Fun in the Kitchen03 Jul 2013 06:10 pm

I’m not much of a morning person, but sometimes waffles make a great dinner!

  • 1 pkg. dry yeast
  • 2 c. lukewarm milk
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (1/2 tsp. almond extract is nice too)
  • 2 1/2 c. sifted flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 c. melted butter

Dissolve yeast in milk; add beaten egg yolks, vanilla and salt. Add flour and sugar and mix. Add butter, set aside for several minutes. Whisk egg whites until they form almost stiff peaks and carefully fold into batter. Cover and let set on counter 30 minutes. Bake in waffle iron. Top with powdered sugar, whipped cream, syrup, fruit or Gruyere cheese.

According to Micah...30 Aug 2011 04:11 pm

“You know, I really like playing cars and trucks with Isaac. He’s a good player. I taught him how.”

Family Fun and holidays27 Aug 2011 03:20 pm

That’s my Katie baby! Today we celebrated Katie’s birthday with family and though I felt totally unprepared this morning, I’m really happy with how it all turned out.

I made these invites by printing up a nice 1, then drawing the buttons on tracing paper over it. I copied the button illustration on watercolor paper and watercolored each one. It was the first crafty thing I’ve done in quite a while and it sure felt good to make something!

I kept the decorations very simple. I made a little banner with Katie’s name, a happy birthday sign with buttons, and of course button flowers. For favors, I printed up some wallet-size pictures of the birthday girl and displayed them with clothespins decorated with buttons. Super easy.

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Still going with the “cute” theme I decided we should have cute foods, which in my mind translates to miniature foods; sliders, roasted baby bliss potatoes, mini salads of baby lettuce and grape tomatoes, and tiny champagne grapes. I ordered a plain white 5 inch cake and 12 white-iced cupcakes from Publix. Then I monogrammed a “K” on the cake with molded candy buttons. The cupcakes each got a candy button on top too. I wasn’t sure this was going to work, but I really loved the final product.

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Katie loved her cupcake.

Thanks everyone who came and who helped! We love you all!

holidays24 Aug 2011 11:24 am


It’s hard to believe she’s one year old! This has been one busy year, but Katie is the sweetest baby and I finally feel, one year later, that I’m getting back into some routines.

Since I wasn’t blogging at the time Katie was born, I thought I’d share her birth story today.

The day Katie was born was a rainy day. It was August 24, 2010 and I was scheduled to be induced that morning, one week before my due date. Before the sun rose, I called the hospital to see if they had room for me. “No, it’s pretty busy. Eat a light breakfast and we’ll call you when there’s room.” I was disappointed and figured the delay would be a long one given that they were allowing me to eat. What a pleasant surprise when they called around 10:00am and said to come to the hospital!

Grammy had stayed over the night before and took care of Emmaline, Micah, and Isaac in the morning. The plan was for her to take them to Teresa Meadow’s house once we left for the hospital and then meet us there later.

Trent and I arrived at the hospital shortly before 11am and were directed to a sitting area filled with families waiting to meet their new little brothers and sisters and grandchildren. It’s a strange feeling to be there at the hospital knowing you’ll be having a baby soon, but without any labor symptoms beyond the Braxton Hicks contractions you’ve been having for the past couple of months. The hospital staff was very courteous and apologized several times for the wait, but after the waiting we had with Micah’s induction, I was delighted with how quickly things were going. I filled out all my paperwork there including the consent form for the epidural. It’s so much easier to sign the consent for an epidural when you aren’t in need of one at the moment!


After a short wait, our nurse came and introduced herself and led us down the hall to the labor and delivery room. This section of the hospital had been completely remodeled since last time I had been here and the room was huge!

The nurse was friendly and told me about her twin girls. We joked about my having been here only a little more than a year before. She started my first dose of antibiotic and checked to see that I was almost 4 cm already. When Dr. Breit arrived at noon, he broke my water and started the the pitocin drip at a 1cc per hour. “I’d like you to go until four or four-thirty to get the second dose of anti-biotic in,” he said before leaving. The main reason for being induced was to be sure to get two doses of antibiotic in before the baby came.

Things seemed to be moving very slowly for a long while, though my perspective was a little off. My dose of pitocin was very low, and the nurse increased it by 1 cc every hour. My contractions were becoming more regular as evidenced by the nice bell curves pouring out of the monitor, but they weren’t feeling any stronger than my Braxton Hicks had. My mom came to the hospital after dropping off the kids and my dad arrived with lunch for himself, my mom, and Trent. I was allowed nothing but ice chips, but I was mostly okay with that.


