Sunday, May 31, 2009


3 weeks ago today I had a strange dream. I dreamed that I woke up early in the morning and the first thing that I saw was Max, laying in bed next to me. He was so tiny, just the size of my daughters' baby dolls. I stared at him for a few minutes, watching him kick and move his little arms. Then I heard a voice say, "Mama, don't worry. I'm okay. I'm alright. Don't worry, Mama." I reached out for Max, but woke before I could hold him.

Having had two previous losses, including our loss in August, I was certain that this dream was to reassure me that my son was indeed okay. After all, every appointment lead to a healthy heart rate and every ultrasound showed a perfect, healthy, wiggling baby. Amazing how the brain somehow knows what the body tries to deny over and over.

This morning, I had the same dream. I woke up laying on my side with my arm stretched out...reaching for my darling, dearest boy.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

random thursday ramblings

I love this picture.

I love this idea for quiet time boxes...why have I never thought of this for Ava?!

I love this puppy...maybe I should just settle for a puppy?

I sense a new project coming on...

Damn you, Martha.

Maybe these would have helped my tea issue yesterday? Meggan, can you help a roomie out?

I need an excuse to make these...Emily's birthday IS coming up after all...

Now I know what to do with the pillowcases from childhood and college.

More Peonies...swoon...

OK...QT is over...sick babies to hold whilst frosting cupcakes (Sprinkles Strawberry, to be exact. Damn you again, Martha).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

of tea leaves

This cup of tea would taste much better and be more effective had a remembered to put the tea in the ball before putting the ball in the cup.

That kind of day...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

grateful day

I feel exactly the same. But I promise not to talk about that.

I will say that today has been beautiful...the sun has finally come for a vacation in Portland.

So I am grateful for that.

And also for having family close by.

And amazing, wonderful, life saving friends. The kind who will cry with you. And bring you delicious meals. And take the girls to the park. And just hold my hand.

And Ambien...I am very, very grateful for Ambien.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Maxwell John

Maxwell John Barsotti was born this morning. His daddy held him. His mama wept over him.

He is perfect, he is tiny, he is loved. He is our son.

My heart aches for him. My arms long for him.

Friday, May 15, 2009

16 weeks

I was hoping that this was going to be a happy I am 16 weeks 4 days pregnant. Today was the day I was going to come out of the closet, so to speak.

I found out earlier this morning that the baby died.


I don't really have anything else to say. I think that the worst part is that I know what's coming. I know what's going to happen to me, to my marriage, to my family. Part of me welcomes it as if I deserve it...the part of me that knows that my body is defective in some way.

The rest of me is done, and really can't endure anything else.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday Menu Plan

Monday: Kielbasa, Pierogies, and Sauteed Swiss Chard

Tuesday: Bacon and Onion Tart, Spinach Salad, Fruit

Wednesday: Leftover night

Thursday: Spaghetti with homemade Marinara and Meatballs

Friday: Out

Saturday: Waffles, Strawberry Rhubarb Compote, Eggs, Sausages

Sunday: Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Spanish Rice, Fruit


Rhubarb Cobbler
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Pickled Grapes

Sunday, May 10, 2009

ah, motherhood...

This morning I got to sleep in, had strawberry shortcake for breakfast, receive two handmade cards from my daughters, and wake up to a freshly steam cleaned couch.

Thanks to my husband, for making me a mother. And thanks to my own mother for showing me how to do it the right way.

Happy Mother's Day to all of my mommy friends :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fun Friday

We had a good (and busy!) day today - first our MOMS Club had a gathering in the morning. We took some leftover cake that we made yesterday out of total boredom (and TWO canceled play dates due to illness).

This afternoon, Uncle Josh stayed with Emily while Ava, Nana, and I went to the Lavender Tea House for an early Mother's Day tea. If you haven't been, it's really a cute little place and their scones are to die for. It's a fun way to spend a few hours being as ladylike as possible.

This evening, we tried out a Family Movie Night. I wasn't sure how it would go, given that our kids go to bed between 6:30 and 7, but they did great. We made pizza, watched Bolt, and ate lots of popcorn. Ava was asleep at the end of the movie, but she wants to have another movie night soon.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Rachael Ray - 365 No Repeats


  • 3/4 pound chicken breast cutlets
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 2 teaspoons grill seasoning, (recommended: McCormick Montreal Seasoning) eyeball it
  • 1 pizza dough, store bought or from your favorite pizzeria
  • Cornmeal or flour, to handle dough
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, eyeball it
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons hot sauce, medium to spicy heat
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, a few generous handfuls
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Preheat grill pan to high.

Place chicken on a plate and drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the chicken then season with grill seasoning. When grill is hot, add chicken and cook about 3 minutes on each side.

Stretch dough to form pizza using cornmeal or flour to help you handle it. If you let it rest and warm up a few minutes it will handle even easier. Set pizza on pizza pan to the side and clean board.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter and stir in Worcestershire, hot sauce, and tomato sauce.

Remove the chicken from grill and thinly slice it. Add chicken to sauce and coat. Cover the pizza dough with the saucy Buffalo chicken, cheeses, and scallions. Bake 18 minutes or until crisp.

