Finally Recess
Time to sit back and have a cup of coffee

Monday, January 28, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

So I've been watching everyone in the blogosphere do this for quite some time and I want to get in on the action. I have found if I plan my week out it goes smoother. So here goes. This idea was founded by Check her blog out she is great.

Monday - Eat with friends (we are trading out Monday and Wednesday, she cooks Mon, I cook Wed

Tuesday - Dinner at Pappadeaux (with hubby)

Wednesday - Taco Soup in the crockpot

Thursday - Pepperoni Pizza (Caitlyn loves to make these)

Friday - Green Chile Enchiladas

I should really be better about the weekends, especially since Jeff is home to eat. I just can't think right now.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Go Diego Birthday Party

Caitlyn had her 3rd birthday party this Saturday. It was a great time and actually very relaxing for me. She had 6 friends come. Jeff said his favorite part of the day was when each of her friends arrived. She'd greet them at the door and scream, "Happy Birthday". She was so happy and kept telling me "my friends are here".

She was greeted with Diego decorations and balloons and was ecstatic to know that her party had arrived. We started out by making individual pizzas. We used the canned pizza dough and it tasted awesome!

While the pizzas were baking the kiddos played in her toy room. They all ate their pizzas, we sang, ate cupcakes and then opened presents. Oh yeah, we played Put the Spot on Baby Jaguar. All the kids loved it, but Caitlyn would not do it because she would not put the blind fold on. She kept trying to put a spot on the exact "spot". She was just like, "Look mom it goes here, dumbie".

Caitlyn got a lot of Diego toys. She was extremely excited to open all her presents. She got an Elefun, (that name might be wrong) but it is where the butterflies fly out of an Elephant's nose. It is pretty cute and she enjoys it. She loved it all.

When we were singing happy birthday, we get to the end and we notice Caitlyn is gone. She took off and ran across the room. I think she got a little freaked out by all the attention, but she came back and blew out the candles.

It is hard to believe my little girl will be 3 years old on Tuesday. She is amazing, stubborn but amazing.

Tune in on Tuesday or Wednesday for a "Look back on the last 3 years"

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Work out

This is really just a check in, with myself, because I went to work out again. My new schedule (it has changed at least 4 times since this all started) is to go right after school and then go pick up the kids.

It worked out really nice today because I'm not too tired after school and I'm still out early enough to cook dinner, spend time with the kids and then drop on the couch.

Unfortunately my knee is hurting so badly. Grrrr

Caitlyn is in Brent's room, doing God knows what, so I better go check on her. She is totally busted by the baby monitor.

She was laying on the floor in between the two bedrooms, because that is so comfortable. She's crazy. Anyway she had turned on Brent's mobile, by taking the stool over, turning it on and being wise she moved the stool back to it's original spot. I know, I know I should remove the stool.

Anyway my knee is better and now not hurting when I go up and down the stairs.

This might be the weirdest post ever, but oh well. I'm going to doze on the couch now-YEAH!!!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Crock Pot Chicken

This recipe is super simple and delicious. Your chicken will fall right off the bone. You probably already know how to do this, but in order to have things to add to my new sidebar option titled "In The Kitchen" I wanted to type this out.

Whole chicken
Creole seasoning.

Put a whole chicken in the crockpot. Season with creole seasoning, salt and pepper. Add potatoes, carrots, celery and onion and cover all ingredients with water. Cook on low all day and enjoy when you walk in the door.

Notes: Buy several chickens at a time when it goes on sale and store in the freezer!

Texas Corn Sausage Soup

I made this soup again tonight. It is one of our favorites. Tonight I made two dinners at one time. I also made a chicken in the crock pot. Both called for potatoes and celery so it made it super easy.

1 lg. Texas onion (a yellow onion)
veg. oil to brown onions only (I use olive oil)
1 lb. breakfast sausage
2 large potatoes
2 cups of water
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
4-6 Tbs. chopped jalapeƱo (optional)
1 t. black pepper
2 t. red pepper
2 t. oregano
2 t. minced garlic
2 t. fresh parsley
2 cups buttermilk
1 can of corn (with juice)

Brown onion in large pan until translucent, with veg. oil. Add sausage and cook until browned. Peel and cut potatoes. Add potatoes and water to sausage mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes in covered pot. Add rest of ingredients and cook for 20-25 min.

Notes: I make the whole soup from start to finish in a large pot for easy clean up. Tonight I didn't have several ingredients and it was just as yummy - I didn't have green onions, TX onion, or green pepper. I have not included jalapeƱos since the kids were born. Be careful with the red peppers, just a little goes a long way. Believe me!

