Thursday, March 16, 2006

Filled up the wishing jar!

For those who missed the post, the wishing jar is McKenna's reward system. I have a little caviar jar and when she does a good job with something then she gets to put pennies in it. This includes picking up her toys, behaving during meals, helping take care of her sister, showing good manners, and making it to the potty without having accidents. And if she misbehaves then she takes pennies out (By "misbehaves" I mean actual acting out. I don't consider a potty accident or not being hungry enough to finish her dinner an act of disobedience. And she has never once been mean to her sister. So we're pretty much talking about things like refusing to stop jumping on the couch or yelling NO when I ask her to pick up her toys). Usually our negative re-enforcement goes like this: Ask her nicely to stop. Warn her that she needs to stop or else she gets a time out. Count to three. Time-Out. If she continues the behavior from there we ask her if she needs to take pennies out of the wishing jar. Then pennies come out of the wishing jar. Final straw is she goes down for a nap whether it's naptime or not. Nine times out of ten, we never get past the stage of counting. All she needs to hear is "ONE" and she knows we're serious. But there are a few times it gets to time-out. She's gotten to the stage where time-outs come about once every other week, if that. I think a lot of that just has to do with 1) her ability to communicate and 2) us being consistent enough that she knows we're serious. But that doesn't mean she doesn't like to test her boundaries every so often just to see if she can find a breech in the system ; ) Anyway, all that to say...she rarely had to take pennies OUT of the jar and it was a big day for her when she filled it all up!

So her reward was supposed to be Disney on Ice but like I'd mentioned before, they only had crummy seats left and I wasn't gonna spend $40 on crummy seats when I knew she'd enjoy Disneyland the same if not more. And since we have passes and she's free...why not?

Erick's pass has expired and we can't afford to renew just yet so it was just McKenna and I yesterday. We had such a fun time, just the two of us. We went on as many rides as we could in the time we had. We would abandon the stroller at a stroller parking area and then just her and I would run all over going on rides. We had lunch at The Rain Forest Cafe with my friend Julie and her two boys - Nick and Matthew. It was a little twist of fate that Julie and I should become friends. We met on a pregnancy board when we were pregnant with Matthew and McKenna and found that we lived just 20 minutes from each other. Our babies were born just 5 days apart! I'm very lucky to have a friend like Julie who is not only fun and thoughtful and kind but who has kids who are so well-mannered and sweet to my girls. They love McKenna and she loves them. We've gone to Disneyland, the park, the Circus, bithday parties, met up with other Mommies from our board who live in other states....tons of fun memories with the Lopez family. But I have majorly digressed....

My point is, we love the Lopez family so much that it was part of McKenna's treat to get to have lunch with them. I wanted the whole day to be special for her. So with lunch with some of her favorite friends at one of her favorite restaurants, Disneyland, a big bag of candy all to herself from the Candy Palace on Main Street AND her very own satin princess hat with flowing tulle as a souvenir....she was in heaven!

And you know what? So was I! I loved seeing my little girl so happy and excited! I loved getting to spend the day together, just her and I. Talking about our favorite princesses and what our favorite part of lunch was. LOL! I told you she's into asking about favorites lately.

Because it was just the two of us for most of the day, I only took a few pics. The only one worth sharing will be on a scrap page soon so you'll get to see it then. *wink*


After my last post, it was requested by GretGrrl (who may very well be the only commenter who's real name I don't know! LOL!) that I share my New England Clam Chowder recipe. Of course! I'm not recipe stingy. I don't believe in "secret recipes". That is a cruel thing to do to the world all you secret-recipeers (*snicker* I said "pee-ers"). So I will share with you.....

(That's really the name. LOL! Don't go changin' it now. It's only one of two recipes I can call my own and the only one worth sharing!) And by the way, I realize I've shared this on the blog before but I know that if I'M too lazy to go hunting for it, then surely you all are too, right? I'll spare you the hunt and just post it.

6 slices bacon, cut into wide chunks
3 green onions, chopped
4 medium/small red potatoes – peeled & chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup italian parsley, chopped
2 cups milk
4 basil leaves, chopped
13 oz. baby clams with liquid

In a large saucepan/stock pot, sautee bacon over medium-high heat until mostly crisp.
Add green onions & potatoes. Sautee for 2-3 minutes.
Sprinkle with flour. Add milk and stir to blend. Bring to a boil at high heat.
Lower heat to low-medium. Simmer, stirring regularly until potatoes are tender (about 10-15 minutes).
Stir in salt and pepper to mixture. Add the clams and their liquid. Add the whipping cream.
Heat the soup, stirring, just until simmering. Do not boil or clams will toughen.
Sprinkle with parsley and basil. Serve at once.
Goes great with Hawaiian bread or cheesey wheat toast.


