Archive | August, 2011

Our Weekend Recap

29 Aug

We had an eventful weekend in the Ratzlaff House. Scratch that. Friday and Sunday were pretty typical as far as weekends go. Saturday was eventful. Go ahead, read on.

Brandon was in Iowa for work Wednesday and Thursday, so I deemed Friday evening “Family Night” (as if every night isn’t already family night!) I wanted to make sure to enjoy our time together as a happy little family though, because Brandon would be leaving again Saturday morning for Manhattan. Friday was my ‘Make A New Meal’ day. (More on that in another post.) So I whipped up a new dinner (which is a keeper!) and spent the rest of the evening hanging out. We played puzzles, Lakyn put on a mini fashion show for us, and we all watched some Olivia and Gabba episodes before L’s bedtime. Yes, we lead an exciting life. Yes, I know you’re jealous! Brandon and I then retired to the couch and enjoyed some good ‘ole BR ice cream and some saved-up Conan episodes. We’re pretty happenin’!

the girl loves her boots

Saturday morning was full of getting made up and packing bags. Brandon was heading to Manhattan for a bachelor party and was set to be picked up by a friend at 9:30 in the am. I was running around stuffing swim apparel and sunblock necessities in a bag as Lakyn and I were due at a friend’s house at 10:15 in the am to head to Schlitterbahn Water Park…for free! Hello and thank you to a good friend and her amazing Momma! Like clockwork, Brandon’s friend was here to pick him up at 9:30 and I was completing the last few things on the to-do list. Lakyn and I’s suits, check. Extra sunscreen, clothes and diapers, check. Lunch, check. I gathered everything up and we headed out the door. Now, why I decided to walk out the front door this Saturday morning, instead of walking out the garage LIKE I DO EVERY OTHER TIME is beyond me. Last I knew, the car was parked in the driveway, not the garage, but I had completely forgotten Brandon ran to the store earlier that morning and he apparently pulled it back in the garage. No biggie, right? I just set everything down on the front steps and started digging in my purse for my keys to unlock the front door and go to the garage to get the car out, etc. So, I’m digging, and digging. I keep digging. My heart rate starts to speed up a little. I’m thinking, “No. This isn’t happening. I always put my keys back in my purse. Always.” But they’re not there. I turn my purse upside down and everything (if you were there watching, I would have been embarrassed) comes tumbling out, but no keys. Here Lakyn and I are, all ready to enjoy a day at the water park, and we’re locked out of the house. What’s that? Don’t we have a garage code opener? Oh yes, yes we do. But wouldn’t that just be lovely if at the one time I really needed to use the darn thing, it’s broken? Haha! That would be hilarious. That would be the story of my life on this particular Saturday morning. Just lovely! I had no other choice but to call Brandon and his friend, who are already en route to Manhattan and ask them to pretty please, with a cherry on top, turn around just so Brandon can unlock the front door for his poor scatterbrained wife. And they did. Because they’re gentlemen and their mommas raised them right. I find my keys laying on the desk in the kitchen (I never put them there and still don’t remember doing so this time) and Lakyn and I finally make it to meet up with our friends around 11 and head to Schlitterbahn. I’m happy to say we enjoyed our day there without any other hiccups. I also want let you know that my daughter HATES, I’m talking kicking, screaming, crying, pleading with me to go home, HATES the lazy river there. I was torn between laughing hysterically, and crying myself because she was so upset. I don’t know what it was about it. Maybe the raft I was trying to set her on, but she didn’t stop when I held her and walked through the lazy river, either? Maybe it was the fact that she couldn’t put her feet on the ground? I really don’t know, I just know she will probably be scarred for life and won’t go near another lazy river. On the other hand, she loved sliding down the kiddie slides and choking on a gallon of water when she splashed into the pool at the bottom. She’d choke, then look up and smile while saying, “gain! gain!” Weird kid, I know. Lazy rivers, no. Sliding down slides,getting a face and mouthful of water, yes. We left close to 3 and Miss Lakyn fell asleep two minutes into the car ride home. Lakyn escaped with no sunburns, I on the other hand, even with SPF 50, still look like a lobster. We had a great time though and can’t wait to visit again next summer. Lakyn and I had a pretty low-key Saturday evening, doing the typical toddler activities. We had burritos for dinner and around 7:45 she asked me to go to bed. I love it when she does that! Our day really wore her out.

