The Baby Gates

The baby gate world is still a little new to me. This is actually our third house we have lived in since we had Avery. Our first house which we owned we never had to put gates up because Avery was only crawling when we lived there. The second house that we rented was a small ranch style so no baby gates needed. Now we have bought another home and this house is a different story. Some days I wish I could gate off every room. We only have two gates right now one at the bottom of the stairs and one upstairs. When we first moved in I thought for sure I would hate the gates. Since I am mechanically not smart I thought I would have a hard time with them. We ended up with the easiest gates we could find. They are so easy that if Avery was a little stronger she could open them. She knows how they work she just isn’t strong enough to open them yet. I say yet cause the girl is like a young She-Ra.

There are a couple of reasons why I love them. The first being is they keep Percy aka my cat out of our bedrooms. Percy’s favorite thing to do is lounge on our beds and sleep the day away. His fave room is stepson’s room. If he can get in there you may never see him again. On the rare occasion that both gates are open you see a huge flash of orange running through like he is on the last leg of a marathon. Usually, Percy is a slow mover unless there is food involved. He has now added the gates being open to his list. I spent the better half of my morning lint rolling and washing our bedding because of him.

The next reason is because they allow me to be lazy. This past weekend we celebrated Christmas with husband’s side of the family. Husband had a great idea to put the presents that we were taking in a basket and then put the presents that we received in the basket instead of carrying bags and boxes around. So when we got home the basket filled up even more with things that needed to go upstairs but I have been too lazy to take up. After catching Avery in the basket for the 500th time I finally decided to take it upstairs. I was doing some cleaning up there too so I put the basket and all of my cleaning supplies on the other side of the gate so she couldn’t get to them until I was ready to go up. Maybe a little mean since she stood there staring at the basket and trying her darndest to get to it.

The biggest reason and probably the only reason I have found that I really dislike them is that I am mechanically not smart. See these gates have what I think you call a hook and eye latch? (Maybe I am learning?) In the middle of the night these things could wake anyone up. I usually still make a trip to the bathroom or Percy gets locked upstairs in the middle of the night; so I am always fumbling around with these silly things in the dark. I guess you never realize how much noise stuff makes until you have a sleeping toddler. You can usually find me standing in front of where the gate should be looking for the gate (cause it swung out to the next county when I opened it) with my iPod on for light. Then after I find the thing I have to turn my iPod back on to find the latch. This is usually after I fumbled around for a good two minutes thinking I know where it is. You would think I would learn my lesson but I never do. I do have some photo evidence of my gate happenings below 😉

2014-12-15 001 002
Pretty self-explanatory
2014-12-15 001 001
Yup I’m lazy

From the kitchen of the casserole queen: For the love of cheese

If you don’t know already I live in Wisconsin. Does this mean I was born with a block of cheese in my hand? Pretty much. There are a lot of stereotypes about Wisconsinites and most of them are probably true. The truest for me is my love of cheese. What better way to express my love of cheese to you than by sharing two of my favorite cheesy casseroles! These are both easy weeknight meals that can be altered to taste. Just so you know I make up the names of these casseroles as I go along 😉

Cheesy Hamburger Noodle Casserole

1 pound hamburger

1 cup cheese

1/2 bag of egg noodles

1 can mushrooms

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 onion chopped

The prep is going to go really fast. Not that I think you can’t go fast but I want to give you a heads up. I actually start off by frying my hamburger because egg noodles seem to cook so fast. Then it’s on to the onion. I sautee the onion in a separate pan from the hamburger and at the end I dump the mushrooms in with the onion. While all of this exciting stuff is going on I boil my noodles. After everything is done on the stove top I mix all of the ingredients together in a 9×13 casserole pan except for the cheese. I shred my cheese right on top of everything after it is mixed up and then I pop it in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes. I do cover this and pretty much all of my casseroles with tin foil. After it’s all done get ready for some cheesy goodness 🙂

Cheesy Italian Bake

1 pound hamburger

1 cup sour cream

1 jar spaghetti sauce (I usually use a marinara or more of a plain sauce)

1/2 box Rotini noodles

1 can mushrooms

1 cup mozzarella cheese

Dash of Oregano

Dash of Parsley

First off boil the noodles and fry the hamburger. While you are doing that you can mix the rest of the ingredients (minus the cheese)  in a 9×13 casserole pan. I usually season my meat with Oregano and Parsley and then add a little more to the mixture in the pan.  Add the hamburger, noodles and a little cheese and then mix together. After that sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and pop it in the oven; covered at 350 for about 40 minutes. This recipe usually makes a lot so you should have plenty for leftovers.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and as always if you have any questions, comments or add something to make it better let me know 🙂

2014-12-11 001 001
Cheesy Italian Bake
2014-12-08 002 001
Cheesy Hamburger Bake