Friday, September 30, 2011

From My Kitchen: Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Roast

I got this recipe off my new favorite addiction: Pinterest. If you haven't fallen into that black hole yet, the site lets you create virtual bulletin boards (or a recipe book) by "pinning" things that interest you. The best part is that you get to see what everyone else pins, too.

I've been known to pull lots of recipes out of the newspaper and magazines, but I don't always get around to trying them. They tend to get filed away, and it's out of sight, out of mind. But on Pinterest, I see those pictures of yummy things to try every time I visit. (Which is far too often!) So, I'm motivated to try them.

This Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin was a real winner.

Photo credit: C + C Marriage Factory (Click photo for link.)

Jeff immediately declared this dish a keeper. Not only is it delicious, it goes in the crock pot, so it's super easy. As you know, that's always a plus for me. I used a pork roast I had on hand instead of a loin when I made this earlier this week, and it was just as tasty.

Here's the recipe:

Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin

1 (2 pound) boneless pork loin (or pork roast)
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Combine sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub over loin or roast. Place in slow cooker (crock pot for those of you from the Great Frozen North) with 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

About one hour before roast is done, combine ingredients for glaze in small saucepan. Heat and stir until mixture thickens. Brush roast with glaze two or three times during the last hour of cooking. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

I wanted to eat this straight out of the crock pot, but I decided to class it up a bit and throw in on plates before devouring it. I added mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli to make a complete meal.

© Trippin' Mama 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Writer's Workshop - A Dublin Disaster

DATELINE: Dublin, Ireland
Quite some time ago

It was spring break during my semester in London, England, and a large group of us was headed to Ireland for the week. We took the ferry across the Atlantic. It was cold and a little rough, but not a bad crossing overall.

When we arrived in Dublin, it was a rainy spring afternoon. We pulled out the umbrellas and headed out for some touring, supper and for some, a Guinness. We were having a blast.

That all came to a very harsh end some time around 11 p.m. That's when the puking started. And it wasn't from too much alcohol, either.

There we were at the hostel, one large dorm for girls and one large dorm for boys. There were about 20 of us in each room. Except 90 percent of us were so sick we never left the bathroom. The bathroom that had four stalls and two sinks. Four very overused stalls and two very overused sinks.

And you have to be really sick to lay on the bathroom floor in those conditions.

I have never been so sick in my entire life. By 2 a.m. I was certain I was throwing up vital organs, and my back hurt so bad from wretching that I was grateful to just lay on the cold floor.

Just when we thought we were all going to die, a chipper Irish doctor arrived for the house call from hell. He asked us a million questions, and never really determined what the cause of the disaster was, but he suspected that it was food poisoning.

He cheerily handed out suppositories, which we gratefully accepted. We were able to crawl back to our beds about 6 a.m., and had to report to the bus two hours later. It was a miserable way to start a vacation. We straggled on board the bus, but there wasn't enough ibuprofen in the world to take away the pain. It was like I had been beaten by a baseball bat all night long.

In the end, we had a great trip, though I was very careful about what I ate and drank for the rest of the week.

And to this day, I can't stomach the thought of  Guinness.

Play along with Mama Kat at the Writer's Workshop:

© Trippin' Mama 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordful Wednesday: Sisters

Everywhere we went, people asked if we were related. Hmmm, I wonder why?

Mom, me, Mary, Judy and Cathy ~ Girls' Weekend 2011

Wanda, our favorite desk manager at the hotel, quickly dubbed us "The Family," and took great care of us.

Especially when she chose to bend her own rule and warn us to keep it down instead of just kicking us out at 11 p.m. one night.

Really, we weren't that loud. We just got to laughing a bit too much.

Apparently the people in the next room who complained were young, too. And they weren't up when we left the room at 8 the next morning. Which made us laugh all the more.

I wonder what they'd think if they knew we were too loud because we were celebrating an 80th birthday?

I'm hosting the 11th annual Girls' Weekend next year, and I'm already looking forward to it.

Play along with Wordful Wednesday at:

© Trippin' Mama 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011


Sleeping in.

Eating out.

Thrift store shopping.

Leisurely breakfasts.

Playing tourist.

A five-foot metal garden sculpture.

Painted toes.

Long, hot showers.

A little wine.

An 80th birthday.






Hanging out with my sisters and my mom for the weekend was very restorative.

Which was good, because re-entry consisted of getting up at 5 a.m. with a child who had a nightmare and boys in my bed at 6:30 a.m., jabbering away about the weekend with Daddy.

And that brought a smile to my face, too.

© Trippin' Mama 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Another Vacation?

Yep. Another vacation. It's time for the annual Girls' Weekend with my mom and my sisters, so sorry blogosphere, but I'm outta here!

We're meeting in Iowa, so I think a repeat of last year's near-disaster is unlikely. I'm looking forward to sleeping in, shopping, good food and drink, and talking, talking, talking.