Baby "Angel" Monitor

When Caitlyn was about 6 weeks old, we figure out we would never get any sleep if Caitlyn had to sleep on her back. That was definitely a no-go. So after much thought, prayer, research and consulting our favorite doctor, we decided to put her to sleep on her tummy. However, I would only do this if we could buy the Angel Monitor (sorry I don't know the maker).

This monitor detects movement so when there is a lack of movement it beeps loudly.

This was the best investment ever, whether she slept on her tummy or back, because I could sleep restfully. The minute we put Caitlyn to sleep on her stomach she sighed a big sigh of relief and I'm sure was thinking, "Finally, they figured it out. They sure are slow."

So last night I put Brent to bed and was working or maybe resting, can't remember. Either way, I heard the beeping and I took off like a bolt of lightening up the stairs, scared out of my mind. I ran into his room, whipped him up out of the bed and into my arms. He was like a rag doll, but praise the Lord, it was only because he was sound asleep. Even after a million kisses, he was out like a light and never woke up.

I finally figured out one of the wires came out of the monitor. After discovering this, I just knelt and prayed, thankful that my sweet, baby boy is safe and sound.

I don't know where I would be without prayer and Jesus! I think I have prayed more as a mother than I have in my whole life.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Snuggling Sweeties

I have had lots of fun snuggling with my babies this weekend. Caitlyn has been crawling in bed with me in the mornings and instead of demanding to watch CT she cuddles and lays stills and often falls back to sleep.

I love holding Brent at night when he falls asleep. I can give him as many kisses as I want and he doesn't wake up. I even had to call his daddy and tell him how much I love Brent, I just couldn't contain myself and had to tell someone.

Caitlyn's hair was fixed in little clips, clipped back on either side of her part, and for a brief second she looked like me when I was young. Of course, I only know this from pictures, but still.

She has been doing so much better since our "trip to Wal-mart". I like to think that we are entering a new phase, one where she listens to me and stops the craziness.

Some of her sayings (imagine a cute little voice!)
"Mommy----, where---- are---- you?" This is hollared all over the house when she misplaces me. When I answer she'll say, "I'm com----ing". I wish you could hear how cute it sounds.

She loves it when Brent wakes up. It seems to be her job to announce that "Brent wake up" to both her daddy and I. How cute, but doesn't she know that we know!!!!

I took her to the bathroom (and now I was warned of this!) at our favorite restaurant, Chiloso and she ran out screaming, "Daddy, I went pee-pee!" Luckily the only couple that seemed to notice, thought it was so cute and commented that their children had done that too.

When she is watching a movie she will pat the seat beside her and ask me to sit down with her. She has the cutest way of saying this and of course I give in and sit with her and snuggle.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Accomplishments/To do's

I want to take a moment to put down all the things I have accomplished lately and then equal it out with all the things I have to do. Here goes:

All grades are inputed at school.
Reorganized schedule to incorporate tutoring time.
Planned an awesome unit on the Alamo! (Dad, I know you appreciate this one!)
Planned new centers/novel discussions for my reading block.
---all 4 of those were yesterday during our teacher "work" day.
Bought Brent's birth certificate ($23-can you believe it?)
Opened a savings account for Brent.
Organized my pantry, recipes & menu list.
Potty-trained daughter (with LOTS of help from her sitter.

Big things to do:
Send out thank you cards from Christmas.
Fix sidebars on my blog to hold recipes.
Pull off Caitlyn's birthday party.
Start scrapbooking with the new computer program my hubby bought me.

It feels good to put in writing all that I've done. It's easy to feel like you are never getting anything accomplished, so this makes me feel better and ready to tackle more.

I challenge you to do the same and show off your list, to me!

Thrifty and Green

My new found discovery is Costco brand diapers. I have tried generic before and was always disappointed, but these diapers are the real deal. They are identical to the Huggies brand except for the logo. My friend, Julea, turned me on this brand and I'm so pleased to be able to save significantly for the next 3 years!

