November 20, 2012

Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Muffins (with a cinnamon crumble topping)

So!  Earlier today on the social medias I posted this picture of delicious Pumpkin Muffins ready for Thanksgiving:
Pumpkin muffin w delicious cinnamon crumble topping. #thanksgiving

And the social medias were angry that I did not also include a recipe.  Fair enough.  However I hadn't mentioned a recipe b/c it's my own cobbled together nonsense.  Also I cheated.  I used a box mix (gasp!).  I love me a box mix hack.  So here's what I did:

Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Muffins with Cinnamon Crumble Topping:

  • One Box Yellow Cake Mix
  • 15 Oz can of Pumpkin
  • One Egg
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 teaspoon + cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup brown sugar (I used 1/2 light 1/2 dark but whatever is fine)
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup + butter
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon (more if you like the topping REALLY flavorful)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line your muffin tins w/ paper cups.

Mix up the muffin batter so the box of mix, egg, oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.  The batter will be kindof lumpy.  It's supposed to be that way.  Fill 24ish muffin cups a little less than 1/2 way.

Then mix the crumb topping in another bowl - the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon first.  Then smoosh in the butter until the whole thing is a crumbly mess.  I used a fork to do this and it works best if the butter is slightly melty.  Also you might need more butter to get all of the sugar/flour mixture to become crumbly.  Then fill in the muffin cups with the crumb topping so that all of the muffin batter is completely covered with delicious, crumbly goodness. 

Bake the whole thing for 15 min at 350 degrees or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean.

Post to the interwebs like you're some kindof master at the art of muffin making only to be outed that you are really a cheater.  YUM!

November 19, 2012

All the Baby Questions Answered.

So!  Yes.  I am pregnant.  And basically am oscillating between crazy excited and fucking terrified.  You know... like any pregnancy.  So how about I answer all of the basic questions about what's going on?

1.)  When are you due / how far along are you?

June 10, 2013.  Which means that I am 11 weeks.  So still very early.  Also Summer Baby!  Which, I've been told, is the most awesome time to have a birthday b/c pool parties and ice cream.  Yes.  Also it gives me 3 months to figure out how to get out the door with THREE OF THEM before preschool starts up again.

Pictured:  why I can't wait for them to get the kindle for Xmas. THERE ARE BOOKS EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME.
My house is going to be such a disaster area...
2.)  How are you feeling?
Pregnant.  I'm basically a ball of first trimester suck.  As is to be expected.  But each pregnancy is different and this one has been the Pregnancy of Nighttime Puking and Woe.  The cycle goes like this:  I lay down and close my eyes, the spinning starts, the spinning makes me nauseous, so then the puking starts, I puke until EVERYTHING is out of me, I get dehydrated and a headache, I slowly start to sip water and keep it down, I finally am able to eat some crackers and keep those down, It's 5AM and I"m just able to get to sleep, my kids wake me up at 6:30.  So that's happening.  It's not every night and I'm sure there's some magic formula of eating or not eating I haven't discovered yet to make it stop.  I kindof feel like I've tried everything, though.  Insomnia makes everything harder and I've pretty much turned into a mess of things I was supposed to do.  Also I'm starting to be convinced that this kid wants to turn me into a zombie complete with the gagging and drooling...

3.)  Where are you going to put this kid?
Yeah I have no fucking clue.  We haven't worked that detail out yet.  But!  Any time I start to worry too much about it I think of the words of the ever fabulous Laura Bennett:

"I'll just throw it on the pile with the others" - Laura on her 6th child.

That's pretty much how we feel about it.  We have lots of options for how we arrange our house next and all of them involve someone (or all of them) sharing.  I actually think that's a good thing.  At some point I'd love for my children to find a spouse and share a room with someone for the rest of their lives.  Might as well get used to it now!  Also bunk beds are about the coolest thing ever.  So at this point I'm more concerned about lap space than house space:

Um so where does a third go exactly?
Seriously where does a third go?  I have no more lap!

4.)  Do you have pictures?
Nope.  My doctor's office has changed policies since my last pregnancy and they no longer do the hi how are you ultrasound in the beginning.  Which I didn't know about until I was there for my first visit.  So the poor nurse practitioner in training who was doing my initial exam got to witness me slowly freak out.  And then really freak out.  And then basically beg for a sonogram or anything to hear a heartbeat.  Complete with tears.  I didn't realize how much I was counting on seeing that flickering pixel until I was told it wasn't going to happen.  But yeah... I really, really needed that reassurance.  Luckily my doctor's office is AWESOME.  The actual nurse practitioner literally snuck an ultrasound machine into my room and did the quickest ultrasound ever.  So I got to see the baby.  And the very strong heartbeat.  The baby even jumped and then waved at me.  It was amazing.  As I was leaving the nurse told me that she completely understood where I was coming from - she has 4 kids.  And with each pregnancy she got more and more terrified because how blessed could she be?  THAT.  EXACTLY THAT.

Yeah. The Legos are out again. #lego #siblings #funtimes
I'll just put this picture here....

5.) Was it planned?
Um.  Ok.  Quite a few people have asked us this and frankly I find it rude.  First of all unless you are my very close friend I have no desire to discuss the details of my sex life with you thankyouverymuch.  Second of all the implication here is that a third child is is INSANE and there's no way this would have happened unless it was some kind of accident or mistake.  NO.  Third of all we're educated adults in our 30's who have been married for 8 years and already have 2 children.  I think by now we know how babies are made.

Showing some pumpkin cream cheese who's boss.
The Dude is not amused.
6.)  Is it a boy or a girl?
We can't know that yet.  I'm not even sure we'll find out this time as it SO doesn't matter.  We have one of each so this is just bonus.  Although my daughter will entertain no other possibility than girl.

