Ducky Diaries: 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

From our family to yours

I love the Holidays!
I love the decorations, being with my family, cooking, eating, drinking, watching little children open presents and enjoy traditions, dressed in the Christmas best.

I loved the Holidays myself, especially as a child.  It was such a magical time.  I fondly remember walking down town and seeing all, and I do mean ALL, of the store fronts decorated and lit up with all the beautifully colored lights of the season.  Sitting on Santa's lap and telling him I just wanted 'peace on earth'..... 

Now, I sit on my husbands lap and tell him I just want 'peace and quiet'.....  Wink wink. 

I also LOVE learning about other cultures and how they celebrate their holidays.  Again, I stand my ground when I say it is a magical time. 

And in honor of this magical time I will be signing off for a few days to enjoy time with my family and friends.  So, while I am away making memories and traditions with my small children, I hope you will be doing the same.....

From our family to yours,
Happy Holidays! 





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Monday, December 16, 2013

D.I.Y. #4 - Bringing back Hard Tack -


I'm not sure why but I wound up in a tizzy a few days ago with the dire need to learn how to make Hard Tack candies.   Maybe it's the time of year, the nostalgia of pretending I had the power to eat stained glass, the babies (who can't even eat any), the need for traditions?

 I don't know but I wanted some and had no idea where to find it, so off to the cook book and grocery store I went. 

As with "most" things I go about doing for the D.I.Y. category, I found that this was surprisingly easy to make.  I figured I would fail miserably, but I only botched my "practice" batch.   And now I have a Tupperware full of Strawberry and Root Beer hard tack and am planning on making enough to hand out as mini Christmas gifts.   MmMmMMMmmm   

I'm going to share the recipe with pictures here.  I hope you all enjoy this blast from the past!   

Happy Cooking. 

First things first, your ingredients!  

2/3 Cup of KARO syrup
2 Cups of White Sugar
3/4-1 Cup of Water
Powdered Sugar (optional)
Food Coloring Dye (optional)
Lightly Greased foil lined cookie sheets
Dram of flavoring oil (1 Dram per batch)
*Helpful hint*
 If you're having trouble locating Flavor Oils, check with the pharmacy. Many stores keep them there. 
You can also use flavored Extracts for in place of your flavor oil, but you will need about 9-10 mL of flavoring to compare with 1 Dram of flavor oil which is only a little over 3 mL.

Candy Thermometer  (If you're a beginner, a candy thermometer will be your best friend for this recipe).
or a cold glass of water and a timer.
Metal stirring spoon







 
 


LET'S START COOKING!!!

Combine your 2 Cups of white sugar, 2/3 Cup of  Karo syrup, and 1 Cup of water in your (medium to large) cooking pot.  Set your stove top to Medium.  If you have a gas stove you want a nice Medium flame! If you're using a candy thermometer you want to place it in your pot now. Hang it over the side of your pot, you want the thermometer in the liquid but NOT touching the bottom of the pan.

 You're going to STIR your ingredients until your sugar has dissolved.
 
IMPORTANT! ONCE YOUR MIXTURE BEGINS TO BOIL DO NOT STIR.  (if you're using the cold water test and NOT a candy thermometer this is the time you want to set your timer for 20 minutes)
 For those of you using your candy thermometer, you're going to drop your food coloring dye into the boiling mixture once your temperature reaches 260 degrees. 
DO NOT STIR.
Let the boiling mixture distribute the coloring.
 
If you're using the cold water test, drop your coloring dye in around the 11 minute mark on your timer.

FINISHING TOUCHES:

At 300 degrees remove your pot from the flame. 

**Cold water test- Take a spoonful of the mixture at around the 17-20 minute mark and drop the mixture into your glass of cold water (which should be set aside).  You want the mixture to instantly harden upon touching the cold water. After a few moments in the water you should be able to take your mixture into your hands and it should "crack" or break  apart fairly easily.   Take your pot off the flame when your mixture has reached this stage. ** 

A fun mini science experiment to do with your children is to drop a spoonful of mixture into glasses of water throughout the cooking.  They will see each stage of the sugar cooking. 
 "thread stage (liquid threads)"   "Soft Ball (mixture will form into a soft pliable ball)"  "Hard Ball ( Mixture will form into a hard non pliable ball)"  "Crack (mixture will crack and break easily)" 

WHEN MIXTURE IS NO LONGER BOILING:



You are going to now pour in your Flavoring oil Dram or 10 mL of extract.
Keep your face away from the pot.  Flavor will cause a big cloud of steam and flavor to rise.   ** When using cinnamon or peppermint it may be best to take your pot outside and add your flavoring. **  Flavoring is quite strong. 