ready to swim

Sunday morning L and I went out for a run, and I’m only telling you about this part of our weekend because there’s something that really bothers me about this. Are you ready? For the first time in my entire life, this Sunday morning, I felt my rear bounce up and down with every step I ran. Bounce! I could actually feel it and it felt like my booty was huge! Like my little large behind needs it own zip code now! Half of me wanted to immediately stop running and vow never to run again just so I would never, ever have to feel that again. The other half was saying, you must run a marathon right now, and every subsequent step throughout the rest of your life must be a run in order to get rid of this problem. I was mortified. How had I let this happen? (Curse you ice cream!) I didn’t know whether to scream or cry. Both? Oh that would have been pretty! But then, I looked down and there was Lakyn, looking up at me in the window of the jogging stroller’s shade canopy, smiling, snacking on some raisins. “Birdie. Tweet tweet.” she said as she pointed to the trees nearby, and suddenly, my growing bottom problem didn’t seem that horrific anymore. So I put on a little weight that apparently took up permanent residence on my backside, I can fix that. Right? RIGHT?! Yes, I can, and I’m glad to say that I went running again today, and plan to keep it up. I really feel determined this time. *Encouragement is appreciated. Running is NOT my fav.* Big thanks to my munchkin, though, for keeping things in perspective for me! Early Sunday afternoon I took Lakyn to the mall play place and let her run wild! She loves it there and I love seeing her interact with other kids. She kept following this little boy around. Brandon and I might have our hands full in the future. B returned from Manhattan just in time for the  3 of us to take an afternoon nap and can I tell you those are my favorite! Sunday evening Lakyn and Daddy got some special time together while I met up with some friends I used to teach with (I refer to them as my teacher friends, duh!) for dinner at SPIN! We ate on the patio and it was wonderful. Not just the weather, not just the food, but the company, the conversation, the whole feel of the evening, just wonderful! I miss those ladies and I’m so glad we’ve kept up with our little dinner dates. I really look forward to them every month.

I got home just in time to say goodnight to the most precious face and spend some quality time with the Hubby. And by quality time, I mean sitting on the couch watching Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race. Can I just tell you that I love this show? And I really love that next week, they’re going to be stopping at a little place called Manhattan, KS, home of the Kansas State Wildcats, aka Heaven. I really miss that town and I’m so excited to watch this episode and see it on tv. That’s my alma mater, yo! It’s on the Food Network at 8 pm on Sunday evenings. Watch it. That’s an order.

There were other activities thrown in there, like watching The Pioneer Woman’s new series on the Food Network, but that really deserves it’s own blog post, cuz I l-o-v-e her! We had a good weekend though, despite the butt-bouncing and getting locked out of the house business, and Lakyn and I are very happy to have Daddy home for awhile!

How was your weekend?

Thursday’s Random Post

25 Aug

I really need to get better at this blogging thing. Mainly the grouping together of content, so that every post isn’t just a jumbled mess of rants (none having anything to do with the next) from me. But alas, that’s what this post is going to be. I apologize.

1) Many of you know that Brandon now works from home thanks to his accepting a new job this past Spring. Lakyn and I LOVE having him home. I feel we get more family time together, and Lakyn absolutely loves when “Daddy-O” comes upstairs to make coffee or get lunch. Who wouldn’t love getting mid-day kisses and hugs from their working dad? One of our concerns about B working from home was how Lakyn would handle it. There was a period of time when she would go to the basement door and knock for Daddy, but it really only lasted a short while and we both feel she understands that he is working now. This is evident by her waving goodbye to Brandon and saying “working” when he walks downstairs. She doesn’t go to the door anymore, but man does she get excited when she hears the door open for Brandon to come upstairs! The girl loves her Daddy.

2) Shout-out to all the single parents and military spouses! I really don’t know how they all do it and stay sane. Once a month, Brandon travels to Des Moines for work and I’m a single momma trying to prioritize the necessities and stay afloat while keeping one eye on the clock and counting down the minutes until he’s home. Don’t look at me like that! I know what you’re thinking, “Oh come on, it’s two days. It can’t be that bad.” Yes, I realize it could be way longer, and I’m completely grateful it’s not. A momma needs a break sometimes, though, and Brandon and I make a pretty good parenting team. He’s really great at allowing me a few minutes to decompress and collect myself, or freeing me up so I can forge on with dinner-making. No Brandon means dinner takes twice as long to prepare. Plus, I kinda like having him around. Also, it pulls at the heart strings when a precious 19 month old asks for her Daddy and he’s not there. I will say, though, Brandon’s absence does have a few advantages. I get to watch all my girly shows I have saved up on the DVR, I get to sleep in the middle of the bed (!!!), I get to stop worrying about why that dog is barking like the world is ending at 1 in the morning (!!!), and I love seeing Lakyn’s face upon Brandon’s return.

3) Today’s weather really has me wishing for fall. I can’t wait to open all the windows in the house!

a curled mess

4) I’m really tired of my hair. I’m thinking about shaving it all off. Who’s with me?

best buds

5) Meet Pinky. Pinky is the most recent favorite of Miss Lakyn’s, but Pinky is a bit more special than the others. You see, Pinky has to wear a diaper. Not only does Pinky have to wear a diaper, but Pinky’s diaper has to be checked every 2 seconds to see if she ‘pooped’. Yes, potty training is near in the Ratzlaff house!

eat 'em up!