As I was changing Brent's diaper today, I noticed the new diaper was missing one of the tabs to close it with. I couldn't stand throwing away a perfectly good diaper, so I put a working diaper on top of the "broken" diaper and wah-lah! Now my sweet baby looks a tad on the heavy side, especially with his 2 onesies and overalls. But I feel like I made a thrifty, "green" choice! Check my sweetie out!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Super Tough Day, Right off the bat

This morning started out great, I got to sleep until 6:30 - WOW! (Okay I was up at 12, 4, and 5ish, but for very short moments). Anyway, hold on, I want to prepare you that I am going to vent. This is my journal for the day, so I can get it out and on paper, so I give you the right to exit now. If you stick around, an encouraging word would be awesome. I'll try to make this quick and then move on.

First thing, I was pulled out by my principal to talk to guardians who were unhappy about a situation that I was a witness to. It took up the whole morning and my students greatly suffered, since they needed me to be there to review them for the science 9-weeks assessment tomorrow. Instead I had to meet and then teach math.

I know that is a lot of vague information, but honestly I can say no more about the meeting, except say a prayer for teachers tonight. Teachers need support! But it was horrible.

After the meeting, an intern filled in for my class, and I stepped into "math teacher" role. And of course, they were working on equivalent fractions, ugh! I think I only messed up my homeroom class, by the 2nd and 3rd rotations, I had it down pat. Luckily I could go over it again with my HR in the afternoon. You know sometimes you just need more than .2 seconds to refresh yourself on how to teach equivalent fractions.

After the horrible, no good, very bad day at school, I proceeded to go to the grocery store to pick up a few things. But (stupidly) I decided to go get the kids first. So I STUPIDLY took them with me. Now I want to clarify that Brent was awesome and didn't even cry when Caitlyn threw her backpack into the back of the cart on this little face, GRRRR!

Caitlyn - yea, that's a whole other story. She cried from getting out of the car all the way through each aisle, the checkout and back to getting in the car. She was horrible. She wanted, wanted, wanted.

Now why do people stare at you when your kid is crying. I promise I took immediate action (on just about every aisle). She wouldn't listen or even look at me. Just a bad, bad, bad shopping experience.

I got the few things I needed and got the heck out of dodge. The cashier was awesome, BTW. But on the way out my PB fell out of the sack, my soda fell off the cart and the last thing to fall were the diapers. Grrrrr!

I'm putting everyone and everything in the car (oh yea, still screaming) and notice I can barely squeeze into the car b/c the vehicle next to me parked way too close. So I have to put Brent in on the passenger side, front seat. Caitlyn even cried about that, Where's Brent, I need Brent right here. Of course, I moved him after I pulled out of the parking spot.

So then I get home where I have to unload and to top off my day everyone is crying and the dogs are going crazy to be fed. I don't know how I hold it together sometimes.

I know I'm firm and consistent with her but she does not mind me like she does Jeff. So therefore I am not taking her to any store, restaurant or public venue w/out her dad until she is 19.

On a positive, Caitlyn had a great dinner time and went to bed easy tonight. She wore big girl panties all day!!!! Brent is resting peacefully on my shoulder right now and enjoyed a helping of sweet potatoes today.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Planning and More Planning

Isn't that what we do all the time? Plan to keep our lives under control.

The first part of this post I want to give you something, a tool, that will help you plan. I have written about this in the past, but today I am going to give it to you. It is my menu of favorite recipes. Most of the recipes are easy, and quick recipes. After all, I am a teacher and work outside the home, so I'm incredibly busy. And really since I have so much to do I should be up folding the laundry that is buzzing, non-stop, but this is so much more fun! Hehehe!

My mom, gave me this idea, to write down everything I cook, so that when I'm overwhelmed and don't know what to cook I can look at my "menu" and choose something. It has everything from really nice dishes to tuna sandwiches. I have taken it one step further, because of my friend Julea, she has taught me to stock my pantry with all the ingredients I need, so I can always make a meal! I'll give more details on that if you want to know.

Rickert Recipes

Angel Hair Pasta and Chicken
Dorito Chicken
Whole Chicken with veggies
Sanchez Casserole
Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken w/ Artichoke Hearts & Tomatoes
Fettuccini w/ Summer Squash & Pesto
Party Chicken
Chicken and Leaks
Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole
Chicken Parmesan
Donna’s Muenster Chicken
A. Terrie’s Chicken Spaghetti
Salsa Chicken Fiesta
Chicken Hero
Chicken Tettrazzini

Ground Beef
Meat Loaf
Tator Tot Casserole
Taco Soup
Red’s Chili
Shepherd’s Pie
Soft Tacos
BBQ Beef Cups
Vegetable Soup
Stuffed manicotti
Easy Mostaccioli Italiano
Cheeseburger Pie
Smothered Enchiladas
Quick Italian Meatball Soup
Zucchini Pita Pockets