Stir the mixture and then pour into your lightly greased foil lined cookie sheets.  





 
 
Your mixture should start to harden and set pretty quickly. I will occasionally throw mine into the fridge or place it out in my garage (we have cold temps) to speed up the "setting"
process.

Once your mixture has set and hardened you should be able to pull it out of your (lightly greased) pan with no problem.

Now the fun begins!!!!   

 

Grab your hammer, screw drivers, or anything hard and give your candy sheet a WHACK! 

Whack away *snicker snicker* until you have all your desired pieces.   

Don't forget to add your powdered sugar at this stage (if you like).
Store your candy in an air tight container and Enjoy often!  




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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Eliminating the 'shame game'

I often hear how formula feeding women are made to feel ashamed of the choices they make, but what I don't hear is the other side.   Which must be because it doesn't exist. Or does it?   What if I told you I am a breastfeeding mother and am often 'shamed' or bullied, sometimes even by my own family?   

Well I am.  

The bullying is not cruel, and not even seen as bullying.  It is seen as love, and advice to help me.  However it doesn't 'help' me.  It makes me feel defeated, frustrated, and as though I'm doing something wrong.   I live in a society that is vastly misinformed about breastfeeding.  Even my own husband is ..... ignorant.....    He sees breastfeeding as something my child is 'addicted' to and needs to have taken from her.    I hear often how she needs "broken from the boob" and how I'll learn my lesson when she gets teeth. 

I have even had an incidence in public when walking through a store feeding my daughter under a nursing cover where two grown men followed me around attempting to somehow magically see through or around my cover.  

I often hear disgust in voices when people realize I breastfeed....  Most of the time it is accompanied by the reason they don't. Even though I never ask. 

Family sees the hard work I put into a constant cycle of pumping and feeding and lovingly push me towards formula rather than support me in my decision.  Yes, breastfeeding is hard, but it is MY choice and I do still have a choice, right? 

Don't we all have a choice?  To feed and raise our children in the ways we see fit?  So long as we are not bringing them harm and are feeding them healthy, fortified meals? 

Why is there not a balance? Why are we not given all the information and allowed to make decisions we see as the best ones we can make?  Why are we not accepting of both sides.  I have plenty of friends that have chosen to formula feed and I love them. They are fantastic, loving parents.  Who am I to say one negative thing to them?   I  also have many friends that support my breastfeeding and think I am a fantastic, loving parent. 

I don't understand why we bash one another.  Or make either side of the formula vs. breastfeeding feel as though they should feel ashamed.  It's ignorant.  Completely.  

In my opinion, we're all doing the best we can to raise our children into healthy, functional, caring adults. 

Enough Said....

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Give me the crazy

Recently I've been listening to what is being said around me....  
As in actually listening, not just hearing, what fellow mom friends are saying. Are they talking about their weight? Kids? Husbands?  Surprisingly no.  

They are coming out...... 

Yes, coming out.  Coming out of the repressive "perfection" closet.

A good friend admitted to telling her husband that after she met me she was going to hide her crazy and act normal.  Another mommy friend confessed that she isn't perfect.  One confessed to swearing. Another mommy said she liked me because I say the things other moms are afraid to.

I love it!   I sincerely do. 

Why? Because I am. NOT. a Stepford wife and neither are YOU. 

 I love wine, and it doesn't make me an alcoholic.  I swear sometimes, because I am not perfect. And because I get really mad.  I call my children "C.B.'s" (short for cock blockers) because, let's face it, they are.  My husband and I have some really nasty fights sometimes, because, we piss each other off.  We have money struggles and the occasional relationship struggles, but he is literally the great love of my life.  I don't go to church, yet I believe in God and Jesus,  I'm just not a church person. Sometimes I hate my body, sometimes I think I look super sexy.   

I say really inappropriate things, and do inappropriate things.  I am just me.  And I wouldn't change that.  At all.  Because literally e.v.e.r.y. part of me, is ME.  You want me in your life, you get the whole package.  Everything.

