Friday, March 29, 2013

Guest Poster: My Dad

One thing I love about my dad is that we share the same profession, so we always have a lot to talk about when the topic of education rolls around.  He was great at giving me tips and encouragement, and of course a funny story every now and then.  For a few years he taught at an alternative school in LA County, which means he taught the kids who got expelled.  This is probably my favorite story from when he was teaching there.

My dad (dressed up for a church party) and Olivia

Classroom Profanity 
A couple years back I taught at an alternative education school. Many of my classes at that school had a habit of using bad language and this one was especially bad. I was determined to extinguish the ugly habit so I created a reward system. Students would receive a sticker each time they made it through the day without swearing. It was a small reward but to my delight it was working; the students were trying hard to earn the daily sticker. After weeks of using the system and praising their progress I succeeded in getting my class to stop using profanity.

For a few days I was enjoying our new found serenity, the fruits of my labor, when a new student was assigned to the class. He was a fairly calm young man and seemed to fit in well. But about midway through the day without any noticeable provocation, he shocked us all but cutting loose with a string of profanity. The whole class went silent. They looked at me and waited for my reaction. For a few seconds time seemed to stand still. Then one of my students came up to me and quietly said, “Mr. Hermansen, he be thinking we roll like that but we don’t roll like that!” I got such a kick out of his comment that I started laughing. Soon, Miss Debbie, the instructional assistant was laughing too and I don’t remember if the culprit ever got disciplined for his outburst.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dr Pepper Cupcakes

So right after I wrote this post about losing weight, I promptly went into the kitchen and made cupcakes.  Okay maybe not that quickly.  I never make desserts because we don't need a full pan of brownies for two people (we WANT, but we don't need) but mainly because I don't like baking.  But when my mom talked about buying a cake for the baby shower she was throwing for my sister-in-law and me, suddenly I had this urge to make cupcakes.  With a box mix, of course.

My mom wanted Nutella frosting and I wanted Dr Pepper frosting.  So we did both.  I made a batch of chocolate cupcakes and a batch of vanilla cupcakes and we did half in each frosting.  (because I wanted the Nutella frosting on chocolate and my mom wanted it on white cake) To make the cupcakes more decadent, I used buttermilk instead of water and an extra egg.  That's how I do homemade.

I looked every where for a Dr Pepper frosting recipe that REALLY tasted like DP.  Dang those people for keeping their 23 flavors such a secret.   When I read a recipe that had you make a DP reduction I thought, "Wouldn't it be great if I could get some syrup from a soda fountain before it was mixed with the fizzy water????"  And then!  Inspiration!  I remembered that Target sold those ridiculous soda machines (you know, the ones that allow you to make your own fresh soda) but more importantly, they sold syrups for the different flavors!  So I grabbed some Dr. Pete syrup and soon I was on my way to Dr Pepper bliss. 
I garnished my cupcakes with maraschino cherries
Dr Pepper Frosting

1 c Butter
1/2 bag powder sugar
1/4 c heavy whipping cream
2-3 cap fulls of DP syrup (found here)
3-4 splashes of maraschino cherry juice
red food coloring, if you want

Mix and taste and add more syrup or cherry juice if needed.

The Nutella recipe my mom used is here.
My mom garnished her cupcakes with a hazelnut cookie
 And there you have it.  Cupcakes.  Just another item to check off my "real blogger" list.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Colic

Axel, Axel, Axel.

He's got it.  He's got the colic.  A pretty dang mild case compared to my mom's babies and many of my friends babies.  But I won the baby lottery with Olivia, she hardly ever cried, so any baby compared to her is going to have colic.  If Axel was my first I would probably think he was a perfectly good baby.

Right now he's asleep in his crib.  When he's not sleeping I manage to convince myself that he'll never sleep again.  At night Axel waking to eat seems like a tragedy.  In the day time I realize its not so bad. 

I guess its all perspective.

I try to remind myself that this can only go on for another month or two, eventually he'll sleep through the night and he wont be so fragile so that Olivia can actually hug him with out giving me a heart attack!

But over all, I love this kid.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Weight Loss

Yesterday I spent the day with my family.  I was looking at my gorgeous sister Kellie and getting pretty jealous that she was so thin.  But then it dawned on me last night that I could be as thin as I wanted to be.  Seriously, I only have about 20 pounds to lose, that's totally doable.  So why don't I do it?  Because I have an insatiable sweet tooth, and I'm good at rationalizing that one cookie isn't going to make a difference, one doughnut isn't going to show up on the scale tomorrow. 

To weigh what I did before Axel I need to lose 10 pounds.