And in honor of St. Patrick's Day, I thought I'd share my favorite recipe for Corned Beef & Cabbage. I didn't create this recipe but it's the one we make every year.

Beer-Braised Corned Beef & Cabbage

1 TBS oil (preferably canola)
2 large onions (cut into ¼ inch slices)
3 1/2 to 4 lbs. first or thick-cut corned beef brisket
1/2 tsp pepper
2 bottles (12 oz. each) stout beer.
1 TBS Dijon mustard
1 small head savoy cabbage, about 2 lbs. (cut into 8 wedges)


In pot heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until browned (3-4 minutes). Remove half of onions; reserve.
Sprinkle corned beef with pepper; add to pot. Cook until browned (3 minutes per side).
Stir in stout, mustard, and enough water to cover beef. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Simmer until tender (3 1/2 - 4 hours, turning after 2 hours).
Transfer beef to carving board; cover to keep warm.
Add cabbage and reserve onions to pot. Cook until tender (15 minutes).
Slice corned beef; serve with cabbage and onions.

Makes 12 servings.

Quick Tip: The best way to slice corned beef is to start at one corner and cut against the grain.

I will say that you have to like the taste of stout beer to like the cabbage portion of this dish. But even if you don't like stout, the meat still tastes sooooooo good. Serve with some mashed potatoes and yum, yum, yum heart attack good!


Recent LOs
(Click on image to make larger or to read journaling)

My Girls

Credits: One of the many beautiful kits from Gina's new "Perfectly Pastel" line (Papers, Elements). This one is called "Sunday Dress". The only items not from the kit are the cross stitch (from Gina Miller's BYOBB-Add On kit), the straight stitch (from Gina Miller's Stitch Essentials pack), the messy stitch (from Katie Pertiet), brad by Susan Bartolini and the paper tear is by Traci Murphy. Photo action is Chocolate from Photoblast. Font is CK Bella.

Cherished and Desired

Credits: Another beautiful kit from Gina Miller's "Perfectly Pastel" line called "Spring Whisper"(available at the above links). Stitching from Gina's "Stitch Essentials 1" pack. Title inspired by a wonderful comment left by my sweet friend Shanah on one of my previous LOs. Color Wash photo action from Photoblast. Fonts are CK Cosmopolitan and CK Mama O. Journaling: Kyla - I will never be able to find a big enough word to tell you how much I love you. You will, in all likelihood, be a middle child and I know that is not an easy family position. You were not brought to this world simply to be someone’s sibling. You were a cherished and desired person to our family. Now that we have known you for six months, I can tell you that you are everything we’d hoped for and more than we had dared to dream for our second child. You are perfect for your place in this family. I want you to know what a special joy you are to those around you. You have a sweetness about your spirit that I know was breathed into you by God Himself. You have the ability to light up any room and melt any heart. I can already tell that you are destined to do something remarkable and my gut tells me that it will be a ministry of love, mercy and kindness. No matter where you go in life, know that your Mommy and Daddy have always believed in you from the very start. We love you Ky and we are thankful that God chose YOU for our family.


Last little things....thanks to whoever the sweeties are that wrote such nice reviews about my blog at the new topdigiblogs site. That was such a nice thing to see! And to all my friends who are registered there, I only gave FIVE stars to your blogs. So I promise I'm not one of those four-star people over there. I would rather not rate a blog then drop it with a four-star rate.

Well, I'm dying to scrap but really, I must fold laundry while I still have a fighting chance to catch up on it. Ah, responsibility. That's alright, I'll just put some Maroon 5 on my ipod to make it fun.

Question of the Day:
What is your current album of choice (be it on your ipod or in your cd player....what cd is your current fave?)


Mom said...

Hi honey... I love the new LO you did, I especially loved the Journaling to Kyla. (you know you always make me cry). I seriously think you should consider writing childrens books. I love you! Mom

Julie Jewels said...