This may sound ludicrous but,  I  want your crazy to.   I really do.   I love when people are themselves around me.  That's what bonds you.  The real you.  It bonds you to other people. Imperfect, messy, beautiful, people.

And aren't we all imperfect, messy, beautiful, people? 

Call me crazy if you want to, but there's something to be said about a friend that knows everything about you and is still willing to help you hide the body. 
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Friday, December 6, 2013

Rest is for the childless

So, I have been absent for the better part of a week..... 
I've been sleep training effing myself in the ass, or at least attempting to.  I-am-so-tired. 

Hey guys, remember when we were young and went out to bars or parties and we would come home at the crack of dawn and barely get any sleep before work and we would weigh the option of being fired or puking at work all day?  And then ultimately go to work and swear we'd never do any of this shit EVER AGAIN! Only to do it all over again the next Friday night?!!!  Remember, huh? Do ya? Huh? 

Well sleep training is kinda going like that...  Except my boss is under 3 feet tall and I never get the pleasure of being fired from my job. I only ever get to finish half a glass of wine, and minus the puking.... But the staying up till dawn is fairly accurate. 

Zo-zo is putting a hurtin' on me.   She's pissed and I get it. I mean, now that she's 6 months old D.i.c. said she had to get out of our bed.  Which kinda makes me happy but also makes me really sad.. She is the ULTIMATE snuggle buddy.   I miss it, but D.i.c. and I  actually spooned, like for reals spooned the other night and I realized how much I miss that as well....  Sigh.....

So anyways, while we're transitioning her to her pack and play right next to our bed (training for the crib) we've began attempting to sleep train as well, because, she literally will nurse on me all night l.o.n.g.  Which means that my 6 month old still sleeps like a newborn whos got her days and nights mixed up.  I'm like a fish out of water, because I have literally zero idea what I am doing....

 I, me, holy granola co-sleeping, attachment parenting, ME, actually tried C.I.O. the other day. And by try I mean standing outside the bedroom door and going in every 45 seconds, which I'm no genius here, but I think makes the whole process mute. I think it lasted about 6 minutes before she convinced me to give her my boob.  

She's sneaky like that.  So now, we're kinda doing this thing where we have a little routine of snuggles, a nursing session, then once she's out I put her in her PNP.  Then if she wakes up I try the binkie and more snuggles.  It's not exactly fool proof but last night she slept in her own space from 12:45 a.m. to 6:10 a.m. (HELL YES!) and she took her 2 naps without a fight today.  Right now she's finally asleep after steps 1 and 2, so hopefully I'll have another night like last night.

Fingers crossed.

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Special: Debut de D.i.c.


Recently, my husband D.i.c. said he wanted the chance to be my guest blogger. At first I was a little nervous. This blog is after all, one of my children, except instead of birthing it through my vajangle I birthed it through my mind.....  Deep, right? 

Anyways, I decided to let him have a whack at it and I'll be honest, the end result left me spitting out my Pepsi. It's hilarious!   So without further ado, here's the hubby's take on our sex life pre and post  babies.  Enjoy.

Debut de D.I.C

Topic: Pre/post sex life

            Before we had children, sex was all we knew. It was common to ask “baby, how do you like your steak, with or without sex” or “hey do you wanna go back to my place for pizza and sex, what you don’t like pizza?” But eventually I grew on her.

            After Bear and the wedding I started calling my wife “Little Caesars” because she was always hot and ready. Since Zozo, the only pick-up lines you hear in our home are “Soooooo, I did the dishes tonight” or “D.I.C, turn your damn video game off and come storm my trenches”. What happened?

            I’ll tell you what happened; Trojan let us down faster than dead beat husband. Sex was just as good with no children as it was with one. Now all the time for D.I.C is divided amongst two sets of dirty diapers, feedings and preventing Bear from stomping Zozo’s head. If I’ve learned anything from my six month old daughter it’s shitting your pants and screaming for what you want gets you way further with Mother Ducky than simple, rational conversation.


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Monday, November 25, 2013

True Stories, for the shit you really can't make up


You know those moments that your toddler does something in public that makes you freeze, like a deer in headlights?  Those moments that you are completely unprepared to deal with. 

Yea.  We had two of those yesterday, in the span of 10 minutes.  

The day started off innocently enough, though.  We had the pleasure of attending Bear's dear friends Baptism and  surprisingly my children were angels through the entire experience.  Which is shocking, but also awesome.   Anyways, back to the story.

