Updates Galore

First – let me do a follow-up on yesterday’s post. You all are wonderfully amazing, truly. I felt much better about the “negotiating” thing by the end of the day. Which made me feel much better in general because sometimes I’m just not confident enough in my parenting decisions to let them stand alone without validation. And I’m aware that is a whole other issue right there, I’m sure. Bedwetting: Last night I took NikkiZ to go potty before I went to bed. I just snuck in the room, picked her up, brought her out to the potty and sat her on it. AND SHE PEED! A LOT! I’m hoping between that (Why had I never thought of the Wake Her Up To Pee Again method?) and the fluid restrictions after dinner (we eat dinner around 5pm, she goes to bed after 7pm) we will put the kibosh on this pottying in bed thing. Bedsharing: We decided to use the Sleep On The Floor method. If she comes in? She has to sleep next to the bed on the floor. I have a pillow and blanket already out just in case. Maybe if she does that a few times (she didn’t try anything last night) it will lose the appeal. That’s all of the follow-up I have right now, thanks for your ideas!

How about a follow-up on the whole Stop and Think adjustment to my life? Eh. Regarding my parenting? I think it’s going well. Now, I am using the method several of you suggested to explain to NikkiZ what I’m doing. That I’m trying to relax and not freak out and that would be easier if she would avoid certain behaviors. Now…in every other part of my life? FAIL. I’m still doing a lot of impulse eating. Especially now that I have a freezer full of cookie dough from a fundraiser. SOMEONE COME GET THE COOKIE DOUGH OUT OF MY FREEZER.

RecyclingHere’s a long overdo follow-up to Greening the Zoots. Man…we are making solid improvements in this area and I’m totally proud of myself for that. Biggest step? I’m almost completely free of plastic bags at the grocery store. I’ve gotten an assortment of reusable bags that stay in front of AndyZ’s carseat all the time so I have to think about them every time I get him out of his seat. Target has started a great thing where they take 5 cents off your total for every reusable bag you use. I also bought a bag from Target for 1.27 that crams into a little pouch and stays in my purse. That bag gets used all the time, if I make an uplanned stop somewhere or if I forget my bags in the car.

We are also still recycling like madmen, I make trips to the recycling center twice a week to take in glass, paper and cardboard. I fill up two bins to be picked up curbisde every week. I’m sure we could do better, but not much. I have also been trying to switch all of my cleaners out in my home to Earth Friendly. This is a slow transition as I’ve not found suitable replacements for some things yet. Mainly I’m trying to be Phosphate Free with my selections when I can be. If you have any suggestions of good earth friendly cleaning products? I’d love to hear them.

Now…this week’s Kim is Kooking update. (Hee. Kooking. I’m a dork.)

DSC_0152 Last night I cooked ALL THREE ELEMENTS of dinner from a recipe. I cooked country style ribs in the crock pot and then I consulted the PDub arsenal for Butternut Squash Puree and Roasted Garlic New Potatoes. The entire meal was amazingly delicious in every way. I thought MrZ and LilZ were going to fist fight over the potatoes and that squash? YUMMY. That was a first for me: cooking an entire meal from recipes. The most I usually do is an entree and maybe one side, but most of the time I just make ONE thing from a recipe and everything else is from a box or a can. Last night was a very awesome milestone.

And the night before? I cooked Guiness Pork Chops with Apples. I kept the potatoes out because I was cooking scalloped potatoes as a side. So…after that dinner? What did my husband do? He Facebooked it:

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My husband doesn’t do much online other than the periodic Facebook update. So – when my dinner made it into his status change? I felt like I had won the Culinary Lottery! Of course…when he heard I had cooked with Guiness? It wouldn’t have mattered how it tasted. All that mattered was: “Mmmmm….beer.” But LilZ liked it too, so I consider him to be a little less biased towards the ingredients. Either way: TWO SUCCESSFUL MEALS IN ONE WEEK. I am just going to go ahead and admit it: I AM AWESOME.

So…there you have it. I’m becoming a better cook, a better Mom, and a better steward of this planet and I can honestly say I owe most of it to this blog and to you. You all deserve a cookie. Now…can you give me your favorite cookie recipe so I can make you one?

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23 Responses

  1. Allison says:

    Good job with the kooking!! Wish I lived closer so you could just make double for my kids and I!! Keep it up!! You rock!!

    As a side note: You have always been a great mother… One I try to emulate… So I am sure whichever way you decide to deal with kiddo issues will be smart and well thought out!! You are fantastic!!!!

  2. nic says:

    I made both of these cookies recently and they were so amazingly good. I got lots of compliments on them too!

    http://picky-palate.com/2009/07/20/white-and-chocolate-chunk-butterscotch/

    http://picky-palate.com/2009/09/24/the-mother-load-layered-cookie-bars/

  3. Rebecca says:

    Congratulations on kicking BUTT!!

  4. Stephanie says:

    I love all of these posts! So many people on the internet (myself included) can get into negative ruts, so it’s great to read about you being so positive and proactive about things you want to change. It’s inspiring!

    Have you tried the Method cleaning products? I get mine at Target. We use them for pretty much all cleaning, except laundry (we use All Free or Tide Free usually, haven’t tried their laundry line).

