Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Happy New Year

2018 was a whirlwind for both me and my family.

I could write a novel about all the firsts, all the highs, all the lows, lots going on.

So instead, I'm making a bunch of top 5 for 2018. 

Top 5 Products

1. Caramel Cantina Cami
Not going to lie, I definitely lived in these for at least the first three months after BabyCPK was born. Still where them now, just for lounging around the house.
2. Aquaphor Baby
Now, I will try not to make every single thing on this list about baby stuff, but OMG does this stuff work like no other when it comes to diaper rash or dry, irritated skin of the baby.
3. Tula Baby Carrier
This was a huge help, especially in the beginning when BabyCPK was a newborn and we needed to get stuff done around the house, or if we were going out and didn't want to deal with the stroller.
4. Zattcas Womens V Neck Maxi Dress
As I struggled with (and let's be honest, still struggle with) getting my body back after a kid, this dress helped so much when I needed to wear something nicer, but cool and comfortable.
5. Cast Iron Skillet
If you do not have one, get one. Hands down one of the most used item in our kitchen.

Top 5 Photos

Guess who makes an appearance in each one?
Now these are my personal favorite photos. I did my #Top9 thing on my Instagram (@duchesscpk). I encourage you to check it out.

Top 5 Personal Favorite Blog Posts
Meaning the posts I enjoyed writing the most, or meant the most to me
1. Player 3 has Entered The Game
2. Butter Boys
3. Twitch and Makeup
4. When He's Here but not "Here"
5. Geek Parents

Top Moment in 2018
Because let's be honest, what else would there be. The birth of our daughter was a life-changing experience that I wouldn't give up for the world.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the CPKFamily

We had a small, family Christmas on Saturday with just the 4 of us (Breaky, BabyCPK, DogCPK and me). We had our traditional steak and cheese sauce and exchanged gifts. We also watched Olaf's Frozen Adventure, since Die Hard, which was our go-to for our tradition, isn't exactly baby appropriate. We were going to watch it when the kid went to bed, but we got the itch to play video games, of course, which meant that Breaky and I played Borderlands 2 together for our Christmas.

Below are some pictures from our little family Christmas. Since we are spending actual Christmas with my family across the state and I will probably not be super active on social media, so here is our Happy Christmas greeting. 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Food Friday: Norwegian Almond Cookies

So, my family, as many of you may recall, is Norwegian. My Dad's Mother's side.

We have incorporated a lot of Norwegian traditions, especially around Christmas time. Jule Kakke, which I mentioned in a blog post two years ago, Ghejost, which is a carmalized goat cheese and spelled 8 different ways depending on where you look and who you ask, the Dala horses we have up and about everywhere in our house, and many other little Norwegian things we've kept up from generation to generation.

One thing that I kind of picked up and kind of remember someone doing at some point in my childhood was the almond cookie with the maraschino cherry in the middle. It wasn't kept up year after year, however, which makes me think that maybe my grandmother was the one that made them once or twice, and then she passed away when I was pretty young.

Regardless, I kind of put together my own cookie recipe. YES you read that right, I can bake something.

So, Norwegian Almond Cookies:

- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 cups flour
- almond extract *
- vanilla extract *
- maraschino cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Step 1:
Mix together butter and sugar until creamy.
Step 2:
Add egg and beat
Step 3:
Add flour and extracts. I use 1/2 teaspoon of each extract, as Breaky finds the almond overpowering if I do a whole teaspoon, which many of these recipes call for. Up to you though.
Step 4:
Chill dough for 1-2 hours (which I hardly ever have time to do, let's be honest, not the most important step)
Step 5:
Make  balls from the dough the size of a walnut and flatten on a cookie sheet
Step 6:
Press a cherry (or a half a cherry if you prefer) in to the middle of the cookie ball
Step 7:
Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes until edges are light brown


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

My Pocket Mom-Friends

I am a part of a Mom group....

On Facebook nonetheless.

It started out as a subreddit group for pregnant women who were all due around the same time. We created a Facebook group, as a lot of the functionalities of Facebook were different. Most importantly, the option to make the group private, so we can be a little more comfortable posting pictures and details about our pregnancies and babies (when they came) without the fear of creepy-reddittor-creeping that sometimes happens on, well, Reddit.*

*Disclaimer: I love Reddit. Still do. I am on it every day. Put down your damn pitchforks and keep reading my obviously hilarious and insightful blog post.*

What made this group different at first than the 5 other Mom groups I had been invited to, was how close we all were to the same timeline. When pregnant, if I had weird symptoms, instead of Dr. Google, or the probably safer Nurse Line, I would hop on my "bumpers" group to see if anyone else was going through the same thing. Often times I didn't even have to actively look, it was like they knew what I was going through and posted about it too.

This went on after we had babies and agreed to keep the group together. Weird skin rash thing? Totally glad someone posted, because I had a similar question/problem. Worried about baby-led weaning? No worries, there is a post from yesterday to get others' opinions. Venting about how it feels that we will never sleep a full 6 hours ever again? Yup, you have a sister in the same boat.

This group honestly has saved me SO much grief and worry.

Which is saying something.

What makes this group different from the other Mom groups that people complain about, is how on the same page we are with our general parenting styles. I'm sure this grew organically. Those who didn't feel the same way as we do slowly leaving the group. And I don't mean just different opinions on sleep styles or how we feed our kids, I'm talking the evidence-based discussions and open-forum ways we can come to conclusions as to what is best for our kiddos.

In many other Mom groups, I have to worry about reading a controversial post about vaccinations or MLM spam posts. Not in my group. We actually think the posts on the subreddit /r/shitmomgroupssay are HILARIOUS. Mostly because we all belong to other groups and this stuff is SO TRUE.

Y'all, this group is so tight, we are exchanging Christmas cards and did a Secret Santa (which, my giftee either hated what I got or I forgot to put whom it was from, so sorry either way! :/ I feel really bad)

It is amazing having so many Christmas and Holiday cards up on our wall. It really helps the holiday spirit, for sure.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. These ladies are my village. I am not like, super duper active when it comes to posting, but man, I do check daily. How else would I know about this amazing wizard hair tool that everyone claims can do magic. PS I added this to my "Christmas List", do you think Santa will think I was good enough to get one this year?

I saw this bit in our group and just had to include this in my blog about my "bumper" group:

This sentiment can be for your online gaming groups, your chat-room friends,  your friends you chat with every day online but haven't actually met. These friendships are real, and important. My pocket friends are all moms of kids around my child's age. We share stories, frustrations, fears, joys, announcements, passions and tears. Oh hey, look, I rhymed.

I try to tell all my now-pregnant friends to see if Reddit has a bumper group for them, worried, however, that their experience will not be as absolutely fantastic as mine, because, let's face it, this group is absolutely amazing.

"So, WifecCPK, what is the point of this blog?" you may ask with a shout! "My Mom group saved my sanity, without a speck of doubt."