After the service we were then invited out to lunch with the family, a very large family.  So we all headed to the really nice restaurant with the little store inside of it and the rocking chairs out on the patio, that has the little peg games that tell you that you are an ignor-ramus..... with the really yummy home made food stuffs. Yea, you know where I'm talking about..... 

As we're all waiting with our very large group waiting, waiting, waiting, for an area for us all to be seated a stranger happens walks past us.  Then stops.  Just full on dead stops.  I'm standing there trying to figure out why she's just made a dead stop right between D.i.c. and myself.  I mean, c'mon, a little awkward, am-I-rite?!  I felt myself getting irritated.  Like, literally is there NO WHERE else she can stand except for on MUH TOES!?

But then, I see it.  Oh boy do I see it... She, the stranger is visibly pissed!  And there, in my handsome husbands arms is Bear, with his hand outstretched and in a perfect little fist.  And in that fist, happens to be this womans pony tail.   Yee Haw ya'll!!!

OMYGAWD! I just died.  

D.i.c. has to hold Bears hand while I pry this womans hair out of his grasp!  What do you do in this situation?! I don't know! So I just start apologizing profusely.  Still trying to get Bear to let go, which he thinks is hysterical, which is causing me to giggle as well.  I'm an asshole.  The stranger was NOT amused at all.  But we did get her freed and she went on her way, minus a few strands of hair that were stuck around my child's tiny fingers. 

My bad. 

So we scolded him and explained why you can't pull peoples hair.... It's bad, it's not nice...  People don't like their hair pulled... Yada yada yada....

Then another woman walked by and Bear went in for the kill!   Her hair was on the shorter side, thank goodness, so it wasn't all, dog getting choked by his leash type of motion as with the other stranger.  And this one laughed.  Thank God. Because. I. was. mortified. 

The end.

"Dude, don't you know you're supposed to save the ornery-ness for non Sunday festivities?"

P.s. If you haven't yet, check out our 'Exceptionally Special' page (you can find it in our menu) for this months suggestions.


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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Balls to the Walls

I remember when I first started this blog, back when I had only one kid.  Back when Bear was small, and still, and finally, finally, done being colicky. When Zo-zo hadn't even been thought of yet.
  And back when I had like a million + 5 hours a day to write as many blog posts as I wanted to.  

Now I have two, two wriggly, loud, busy kids.  And minus a million + 5 hours a day to do anything, let alone write.   I'm tired ya'll.  Like bone tired.   My kids are balls to the walls. Every. Damn. Day.

I just want one solitary minute to poop alone.  Or just one solitary minute a day would be nice.
But I digress, I'm not going to drop off the blog world ledge or anything, I'm just moaning and groaning.   Can I get an AMEN?! 

AMEN! Preach it sistah!   Yes! 

I will preach it!

MY KIDS ARE CRAZY! SO CRAZY! BALLS TO THE WALLS, YA'LL! 

Constantly getting into stuff, throwing their foods, playing in their food, pooping on themselves and on me! Puking on me, laughing at me, taking things from me, ripping my hair out, ripping other peoples hair out, falling down, falling over things, getting mad at the THINGS, throwing tantrums,  crying, crying, crying, whining......   More whining and ripping up my Parents magazines!

How the EFF am I supposed to be an effective parent when they are ripping up my Parents magazines!?

Sigh.    Thank God they are absolutely stinking ADORBZ!  They really are cute.   But man, I wish kids came with little volume control buttons and we, the parents, were given the remotes upon birth, fostering, adoption,   arrival.

But anyways, I remember when I started this blog.
And I'm glad I did.  I'm glad I can share my happy days, tired days, kid crazy days. I'm just really glad I can share here.






 Not my kids ^^^
But it is tempting...
 
P.s. If you haven't checked it out yet, don't forget to check out 'Exceptionally Special' for this months review for your sensory child.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The littles you might have missed

So if you never checked out our fancy.com website (that's what I'll be calling it forever, until the sting of the whole situation goes away. It won't.) you've probably missed some things.  Like what we did for the whole four months we weren't here. 

I know it's depressing.

But it's okay because..... I'VE GOT PICTUREZZZZZZ..... OHMAGAHD!!! SO MANY!!!!  

So yea, this post is all about the cuteness. Sit back and scroll through the sweetness that is baby angels shrieking screaming singing.   Here's some of our October.
 
 




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