Tails from a mother of five in photos, videos, humor and short stories...welcome to our zoo!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Little Bear

It was a cold and blustery December day in Spokane, Washington. We had a couple of inches of snow on the ground and more was coming.  The Talbert kids were anxious and excited about celebrating the birth of two babies.  The house was decorated with stockings, an advent wreath and lit up Christmas tree.

Chris and I just returned from my last ob appointment and a lunch date at Perkins.  That afternoon Chris had to go back to the office in the upstairs bedroom to work.  I was tired, sore, and sick and tired of being pregnant.  Even though, I did not gain a lot of weight this fifth time around, it was tough. At age 32, I felt too old to go through with having another baby, but I was optimistic because I knew this would be my last.

I remember sitting on the couch as the sun was sinking in the late winter sky the afternoon of December 17, 2010.  I had heartburn from lunch and the painful contractions had begun.  My due date was January 1. But, all of my babies were early so I knew this one was going to be early too. The contractions lasted for about 2-1/2 hours. By 5;30 I couldn't stand the pain anymore and they were nearly 3 minutes apart.  My past labors had always been quick. By this time I was worried that he was going to be born in the car on the way to the hospital. I made Chris hurry downstairs. It was time to go.

Around 6pm I was ushered into a room at Deaconess Hospital in Spokane.  My contractions were 3 minutes apart and I was already dilated 4 centimeters. The doctor came in and had some concerns.  My last baby was born via C-section because he was breach.  I wanted to have a natural birth with this one but the doctor said it would be too risky and he wanted to do a C-section before my labor progressed any further.  I signed the paperwork and within a half an hour I was prepped for another C-section.

Shortly after 8pm on December 17, 2010, Chris and I welcomed our fifth child, a beautiful, tiny, but healthy baby boy.

He weighed 5lbs 12oz. His tiny head fit in the palm of my hand.  He was beautiful and it was love at first sight.

For nearly 2 days he was known as "Talbert, Baby Boy."  Chris and I knew we had to come up with a name for our new baby before I left the hospital.  Looking through all the baby boy names that began with "C" we finally chose a name that we both liked, Camrin David.  We chose the American spelling because Cameron is too common and I don't care for that spelling. On this blog he is known as "Little Bear." At home we call him Camrin or Cam.

Happy Birthday, Little Bear!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

#WordlessWednesday with #linky on a Tuesday - Making a Paw Patrol Birthday Cake

Wordless Wednesday is live on thehealthymoms.net and talbertzoo.com. Link up to your Wordless Wednesday post.

Little Bear turns 4 tomorrow and he loves the television show, Paw Patrol.  His favorite character is Chase.  The show is on Nick Jr. and features seven rescue puppies.  Each of them have special rescue duties which are sort of based on their breed.  All of their names, breeds and rescue duties are puns which makes the show entertaining for adults to watch with their kids.

Chase - Chase is a German shepherd and he is the police pup.
Rocky - Rocky is the only mutt and he is the recycle pup.
Marshall - Marshall is a Dalmatian and he is the fire rescue pup.
Skye - Skye is a Cockapoo and she flys.
Rubble - Rubble is a Bull Dog and he is the construction pup.
Zuma - Zuma is a Chocolate Lab and he loves to surf so he is the water rescue pup.
Everest - Everest is the new pup that was introduced this season.  She is a husky and lives with Jake on the mountain. Everest is the snow rescue pup.

Do your kids watch Paw Patrol?

Every year for my kids' birthdays I bake them a special cake.  I make colored frosting and create an image of their favorite characters for their special day.  Below are the steps I took to make Bear's Paw Patrol Cake.

I started with a plain chocolate cake.  Then I printed out the images that I wanted to recreate in frosting.  After that I determined how many different colors I would need.  Then I made white butter cream frosting and separated some of it in mugs to make the different colors. I used food coloring for blue,black, red and the yellow background.  Cocoa was used to make dark brown and light brown. I also set aside some of the white frosting.