We sat around and chatted about mundane things. I was still feeling good, but having a baby is always such a surreal experience that even conversations seem kind of odd. After a while a woman came in and introduced herself as the hospital’s “Birth Experience Designer.” It had come to her attention that my dad was part of the Florida Hospital Family and she wanted to let us know I’d be staying in the VIP Retreat after the delivery. Very nice indeed. When my nurse came by the next time, she leaned over and whispered, “I saw your dad with his hospital badge and he’s dressed like an executive. I didn’t know exactly who he was, but he seems important so I thought we should get you the good room.” Thanks, Dad!

For a couple of hours things seemed to me to be moving very slowly, though in reality the whole experience was very quick. The contractions were becoming stronger, but weren’t really painful yet. I told the nurse I wanted an epidural, but could wait. She left to let anesthesiologist know. There was only one anesthesiologist on duty that day and she was very busy; she would come when she could. I told the nurse that was fine, as I wasn’t in much pain yet. Over the next hour or so, my contractions became steadily stronger. This time I told the nurse I was ready for my epidural now. I was next on the list, but a couple of emergency c-sections had to come before me. By the time the nurse came to tell me about the second delay I was very ready for the epidural. I was still trying to listen to the conversations of my parents and Trent, but it was getting harder to concentrate on what they were saying. I tried to change positions in bed, but tethered to my IV, baby monitor, and heart rate monitor, the best I could do was lean forward in bed. I felt like if I could just get up and walk around or move more, the contractions would be more manageable, but since I really couldn’t, I just tried to get as comfortable as I could and look like I was listening. I was very glad when the anesthesiologist finally arrived. She was a youngish Indian woman and she had a lot of prep to do. She kept asking the nurse if Angela was coming, if she would be here soon, and should we wait for her. I was a little nervous since this doctor seemed a bit unsure of herself, and I was greatly relieved when Angela arrived. As soon as she walked in I recognized her as the wonderful anesthesiologist who had done my epidural when I had Isaac. I knew she had years and years of experience and a very comforting bedside manner, which was especially nice since a new hospital policy forbid Trent from being within ten feet of me during the procedure - in the past he had held my hands to distract me. At 4:30, I got my epidural, Angela verbally guiding the newer doctor through the procedure and soon I was feeling much better.

It didn’t take long before the epidural took effect and as I relaxed I realized how tense I had been before. Once the epidural started to work, the nurse sent Trent into the hall to wait with my parents while she put in a catheter and almost as an afterthought, she checked to see how far dilated I was. “Oh! you’re eight centimeters! I guess I shouldn’t have put that catheter in, I’ll just have to take it right back out.” She went over to the door and peeked out to ask my family, “Are you ready to have a baby? Because Allison is ready!”

The nurse put in a call to Dr.Breit who was monitoring my progress from his office across the street. As the nurse began prepping for the pushing stage she told me Dr.Breit had warned her that once I was ready I’d go quickly like that. Still, she wanted me to do a couple of pushes to get started before the doctor arrived. I was very hesitant to do this. “Are you sure?” I asked. “Can we just wait until he gets here?”

“It will be fine,” she answered. “If things are moving too fast we’ll stop.”

I was still not eager to begin pushing just yet, but at that moment Dr.Breit walked in still folding his umbrella from the walk over. Within a few minutes he had me start pushing. Trent was at my side and my mom had a seat next to the doctor. My dad stayed too but took a seat further back.

During the first push the nurse kept saying, “Don’t be afraid to push! Don’t be afraid to push!” I wondered if I wasn’t pushing as hard as I thought I was. Maybe I had forgotten how to push, or maybe for some reason this time was just going to be slower.

After the second push, however, the doctor and my mom were talking about Katie’s dark hair. They told me to rest and I heard Dr.Breit comment to my mom, “Look, she’s not even pushing and here comes the baby.” Pretty soon my mom was telling me how pretty Katie was and I grew nervous that I hadn’t heard her cry yet. I asked about it and Dr.Breit reassured me that she wasn’t ready yet. Again, this seemed like a long time to me, but it was really only a few seconds before I heard her cry and someone placed this beautiful baby on my chest. Katherine Ann Tuggle was born at 4:57pm. She weighed seven pounds and six ounces.


After I got a brief look at her, the nurse whisked her away to be weighed and measured and cleaned up a bit. Trent and my parents followed Katie and the nurse over to the heated bassinet while I watched from across the room. Then I heard a surprised voice say what I thought was, “It’s a boy!”

“What?” I asked from my place in bed, “Did you just say, it’s a boy?”

“No,” someone laughed, “It’s a void. She peed!”

