the west coast gift

Jeff has relatives that live on the west coast.  As many of us do.

His are slightly different than most.  If I were to call them the worst gift givers in the world it may be too nice of a title.

This year they gave Jeff and his sister copper-ish bracelets.  Neither one of them is the bracelet wearing type in my opinion.

But Jeff put on an all too happy face and modeled his new jewelry for me.

So…what do you think of the bracelet?

I couldn’t get past the face that Jeff is making to even notice the bracelet personally.

This fancy west coast bracelet will rot in a dresser drawer until we find it in 8 years and give it to Carah to play with.


Happy and Merry

The few days before Christmas are sometimes filled with sleeping, baking and even more sleeping.
Hey, baking makes me tired.

But this year is a whole new ball game.  This year is our year.

This year we have the little monsters.

These monsters.

Jeff has them every other year at Christmas as part of the joint custody agreement.  Which, we are all not that formal, we follow the general rule of every other Thanksgiving and every other Christmas we have the kids.  This year is our Christmas.  Last time we had them for Christmas Brady was only 1 year old and the holiday didn’t really mean as much to him.  But now since he is 3 we can really use the whole naughty or nice thing to our advantage.  He is overjoyed to have Santa come to HIS house.

BUT on the years we have the kids it is rush this, buy this, wrap this, wrap it again, stop leaning on the tree, stop touching yourself, Christmas dinner at our house, Christmas Eve at Grandma’s, rush there, you’re late, seriously, stop touching yourself, sit like a lady, didn’t I already wrap this, doesn’t Santa do anything anymore.  Which all ends up with me being exhausted, the kids are in a whine fest and Jeff is read to snap.

Aren’t the holidays amazing!?

So as I run around with my tape covering all of those ‘accidental’ finger hole pokes in the presents I wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Winner: Crayola Holiday Giveaway

The lucky winner of the Crayola Holiday Prize Pack is….

Emily S. who follows There Are Two Sides through Google Friend Connect.

Crayola through MyBlogSpark will send Emily S. a prize pack that includes four of this season’s hottest gifts from Crayola – Glow Explosion Spin Magic, Mess Free Color Wonder Sound Studio, Model Magic Presto Dots and a 64 Box of Crayola Crayons with an access code to try Story Studio

Emily S. has 48 hours to email me to confirm this prize.

all I want for Christmas is to never buy diapers again

After watching 10+ kids run around Brittany’s house on Friday for a cookie exchange excuse to get together and drink wine late into the night I was ready to take on the challenge of the weekend.

And it was a big one.

Potty training.

The thought of it alone made me think of scads of feces trampled around my family room, urine soaking into the faux-suede couch and multiple baths for everyone.  It was not a pretty picture.

Brady is 3 years and 3 months old.  Seriously a touch late on the potty training.  But he does have a hectic schedule where everything is not always consistent.  In a given two week period Brady spends 1 week at moms and 1 week at dads, multiple days at the baby-sitters house and multiple days at grandma and papas house.  We shuttle him around so much that we have all been very lax on the potty training.  We expected he knew how to control his bodily functions enough to use the toilet but just didnt want to give up the security of the diaper.

We tested this theory all day Saturday and Sunday.  Poor Brady was wearing a shirt, socks and his awesome Mickey Mouse underwear.  No pants.  Pants are just one more obstacle when the toilet is just within reach.  He didn’t leave the house at all this weekend.  And I have to say I am really impressed at how well he did.

3 underwear accidents
14 potty-going successes

Which is chart-topping in my book.

It may have helped that we let him pick out a piece of candy every time he actually went to the bathroom and we pumped him full of juice all day to keep that little bladder full.

All in all…success.
We are putting up a united front at all 4 of his daycare/houses.  Underwear during the day and diapers only when he is sleeping.
Yes, I know he needs to start wearing underwear at bed too…one thing at a time though.

Santa is even rumored to be bringing him big boy underwear at moms/dads/grandmas as well…the big guy knows Brady needs to keep it up!

Peanut Butter Cookies

There are days when you just need a cookie.
Because if you don’t get that cookie you are going to rip someone’s ear off with your teeth.

These are the days when I especially don’t feel like cooking.  I have no clue why they always coincide.

I give to you 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies.

For when you need a fresh cookie without lots of hassle.


1 C peanut butter
1 C sugar
1 egg

Heat oven to 350 and line your baking sheet with parchment or a silpat.

Mix the laundry list of ingredients together and roll into 1″ balls, place 2″ apart on the cookie sheet. Press down to flatten with a fork.

Bake 6-8 minutes and then bask in the glory that is 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies.

Oatmeal Cookies

No.  They are not ‘holiday’ cookies.  But oatmeal cookies are totally the little black dress of the cookie world.  They can be used for just about any occasion and they kick some ass.

PLUS you can tell yourself you are eating healthy because there are 3 cups of oatmeal in the batter.


2.5 sticks of butter
3/4 C firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t grout nutmeg
3 C oats (any kind)
1/2 – 1 C walnuts (optional)
1/2 C raisins (optional)

Beat butter and sugars until creamy.

Add egg and vanilla.

Combine flour, soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg, mix well.

add dry to wet mixture.

Add oats, nuts and raisins.

Bake at 375 for 9-11 minutes.

Enjoy your healthy cookie!