Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sweet Potato Pie! This is the best!!!

I combined about six recipes to get this one, but hot damn is it good!

Sweet Potato Pie.

yield 2 pies

2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
4 cups ROASTED and mashed sweet potatoes (about 3-4 lbs)
4 tablespoons butter, softened
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Mix together mashed sweet potatoes, butter, and eggs. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, flour, and salt. Mix in spices. Add to sweet potato mixture and stir well. (I just dumped into my beloved Kitchen Aid Mixer)

3. Mix together buttermilk and baking soda. Add to sweet potato mixture and stir. Mix in vanilla extract. Pour filling into pie shells.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 70 minutes, until set in center.

Tips: I normally cover the edges of my pies with foil to prevent burning, but the pie got stuck to it and didnt look so pretty at the end. If you do that take the foil off before the half way mark.

I have peeled, cubed, and boiled the sweet potatoes, then mashed or baked them til soft. I prefer the roasted version since they have a better flavor.

A New Addition

We had no plans for a new dog, but she kinda just fell into our house and stuck. She and Milo are best buds already.
She isnt used to little kids, so we are teaching Bella how to be gentle and her how to not be terrified!

Pumpkin Carving

Monday, August 19, 2013

Disney on Ice Winner!!

Congrats Sarah (comment 5)!!!

Dont forget you can still see the show! You can purchase tickets using the code MOMDOI on for a $4 discount per ticket. This discount is only valid for the Sat 11am, Sat 7pm and Sun 5pm shows. Offer not valid on Front Row or VIP Seats. Also not valid day of show.

Monday, August 12, 2013

End of Summer (Break)

We still have a few months of oppressive heat here, but summer break is officially over. The boys all went back to school today. Part of me was ready, but the other part... is going to miss this
Pictures of the first day of school coming soon!

Disney on Ice Princesses and Heroes- A Giveaway and and Special Offer- Orlando Exclusive

Enter a world of wonder where heroes and hearts prevail. Join Ariel as she yearns to explore the world above the waves and Prince Eric breaks Ursula’s slithering spell to reclaim his one true love. See Prince Philip defeat the evil Maleficent as she transforms herself into a fire-breathing dragon in a race against time to rescue Sleeping Beauty’s Aurora. Be there to discover a whole new world with Jasmine and Aladdin. And, watch in awe as the dreams of Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Rapunzel and Tiana all come true. High flying jumps, daring acrobatics, breathtaking skating and lovable Disney friends are just a wish away! See Disney On Ice presents Princesses & Heroes where believing is just the beginning!

Disney On Ice presents Princesses & Heroes will be at the Amway Center from September 13-15, 2013.
Friday, September 13: 7:30 PM
Saturday, September 14: 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 7:00 PM
Sunday, September 15: 1:00 PM, 5:00 PM

We have been lucky enough to attend Disney on Ice the last several years and LOVE it. Even my preteen boys are super entertained, especially my son with autism. He has loved the show every time! This year our little princess is almost two and I can't wait to bring her!

Here's your chance to win a 4 tickets to see this awesome show!!! Make sure to LIKE Disney on Ice on Facebook and follow them on Twitter! And leave a comment on this blog telling me who your kids are most looking forward to seeing! I will choose a winner at random on Sunday August 18th at 11:59pm. Please leave your email in the comment!

Even if you don't win, you can still see the show! You can purchase tickets using the code MOMDOI on for a $4 discount per ticket. This discount is only valid for the Sat 11am, Sat 7pm and Sun 5pm shows. Offer not valid on Front Row or VIP Seats. Also not valid day of show.

"In exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events. Even though I receive these benefits, I always give an opinion that is 100% mine."

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Don't Be Silent

Well color me embarrassed, the story I linked to ended up not being real. The mother entered a mental health facility and has admitted to being a liar.

I saw a link pop up on my twitter feed over and over again this morning, I was busy and ignored it at first, but when I read a friend's comments I decided to read it. I don't know Katie and until today, I had never read her blog, but this post made me sick to my stomach. If you haven't read her post please do now.

My oldest son has always loved all things pink, sparkly, and princesses (though in the last few years his interests have shifted). He wore a pink lanyard at Disney and only collected princess pins, he carried wands, and had a little mermaid doll. We never stifled or censored him. There were many times I would have been where this mother was. Luckily no one ever dared to go this far with me, lucky for THEM because I would have gone batshit.

The balls for that ignorant ass to TOUCH her child?! I can't even wrap my mind around it. But what he said after was terrifying, heartbreaking, and enraging all at once. Unfortunately, there are assholes in the world, we have to hope they are few and far between. What gets me is that NOT A SINGLE person stepped up. No one.

We can not allow this to happen. Don't stand by when you see things like this. We can't be complacent. Please for the love of God, don't be silent.

And the Winner is ...

Comment #10 Carissa Endler! (Chosen by

Happy shopping!

Monday, July 22, 2013

It's Back to School Time! And a Giveaway!

