Say Cheese

Time sure is flying by. I knew that blogging would be harder once I returned to work, but I didn’t think it would be this difficult to squeeze it in. Life has been moving so quickly. We were able to fit in some time to get updated family pictures as a new family of six (just in time for Christmas gifts). I wanted to share a few of the best and my personal favorites, the out-takes, because who can’t relate.

How cute are these kiddos? Our photographer has the patience of a saint.  Really.

I loved the dresses that I found for the girls at Target, and the little guy had the perfect matching shirt from abercrombie kids. Thanks to bestie one for helping me coordinate these outfits and convincing me that they could wear them to a wedding and for family pictures.

Over the course of the two and a half-hour session, our photographer really got some great candid shots of what life and pictures are really like with four kids – it’s chaos. She had photography assistants, a toddler who wanted to play with rocks, a break for a dance party, and a whole lot of not having it from the littles.

I’ll have a blog post in the next day or two on my lessons learned from Halloween this year. Plus, some make-up blog posts on a comforting dessert (blueberry slump), one of my kiddos favorite fruit dips (so easy), and more!

Quick Lunch #1

I’m sure there are others out there, who love stir-fry like I do. So here’s a quick and budget friendly lunch idea for you.

We are big meat eaters and usually try to cook enough to have leftovers, which was the case today.

All you need is in this picture.

Just combine the following in a skillet lightly coated with olive oil and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.

– 1 package, frozen Stir-fry Starters*

– leftover meat (That would be a grilled pork chop for me today.)

– Stir-fry Sauce, to taste.

*If going home for lunch isn’t an option grab a steamable bag of Stir-fry starter and use these awesome Pyrex Simply Store 14 Piece Round Food Storage Set with Colored Lids, Multi“>Pyrex bowls to heat it up in the microwave.

I’m nursing the baby, so my appetite is ravenous and I devour the whole thing, but it could definitely be split into two meals.

Enjoy!

I vowed to be authentic when starting my blog, so authentic is what you get and really I hope it helps other mommas feel like they aren’t alone.

I have NO clue what I’m doing.

Today, I had a large hot coffee, large iced coffee and a Pepsi in way less time than anyone should, used what seemed like a whole can of dry shampoo (Dove brand, I could never bring myself to spend more than $5 on dry shampoo), and stared at my computer screen for lots of hours wishing my big project at work could prep itself while simultaneously biting the bullet and working to get it done.

Much of my evening was spent with a cluster feeding baby and trying to wrangle our cute little messes. They were a real treat tonight. Please see ornery toddler who decided to take a bath in her shirt and diaper and came prepared with swimming goggles below.

You can’t be mad at that face! She was so proud. I wanted to blog about our delicious dinner and dessert tonight, but that’s far from on my mind right now – maybe tomorrow, because it was too good not to share.

Also real life – I misplaced the keys to my office a week or two ago, just kidding a couple of months ago. You’ll never guess where I found them tonight? In my purse that’s been hanging on the back of the dining room chair for months. I don’t carry it anymore because I’ve always got sidekicks who need diapers and wipes and back-up outfits and a purse would be just one more thing to carry. And in full transparency – I very, very rarely even remember the diaper bag. It’s usually a mad dash out the door with a couple of diapers and wipes in hand, if we are lucky.

To end our night, the 3.5 month old has decided that rolling to her belly to sleep is a great idea, momma does not agree. I know, I know she rolled over under her own power and I should leave her alone, but my anxiety ain’t having that.

I’ll be awake watching her if anyone needs anything at all, embracing this Monday. It’s been messy, but blessed.

What do you do over your lunch hour?

I don’t take a break for lunch every day, but on the days I do, I try to make it productive. I’d much rather wander around aimlessly at the store but the hours are short and the to-do list is long. Today, I came home to put dinner and dessert in the slow cookers (Pork Adobo and Blueberry Slump recipes coming later tonight), fold a load of laundry, and to actually eat. Eating lunch at lunch is unheard of, right? What’s even better about eating my lunch today? I had Kraft Mac and Cheese and apple juice. Super grown-up, I know.

9 to 5 or 5 to 9

I’m sure most moms can relate whether they work in or out of the home. I don’t have to be on my game from just 9 to 5, it’s more like 5 to 9. Sometimes I feel like I’m winning the game and sometimes I strike out before it starts.

Today started at 4:30 with a hungry baby, followed by 45 minutes of tossing and turning, and then several turns of sleepily hitting the snooze button. Of course, I find that I’m normally almost back to sleep right before the alarm goes off. When I finally rolled out of bed at 5:30 6, my cheeks were burning and my right eye was swollen shut. No clue what I’m allergic to, but after calling my momma for reassurance that I wasn’t dying and whining to my hubby, I got ready for the day.

I finally made it to work around 7:30, and the day was peaceful and productive (love those days). The baby had physical therapy at 2, and while I had a ton to get done at work, I was pretty excited to pick my big guy up from school. Between 3 and 5, we made it to Wal-mart for a hair cut and groceries, picked up the big girls, defrosted hamburger, dropped the big guy off at piano, made dinner, and picked the big guy back up. Things have been a bit quieter (hahaha) since then and even though the house is a disaster, we’re watching Harry Potter and enjoying the evening.

I’m also attempting to correct the color job on my hair, because I thought I’d pretend to be a pro and lighten it myself over the weekend. That was not a good idea! Lesson learned.

It’s been a day where I feel like I’ve accomplished so much, but nothing all at the same time. And now that it’s 9:01, I’m calling it a night. 😉

Yesterday, I promised a review of these fall Pumpkin Cupcakes with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting and Sugared Pecans.

Make them and eat all of them NOW! You may have a tummy ache but you definitely won’t regret it. I promise.

I only changed this recipe up a bit, substituting unsweetened apple sauce for the vegetable oil in the cake. The recipe also doubled easily and was a sell out at the school fall festival tonight.

I again used PaperChef Culinary Parchment Lotus, 12-Cups“>Paper Chef Parchment baking cups, just the Lotus version this time. They make baking so easy and really classed up the cupcakes.

The cake is incredibly moist and the browned butter cream cheese frosting is rich. And if I’m being completely honest, I’ve eaten a few spoonfuls of it by itself.

These cupcakes are the perfect fall sweet treat. I’d love to know what your favorite fall dessert is. Share in the comments or on Facebook.

Wanted to share one of my favorite recipes tonight, and it comes from the Crockin’ Girls.

In true Becker family fashion, we didn’t know this morning what we would have for dinner tonight – InstantPot to the rescue. We love this Most Amazing Pork Chops Ever recipe. The gravy is delicious and really warms your soul. Our only recommendation is if using a pressure cooker to reduce the amount of chicken broth significantly to make it more of a gravy. We also substituted pork steaks for pork chops tonight in an attempt to empty out our deep freeze before our hog comes at the end of the month.