Thursday, November 1, 2012

To My Four Legged Daughter

Happy 1st Birthday to our Dog Dodi! (My daughter wasn't able to say Doggy when we brought her home, so instead she said Dodi, and it stuck, and fits her well) I am glad I agreed to get her looking back. I was skeptical at first. Having a Baby and a Puppy. But, just like most everything else in my life, I didn't know what was good for me. She has taught me patience, and understanding, and has forced me to remain calm, and assertive even when I was a nervous wreck. She truly is a very important part of our family. She has brought this family a lot of love, and happiness in this last year. And she quickly became my Daughters best friend, and protector. Even if she is big and clumsy, chews up my favorite shoes, and Lili's newest Toys, and insists on sleeping on my furniture no matter how many times I tell her not to and tore up my couch (I mean tore up my couch) I still love her, and wouldn't want her any other way. Here's to me surviving the equivalent of the terrible two's in doggy years!

"The dogs in our lives, the dogs we come to love and who (we fervently believe) love us in return, offer more than fidelity, consolation, and companionship. They offer comedy, irony, wit, and a wealth of anecdotes, the "shaggy dog stories" and "stupid pet tricks" that are commonplace pleasures of life. They offer, if we are wise enough or simple enough to take it, a model for what it means to give your heart with little thought of return. Both powerfully imaginary and comfortingly real, dogs act as mirrors for our own beliefs about what would constitute a truly humane society. Perhaps it is not too late for them to teach us some new tricks."
-Marjorie Garber

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

One Small Step for Co-Parenting, One Giant Leap for Our Children

Blah life is busy these days! I always find it funny that you always end up having everything happen all at once. Making your life chaotic for weeks at a time. Then bam, nothing or a while.

So, a lot of stuff has happened recently. Some of which I am pretty shocked about. I started this blog a while back. Several of my posts were regarding my situation as a step mom, and my situation as a Partner to an Alienated Parent. Now, if you have been a long time follower of the blog, you should know that several months back my Step Daughter's Bio Mom found my blog. I was nervous starting this blog because of what I thought could happen if she or my other StepChildren's Mom saw it. I never started this blog to simply be about my experiences as a step mom, but several of the posts ended up being about that topic. Because after all, it is my life, a huge part of my life. And being a Step Mom has been the greatest teacher for  me in so many ways. It has also allowed my Faith to grow beyond measures I even knew possible. Anyways, I tend to let fear get the best of me. A lot of times it prevents me from doing things I want to do for fear of Confrontation, Failure, or Rejection. Luckily though, for once I did what I felt was right, and spoke my mind regarding Parental Alienation, Hostile Aggressive Parenting, and being a Step Mom..My intentions were never to bring more hatred or hostility into the mix, but instead to lend a helping hand to other Mom's going through the same issue.So anyways, because of starting this blog, My Step Daughter's Bio Mom reached out. Even tho it didn't start off very well at all (If many of you remember) it has ended up being completely different than anything I have ever imagined. I never thought we would be in the place we are now. And I am so so grateful for it.

For the last 3 years I  have prayed every night for the willingness to forgive this woman for the past. I have also prayed for her to have the willingness to see the wrong that was happening and allow us to be in her Daughter's life. I always wanted her to see me for what I actually was, not what she thought I was. but I never knew how to make that happen. I didn't want to take her daughter, or have her daughter see me as Mom, but I did want to be in her Daughter's life. All of my Step Children's lives. I've always tried to remain neutral when it comes to my role as a Step-Mother. Taking it from more of being "another adult the children can trust" instead of a 2nd Mom type role.Our situation is very odd to some people. We have a lot of children in our family, 3 Mom's and 1 Dad. There is no hand book to this. No guide to living, or 3 part Family Co-Parenting for Dummies you can buy off Amazon. I've always tried my best to do my best, and I've always had the children's best interests at heart. However, even with my good intention, I was niave. I thought that eventually we would all get along, and our children would  grow up together. What actually happened, and what I thought would happen could not have been more different.  And after years of back steps, fights, and alienation I felt very defeated.

