Friday, August 24, 2012

Time to VOTE!


Suggestions are in for the naming contest for our newest addition.  Now it's time to VOTE!  I've added a poll on the upper right hand side.  It's a simple click, and no hanging chads.

Remember, vote early and vote often.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Four years ago, all my wishes came true when you joined our den.  And then, as quickly as you could blow out that candle, Sugar Bear, we woke you up this morning to tell you YOU WERE FINALLY FOUR.

I joke that during the entire year of your threes,  I would comfort myself each night with the thought that we were one day closer to four.  And now, here we are.  I love four.  It's my favorite age.  I just can't believe you are already here!

My goodness, how your personality has grown this year.  You love to talk and sometimes resort to extreme volume in order to be heard in this talkative den.  You know what you want and have no problem making it clear.  Recently, you've learned to express your displeasure with your Brother Bear by balling up your fists and screaming at the TOP of your lungs.  I can't help it, but sometimes I giggle a little before I redirect you.

Your passion for princesses and glamour is only surpassed by your love of fashion.  On a recent trip to a department store, I was taken aback by your confident fashion sense.  You love to sparkle and shine.  Little do you know, you don't need fashion to make that happen.

You still live life with an exclamation point at the end of every sentence.  I pray that inner joy, that lovely spark, never leaves.

I constantly worry that, as the second child, you get my parenting "leftovers."  Instead of spending hours at the library, we spend hours running errands and carting around friends.  With you, I've been more free range.  I've let you make more messes.  I'm not sure I'm doing it right this time around either.  Just know that, while my parenting may be different, my love for you is never leftovers.

Welcome to four Sugar Bear.  It's going to be a great year.

Today on Facebook, I've written a little about my thoughts and preparations for Sugar Bear's birthday today.  Click here to read more.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Welcome addition

CyberBears, I'd like to introduce you to the newest member of the Four Bear Family:

Isn't she purty?

After months of searching Craig's List and every other nook and cranny, I have procured a new-to-me bicycle to replace my sad, pitiful, eight hundred pound excuse of a bike.  (Any question as to what my goal is should now confidently be answered!)

She's a beauty, and a very welcome addition to the family.  But since we'll be spending a significant amount of time together, I feel she needs a name.  Papa Bear is partial to "Mama Bear Needs To Get A Job To Fund This Hobby" but I'm leaning towards "Little Grizzly."  I thought it would be fun, however, to let you guys help.  So...

In the comments section, offer your suggestions.  All are welcome (PG, please).  Multiple entries per person are allowed.  On Friday, I'll have a poll of all the choices and we'll have a good old vote to choose her name. Winner gets...bragging rights (hey, I just bought a "new" bike folks).

On that note, I thought I'd update you on my "progress."  I'm 25 weeks into an over 52 week process.  There have been lots of ups and downs.  Times when I've been able to see the finish line in my head and know I can do this, and times when I've wanted to just lie down and give up.  I'm learning things about myself and challenging myself in ways I never thought possible.  I'm learning more about the awesome teamwork in my marriage, basic mechanics (it's an Allen wrench, not an Axel wrench), prioritizing (I have a blog?), fatigue, and flexibility (both physical and mental) than I ever thought possible.

I still grapple (almost daily) with feelings of fear as it relates to this process.  But, that was the point of this exercise, and I'm trying to embrace it.  Some days are better than others.

To date, I'm glad I decided to do this.  And I KNOW I couldn't do it without the support I've received from each of you.

Keep it coming.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Running with Endurance

When I told y'all I love the Olympics - I wasn't kidding.  I am now suffering the effects of Acute Olympics Withrdawl (AOW).  The shakes are gone, but the night sweats still persist peaking at about 7:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.

The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?


I can't think of a better way to recover from the Olympics than to relive them by writing about one of my favorite Olympic moments.  I'm weaning myself slowly, Cyberbears.  In the meantime, you can click here to read what I have to say.

Only five hundred and thirty eight more days (give or take) until the next Olympics.

Not that I'm keeping track or anything....

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Spelling it out

A rousing game of Scrabble with Papa Bear got me to thinking about words.  Today on Facebook, I'm expounding on words and what they can do.  Click here to read more.

(Oh.  And if anyone is interested, I WON.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

When the cubs are away, the bears will....

EAT.  Okay, and play too.  And workout out.  Oh, and watch some Olympics. And play Scrabble. And Rummikub.  Oooh, yeah!  And nap too.  And, and, read books that don't rhyme.