I'm heading out tomorrow morning sans computer, so unless the WBH posts over the weekend (and you know, he'll have so much time on his hands), you won't hear from me until Monday.

After this little trip, I'm settling in for a long winter here on the home front, so no more blogging interruptions, I promise.

Feel free to talk amongst yourselves while I'm gone.

Trippin' Mama 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

The (Bottom) End Is in Sight

It seems that potty training is nearly behind us. Last week we had just one accident, and one of my two holdouts on the pooping in the potty front finally caved.

I can't claim any credit for teaching this one to poop on the potty. Our efforts were aided by a little intestinal trouble that made it very easy to go, almost too easy! Every time he sat on the potty he went, and every time he got the latest potty-training treat: candy corn. (I'm going to have to stock up on that stuff before the season is over!)

I hope this means the end of pooping at the playground and then stripping down because "it feels yucky." Yep, I know what it feels like to be the mom who has to chase down a half-naked boy and then pick his poop up off the playground equipment. After the first incident I started to carry plastic bags in case I had to do pooper scooper duty again. I shudder to think how many times I had to use them.

My other non-potty pooper is now diaper trained. When he has to do the deed, he goes to the bathroom, gets a pull-up, puts it on and then comes to me to be changed after he's done.

Hey, I'll take it. As long as I don't have to clean any more poopy underwear, it's all good.

Now that I've finally, with great trepidation, started to leave the bathroom door open, the boys have started to just go in and use the potty without being told. They have also started to go in and run a sink full of water or "clean" the potty, which is why I resisted leaving the door open in the first place.

You've just got to take the bad with the good, I guess!

© Trippin' Mama 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011


The big sale was a success. We sold most of what we took, and got some bargains, too.

My favorite bargain is this pair of green, black and white suede boots for Amelia. Very mod and so cute!

I really bought them because I wish they had been in my size.

I was afraid that Amelia would refuse to wear them, but figured it would only be a $2 mistake. (And the boys would probably wear them around the house.)

Turns out, Amelia loved them!

So I had to find something to go with them. I lucked out and found the perfect skirt at the children's consignment store for $6, and the black and white fleece at Kohl's for $8.

So my $2 bargain cost me another $14, but it was worth it!

© Trippin' Mama 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Major Purge


It's past 1 a.m. and I've just finished loading up everything for the major kids' consignment sale this weekend.

Multiple the children and you multiply the kiddie stuff, too. And the time has come to get rid of lots of it!

I've got three cribs, three crib mattresses, a plethora of crib sheets and mattress pads, diaper bag, shoes and more shoes, outgrown clothes coming out my ears, a huge baby gate, and more toys than I care to think about. It's a vanload!

I hope most of it sells, since it's nice to finally have some space in my basement again!

Of course, I don't just sell at this sale, I shop, too. We usually buy a few Christmas and birthday presents and a season's worth of clothes. And we usually come out pretty even. If even half our big stuff sells this year, we should come out way ahead.

Unless the boys keep growing at the rate they've been going. In that case, I'll need to buy longer pants by Thanksgiving.

At least I know they are putting the gallon of milk they drink every day to good use!

© Trippin' Mama 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

So Big, And Yet, So Little

I cannot believe that Sam, Isaac and Alex will be three in less than a month. THREE!

Three kiddos turning three at once certainly warrants a special birthday celebration. Hmmm...maybe I'd better get to work on some plans. You know, besides whipping out some cupcakes at the last minute.

So far we've survived nursing, feedings every three hours, a mountain of diaper changes, spoon feeding and learning to use silverware, sleep problems, the transition to big boy beds, most of potty training, and the end of booster chairs.

Just today one of the boys used the potty by himself without prompting and said to me, "I'm a big boy, Mommy. You don't have any more babies in your house." That made me a little proud and a little sad.

That same "big boy" needed rockabyes tonight.

I love this stage where they are getting so big, and are still so little at the same time.

Big enough to do so many things for themselves. But still little enough to snuggle and carry (though not for long, as they are getting heavy!).

Big enough to insist on doing it "all by myself," but still little enough to need their mama.

Big enough to imagine a million things, but still little enough to want bedtime stories.

Big enough to surprise me every day with what they have learned, but small enough to be impressed with the things I teach them.

There really aren't any babies in my house anymore, but there are still three boys that will be little for quite a while longer.

Which is good, because I still love giving rockabyes.

© Trippin' Mama 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

What I remember most about this day 10 years ago is the silence.

I was working at a university and had grown accustomed to the continual whine of little planes as the aviation students practiced take-offs and landings.

After the towers were hit, all air traffic in the nation was grounded. The silence was eerie, and it extended beyond the skies. A strange silence settled over all of us.

We were a nation in shock and mourning.

And we became a nation of prayer. Our church was packed that evening and again on Sunday.

Slowly, things returned to normal, or at least a new normal. The noise returned, church attendance fell, and life went on.

We will never forget, but we have recovered.

Still, I can't help but wonder what this country would be like if today we continued to pray for our nation and each other like we did on September 11, 2011.