Up until three months ago, I had pretty much lost all hope that it would ever change. I never thought in a million years we would be able to make this work without a lot of money and court fees. I had even begun the process of trying to start the court process. Yes I would have loved for it to be okay, but due to the hate and past issues, I never thought it would actually happen. So needless to say, the situation I find myself in now has been yet another experience that has taught me the power of faith, prayer, and willingness.

Since the last time we spoke, She has become a Step Mother herself, and unfortunately has seen the pain that goes along with fighting between bio Mom's and Dads. And Fortunately, it has allowed her to see the importance of love, tolerance and respect. I think it is amazing that things happen the way they do, and that all things play out the exact way they are supposed to. Had she not been put in this position, my position, I am not sure she would have ever seen things from my side of the street. So, even though it's a double edged sword, I am kind of glad that she is seeing it from a Step Mom perspective now, even though with that comes yet another child being put in the middle, and a family being ripped apart. I guess I am just very grateful for her ability to see things from my point of view and from a Father's point of view. I have always tried to understand things from their side of the street, so it feels good to know that my troubles and heart aches are finally being seen for what they are. And actually being lessened in the process.

In the last month, I went from being so angry at this woman, to being able to sit with her while our children play, and talk to her in between visits. None of this would have been possible without her awakening though. I guess all this time I was angry at her, and deflecting my emotions onto other issues with in our issue. All I was waiting for was an apology, an acknowledgment of the wrongs done towards myself and my Fiancee. And once those words were said, 90% of the previous hurt and anger disappeared.

Yes, I could still be angry over all the things that have happened, and the years we lost, but what would that accomplish? Absolutely nothing. Because I have made the decision to let it go and move on, my Daughter now has a sister. And they are so freaking cute together it is ridiculous. When I see them playing together I know without a doubt I, We, are doing what is right. After all, that is all that matters in a situation like this. The children. The day ALL of my Step Children and Children can play together and love each other freely will be the day I know we did it, we overcame so many obstacles and put aside our differences for the sake of our family.  I say we, because it is a group effort and I say our because as unusual as it is, this is our family.  And after this last months  events, I now think anything is possible. I mean I knew that before, but I guess this has just been a major refresher course in the matter of faith and the power that is believing in yourself and what you know is right. For this family, it has moved mountains.
Sisters Hugging

I just wish more women would understand the power of Love, and what it could actually do to a family. It disgusts me that so many women are stuck in this frame of mind that since they are the mother, they are Law. I have always been more of "it takes a village" type person. I fully believe there could never be too many people to love your child and care for them. I think this world would be an amazing place if everyone looked at co-parenting as a must, not a choice. Hopefully one day more women will start to follow suit, and move on from the whys and Buts in their mind, and instead focus on the Coulds and Shoulds of their hearts when it comes to their children, and their children's parent. Yea, the relationship may have ended because of something crazy or horrible. But it could become something even better and more beautiful if you let it. After all, it is a child's RIGHT to see love and know both parents.

We still have a long way to go in this family. But for today I am content, and grateful. We are taking steps in the right direction, and finally beginning to heal old wounds. We have been waiting for years for this to happen. And I know with all that I am that we are going to make this work. Because finally, we are all putting our focus and attention solely on our children, and nothing else. Which is the way it should have always been. Even tho there is no hand book for co-parenting, I think we are starting to figure it out. It may have taken us a little longer than others, but oh well. Better Late Than Never.

So the moral of the story folks is to never give up hope. Never stop fighting when there is something so important as a child at stake. It can happen. Yes it takes effort from both sides, but it can happen. Had you told me in August that by Halloween I would be planning my first solo unsupervised visit with my Step Daughter I would have laughed and said you were Coo  Coo. But here it is, and here I am. Never quit 5 minutes before the miracle happens. Always keep the faith, and always follow your heart. It may not work out in your time, but it will work out. And one day you will look back at the situation and see exactly why. Always remain grateful for the events that happen in your life. They all have meaning, and without them we would have no lessons to learn and grow from. After all, "When we know better, we do better."
Happy Halloween everyone! Have a wonderful night with all your kiddos!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Judge Not Unless You be Judged: My Views on this Countries Political Blame Game

Picture Source Found Here- TwigandThistle

I've been trying my hardest to hold back on any Politically Charged Rant on my blog. But I can no longer help myself. I don't mean to bash, or hate, or turn off any readers. But I have a few things I need to get off my chest.