To weigh what I did before Olivia I need to lose 15 pounds.

To weigh what I did when I got married I need to lose 22 pounds. 

My goals for June, July and September will all help me lose weight, but I don't want to wait until then suffering in my post pregnancy jeans that are too big and my pre pregnancy jeans that are too small.  I want to shop for trendy clothes without worrying (or hoping) that they'll be too big in a month or two.

So, no more handfuls of chocolate chips while the babies are sleeping.  No more second desserts at my MIL's house on Sunday.  No more making chocolate chip cookies with Olivia and then eating them all with Adam at night.  Just a few simple changes.  I can still have dessert, but I'm going back to a time when dessert was special and not a requirement after every meal. 

*Since writing this I've stopped eating treats and I'm down two pounds!  Some of that is probably water weight, but a small victory is nice to help me want to continue!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Random thoughts for a Friday

*We went on a walk the other day.  Axel and I lasted two minutes maybe.  It was sunny, but cold!

*I'm thinking about cutting my hair and selling it.  I figure I've got a good 10" if I were to cut my hair to the base of my neck.

*I went to look for a measuring tape so I could give an exact number of inches, but instead I got distracted and sorted the laundry. 

*I really think Sean and Catherine are going to get married.

*I always think that at the end of The Bachelor/ette

*This kid.   He's awesome.


*The only pair of pants I own that aren't too big or too small, are peach.  So people will know if I wear them everyday.

*I don't wear them everyday, but I no longer care what people think anyway.  I look cute in my peach jeans so I'll rock 'em Monday through Friday if no one spits up on them.

*I know I used the word "random" incorrectly in my title.  Obviously I'll do it if everyone else is doing it.

*Olivia got a shopping cart for Christmas.  She fills it with odds and ends and pushes it around the house.  She looks like a tiny homeless person.

*When I tried to take a picture of this, she asked me to take a picture of Cinderella, which is what she has been calling this Barbie toy from McDonnald's.  
Those are some boxes I still need to unpack.  And the planter is what we use to collect our produce that Adam orders every other week.

*I'm starting to like her haircut. 
She had a sweater on but decided to take it off.  Its getting a little warmer but not that warm.

Happy Friday!  Even though I don't work, I love the weekends because it means having another parent around to help out :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

One week ago today. . .

My "little" brother Andrew, me and my "little" brother Kenny
Last Wednesday my littlest brother (I have three "little" brothers) went into the MTC (Missionary Training Center).  After a short training session (1 month?  I'm not sure) he'll be on his way to Mexico to share the gospel with the people there!!  I'm so excited for him. 

Last Tuesday he flew in to Salt Lake and my grandparents picked him up, spent some time with him and then brought him to my house.  They left to spend time with one of my grandma Lois's grandsons who was also going into the MTC the next day (my grandpa is remarried so they each have their own grandkids to split their time between)

I made fajitas and my brother Andrew and his wife Martha came over for dinner.  We ate and played games and enjoyed time with Kenny before we had to say goodbye for two years. 

Adam drove Kenny down to Provo that night, where he stayed in his old dorm with his BYU friends.  The next day he walked down the block to the MTC and that was that.  So different from when we took Andrew to the MTC and it was this big fan fare.  Now it's just so simple. 

Its hard to believe that when Kenny comes home Axel will be two and Olivia will be almost four!

We'll miss you Elder Hermansen! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

A pet peeve and a recipe


I've been using Pinterest since the early days.  Back then it was pretty pictures of interiors and art work and clothes.  Slowly people started pinning recipes and workout ideas and quotes and memes (I have NO idea how to pronounce that) and those are fun, but my feed just isn't as pretty as it used to be.  But the thing that really bugs me is clicking on a pin and it taking me to a site totally unrelated to the picture.

So listen up everyone!  PSA: Before you go repinning, check to make sure it is what its supposed to be!!! 

If I click on a pin and it leads me somewhere else, I do a quick google search and I can almost always find the original site and pin it from there.

Oh also, don't write the whole recipe as the pin description, just the title.  That way the blogger who wrote the recipe or tutorial can get more page views from the pin.  It's the right thing to do.

That being said. . . I pinned a really yummy recipe and didn't check it first.  It takes me to some weird site that has nothing to do with food!  But I did a google search (since you're looking at a picture, doing a google images search is probably the quickest way to find the original site) and found the real recipe. 

We had it for dinner last night and it was very simple but SO good.  So I had to share.  It's your reward for putting up with my silly rant. 