BBQ Chicken Piza
CPK inspired


1 tablespoon honey
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
10 ounces chicken breast - boned and skinned
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
2 cups Gouda cheese
1/4 small red onion - sliced into rings
2 tablespoons cilantro

To make the dough

In a small bowl, dissolve the honey in the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir until it dissolves. Let the yeast mixture stand for 5 minutes, until a layer of foam forms on the surface. In a large bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the olive oil and the yeast mixture. Stir the flour into the wet ingredients, until all the flour is incorporated. If its too dry, add more water. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 15 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and put in in a well-oiled bowl. Cover with a moist towel and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours).

One hour before baking the pizzas, start preheating the oven with pizza stones inside at 500 degrees F.

For the Chicken

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. add chicken pieces. saute until cooked (6 minutes). Chill. Coat chicken with 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce. Set aside in the refrigerator.

For the Pizza

Punch the dough down, and divide into 4 equal portions. Roll out each portion into an 6-8 inch flat circle. Spread 1/4 cup barbecue sauce over the surface of the dough. Distribute 1/2 of the cheese over the sauce. Distribute 1/2 of the chicken over the cheese. Place half of the onion rings over the chicken pieces. Place the pizza in the oven (on top of pizza stones). Bake until crust is crispy and cheese is bubbling (8-10 minutes). Remove pizzas from the oven and sprinkle each with 1/2 of the cilantro.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

easy peasy

Several of you have emailed me and asked me for pictures of the girls' new skirts - here they are:

These literally took me an hour total (together)...if you have a little girl (or two or three), definitely get a yard of fabric and ribbon and whip a few of these up!

Get to Oliver + S and get your free pattern now!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

rain rain go away...

OK, so it's currently NOT raining, but it's been pouring BUCKETS all day. The girls and I escaped this morning to meet some friends for coffee and playing, but that seriously wore me out...the crud is still alive and well, although I'm definitely on the upswing!

What better to eat on a dreary day than something tangy? Chicken Scampi, it is!

Chicken Scampi

4-6 garlic cloves, pressed

2 T fresh parsley, chopped

2 T lemon juice

1T Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth

1/4 cup chili sauce (near the ketchup)

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, bite-size pieces

angel hair pasta or linguine, cooked per pkg directions

grated romano cheese, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 450; grease a 13x9 pan.

In the pan, combine everything except the pasta and cheese.

This dish takes all of 20 minutes if you cook the pasta while the chicken is and very yummy!

Monday, May 4, 2009

currently I'm...

...loving the book that Ava made for me this morning called "Mama is Sick." 4 and already an author many times over. It's about a little girl who gets in bed with her mama and loves on her while they watch a doctor show. Yep, that's what we did yesterday afternoon.

...not loving the fact that it took quite a few pounds of elbow grease to get the "washable" marker off the wall...Thanks Emily. You were quite busy while Mama was in the bathroom.

...Itching to sew this top for summer...Have fabric and everything. Must get TIME and oh yeah, energy. And also sunshine.

...thinking that these quilts made from repurposed men's dress shirts are quite beautiful. But I'm leaving the quilting to my mother in law - she's WAY more talented than I will ever be!

...indulging in some serious chicken envy, thanks to Taegan and Karli.

...loving this post from Simple Mom about letting go when playing with your children. I definitely suffer from "older sister syndrome," and I find that when I do let go, the girls are able to be much more creative.

...drinking the last cup of tea in the did I get so low on tea?!?!?! What to do? At least I've got my warm bread and butter to go with it. Mmmmmm...

Speaking of, can I remind you all how yummy this bread is:

Amish White Bread


2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

2/3 cup white sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

6 cups bread flour


In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.

Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.

***NOTES*** I made two loaves this morning using white whole wheat flour and man, is it yummy. You get the taste of whole wheat, but the texture of white bread. YUM!

rainy days and mondays

The girls have been passing a cold back and forth for the past three months (what is UP with this cold season?!?! Our pediatrician says it's the worst she's seen in 25 years)...I've been fighting it off since February, and finally, it got me. Joel was a peach and let me stay in bed all day yesterday, but I still feel like I've been hit by a truck.

Meh. Luckily, I still have some contraband Sudafed (Thanks, Barb!) to tide me over. Anyone have any real (as in, you can't buy it in Oregon) Nyquil?? I'll pay!

I planned this week's meals while I was still feeling somewhat healthy, but I'm thinking I might also make a nice batch of chicken noodle soup today. I've got a few chicken carcasses in the freezer, along with some shredded chicken, so time to use it all up.

The bread is rising, the girls are coloring pictures of our wacky weekend storm and eating grapes (and making grape eyes!), I'm trying to pretend that my ears aren't trying to fly off of my head, and the TV is on (and will be...all day long...mama needs quiet!).

Monday: Yucatan Black Beans, Brown Rice, Spinach Salad

Tuesday: Chicken Scampi over angel hair pasta, roasted veggies

Wednesday: Broccoli Cheese Pie, Spinach Salad

Thursday: Smoky Shrimp Over Cheesy Grits, fruit salad

Friday: Homemade Pizza - Buffalo Chicken for grown-ups, Margarita for kiddos

Saturday: Date night/Out

Sunday: Whatever the family wants to cook!