    Here’s a cookie recipe I make that people seem to love, but is actually pretty easy. Take a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe (I usually use the one on the back of a bag of chocolate chips), but instead of using chocolate chips, add in WHITE chocolate chips and cranberries. You can use either fresh cranberries (found in bags in the produce or freezer section, especially this time of year) or craisins of the regular ones are too tart for your liking. I don’t use measurements when I add mix-ins to cookies… I basically just add a bit at a time until it looks like a good amount throughout the dough.

  5. Fraulein N says:

    Aw. I love that MrZ just had to share!

  6. cursingmama says:

    I recently received a book that has really helped with the greening of my home – Ecoholic…there’s a website & everything! Plus – when available she tells you where to buy the truly “green” stuff.

  7. Rachel says:

    I am so impressed with the cooking! And don’t you love Pioneer woman and her pictures? I think for people who are nervous cooks or beginner ones, it’s very helpful.

  8. Susan says:

    Trust me.

    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chocolate-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies-II/Detail.aspx

    Also, if you don’t have an account on allrecipes.com, it’s pretty cool. It’s free, and you can save recipes that sound good and go back and find them easily. The rating system is also fantastic. I mean, if 331 people agree that a cookie recipe is good … then yeah. Oh, and the comments almost always include ways to improve the recipe in some way.

  9. Cara says:

    This post made me smile. Just thought you should know.

  10. ashley says:

    Can you email me or post about the crock pot country style ribs you made? I was just this morning looking at those ribs at the grocery store….you’ve inspired me to start cooking!

  11. SupaCoo says:

    I am so hungry and am waiting patiently for my dinner invitation… :)

  12. Heather says:

    You’re cooking more than I do! heh. Of course I don’t have the praise of a husband and teenaged son to keep me motivated ;) It is WAY too easy to eat crap (or just a lot of PBJ) when you live alone! Oy!

  13. TJ says:

    I have yet to get to the point where at least one portion of the meal doesn’t come out of a box or a mix or the microwave, but one time? Everything was finished cooking at the same time.

    It never happened again, and remains my biggest cooking accomplishment to date.

  14. Margot says:

    Hey there Zoot,

    I too wanted to “greenify” our household and lifestyle. One of the first things I did was address the cleaning products. I would always have a cough after cleaning the house and read somewhere its a common issue called, “chemical cough”. Clever huh.

    Either way, I googled the heck out of it and decided to switch all cleansers to vinegar and water with some spearamint essential oil in for a pleasant scent. Link to reciepe and helpful site is below.

    The white vinegar is the cheapest thing out there, disinfects and cleans really well. I use old undershirts of my husband’s as rags (no papertowels!) and I think we’re all much healthier because of it.

    Two things to note-vinegar smells when you use it, but only until it dries. Then the house is left with absolutely no smell (just the way I like it!)

    Also, essential oil that I put in mine is EXPENSIVE, but you only need a few drops for each spray bottle worth.

    Good luck Zoot! I’m continually impressed with your self improvement projects. You go girl!

    http://organizedhome.com/clean-house/pantry-recipes-homemade-cleaning-products

  15. Tasha says:

    To actually write on facebook how good your dinner was is so cute!!!

    I recently started cooking “good” meals too and now my husband has his coworkers calling him after dinner to see what was for dinner..its so cute!

  16. Cindi B. says:

    Yvonne had a really easy-looking Snickerdoodle recipe on her blog last week. I haven’t tried it yet but it looked really yummy. I know it’s not the regular Snickerdoodle recipe but when you want to make something homemade for your family, it works!

    Preheat oven to 375.
    1 yellow cake mix
    1/3 cup oil (I think you could substitute applesauce)
    2 eggs
    1/3 cup sugar
    2 tsp cinnamon

    Blend sugar and cinnamon is small bowl.
    Mix cake, oil, and eggs until blended.
    Roll doughs into balls and roll in cinnamon/sugar mixture.
    Bake for 8-10 minutes.

  17. Michelle says:

    I like Alice’s Wonder Spray for pretty much everything (except mirrors/glass) and it’s CHEAP! From startribune.com:

    ALICE’S Wonder Spray

    This cleaner will kill 82 percent of molds and 99 percent of bacteria in a household, according to Ami Voeltz of Do It Green Minnesota. It costs only 14 cents, whereas a store-bought cleaner runs $4 to $20 a bottle. Making your own is kinder to the environment, and you save packaging by using your own reusable bottle.

    1 c. white vinegar
    2 tsp. borax
    32 oz. (4 c.) hot water
    20 drops essential oil, optional
    1/4 c. liquid dish soap

    Combine vinegar and borax with 32 ounces hot water. Add an essential oil (if desired, for fragrance) and dish soap. Place in a spray bottle and be sure to label it.

  18. Sarah says:

    Oh I made those potatoes too! Weren’t they HEAVEN?!?!

  19. Sherry says:

    I’ll email you my family’s favorite cookie recipe.

    Congrats on your new culinary endeavors!

  20. Tori says:

    I cooked the pork chops of butternut squash puree last night and got a thumbs up from DBF. Thanks for the links!

  21. Mountain Molly says:

    Check this out to clean without chemicals…

    http://www.norwex.com/norwex.php?lng=7&cnt=223

    really good stuff.

  22. Jen says:

    You are so cute, Kim!

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