The images I attempted to recreate.

Covering the cake with the yellow frosting.

I pipe the frosting out in sandwich zip-lock baggies with one corner snipped. When you don't have professional cake decorating tools zip-lock baggies do the trick.

Making the Paw Patrol logo was very challenging. I learned that my frosting was a little too thin. So, I had to add more powdered sugar.

The beginning of Chase.

Sorry this is blurry. Somehow my anti-shake function on my phone's camera app got turned off.
The final result.

I think he liked his cake.

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Chocolate Covered Pretzels #Christmas #recipe

Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love watching the excitement on my children's faces when we lift a new flap on our Advent calendar and light a new candle on our Advent wreath in anticipation of Jesus' birth. We have several Christmas traditions. Some are from our Catholic faith while others are just because. Making chocolate covered pretzels is one of our, "just because," traditions for Christmas.

This simple recipe is fun and everyone loves sweet flavors mixed with the salty.


1 20 oz bag of pretzels
1 lb 8 oz block of almond bark, chocolate or vanilla flavor
colored sprinkles (optional)
1 glass of wine (recommended)

Set up:

Place a pot of water underneath a smaller pot on the stove to create a double boiler.

Lay out a sheet of wax paper on the counter.


Melt almond bark in the top pan of the double boiler on the stove top. Add pretzels to the melted almond bark by the hand fulls. Mix them up until well coated.

Pull the pretzels out one at a time with a toothpick or fondue stick making sure you shake off the excess coating.

Lay the pretzels out on wax paper to cool ( about 5-10 minutes). Sprinkle pretzels with colored sugar sprinkles while they are cooling (optional).

Kids can help coat the pretzels and place them on the wax paper.  All of my kids helped me make them this year.  Kitty (age 8) did everything from coating the pretzels, to pulling them out of the pot, placing them on the wax paper and she helped put them in the container when they were cooled.

Little Bear helped coat the pretzels in chocolate.

Little Bear admiring the pretzel as I pulled it out of the pot.

Kitty was the best helper.

Monkey tried to get into the action by helping his big sister.

Parrot took mixing the almond bark very seriously.

Monkey and Little Bear were excited about making chocolate covered pretzels.

A completed batch.

Cooling on the wax paper.

Me and my Little Bear.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Faith, Christmas and Angels

Christmas Nativity
I remember a news story I saw a couple of years ago. Some guy being interviewed was saying that people of faith like Mother Theresa have something wrong with their head. He said something to the effect that their faith is all in their head and they are psycho. I was appalled when I heard that. I could not believe it. He actually believes that if you believe in God or some higher power you have mental problems. He said there is no such thing as heaven and there is no God. I swear when I heard that I thought I was going to throw up.

Comments have been disabled for this post. Please visit the original post, Faith, Christmas and Angels, on the Healthy Moms Magazine to read the full post and leave a comment.
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

#WordlessWednesday with #linky on a Tuesday - Making Christmas Cookies

Wordless Wednesday is live on thehealthymoms.net and talbertzoo.com. Link up to your Wordless Wednesday post.

After a whirlwind weekend of all seven of us getting sick I finally had the chance to make my Christmas cut outs and let the kids decorate them on Monday.  I used Pillsbury sugar cookie dough found in refrigerator rolls.  The directions stated that you have to cut them out into 1/2 inch height. I followed the directions, and used Christmas cookie cutters but ended up with giant blobs instead of beautiful Christmas shapes. Now I am going to have to pull out some spare time out of my magic bottle so I can make sugar cookies from scratch and do it all over again.  The kids had a lot of fun frosting the giant blobs.

This one actually looks like a Christmas tree.

Little Bear preferred to eat his instead of frosting them.

The final result.

Our Christmas Blob Cookies

Rules of this #BlogHop

  • Place my button on your blog so I know that you are linking up here.
  • Add your Wordless Wednesday Link
  • Leave me a comment so I can visit your blog.
  • Visit the other blogs linking up.
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