Roast with vegetables
Beef Stew
Green Chile Burritos
Tex-Mex Cheese steaks
Skirt Steak Burritos

Jambalaya with sausage
Summer Sausage with potatoes
Texas Corn Sausage Soup

Jalapeno Tomatoes and pasta
Salmon Risotto
Dion’s Ranch Salad
Ramon Noodle Chicken Salad
Sara’s Stuffed Spud Soup
Grilled Tuna Sandwiches
Cheese+ Quesadillas
Pesto Pizza
Pizza Bubbles
BLT Rigatoni
Bean & Cheese Burritos
Meat Panini

Parsley Potatoes
Garden Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Green Beans
House Salad
Caesar Salad
Cheesy Garlic Toast
Broccoli & Rice casserole
Mac and cheese

Thank you Aunt Terrie for your recipes, as you see, I've included them. I haven't had a chance to make yours, but I plan to soon.

If you are interested in a recipe, leave a comment or email and I will be happy to give it to you.

If I were more computer/blog savvy, I would make a file for you to get to the list from my sidebars, but I'm new to this whole blogosphere. If you know how let me know.

The last part of my blog today is about planning Caitlyn's birthday party. She will be 3 in 2 weeks. She wants a Diego party, big shock! I am planning to have the kiddos make their own pizzas (most are older than Caitlyn), play Pin the Spots on Baby Jaguar, make "Spotting Scopes" out of toilet paper rolls, eat, open, go home! On you can print invitations, game ideas, etc. It is pretty neat. Now I just need to hire someone to DO it all! Feel free to share any great ideas with me, especially party favor ideas.

Caitlyn is super excited about her birthday this year. She decided to have a Diego party and she is telling me who she wants to invite. It's adorable and I'm loving every minute of it. I still remember making invitations (strawberry invitations) for my birthday party when I was young (I think 8).

In closing (my dad always says that in his sermons!), I wanted to post two words that Caitlyn uses. She says, "Brrrr!" when she is cold. For example, "I'm brrrr. Let me under the covers." The last is "He-Haw!" for horse. She has a wooden, rocking horse in her room. Well, the other night, she decided she wanted the he-haw to go to Brent's room, and of course, wanted it back 2 seconds later! She's just the cutest!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Four months in review

I got this idea from the blog amazing trips. So here goes...

Brent you turned 4 months old yesterday. It has flown by so quickly - too quickly. You are sleeping through the night, which mommy really needs. You wake in the morning between 5:30 and 6:30 and demand to be fed immediately. After you have a full belly you will lay in bed and talk while I get ready for work. It is so fun to listen to you coo.

You enjoy laying on your back and kicking your feet. There are many times that you get fussy and you just want to be put down so you can stretch out and enjoy yourself. You are such an easy baby.

This month you have really begun to enjoy tummy time. You smile so big when you look in your mirror. Your sister is always there to create a playful environment with toys all around your body. When you get the chance to lay down without toys against your side, you will roll over to your back. So far you've only done this when mommy takes her eyes off of you for a second.

You must be held out to see all the activity going on. You love looking in mirrors, watching the dogs and your big sister.

You started eating oatmeal last week and man do you ever love it. You often get mad when the bowl is empty.

You are 14 lbs and 10 oz and measure 25.5 inches long. That puts you in the 75th percentile for height. I really think you will be tall - you have great chances between your dad and papa. You are in the 50th percentile for weight, which I think means you are growing perfectly!

You are such a good boy. You tolerate your sister so well. We are so blessed to have you in our family.

I love you, my sweet!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Caitlyn read the book, "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" by Eric Carle to me today. Now I completely realize that she has memorized the book, but I also know that is the first step to reading. She even did a great job on the last page where it said "Teacher, Teacher" and she saw "Children" looking at her. WOW!

She is doing great at potty training too. I really think this time is the time! Good thing since she will 3 in a couple weeks! For some reason, I think a child must be trained by then, so that was my goal for my own child. However, now after training - or trying to train - a 2 year old, actually that theory is out the window and if it happens by kindergarten, I'm fine with that too.

Brent has been rolling over quite a bit, but I've pretty much missed it every time. I will walk away for a second, come back and he is on his back. I have witnessed his sister helping him with this new move, but he has also performed when sis is nowhere to be found.

He is also enjoying tummy time and loves to be in a position to reach out and grab a toy dangling above him. Below is a picture of him during tummy time. Check out those cute little feet.