Growing up, I was raised by The Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I was taught to be kind, to lend a helping hand, to be respectful, and to keep my mouth shut when I didn't have anything nice to say. I was raised in a Baptist home. I was raised to be loving, and forgiving, non judgmental  and to give people the benefit of the doubt.
As an Adult, I have continued to carry those values with me. I may have picked up a few more beliefs and values along the way, and grown personally, and changed, but the basic beliefs are still the same. I try to remain humble, and continue to grow spiritually each and every day.

Lately, I have been witnessing a lot (and I mean A LOT) of hatred and blame spewing out of peoples mouths. Blaming the poor for our countries problems, calling people lazy, bums, and no matter what the conversation it always turns back to the argument "Well if those people would just get off their ass and work they wouldn't need government assistance."

Now, yes I agree that there are a lot of people who abuse the system, as there will always be. But that doesn't mean that everyone is that way. And it really aggravates me when I see decent, hard working individuals  lumped into the same category as those "lazy" people.
I have worked since I was 14, my Fiancee has done the same. We have constantly tried our best and hardest to get ahead. And we still can not accomplish it. We still live pay check to pay check, we still struggle every day. And we are not the only ones in this boat. There are millions going thru this exact situation. Some are young like us, just starting out, and there are others who are older, who have already made their way in the world, and are now finding themselves out of work, loosing their home, cars, and everything in between. The notion that these people are lazy is insulting to say the least.

I see people like my Father, who has busted his butt for 40 years to get ahead, and still has no retirement in sight, he owns a home worth half of what he paid for it. He works every day, flies 4 hours each way every week to work, and because he makes to much money can't qualify for a re finance. And then everyone wanders why our economy is shot. If he was allowed to refinance for what his home was worth, he would have more money to spend. He could do remodels, buy cars, go shopping, go on vacations. And he is one of millions. If this was to happen, our economy would recover in a very short amount of time. But for some reason this is being overlooked by every politician and debate? No one is mentioning this, and I am wondering why? Why is the finger being pointed at the poor people, and not the people who are making the people poor?

I believe that the Banks need to be held responsible for their actions. They need to allow people to refinance their homes for what they are worth. They need to eat the loss and move on. And if it makes them go belly up, then oh well. Maybe you should have thought about this before going and giving out your Billion Dollar bonuses, or trips to Aruba, or Private Jets. It's not very fair to say that to the home owners, but then not hold the banks to the same standard. They were living outside of their actual means just as much as the next person. Considering the entire Housing Market boom was one big house of cards.

Everyone seems to want to pin this entire disaster on Obama, and his lack of leadership, and his lack of "doing anything". Meanwhile, not looking at the FACT that the 112th Congress has passed less laws than any other Congress since 1947. Compromise is the only thing that will get our country out of this hole. Oh that and personal responsibility. And by Personal Responsibility, I am not referring to the individuals in our country. I mean yes, everyone should hold themselves responsible or the wrongs they do, or the situation they are in and do their best to get out of it. But I am referring to the banks, lenders, insurance companies, etc. Until they are held accountable for their $1200 a month premiums, and refusal to help those who have loans under them, nothing will change.

When we moved into our home we had to pay a $700 deposit for our electric. $700!! Why? Because I didn't have any credit. This is a perfect example of what is wrong with our country. People want to bitch and call me lazy for my Daughter being on Medicaid and all that chatter, but had I had the $700 I dropped on a NECESSITY, I could have paid for her insurance for most of the year! But I'm the one being told I was lazy, the company that charged me that deposit is being called nothing. And that doesn't seem odd to anyone?