We are totally on a similar wavelength today! Go read my blog! LOL
I really enjoyed meeting you girls for lunch today! And I completely know the feeling you had of seeing Kenna so happy!
I can't wait to try your soup recipe! I knew you had posted it before and after it was brought up again, I knew I wanted a copy of it but was too lazy to find it. So thank you!
I wish I could try your St Patty's day recipe too (or even invite myself over to your place to try it!) but with the beer in it and me being allergic to beer...prolly not a good idea! LOL

Jen said...

ugh- why do people rate others blogs low- if you don't like it- don't flippin read it. Mine was four stars and then back to five and now back to four again- someone is out to get me :( Thanks for not being one of those people! :)
Anyways...sounds like a fun day you and Kenna had- I wish we lived close to something like that. Someday I hope to get out to Cali. and visit ;)

Stephanie said...

Sounds like you had such a great day with your sweet girl yesterday!

Maybe I am totally lame, but I usually just listen to the radio. In my work player right now is James Blunt: Back to Bedlam.

Delighted Mom said...

You have renewed my hope in parenting. We have tried so many different and wonderful methods but I seem to slack off and back to the "you do it case I said so" And really, how affective is that?

I used to have jars with marbles in it and that worked so good but I was never sure how to decide what the final reward should be. Well with the pennies my kids would simply find joy in spending it. But they would have to have it full before they got to spend it. I love it!!!

I have been searching for just the right thing and I feel like this is it!!!! You are my hero!

I'll let you know in how it turns out.

Alyson said...

Sniffle. As a middle child, what you wrote to her will make a world of difference. Wow.

Album? Right now I'm currently spinning OAR's first album, but every once in a while switching it up with the mixed cd Jenn made me of various Indigo Girls albums.

momy4him said...

wow! can i be your daughter? i wanna go to disneyland, have lunch at the rainforest cafe, get candy and a purty princess hat too!
sounds like you girls had a blast today! what fun memories made! can't wait to see the layout you make, your layouts are beautiful!
my favorite album right now is beckah shae's butterfly.

Britt(any) said...

Can't wait to see a LO of DLand--super fun.

Favorite album: I'm switching between John Reuben, late 90's dc Talk, tobyMac, and Superchic[k]'s "Beauty from Pain".

Erin said...

I love pictureing you and Kenna running all over and talking about princess's. It makes me teary eye'd. I love that Lopez family too. You are so lucky to live near one another. You both are such sweet amazing friends and I can't wait to see you again!

I was going to ask you for your corned beef recipe on our board!! Thanks! I don't know when I'll make it but I LOVE and I mean LOVE cabbage! I can't wait to try this recipe! (the alchohol bakes out right?lol)

Tha soup sounds heavenly too. And it's a special Shannon recipe? How fun!

Elaine said...

Recipes made me drool and have been dutifully passed on to Chef Braddles to whip it up for me SOON. MMMMMMM.

What a great time you had at Disneyland! And yay McKenna for filling up her jar. I'm thinking about starting one for Madelaine soon, still don't know what the "theme" will be.

I love what you wrote to Kyla, she's not going to get "middle child" syndrome at all in your family!

Laura said...

Congratulations Miss McKenna on filling up your wishing jar!

The trip to Disneyland sounds like so much fun Shannon, and lunch with Julie too, what a great day!

I can't wait to see your new page with the picture from that day.

Shawn said...

So jealous that you got to spend a day at Disney! Current fav album would have to be a little 5 song live thing by Jason Mraz. Can't get enough of it! Off to find you blog on the digiblog list. :)

wyowoman said...

i'm kinda laughin' a little that four stars is considered low! how did we get there?
My favorite of the moment is: whichever collective soul it is in my van, Eric put it there and forgot to take it out. I'm liking it, but don;t know the name!

Angie Wags said...

My current fav is Mary J Blige. I love that you Mom comments on your blog..that's so sweet!

Gina said...

1 picture and we can't even see it yet? BOO!


Sounds like it was the perfect girl's afternoon anyway!!

No current album of choice. You know me- I'm not much into music.

Laurie said...

Shannon, your pages are gorgeous!! I have to say that I've been a lurker, but today that stops!! :) I am in awe of your scrapbooking talent. Every page I've seen is just beautiful!! You have 2 adorable girls!!

My album of choice is, well...I have a couple...James Blunt, Maroon 5 and a new favorite of mine is Jack Johnson doing the Curious George soundtrack. It's awesome for kids but it's Jack Johnson so it's not like other annoying kids cd's.

Kim said...

Sounds like you and McKenna had a great time at Disney. She's so lucky to have such a caring and loving mom! :)