft products from mom and when I went through my craft area recently I kept running across her things. There were things that had her handwriting on it, base coated tole projects, tubes of paint that I can't bring myself to throw away (I really should toss them because they are at least 10 years old and separating/thickening/drying up. etc) and it made me kind of emotional. I will admit, that's been a problem for me recently.

I haven't had any real huge issues emotionally since about the two year mark, but for the past few months I've been feeling like someone ripped off the scab and the wound is fresh again (sorry for the gory imagery on what started off as a food post, it really is the best way I can describe it), and I really have no idea what triggered it. I'll get through it. I just need to give myself some time to work through it all again.

Anyway. Bacon and cabbage - it's a winning combination that everyone must try once in their lives. Bacon really does make everything better, doesn't it?


It's Been Awhile

And I regret letting this blog gather dust. I won't give you any
excuses, but I will jump right into what we've been up to.

I've recently been trying to cut costs anywhere we can and that has
meant shopping at Aldi. I'm not one for shopping the sales or clipping
coupons and going to several stores to get good deals, so Aldi has
been great for us. Not only is it cheaper than going to Meijer, but
because it's a bare bones store I've found my impulse buying has gone
WAY down. Our store even has AWESOME produce, which I guess isn't true
for every store. Ask Matt, I'm absolutely ga-ga over Aldi, in case it
wasn't already apparent. Wanna know the best part? I have yet to
break $100 there!

Alice got her tonsils out last month and she's been doing great. She
ended up not being able to attend school at all that first week, and
when she did go back I had to wean her off of her pain meds because
they were making her act out from being tired. For the first two weeks
her uvula was very swollen (totally normal) and her voice was still
muffled, but now it's back to normal and the kid has never sounded
better. No longer does her voice sound muffled and her pronunciation
is great now that her tonsils are gone. All in all we're pretty happy
we had them taken out. Oh and the snoring…IT'S GONE!

I totally gutted and reorganized my craft room recently (and
discovered that I have a yarn stockpile that rivals Cindy's). I moved
things around so I can actually get to things and use them when I want
to. Now I know exactly what I have and it's neat and organized and I
must say, it feels good. My first big project will be Charles's
t-shirt quilt (right after I finish a few small projects).

Matt is working hard, very hard. He's coming to the end of his current
quarter at DuPaul and we hardly see him anymore without a book or his
laptop in front of him. Another year of this will be worth it in the
end, but I have to say I kind of miss him.

Izzy has still been having eating issues so I took her back to the
doctor. Dr. Dan decided to try her out on a different reflux med and
so far it seems like it may be helping! With her you can never tell
because she seems to have bursts where she'll eat great for a bit,
then go back to eating poorly for a long while. I'm hoping it's not

There's a little something about all of us to tide you over until next
time. I have to say, I definitely miss this.


P-P-P-P-P Panda Love

I just finished this panda hat for the daughter of Matt's co-worker,
I think it turned out to be pretty damn cute, but I may be biased.
Also, now Alice insists that she and Izzy need one too
(so they can match, naturally).
Guess I know what my next two craft projects are going to be.
I only wish I could see the look on the face of the little girl I
made this for when she sees it for the first time.

I like to think it will look something like this,
minus the jazz hand.


Best Valentine's Day Dinner EVER

Cottage cheese pancakes...mmmm...be jealous.


In Two Weeks Time

I have a feeling Alice is going to be a lot more comfortable. On the 21st she's going in to have her tonsils and adenoids removed because they are both chronically enlarged. They aren't as bad as some, but they are large enough that they cause her to snore, she always sounds nasally, her pronunciation is impaired, and I'd be willing to bet they are making sleep hard for her (we had the option to do a sleep study before surgery, but declined because I don't really need one to tell me that her tonsils need to come out). So pretty soon these monsters she's been lugging around with her all her life will finally be out, and hopefully we notice a difference in her right away!

Speaking of Alice, she's been doing a lot better in the behavior department lately. We busted out the marble jar again, except this time she's earning marbles to put towards having tv time. The kid is obsessed with tv and this was a good way to curb her tv watching habits and her bad behavior all at the same time. So far it's been working (along with a few other changes we've made in how we deal with her) and she hasn't gone batty wanting to watch her stories. Pray that this trend continues, she's actually pleasant to be around and I'm really starting to get used to it!


Told You I'd Be Back

Didn't believe me, did you?

