October 24, 2012

Fall fun - with two recipes

For the first time, as I understand anyway, Casper had a corn maze outside of town!

It's a great story...this farming family is involved in FFA (Future Farmers of America for those who may not know) and they decided to create a corn maze, not just for the community's enjoyment, but to raise funds for the local FFA Alumni chapter as well as the Natrona County ARC.

I have been dying to go!  Look how cool it is - designed with Wyoming's bucking horse and rider!

The Snyder family and I went last weekend (Todd went hunting) and we had a great time!  It wasn't fancy, just good ol' fashioned fall fun with a pumpkin patch, corn pit, farm animal petting barn and hayride.  Oh, and caramel apples which were quite tasty!

On our way in...

An idea of what we were getting ourselves into...

 The Snyder fam...

Samuel, their oldest boy, leading us through...

Hmmm...a fork in the road...

My twin in the corn maze...

The maze was not at all as scary as you would think from the picture above where it was green and HUGE looking.  It took us 36 minutes to make it through.

On our way to the petting barn...

I think some of these were baby turkeys.  Saved from Thanksgiving tables this year!

These chickens crack me up with their Tina Turner "hair"...

Hog heaven...

This little piggy was too cute.  Look at those ears! And that pink snout...

And we're pretty sure this rabbit thought it was a cat.  He was huge!  And so soft.  And he just let all the kids pet on him.  If he could purr I'm sure he would...

Green Acres corn maze is a lot of fun.  I think they've got one last weekend open - so get out there!

Ok, want a couple fall recipes?

I made these pumpkin cranberry muffins yesterday and are they good!  The candied pecans you could technically have any time of the year, but they seem especially fall-ish for salads.  Yum!

Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins
(Recipe says it makes 12, but I got about 20 out of it.)

These are awesome right out of the oven with a teeny bit of butter smeared on them.

2 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. allspice
1/3 c. vegetable or canola oil
1 large egg
3/4 c. canned unflavored pumpkin
2 c. chopped cranberries (fresh or frozen) I used fresh and gave them a whirl in my

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside.

Beat oil, egg and pumpkin together until well blended.

Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture all at once.  Stir until moistened.

Fold in chopped cranberries.

Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin cups.  Bake 15-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Candied Pecans
These are SO easy to make and SO super tasty!

1 c. pecans (I prefer pecan halves, but you could use chopped)
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Bring all ingredients to a low boil in a small saucepan.

Add nuts and simmer 2 minutes.  Stirring until well coated.

Line a cookie sheet with a bit of foil and spritz with cooking spray.

Pour nuts onto sheet, drizzling with any remaining sauce from saucepan.

Bake about 10 minutes or until toasted.

Remove from oven and let cool.  The glaze will harden around the nuts.

Toss in a salad with sliced pear or apple and some blue cheese or goat cheese!


October 23, 2012

33 weeks and counting

Little Kittel's due date is Dec. 9.  That still sounds far away, doesn't it?  We haven't even had Halloween or Thanksgiving yet, so Dec. 9 is forever away, right?  

Not really.  We are at week 33, which means if Little Kittel comes right on schedule we only have SEVEN weeks to go!


There is a big mix of excitement and gravity in this realization.  

Certainly we are excited.  We've wondered what she will look like (we're betting on blue eyes after her mama and daddy), and how she will behave. What will she sound like?  I think about how good of a daddy Todd will be and how sweet he'll look holding her.  I imagine all the fun family things we'll do together and the girl things just she and I will do.  

Then there's a reality check where I know having a baby won't be all smiles and sweet coos.  When I think of all the responsibility and all the things we don't know I start to feel overwhelmed.  

How do we know what we're doing?  How tired will we truly be?  What is breastfeeding really like and how do you do it?  How do we know what she's crying about?  Is she too hot?  Too cold?  How do we know if something's wrong - like if she isn't feeling well?  What do we do about it? 

Now, I've got a lot of experience babysitting kids of all ages, which I think has helped me feel comfortable around children, but I'm guessing no matter how many babysitting hours I've logged I'm not truly prepared for having my own kid.  

Most upsetting to me lately is that for everything I imagine our life to soon be, I feel like that's what it is: imaginary.  

Me having a baby seems very, very surreal.  No matter how many baby clothes I wash and fold, or how many times I go through all the gear we've now got, I sometimes can not get my head around it even as I'm about to cross the finish line.  It's not that I didn't want a baby because I did - very badly, in fact.  But going from that desire to start a family to actually starting one is a big reality pill to swallow.  

I've worried that this surreal feeling is keeping me from connecting with Little Kittel like I should.  However, several girlfriends have told me the feeling is normal and I've got nothing to worry about.  They would look at their baby after it was born and wonder when its real mom was coming to pick him or her up!  

These seven weeks (if she doesn't come early) are filled with holidays and events and are going to go quickly, I know.  Before we know it she'll be here!  

I can't believe it.  

October 16, 2012

Best dressed

If there is one thing we won't have to worry about - ever - in Littel Kittel's first year it's clothing.

We have piles for every three month interval!

Here's a quick peek at the baby room and how much work is left to be done...

Another look...

Yet another...

0-3 months, 6-9 months, and 9 months...

There's 3-6 months on the chair...

There's 6 months, newborn, and 12-18 months...

Here's a whole pile not separated or folded yet...

And there's a bit more in the dryer that has yet to come upstairs!

Every stitch was given to us too.  We haven't bought a single thing!  Can you believe that?  There are so many adorable pieces too.  Todd loves the Carhart and pink "real tree" onesies and bib we received.

We've got outfits, onesies, shoes, snowsuits, University of Wyoming gear...you name it, I'm pretty sure we've got it.

Little Kittel will be the best dressed girl in town!  

October 10, 2012

Baby transportation

Our stroller and car seat...I mean travel system...arrived last night!

I have been anxiously awaiting its arrival.  I put so much thought into this choice that I couldn't wait for it to show up.  

Would we love it?  We better.  Would Todd love it?  He better!  Would it be comfortable for both of us to use?  We're both tall, Todd being very tall, would the handles be a good height for him?  Is it relatively lightweight?  I didn't want to heft a massive stroller in and out of the car.

Turns out we do both love it!  It will fit both of our heights due to the adjustable parent handle; and while I wouldn't want to pack it on my back and hike Everest...the weight is just fine.  

Personally, I love the modern, streamlined look of the neutral colors - a simple black and gray.  I like that we can get our money's worth out of it with a second baby sometime down the road.  It's not pink, it's not blue, it's neutral - and not yellow or green neutral.  I also like that it doesn't have a design on it like so many do.  No circles, dots, stripes, animals...just sleek.  

Todd pulling it out of the box last night...

And becoming a little frustrated as he put the stroller together.  It was kind of like doing the lights for our Christmas tree.  It puts him in a bad mood and kind of takes the excitement off the event at hand!

But it was relatively easy, and it got done.  And afterwards he was pretty happy with the choice.  And I am too!  Here I am with my 31 week belly giving the stroller a whirl...!

We just need a second car seat base for Todd's truck and we'll be all set to take Little Kittel everywhere we go!  

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