7.)  What did that announcement diagram mean?
They are defense strategy diagrams for a football team.  So honestly I'm not entirely sure.  The red x's being the parents/defenders and the black circles being the kids/receivers.  The first one where there's one black circle for two red x's looks a hell of alot easier than the third one where the poor little red x's are completely overwhelmed by black circles!
Zone Defense

November 14, 2012

Our Really Big News.

Zone Defense
We're officially switching to a Zone Defense and couldn't be more excited!!!

(Yup.  I'm pregnant!)

November 13, 2012

Palate Cleanser.

Whew!  So.  After that last post I think I need a palate cleanser.  How about some pictures of my kids dancing?

I was bummed that trick or treat wasn't tonight and then this happened and made everything better:  my children dancing w brooms stomp style to Call Me Maybe.
Rocking it out stomp style with some brooms.

We moved the furniture out of the way and are having a rave in our living room. Like you do.
We moved the furniture back one night so that they could rave.

And a video of my husband trying to teach our daughter how to swing dance.  YES:

Big news coming tomorrow!!!

November 8, 2012

The Political Post.

So.  I've been avoiding blogging because I've been avoiding posting about politics.  And that's all anyone's been thinking about for the last week.  But I've decided, screw it.  I get one political post every 4 years.  Warning... it gets a little ranty and I cuss alot.  Let's do it.

First of all let me say that I went into this election more open minded than any other one before.  It's been a rough 5 or 6 years for this country.  If someone else had better solutions I was more than willing to listen.  And with no residual hatred for the awful that was Bush tainting this election I'd even go as far as to say I was leaning right.  And then the second debate happened and.... well..

So I ended up voting for Obama.  Again.  It wasn't a perfect vote and I don't think he has all of the answers.  But I also don't think it was the most important thing that happened last night.  Here's who I think the real winners were:

6.)  Women.  There are more women elected to the Senate than ever before.  The ENTIRE delegation from New Hampshire is women - both Republican and Democrat - including all senators, congressmen, and even the governor.  That has never happened before.  The first openly gay senator (also a women) was elected in Wisconsin and the first Asian American senator was elected in Hawaii.  Bottom line:  Women kicked ass and took names last night. 

5.)  The City of Cleveland.  We cannot expect to have a great city without great schools.  PERIOD.  End of conversation.  Because without great schools people like me - who love this city, who love living here, who love their neighborhood and their home and who have no reason to move away - will leave the second their first child hits Kindergarten.

Pictured.  The very tough decision we have to make before the 2014 school year begins feasting at the West Side Market.
To say I am happy that Issue 107 passed would be an understatement.

4.)  Women's Health.  First of all.  FUCK YOU TODD - LEGITIMATE RAPE -AKIN.  Ok now that I got that one out of my system...  Also I really don't think that his resounding defeat last night was because that many more people are pro-life.  I think it's because PEOPLE UNDERSTAND SCIENCE YOU RIDICULOUS DOUCHEBAG. 


I also want to say that by Women's health I very much do not just mean abortion.  Bottom line here is that I'm a Catholic.  I am pro-life.  However I also believe that the path to making abortion unnecessary is through education paired with easy and affordable access to birth control.  We live in a country where 49% of pregnancies are unintended  (49% WTF HOW? OMFG.)  We need to decrease that number for a whole host of reasons.  And the way to do that is not through forcing religious views on people who do not want them (again I'm not just talking about abortion.)  I also believe that it's not just the babies that may or may not have been aborted that deserve our care and protection.  So any organization that provides prenatal care for children that would not otherwise have had access to it is not all bad.

I know that one is an issue people feel very passionately about and I'm really putting myself out there by expressing my opinion on it.  Please be respectful if you respond.

3.)  Equal Civil Rights.  On Tuesday for the first time it was put to voters Marriage Equality won.  I'm not going to go into this too much other than to say that the tide is turning.  It IS happening.  And there WILL be a wrong side to history on this one.  What I mean is this... Do you really think any of these peoples' grandchildren are proud to have relatives in this picture?

People protesting changing laws against Interracial Marriage.  It wasn't until 1967 that The Supreme Court ruled that laws against it were unconstitutional.

2.)  FACTS.  So I case you don't know who he is Nate Silver is the geek behind the political polling blog Five Thirty Eight.  On his site he has some sortof complicated mathematical formula for assessing all of the polls to come up with his predictions on the election.  And for months he has been predicting that Obama would win.  Which means that Romney supporters were LIVID.  They called him some awful names.  And claimed over and over that he was biased.  Let's see how that played out:

He got every single prediction right.  Every. Single. State.  you know why?


That's the most disturbing thing this election cycle.  If facts don't support your argument then the facts are biased.  Um, no.  Facts are FACTS.  Period.  And if they don't support your argument than maybe you need to find a new position.  Because the bottom line is this - we all get to have our own opinions.  We do NOT get to have our own facts.  Just ask Unskewed Polls.  So I'm really hoping between Nate Silver and Sandy that we stop arguing about facts and start arguing about how to actually fix this country. 

1.)  Women.  Last night I voted as a woman along that line.  Very clearly.  And I know a ton of other people who did, too.  And that was the difference in this election:
How women voted in the 2012 election vs how men voted.  Chart from BBC News.

Bottom line:  You can't tell 53% of the electorate that it's cool if they don't make equal wages as long as they are home for dinner and win.  HEAR THAT BOYS????

Maybe next presidential election instead of talking about how women decided the election we'll be talking about how a woman WON the election.  A girl can dream, right?

Whew.  Ok.  I'm spent now.  That will be the last political post for a while.   Please if you respond be respectful.  We're all in this together. 
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