The snow fell - it's hard to say how much we got due to the incredible drifts. The weather man said about 18 to 20 inches in our area.

The wind blew - Aurora had sustained winds of 50mph and gusts up to 70mph.

And it didn't stop until the morning. We were pounded with snow for a solid 17+ hours and yet we didn't have to shovel our driveway - one of the few perks of condo living. To give you an idea of just how bad the drifts here are, I can see some of the grass peeking through in my back yard, yet there are waist high drifts in the middle of our front yard. The rooftops look like the snow is already starting to melt, but in reality it just never stayed there very long thanks to the winds. I have truly never seen anything like it.

(click pics to enlarge)
Getting ready to finish gearing up to play in the snow!

Those windows above the garage? That's us.
Notice the snow drifts covering most of our windows?

Neighbors across the street didn't get plowed
since they left their car in the driveway.
At least the plow company came back this afternoon.

The snow depth was so random, it was hard to gauge where to step.

Daddy taught Izzy about the wonders of eating snow.
I think she liked it.

She REALLY didn't want to come inside.

I didn't get many pics of Alice, she was too busy to sit still
so I had to take advantage of the times she fell in the snow.
I told her to sing "Climb Every Mountain."

She didn't get the reference.


Snowed In?

If you're my family, then the answer for about 80% of you is YES (I'm counting Bathjes as well). For the rest of you, just in case you haven't heard yet, most of the midwest is dealing with lots of horrible winter weather right now. We're in the middle of a blizzard here in Chicagoland, and I don't expect we'll be out and about again until Thursday at the earliest. The snow has been falling so heavily, but I have no idea how much we have yet because the wind has been blowing so badly. Anyway, for those of you who are snowed in I thought I'd share this fabulous hot chocolate recipe I finally tried tonight. It's so good that it doesn't even need marshmallows.

• 2 oz unsweetened chocolate
• 1 cup water
• ½ cup sugar
• Pinch of salt
• 1 teaspoon corn starch
• 3 cups milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (if desired)

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler
Boil the water, and stir in the sugar, salt, and cornstarch until dissolved. Add the cayenne pepper, if desired.
Pour over the chocolate and stir thoroughly.
Scald the milk, pour it into the mixture, and add the vanilla.
Reheat the mixture almost to boiling and whip it with an eggbeater until frothy.
Makes 4 cups.

Also, many of you have asked me to come back to my blog and update again. I decided last month that I was going to take January off and come back again in February, though I won't post every day like I did before. So please come back and check up on me from time to time. I'm going to keep this blog address even though I'm done with the 365 project, I'll probably just change the name in the blog header. Anyone have any suggestions?

Look back here tomorrow - I'm hoping to get some snow pics once it lets up a bit. Stay safe and warm everyone!


I MADE IT!!! (365/365)

Can you believe it?! ME, Becky Iblogonceeverytwomonths Bathje completed my goal of posting once every day for a whole year? I know I'm surprised!! There were days when I was VERY close to not posting in time, and days when I was SO not in the mood to sit down and write a post (can you say four day hospital visit), but I'm so proud of myself for doing it.

People have asked me if I plan on continuing now that my year is complete, the answer to that is no, I don't intend to do another year of daily posts. However, I do plan on posting more often now that it's become a habit. I haven't yet decided if I'll just keep this blog or if I'll create a new one, but I will certainly let you know.

So for now . . .

Keep it movin' -- there's nothing to see here, folks!


Thank You, JJ! (364/365)

I'm at a Trans Liberian, I mean Siberian, Orchestra concert in St.
Louis with three of my favorite people. Thank you, JJ for inviting me!

Also, I love Stacey. :)


Dinner at the Diner (363/365)

Cindy and Tori were off in St. Louis for the annual Rappe girls
shopping excursion, so Dad and I decided the rest of us should go out
to eat at BJ's - a Jacksonville staple. The food was pretty good (I
should know better than to try something new. I had a pork tenderloin
horseshoe when I should have stuck with what I know tastes good -
hamburger), the company was great, and both girls took turns playing
peek-a-boo with Uncle Chuck's hat!

Only TWO days left!! Can you believe it?!


Guess Who Barely Touched Her Dinner…(362/365)

But easily polished off the last of the chocolate pie?

Oh, Isabel.


Can You Guess What They're Doing? (361/365)

All three of them were in a trance watching The Simpsons.

Miss you Ry (and double N)!