Oh, I relaxed a bit. I think I would have been slightly disappointed if she had been a boy, but my first thought was, I don’t want to tell Emmaline!

The nurse brought Katie back to me all swaddled up in her pink and blue hospital blanket and Trent and I admired her and her beautiful dark blue eyes and pink, pink skin. She was alert and nursed a little while we were still in the delivery room.

Grammy and PopPop left at some point and later Grammy brought Emmaline, Micah, and Isaac to the hospital to meet their new sister. Emmaline had tears in her eyes as she hugged Katie for the first time, so very happy to finally have a baby sister.


According to Isaac...20 Jul 2011 09:42 am


Being the younger brother can be hard, especially when you see your older brother and sister doing things you aren’t allowed to do. For instance, we encourage Emmaline and Micah to get their own breakfasts. They ask for snacks then get them themselves. Isaac however, is not allowed in the pantry. This causes him great frustration. After a few pantry catastrophes involving oatmeal, baking soda, flour and lots of vacuuming, we’ve been really working on teaching Isaac to ask for snacks. Instead of getting into the pantry and helping himself, we’ve been teaching him to say, “Snack, please.” This has clicked with him and largely done away with the pantry problems. The only thing is, he can’t say “please” very well and it comes out “Snack Me!” We probably shouldn’t be reinforcing this mispronunciation, but it’s so tempting to answer, “You want me to snack you? Okay, I’ll snack you.”

Family Fun and holidays04 Jul 2011 11:19 pm

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Our favorite Independence Day activity is Winter Park’s “Olde Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration”. Emmaline, Micah, and Isaac played on the giant inflatable slides, we listened to the brass band, and we lunched on sandwiches I had packed for us. We even found a shady spot to eat them! Even so, it was terribly hot, so Jeremiah’s Italian Ice on the way home made for the perfect snack.
I had hoped to see fireworks in the evening, but between tired little ones and not wanting to fight the crowds, we opted for grilling out and then a movie and popcorn with Emmie and Micah once Isaac and Katie were tucked in for the night.
Hope your fourth was fabulous too!
Friends12 Jun 2011 09:18 pm


Remember Stephen and Kelly’s wedding in Minneapolis? Today we had the honor of hosting the Florida part of the party.



I followed Kelly’s lead from the original reception and ordered a variety of cheesecakes. They were beautiful as well as delicious.


It really was a bit of a reunion for all the people who used to hang out together back in the days when Steve lived in Florida. It was so good to see so many friends all in one place again.


The house was extremely full - more full than our air conditioner can really handle - but I loved being able to have everyone over.

Family Fun and Fun in the Kitchen09 Jun 2011 01:20 pm


Just didn’t want to divy up lunch on three separate plates today, so I fixed a little platter for the kids. It included grapes, sweet peppers, whole-wheat pita and hummus, baby belle and american cheeses, sliced hotdogs, and olives.


Served on the back porch and eaten with toothpicks and fingers. The kids gobbled it up and clean-up was a breeze!

Family Fun04 Jun 2011 07:47 pm

Inspired by Jessica’s photo journal day, I thought I’d record our day in pictures. I’m not sure any day we have is average, but this is one of them, specifically, last Thursday.

5:44am Isaac wakes up crying. I go into his room to find him sitting in a pile of legos mostly asleep and confused. I tuck him back in, he quiets down and I go back to bed. Five minutes later he’s at it again and Trent gets up to comfort him.

6am Isaac is back asleep but Trent is completely awake. I vaguely hear the shower turn on while I drift back to sleep.


7:30am Katie is awake and crying. I rescue her from her crib before she can wake Emmie up and take her back to my bed to nurse her. We both fall back asleep.

8am Isaac is up and shaking a granola bar in my face. I try to talk him into snuggling with us, but he’s more interesting in jumping, so we get up. I open his granola bar for him.


I find a sweet note left by Trent who is already at work.


While I brush my teeth, Isaac splashes in the toilet - something he hasn’t done for quite a while. The day’s discipline begins. I get dressed while Katie overturns a trash can.


8:30 Good morning Emmie.



8:45 Emmie gets her good morning snuggles from Katie while I check on the flowers I planted the other day. Soil is still wet from all the rain yesterday.


Micah is still sleeping even though there’s someone with a lawnmower just outside his window.


I start a load of laundry.


9am Micah is up and fixes Ovaltine for himself and Isaac.

We have plans to go swimming today and Emmie has also requested a stop at the library. I tell the kids to be finished with their morning chores by 10.


I sit down to coffee and my Daily Light while Isaac eats his cereal. After coffee, I feed Katie some oatmeal with banana. I’ll eat breakfast in the car.