It’s almost August, and you know what that means: school bells will be ringing in less than a month, and so will cash registers during back to school shopping. If you’re like me, shopping smarter and stretching my budget will be a priority. The Florida Sales Tax Holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 2 and ends at 11:59 on Sunday, August 4. Local schools go back into session in mid-to-late August, so plan now to take advantage of that. I am always looking for deals.

That’s why I plan to head out to Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, one of Central Florida’s best-kept shopping secrets where you’ll find savings up to 75% off at select stores. The village-style center offers a customer-friendly shopping experience and 50 spacious outlet shops with convenient store-front parking. Shoppers will find great deals at the area’s only Old Navy and G by GUESS outlet stores, newcomers Justice, Crocs, Calvin Klein and Levi’s® Outlet Store, as well as other well-known outlet stores include Aeropostale, Carters, Converse, Famous Footwear Outlet, Fossil, Gap, Izod, Nike Factory Store, OshKosh, Rack Room Shoes, and many more. Stop into the new Lindt Chocolate for a treat! I love this center.

Here’s your chance to win a $50 gift certificate to the Center! Simply leave a comment telling me what your favorite store is in the outlet center and how much you think you will spend on Back to School shopping this year! You must live local to the Orlando area. Contest ends July 29th at 11:59pm.

Even if you don’t win the gift certificate, you can get in on the savings by downloading a coupon from the Center’s web site, then bringing it to Travelpro to receive a coupon booklet valued up to $400 in savings. The Center is located at 15657 S Apopka Vineland Rd (SR 535), Orlando, FL 32821.

In exchange for my time and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers,I have been provided with a gift card of my own to experience Lake Buena Vista Factory stores. Even though I receive this benefit, I always give an opinion that is 100% mine-

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Fall and a CT Scan

With three boys who are relatively close in age, I grew used to them falling, bonking their heads, and getting stitches. More than used to, I hardly flinched, but now they are older and less likely to do that stuff. With the larger age difference between Bella and the trio, I had kinda forgotten about this part.

On Friday night Bella was being her normal crazy self and climbing on the couches. I changed her into her pj's, not really thinking about her climbing in footie jammies. I was sitting on the couch right next to her as she slipped and fell flat back on to the hard wood floor. HARD. The sound it made was just awful and I KNEW it wasn't ok. She started crying right away and did for a few minutes. Then she calmed down and asked for Dora to be put on. She was acting a little off and my gut said something was wrong. I paged her doctor and they called back right away. After I explained what happened they read me off they list of things to watch for, the same list I have had memorized for 12 years. Dizziness, loss of balance, nonreactive pupils, vomiting, and obviously loss of consciousness are the major ones, I was told to call again if any of those things happened. Just as I started to think she was fine, she threw up everywhere.

I threw the whole family in the van and drove to After Hours Pediatrics. They normally handle any issues we have, but after hearing what happened they sent us straight to the Children's Hospital. As a side note, our van's water pump is pretty much dead, spewing water everywhere, but we didn't think of that and just drove. As we pulled up to the ER, the valets pointed out our van was smoking badly, I left Neil to deal and ran Bella inside. My sister came and took the boys home her in car, so the van could cool down and Neil could stay with us.

There was no one at the check-in desk, as we waited, Bella started throwing up again and just couldn't stop. She pretty much covered the whole waiting room , especially me. Finally someone came to get us and put us directly in a room. Let me say I was NOT impressed with the care we got at this hospital. They never triaged her at all. After an hour in the room the PA came in and said they were going to give her nausea meds, a sedative, and do a CT. She never even TOUCHED Bella. Obviously, I was not thrilled with sedating my toddler or doing a CT if it wasn't needed. But they insisted this was protocol. The nurse came in and gave Bella her meds and they hit almost immediately. Bella was more than a little hilarious on the sedative, but one thing she wasn't was SLEEPING!? That was the whole point, right? After and hour even the goofiness wore off and she was just plain PISSED. I paged the nurse and told the desk that Bella was NOT sedated at all, but no one ever came.

The transport guy arrive about 30 minutes after I had paged the nurse to take us to CT. He was shocked she was not only awake, but screaming. As soon as CT saw her, they said there was no way they could do the scan with her thrashing and sent us back to the ER. Once back in the room, they came and gave her a large dose of benedryl. After an hour of nursing and all those meds, she finally passed out.

We tip toed back to CT and they were able to do the scan. Luckily the results were read quickly, as it was 2am. They saw a contusion at the back of her head and determined she had a mild concussion. We were sent home with a script of zofran and orders to watch her closely.

Thank God she is back to her normal bossy, wild self and seems ok. I am still watching her like a hawk though. With all these boys, who would have imagined our first concussion would be our little princess!?

Friday, July 19, 2013

What? This isn't What You Wear to Bed?