6) Football season is just around the corner, and I can’t wait to finally start cheering on my alma mater again. There’s just too long of a break between basketball and football, don’t you think? In anticipation of the college football season, I’m thinking our little Wildcat most definitely needs some of these for the season.

of course they'd be purple!

7) Thanks for letting me be all over the place today. Maybe every Thursday should be random blogging day…”Random Thursday”??? No? Okay.


Banana Bites

21 Aug

chocolatey banana goodness

When I first started toying with the idea of a blog, I had two routes I thought I wanted to take. The first being stories of life. Obviously that’s the route I chose to start with (it is the most important, after all). The second is posting about food. Need I say more? It wouldn’t be anything fancy, AT. ALL. Just a collection of recipes I love, my thoughts about certain grub items, etc. This is not intended to be a food blog, whatsoever. In my blog, I write about things I like. I love my daughter, my husband, and I like food, so I might occasionally blog about something yummy. So lower those expectations. I’m talking low, like lowest rung on the limbo bar. Thanks!

Now that we have that settled, I wanna tell you about these banana bites. I have a major sweet tooth (and a slightly larger junk food tooth, but that’s another story). I love me some chocolate and instead of forcing asking my sweet husband to run to the store at 10pm to fetch me yet another pint of Ben and Jerry’s Brownie Batter, or trek across town to my fav, Baskin Robbins, I reach for these little ones. I love that they’re individually wrapped and freeze nicely, I love that they’re healthier than the before mentioned ice cream, and I really love that when the banana is frozen it could almost pass as vanilla ice cream! I found these little babies on some other blog, but I can’t remember where, which makes me sad that I can’t give credit where it’s due.*  So for the record, I’m totally not taking credit for these. My favorite about these though, is that 1) they’re super easy and 2) they’re super yummy.

*Disclaimer: the photos were taken with my iPhone. It’s what was nearest, peeps.

The Step-by-Steps
Cover a plate with waxed paper.

Place 1/3 cup chocolate chips (I love semi-sweet) and a scant (means a little less) 1/4 cup peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl.

Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring after each time, until all is melted.

Cut banana into small chunks. I usually do mine in about 1 to 1.5 inch pieces.

chunks on a plate

Coat banana piece in chocolate mixture, then put on waxed paper. Repeat with all pieces.

Try not to eat the chocolate with a spoon. It's difficult, I know.

Put plate in the freezer for an hour to let the chocolate set up, then remove from freezer and wrap each banana bite in plastic wrap.

frozen yumminess

Place all wrapped banana bites in a ziploc bag and keep in the freezer until ready to be devoured, err I mean, eaten with dignity, pinky pointing out and all.

Of course, this is simple enough to make your own. If you’re a huge peanut butter fan, add more, and vice versa. It might also be yummy to add some coconut or chopped nuts on the top before the chocolate hardens. Do whatever sounds good to you!

*If you’re the creator of the recipe, get in touch with me and I’ll add a link back to your original post.

Ke-ons, ma-kas, and bu-fies, oh my!

19 Aug

coloring at her new table

coloring so nicely

It seems Lakyn got her Daddy’s “art/creative gene”. She spends the majority of her day coloring. I’m not complaining, I think it’s absolutely great she loves her “ke-ons” and “ma-kas” so much. Seriously though, the girl would sleep with them if I let her.

We just recently received a small table and chair for Lakyn. We use it as her art table and she loves it! A big ‘Thank You’ goes out to her cousin Tara and aunt Monica for keeping it in such good condition and of course for giving it to us! She loves being able to sit at the table like a ‘big girl’ and color. Big girl. Those words make me tear up every time.

special markers

I just want to take a second and point out the markers. Go ahead, take a look. I don’t know why, but whenever she has them out, she lays them all in a line, facing the same way. She colors with one, puts it back in its spot, laying the same way as the others, then repeats with a different marker. I’ve started to notice little Type A tendencies in Lakyn here and there. For example, she can’t just have one marker opened. She needs me to take the lids off of all of them before she can start coloring. She also must get the Type A thing from her Daddy because there isn’t a Type A fiber anywhere in me. Back to those markers, I love them. They’re the Color Wonder markers so they only color on special paper. Which means I don’t have to worry about them ending up on clothing, or walls, or the carpet. Not that I’d have to really worry about that with Lakyn. She took to only coloring on paper pretty quickly.