By the time I get myself, Isaac, and Katie ready for the day, Emmie and Micah are done with chores. It’s a little before ten and I can’t stand Micah’s unruly hair any longer so I take him outside to cut it.


Isaac wants a haircut too, so it’s about 10:20 before we leave for the pool.


We drop Isaac and Katie off at the fitness center’s childcare while we swim for an hour. After swimming we shower off and don dry clothes so we’re ready for the library.

11:45 Off to the library!



Katie is asleep by the time we arrive, but she hardly wakes when I transfer her to the maya wrap. The kids love the library and we check out about a gazillion books.


1:15pm Isaac has fallen asleep in the car, but we are finally home Everyone is hungry! I quickly make lunch for Emmie, Micah, and Isaac, then feed Katie.


Katie doesn’t know whether she is more hungry or tired.


1:45 I make myself lunch and sit down to eat and nurse Katie while I check facebook and email. When Katie is done nursing she readily goes down for a nap. Isaac finishes eating and I put him in his room for rest time.


Micah comes to show me his loose tooth. Loose teeth make me shiver inside at their grossness.


2pm Testing time! We are finished with school for now, but are doing standardized testing this week. Finding a good time to do this is difficult, but during the younger ones’ naptimes seems to be best. Today is Math Computation and Social Studies.


Micah plays on the ipad while Emmie and I test.

3pm Testing is done for the day (only one more day to go, yay!) Time for afternoon coffee.


While the coffee maker warms up I fold a load of towels and put in a new load. When I come back in I hear Katie crying and find Isaac is in her room. Coffee is delayed and more discipline ensues. Isaac is sent back to his room and fortunately Katie calms down and is able to go back to sleep.



Now it is time for coffee and relaxing while the older two enjoy their library finds.

4pm Isaac and Katie are up and both need changes. This is the time of day that I begin to feel that there’s too much to do. I need to start dinner, there’s more laundry to fold, and the floor desperately needs sweeping.


I take care of the babies, start a movie on my laptop for Isaac and set Emmie and Micah to cleaning their rooms.


Emmie takes Katie into her room which doesn’t really need much cleaning and I begin work on dinner.


5pm Dinner prep is done, ready for Trent to grill. Isaac is done with his movie and hopping around the house. I fold another load of laundry.


Afterwards we all toss balls around in the boys’ room.


6pm Trent is home! He puts the pork tenderloin on the grill while I start fried plantains and rice with sweet peppers. I realize I’ve prepared nothing green. Oh well.



Micah and Isaac play outside and Emmie reads while dinner cooks. I spend time some outside with Katie too. Isaac requires quite a bit of cleaning up before he can sit down to eat with us.



Dinner is a success and we eat it all up, no leftovers! After dinner the kids have until 8:30 to complete their chores - everything from clearing the table to getting bathed and in jammies. If they get done in time they get to stay up until 9:30.


Emmie finishes quickly and is back to reading.

Micah, on the other hand, is having a crisis involving wanting and not wanting to yank out his hanging-by-a-thread loose tooth.

Meanwhile, Trent bathes Isaac and I take care of getting Katie to bed. Then I read and sing with Isaac before tucking him in.

8:22 Micah’s tooth crisis is resolved just in time. It falls out on its own and he rushes through his final chores to meet the deadline. Both kids make it through the chore check and get to stay up late. Micah and Trent play ipad games. Emmie does my hair while I read aloud to her.

9:30. Time for prayer and tucking kids in before I finish cleaning up in the kitchen and take a shower.


10:20 My kitchen sink is shiny and I’m all ready for bed. Just one more task left.


When the tooth fairy visits our house she leaves a quarter and note. It only takes a few minutes to construct a tiny envelope to hold these and trade them out for Micah’s lost tooth.

I’m completely exhausted by 10:30. Instead of going to bed at a reasonable hour though, Trent and I stayed up until one am talking! No wonder we’re always tired.

Family Fun26 May 2011 07:00 am


We no longer have a one year old in the house. Isaac is turning two today, and though one has always been one of our favorite stages because you can practically see the little gears turning in their heads, two is pretty cool too.

I love his little words, which are becoming more and more words, and even sentences lately. I love the funny little noise he makes running around the house; not only can you hear each solid, but tiny footstep, he make little “hah, hah, hah” noises with each step. I love that he loves Katie and even though he shouldn’t, every time gets a snack he tries to secretly give some to her. I have a feeling that as they grow he and Katie will be best friends just as Emmie and Micah are. And I love how even though he’s almost always an explosion of energy in constant motion, he loves to snuggle with his mama.

Happy Birthday, Isaac! I love you!


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