Oh by the way, his white onesie underneath his overalls has words on the front that read, "Party in my Crib at 2 am". That shirt, even though you couldn't see it, was appropriate because that was his theme song the night before. Praise God he is a good sleeper and that is not a regular happening.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Now this is a workout!

I finally made it to the gym last night. I was able to make it 30 minutes on the elliptical machine and I actually enjoyed myself. Unfortunately I had such a great workout that I was sore today. I like to think that that means pounds are melting off.

Tonight I worked out at home because I can't take baby boy to the gym until he is 6 months. I found a great tv station, FitTV, so I did a stretch workout with workout bands. It was a great workout because it really helped stretch out some sore muscles. Now here comes the title of this post.......Caitlyn also really liked the bands. She tugged at them, pulled them, and played with them - yea, while I was working out. I'd like to think that this has given me a better workout, but, um, not really sure about that. Anyway, we had the opportunity to giggle and "roll around" on the floor and spend time together.

We started Brent on cereal yesterday. He loves it! When I gave him his first bite, he started flailing his hands around. Tonight Caitlyn swooped in and gave him a bite because apparently I was too busy trying to get her dinner on the table and she didn't feel Brent should wait any longer. Geez, what a good helper.

Here are some pictures of Caitlyn sharing ice cream with dad at our New Years Eve dinner at El Chico. Yes, I know, we are party animals!!!

Check out the cute t-shirt. It says, "Daddy's future hunting Buddy"

Here are a couple pictures of New Years Day when Brent watched TV with dad. Check out his shirt, "Shhh, I'm watching the game with dad". What a cute little chunk.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Magic Wand

This post is probably going to be all about my sweet Caitlyn. We are in such a fun stage right now. She is understanding consequences more, the importance of quickness, engaging in full conversations and all around just getting so independent.

One of her newest, cutest sayings is "Magic Wand". She holds her cute little star wand and points it at everything (Yes, I have had to protect Brent and myself on several occasions) and exclaims, "Magic Wand!" When she does this, besides being totally adorable, all I think is that I wish I had a Magic Wand! I could really put it to good use, such as, doing dishes, laundry, changing diapers, and potty training just to name a few. Wouldn't you love a magic wand too?

On the subject of potty training, we are making really good headway. I think we started Monday and she has had very few accidents and none for 2 days. She loves her panties and even gets upset when she has an accident. She said this morning when she woke up dirty that she had stinky poop. Man did she ever! She has woken up from naps and nighttime dry on several occasions though!

She has started singing more songs lately. She sings Twinkle, Twinkle, Ring Around the Rosie, and Hokie Pokie. Sometimes she gets the songs all jumbled up together!

I love watching her talk and sing. She has such a passion for vocalizing anything, softly or loudly. Sometimes I just find myself watching her so intently, trying to memorize her beautiful face. It just goes so fast I want to drink up every moment of sweet baby girl.

Tonight when we were giving the dogs a treat I started to pull a bone, any ole bone out of the jar and hand it to Caitlyn to then pass on to Cali. She said, "No Cali wants a green one." So we had to work quite a while to get a green one out, it was at the very bottom. Chauncey got just a plain ole brown one. She said, "He can have this one." She takes care of her puppies, remembering to give them a treat each night. Cali repays her by sleeping at the end of her bed and staying there irregardless of the noises she hears downstairs or even when we walk in and out of the room.

Tonight while we were watching Cars upstairs in the gameroom she went downstairs. I didn't think anything of it. She came back upstairs with a bag of grapes she had gotten out of the frig.

These are the types of things that are happening at my house that are showing me repeatedly that she is growing up so quickly.

Here is another great picture of Caitlyn and Brent from our photo shoot. She is a wonderful, big sister.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

We rang in the new year with some dear friends. We had a nice, simple evening. One of the highlights was the much anticipated (at least on ESPN) motorcycle jump (by some guy) across a football field (length ways) in Las Vegas. He was able to accomplish it - WOW! and did it twice. Now that is just a dream I had never, even thought of.

We are starting off the new year with big 'ol resolutions. I normally don't make any but these are just some big ones we have got to get under control.

1. We are going to get Caitlyn potty trained for good. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

2. We joined a gym and really, actually plan on using our membership to get fit.

3. I'm menu planning to eat more healthy.

4. We will be working from a budget this year too.

Now since I've written it down, it still seems like a really big undertaking. But I'm up for a challenge. Especially since my sweetie will be helping me out all along the way.

What are your resolutions for the new year?