Boil penne 6 minutes less than al dente; add broccoli florets, and cook until penne is al dente. Drain; return to the pot, and toss with a couple of crushed garlic cloves, some olive oil, the zest and juice of a lemon, salt and pepper, and plenty of Parmesan.

Friday, March 8, 2013

If I can do this, I can do anything

This picture has nothing to do with the post, but its just so dang cute, and the morning was too crazy to pause for a pic.

Yesterday I had my 6 week doctor check up.  At 9:15am.  I made the appointment a week ago and I've been stressing about it since then.  9:15 is early when you have two kids and the baby doesn't have a firm schedule yet.  But I knew if I wanted a babysitter I'd have to do it first thing before my MIL went to work. 

The plan was to shower Wednesday night, but Tuesday night sleep was so awful and Wednesday my babies were so cranky that I went to bed as soon as Axel was dozing off.  8:30pm.  And that was a great night of sleep, thank goodness.  So good that we all slept in. 

I woke up at 7:50 and since both kids were still sleeping I quickly showered.  After that it was a blur of dressing kids, feeding kids and running back and forth to the bathroom to finish my make up.  I put Axel in the car seat bracing myself for the screams that always follow.  Nothing. 

We were out the door at 8:50.  I loaded the kids into the car and went to my in-laws to drop off Olivia.  Still Axel was silent.  He didn't make a peep the entire time.  I was practically holding my breath waiting for the melt down, but nothing.  He drifted off to sleep without even having a pacifier! 

Dr. Smith peeked on him and he stayed asleep.  He didn't make a noise until we walked in the door of our apartment, three hours on the dot to the last time he ate.  

Everything went so smoothly it was almost creepy.  And I can now breathe again.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mini chips with my Mini Me

Last time I took the kids to the grocery store I picked up some chocolate chips.  I like to have a bag on hand to add to my oatmeal or to make some of Chocolate Covered Katie's cookie dough dip, but after reading about Rachel making sugar cookies with her boy, I thought, "I need to make cookies with Olivia.  That is something good moms do!"  Since I accidentally bought mini chips I decided we would make mini cookies.

While Axel was sleeping and Olivia was eating lunch I portioned out all the ingredients.  We started after she woke up from her nap.  Here she is all ready to help!

Olivia put the softened butter into the bowl with the sugar.  I mixed it.  Then Olivia added the egg and I mixed it.  Then I had her add the flour mixture and as I turned to mix it, Olivia fell off the chair and hit her head on the bookshelf.  It was pretty traumatic.  I gave her some tylenol because she had a pretty good bump, and of course a spoonful of cookie dough never hurt. 

I used the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag and I didn't really like how flat they turned out.  Adam reminded me where his mom's cookie recipe was and it was almost identical with just two slight variations.  Its crazy what a little more flour and baking powder will do!  So next time we'll make the good cookie recipe!

Olivia (and me too) still thought they were yummy!  They spread out so much they weren't as mini as I wanted them to be.

Monday, March 4, 2013

February's Goal II

So for my last two homemade meals of the month:

On February 20th I made: 
(I didn't make a side dish, but maybe a green salad and some bread would go nicely)

On February 26th I made:
and
Peas

I'll probably cook dinner one more time before February is over, but hey!  I accomplished my goal for the month!  Yay!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Tuesday night drama

All day Tuesday I had wanted to trim Olivia's hair.  When short hair grows out, occasionally you have to trim it or it starts to look like a mullet.  After dinner that night, Adam gave Olivia a bath while I fed Axel. 
Olivia with a beard of bubbles
I decided it was the perfect time to cut Olivia's hair, since it would be damp and not crazy (Olivia's hair gets crazy very easily)

It.Did.Not.Go.Well.

I made the first cut a little higher than I intended, but it really wasn't bad.  Still, a little panic set in and when I tried to make the second cut match up, Olivia moved and. . .whoa.  It was a lot higher than I intended.  So I stopped cutting.  And called my aunt Janette.  Except it wasn't my aunt Janette's number (I guess that's what happens when you haven't updated the numbers in your phone for over three years and your aunt has moved twice) but that's a story for another day.

Wednesday morning I called the correct phone number (thanks mom!) and Janette came over to fix it.  She is awesome!
Before Janette came over I snapped a pic.
I think Olivia had fun getting her hair cut for the first couple of minutes, but the damage I had done took more than a couple of minutes to undo.  After Janette finished Olivia went down for a nap.

After her nap, front (nothing different here, she just has a cute face and crazy nap hair):

And the back:

And that is how Olivia went from having a mullet (the iconic boys haircut of the '80s) to having a step (the iconic boys haircut of the '90s)!!