Pray for all those who lost their lives or lost a loved one in the 9/11 tragedy. And pray that we never forget how strong we can be when we come together in prayer.

© Trippin' Mama 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Duck, Duck, Goose!

A couple weeks ago I was in the kitchen and I overheard the boys organizing a game of Duck, Duck, Goose.

They learned how to play it in the church nursery, and since they are a crowd, they can play it at home by themselves!

I peeked around the corner as they all sat down on the floor in a circle. Then Isaac got up and started the game. The other two were clamoring, "Duck me! Duck me!"

Everyone was duly "ducked" with a good swat on the head several times, then Isaac yelled "GOOSE!" Everyone jumped up and ran down the hallway and back, laughing the whole way. Then they all sat down and did it again. I was happy to join the game once I determined that I didn't have to run around every time someone got "goosed."

I was finally able to catch this video of the boys playing the other day. They did start playing a second version where only the person who is "It" runs away after yelling, "Goose!" You'll see both versions here, and around 1:30 you'll hear Isaac and Alex saying, "Duck me!"

I know the video's not great. (It's hard to capture the person walking around the circle while sitting in the circle.) And it's longer than most people probably want to watch, but this is one of those things I want to remember my kids doing. And that's the real reason I started blogging in the first place.

© Trippin' Mama 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Parenting Is A Full Contact Sport

I'm nursing a major fat lip tonight.

A boy child, who shall remain nameless, is to blame.

There was blood. There were tears (mine and his, because all the blood and my tears scared him). And there was a major time out.

All before 8:30 this morning. That's when I recovered sufficiently to send my hubs the picture:

It actually looks worse now that the bruising has shown up. It's fat and black, top and bottom.

This stay-at-home mom gig is hazardous to my health!

The injury occurred as part of an out-of-the-blue fit while said boy was enjoying some one-on-one time on my lap. (Talk about adding insult to injury!) We've tried to teach this boy many a time that he can't fling himself around like that because someone will get hurt.

I'm hoping the visual aid of blood all over my shirt might help him learn the lesson once and for all.

Otherwise, I'm asking Santa for a hockey mask and helmet for Christmas. And football pads and shin guards might not be a bad idea either.

© Trippin' Mama 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Welcome Home Germs

I got nothin' tonight but a head cold. We all have it, except Jeff. I think it's our "welcome to school" cold.

Amelia had it first and is pretty much over it. So, she headed off to school today. The boys and I hung out and had a low-key day.

We did our school lesson this morning. I'll update you on the letter 'B' activities later.

By this afternoon, the boys were a little stir crazy, so we headed out even though it was sprinkling. The boys had on their rain coats and umbrellas, and the rain didn't bother them at all!

Off to see if a lot of sleep will help me get over this cold.

© Trippin' Mama 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No Boys Allowed

Amelia and I thoroughly enjoyed a little girl time with Aunt Judy over the long weekend.

We took in the local children's museum, the zoo, and the lake. Amelia swam in the hot tub and we spent a rainy afternoon using copious amount of glitter glue to make sparkly cards. She stayed up past bedtime and was probably far too much the center of attention.

In other words, it was heaven for Amelia.

As for me, I didn't have to persuade anyone to use the potty, change a single pair of soiled pants, make a meal or wrestle anyone into submission for naptime or nighttime.

Instead I got to indulge Amelia a bit, read part of a good book, introduce my sister to my newest addiction - Pinterest, shower every day without interruption, talk to adults, and even sleep in one morning.

So it was heaven for me, too.

Except for the fact that we both missed Daddy and the boys terribly. 

As much as we enjoyed our time away as just the two of us, Amelia and I were both glad to be greeted by a full-scale assault by nearly three-year-old boys and a more restrained, and slightly relieved, "Welcome home," from Daddy.

Not that he was afraid we wouldn't come home. It's just that I got this text from him almost the minute Amelia and I arrived at Aunt Judy's: "Nothing like hot dog puke."

Thankfully his weekend started out rough, but the illness was shortlived and contained to just one child.

And I will admit that while I felt bad I wasn't there to help and to comfort my sick child, I was also a little glad I was missing out!

© Trippin' Mama 2011

Friday, September 2, 2011

On The Road Again

Now that Bus 52 has returned Amelia to me, safe and sound, she and I are hitting the road.

We are taking a little Labor Day weekend trip to see Aunt Judy, just us girls.

The boys aren't too happy with this idea. Last night they were wailing, "We want to go on a twip, too!" Really? 3,000 miles in under a month wasn't enough "twip" for you? I'm not sure I could manage another trek with everyone on board.

We managed to convince them that they want to stay because of all the fun they will have with Daddy. He'll be exhausted by the time I get home!

Well, I should say, we mostly convinced them. Because as I was tucking Sam in last night he clung to my neck and said, "I just need to hold you tight so you can't weave. You can't weave without me."

I squeezed him a little tighter. What a love!

© Trippin' Mama 2011