But did I mention the eating?

If you can't tell already, Papa Bear and I are on vacation.  Glorious, glorious, cub free vacation.  Not that I don't love my cubs and all, but, WOO HOO!  No whining!  No crying!  No fighting!  And, most importantly:


I may have mentioned this once or three hundred and forty two times, but the cubs complaining about the dinner I cook?  DRIVES. ME. CRAZY.

Because, I love to cook.  I love to try new recipes.  I'm not crafty at all, but making food?  It's my art.  Those of you who scrapbook (I would rather stick needles in my eyes than scrapbook) - food - food is my scrapbooking.  And think I've mentioned (perhaps, just maybe) that I love to eat.

So cooking for picky kiddos (and subsequently eating said food) has become an exercise in boring.  I know, there are many of you who say, "have them try new foods! Make them eat the food they refuse for breakfast the next day! don't give up!"  Uh huh.  Sure.  That all sounds great and wonderful in your perfect little world.  But, um, I prefer not to go absolutely OUT OF MY MIND every night at dinner thankyouverymuch.

So, alas, one of my singular goals for vacation was to cook and eat "grown up food" without anyone complaining.

Sigh.  It's the little things, right?

I thought I'd share the recipes and review with my loyalest CyberBears.  Because I love you that much.

I'll have another post with more recipes.  But for now, enjoy! (Please excuse my pictures.  I took totally lazy phone pictures.  Because, while I love food, I'm clearly no food blogger.)

Sausage Pockets - I saw this recipe on "The Chew" and thought it was cool.  It's terribly easy with even easier clean-up.  I wanted something easy for our first day because we would be coming off of 2 long days of driving and I didn't want to do anything difficult (especially because I would be doing some prep-work for the week's breakfasts, lunches and dessert that day as well).  This was really yummy.  Papa Bear and I each added our own tastes, which was nice.  I LOVED how the brats turned out.  Charred a little (like I like) but super juicy.  This would be GREAT for a party.  Set up all the ingredients and let everyone select their items, wrap 'em up, grill, then throw away the pockets when done.

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins - While I wanted to cook and enjoy yummy food, I'm also practical.  I didn't want to spend the WHOLE vacation cooking.  So the day we arrived, I made a large part of the breakfasts and lunches (and the whole dessert) for the week.  That way, I got the benefit of yummy food each day, but not the work!  I've been making these muffins for a few years.  They never fail and are DEE-LISH!  They turned out a little moist this time for some reason (thus, they don't look as yummy in the picture).  I'm assuming it's because of the altitude and moisture where we are.  Still taste great, though.  Just whip up some eggs (and the not pictured bowl of fruits-my-cubs-won't-touch) and, voila, breakfast.  (Oh, and I know that's a lot of breakfast.  I'm still doing two-a-day workouts while on vacation, so I need the fuel.)

Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwiches - Yum.  This was the other dish I made the day we arrived.  It serves ten, so I made a batch and put in the fridge.  When it's lunch, all I have to do is toast some bread and then add my sides (the blueberries counteract the potato chips, so it was a totally healthy lunch!).  I loved this.  Thinking I might start making a batch of this on the weekends at home so I have some ready-made lunches.  Papa Bear thought the red peppers overpowered the chicken salad and chose not to put them on going forward.  The recipe called for focaccia bread, which I'm sure would make it even better.  I couldn't find it at the local store, so I made do with honey whole wheat bread.

Salmon with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze - Okay.  This recipe just proves to me that Bobby Flay is pure awesome.  Yum.  So very delicious, and so very easy.  I just wish there had been more (I halved the recipe).  Papa Bear and I both wolfed it down!  Will definitely make this again.  Mmm, mmm, good.  Served with easy sides of spinach and couscous.

Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Pasta - This dish had a lot of steps.  And I was tired.  Thus, it's possible I might have set off the smoke alarm.  So, while I liked the dish, I would likely plan it a little differently (make the sauce earlier in the day).  Nonetheless, it was super yummy!  I grilled up a chicken breast and added it to Papa Bear's plate as he needed some additional protein fuel.  I ate it without the chicken.  The sauce had a nice kick and the goat cheese...yum.  I'm not afraid to admit that I went back for seconds.  Served with my Mama Bear's famous salad on the side.

Good thing we're working out a lot on this vacation too(even though most recipes are from Cooking Light), right?

Mmmmmmm.... stay tuned for a few more meals and....dessert.  Glorious, glorious dessert.