When I ask Lakyn what her favorite color is she says blue. But I don’t think that’s saying much because I’ll ask her what color a certain marker is and her response is usually blue. She’s funny like that! Don’t worry though, I’m sneaking purple in wherever I can!

Speaking of favorites, the girl loves butterflies, or bu-fies, whichever you prefer. When I ask her what she wants to draw, or what she is drawing, it’s always, “bu-fies”.  And she’s always asking me to draw them so she can color on them. I can’t tell you how many I’ve drawn, I can only say that my butterflies are goooooood, y’all! ( I say that with complete sarcasm.)

I’m off to convince the Husband that this stack of little masterpieces NEED to take up permanent residence on our fridge. Wish me luck!

angel face

Lakyn at 18 Months

8 Aug

Puzzle Master

I’m kicking myself for not getting around to starting this blog earlier. Like way earlier. Like ‘when I was still pregnant with Lakyn’ earlier. Better late than never, right? I suppose that means I’m going to have to rely on the baby book and my own memory to remember the early facts and cute little things our sweet baby girl did.

But from now on, this here blog will help.

A little about Lakyn at 18 months:

  • You are starting to walk up and down the stairs, instead of crawling
  • You say SO many words (our current favorite: magnet, which you pronounce ‘maggot’), and actually speak really clearly.
  • You are a master at using a spoon and fork
  • You love doing your puzzles
  • You have a fascination with the moon and point it out everywhere you see it
  • Your favorite song is We Are the Dinosaurs by Laurie Berkner. You know when the song is over, and immediately ask for us to play it again. You pronounce it ‘Di-sores’.
  • You are trying so hard to put your shoes on by yourself
  • You can recognize a few letters of the alphabet.
  • You are just now fitting into size 4 shoes. You have tiny feet for your age.
  • You kiss the cross in your room ‘goodnight’ and wave ‘goodnight’ to the icon of your guardian angel before you go to sleep. It’s one of the sweetest things to watch.
  • You are aware of when you need a new diaper and you’re very interested in the potty.
  • You love every fruit under the sun, especially blueberries which you lovingly refer to as ‘boo-bees’. Yes, it’s true! Veggies are hit-and-miss. You like your carrots, and your peas, but only occasionally like green beans. You’re very picky about meats. You love the homemade chicken nuggets Momma makes you, though.
  • You know what m-i-l-k spells.
  • You have 12 teeth.
  • Your two favorite toons to watch are Yo Gabba Gabba and Olivia. ‘Gabba’ and O-via’
  • Your kisses are the best.
  • You say please and thank you regularly.
  • You love coloring with your ‘kee-ons’ and markers.
  • You love wearing Momma’s belts and headbands and try to walk around in Momma and Daddy’s shoes.
  • You love reading books. Favorites are ‘Twinkle’, a collection of nursery rhymes and ‘Boom Boom’ which is one of Momma’s favorite children’s books, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.
  • You answer “umm” first when we ask you a question.
  • You pretend to cook while Mommy is doing so in the kitchen.

 You’re such a sweet little girl, Lakyn and you’re growing up so quickly. You’re closer to the age of two than you are to the age of one now! Daddy and I are so blessed to be your parents and can’t wait to see what each new day holds for you. We love you so much!

She said she was making a cake. That’s Momma’s kind of cake!

Blogging Debut

5 Aug

So here I am, sitting on the couch in my sweats, all excited to FINALLY start writing on this blog of mine, and I can’t think of anything to say. Ironic.

You’ll have to bear with me, as this is a work in progress. I’m not a great writer, nor am I very creative, or witty. I can’t promise I’ll write about interesting things, that you’ll laugh or learn anything, or that you’re not going to feel like you’ve just wasted your time. What this is, is an outlet for me. It’s a way for dear family and friends to stay up-to-date on all things Ratzlaff, and mostly, it’s a way to document this crazy little thing Brandon and I call “our life”. And of course, there will be lots and lots of Lakyn!

Cutest milk-face ever

That cutie pie, is the light of Brandon and I’s lives. We’re so blessed to be her parents. She’s 18 months now. Running (literally) all over the place and saying every word imaginable. She’s so happy, independent, curious, very sweet, and one smart cookie. And she L-O-V-E-S her Momma. That’s me, and I L-O-V-E it! She’d be attached to my hip if I’d let her, but it’s healthy for both of us to spend some time apart.

Enter: Date Night.

It’s nice to be able to get away just B and I. It’s nice to remember the reasons why I love him while walking through flower gardens, and while sitting across from him at a delicious dinner. It’s also nice to think that maybe we’ll be able to make date nights a regular occurrence. Possibly. Hopefully. Pretty please?! Guess we better get on #31 of that to-do list: find an awesome babysitter.

Date Night Outfit
Mr. and Mrs.

Hey, looky there. Guess I found a few things to write about after all!