She has a style all her own. She lives in that Dora bikini top, its under her clothes or on top of her pjs.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Four Kids One Doc

Over the summer I like to get all the check ups out of the way, then we don't have to worry about missing school to get them done. Last week it was the dentist. All four kids had their teeth cleaned, even Bella! Isaiah needed a filling, but otherwise we were cavity free. We have a fabulous dentist and luckily the appointment was not traumatic.

On Monday we took the boys for their physicals and Bella for an iron recheck. I was a nervous wreck about Bella's iron. Her previous pediatrician WAY overreacted to her being anemic (which was easily explained by the fact that she still nurses a lot and isn't a fan of food) and he ordered a LOT of blood work, including bone marrow function! They gave her iron drops and said if she didn't improve in two months she would need even more testing. We ended up switching back to our old doctor after many issues with the new one. Thank goodness, he only wanted to do a finger poke and said if her levels looked fine that would be the end of it. I was SO relieved her levels were a little high and now we can stop the drops and worrying!

As for the boys, whoa. While it is easier to get everyone done at once, it was confusing. Three preteen boys in their undies crammed into one room, with a yelling toddler and two parents. They asked that we both be there so they could do two rooms, but at the last minute decided to do one. It was very assembly line style. Fingers poked, hearing tests, bp and weight checks, urine..ect. Except that since all three of them look alike, the nurses kept getting confused who was who! Then the doc saw them all one by one. It was like the three little bears; oldest boy is a little heavy, middle is just right, and youngest is small. Overall everyone was healthy and growing like weeds. Though some were told to lay off the ice cream lol.

Next week eye doctor. But then we are done til dental cleanings in December, well and Bella's two year checkup in September (cry 2?!).

I wonder how even bigger families handle all this?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My Breastfeeding Journey: Try, try, again.

With my first son, I was planning on being a working mom, formula all the way. Never even tried to latch him. I would sit with towels packed around my leaking breast and feed him a bottle. It hurts me to think of that now.

With son #2, I actually attempted to nurse him, but being born 5 weeks early landed him in the NICU. They let me latch him, but were very pushy with the bottle. By the time he was home, he wanted nothing to do with my breasts.

Son #3 I put in much more effort, but I lacked confidence and skill. I had no idea how to latch such a tiny baby (5lb 4 oz) on my giant breasts (44L) and no one seemed to know how to help me. I decided to pump, but that was awful! I have no idea how ep moms do it! I gave up. Isaiah quickly grew and I really wanted to try to relactate, I was able to do so, but never got my supply up enough to put the formula away. At six months, I threw in the towel.

When I was pregnant with Kai I was DETERMINED to nurse this time. I researched and planned, but sadly those plans never got to happened. In the years that followed, with every loss, I was losing hope of ever being able to put a baby to my breast.

Bella's pregnancy was scary and even though I wanted to nurse, I wanted her healthy no matter what. Towards the end, when I finally started to believe that we were actually having a baby, I dug out my research and met with a lactation consultant. I WOULD nurse her. I delivered in a very breastfeeding supportive hospital. Within 15 minutes of her birth, she was set on my chest and allowed to nurse. I was over the moon.

But it wasn't easy or perfect! She REALLY loved to nurse, pretty much staying latched for the first 48 hours straight. Wonderful lactation consultants came and helped us find positions that were more comfortable and provided a better latch. At one point me sitting in a recliner next to the bed and her laying in the bed! We called it go go gadget boob. But after 48 hours, by nipples were SCREAMING, and I was crying/begging for a bottle. Thankfully the nurses refused and gently reminded me that I wanted to do this and I needed to stick it out. We saw a lactation consultant almost every day for the first two weeks. She assured me, that Bella was getting enough and I was doing the right thing. By weighing her before and after nursing I knew she was getting enough. And grow she did! She gained a pound a week in the beginning. I have struggled with almost constant clogged ducts and mastitis three times, until I finally discovered soy lecthin, which has helped a lot. If I even miss one dose, back to clogged up ducts. I have received so much support from my Le Leche League group and friends and know I couldn't have gone this long without them.

In the beginning I set the goal of 6 months, then a year, at last I decided to let Bella nurse until she self weaned. We are now at 21.5 months and counting! I never even imagined that we would be here, but I am thrilled. I don't see her ready to wean for quiet a while, since she is still a booby addict. For now, I am relishing in these moments, know all too soon, she will no longer need me.

To all the moms who for what ever reason where not able to nurse their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or even more; it is possible! Don't give up.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Back in the Saddle

I have been feeling the draw to blog again. Though I think there will be some changes in the type of blogging I do. For so long this was where I vented and shared the pain of pregnancy loss and infertility. However my baby making days are behind me now. I am blessed with four amazing kids and will of course share about them, the trials and triumphs of having a large family. I am also planning on sharing money saving tips, since we live on a tiny budget! There will also be an occasional (or more than that) rants about politics and equality. And lastly, I am one of those hippie moms I never imagined I would be...breastfeeding a toddler, organic food, cloth diapers, delayed vaccines, attachment...the whole granola shebang, so there will be elements of that as well. Lets see if I can stick to the plan to write again!
bonus Bella picture!