There are fundamental beliefs that cause me to be this way. I can not sit back and watch people suffer and say oh well. You should have worked harder. And I can't sit back and call other people lazy for falling on hard times. This idea that we are wasting your tax paying dollars on helping other people really doesn't make sense to me. I pay taxes, and I did for years before I needed any help. So why am I not allowed to take what I need without being made to feel guilty about it? And yes I have a nice phone... my parents pay for it. (Sorry I have heard repeatedly "If you have a smart phone you don't need government assistance). yes I have nice clothes, my Mom takes me shopping. Yes, I have a decent car, My Fiancee's Grandfather bought it for us. But do I go to the doctor? No. Ask me when the last time I went and had my eyes checked and bought new glasses. (6 years). Another thing I also don't really understand is this "They are spending MY money" talk. If you pay your taxes, it's no longer your money. It's the Governments money. And Welfare or not, it's still going to be the Governments money. And it's not like you would get it back if they did away with Welfare and Medicaid and Food Stamps. It would still be the Governments Money. And can someone explain to me why in the history of Government Assistance, we have not had an 9 or 10 or 11 trillion dollar debt? But now all the sudden the reason we have that much of a debt is because of Government Assistance?

Here is a great link to the breakdown of our Government  Spending Budget. It doesn't quite go along with what I have heard people saying these past few months. Current Government Spending So as you can see, Government Pensions, Education and Health Care makes up 3.1 Trillion dollars. While Government Welfare only makes up .6 Trillion dollars. While yes that is a lot, most of the money spent is for SS and disability. Now, the 3.1 Trillion is spent on Politicians Healthcare, retirement, and government employees. Yet I hear no one saying they should go without?  As I have said before, in the age of technology, where we have everything we could ever need to know given to us with the click of a search button, we should be able to form our own opinions and conduct our own research. Educate yourself, know the truth, and learn what you do not know.  And most importantly, do not be sucked into the media's views on what is really happening. Remember, they get paid to tell you things. I found this webpage in 5 minutes, you could too.

I think our inability to realize we are capable of messing things up so bad that a Civil War occurs, or our economy completely crashes is hurting us more than we know. I think a lot of people don't see that as a possibility in today civilized society. However, "If there is one thing we have learned from history, it is that we have learned nothing at all." Every great civilization before us had their day, and they also had their fall. To think that we are to great for that is egotistical and scary. I just hope that we as a society, country, and people can learn to work together for the sake of our Children and our Children's Children. As the old saying goes "We do not inherit the earth from our Ancestors, We borrow it from our children."

The life that I live today allows me to not judge people. It allows me to see the good in every situation if I take the time to look.  I think we as a country need to come together in times like these and help out our fellow citizens. Regardless of class, race, or religion. To me, that is the only way we will be able to pull ourselves out of this hole. Because until the Politicians serving our country take a step back and stop bickering and begin working together, nothing will be accomplished. And the politicians will never see that as a necessity until we make them see it as a necessity. And that goes for corporations, banks, and insurance companies as well.

I am grateful for the life I have. Even though I am broke 99% of the time, and don't have money to do anything extra curricular, or actually most necessities, I am still happy with my life. I think it is important to find the good in it all. Because with out that, what is the point? I don't need a lot, and most of the time I am happy with my family seated around the table with good food to be served. Would I like to be comfortable and not have to worry about how the next bill will be paid? Absolutely. But do I go blaming other people about why it's the way it is? No. Unlike most people's perception, I continue to do what is right. I try and grow, and learn, and move forward to provide my daughter with the best life possible. Hopefully more people can start to see what is important in life and stop pointing the finger at others for what is lacking in their world. Our country is at a cross roads, and the divide I see occurring is only going to make things worse.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thought for the Day

Selfishness, self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self, which later placed us in a position to be hurt. So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making

It took me many many years to realize this basic thought. That most of my problems are because of me. Even if I had been wronged for no reason, it is still my problem that I reacted. It is still my problem that I am hurt, sad, angry, or fearful. I and only I control my emotions and no one else. Therefore I and only I can change them. With God, Prayer and Meditation, all things are possible.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Some Inspiration to Sleep On

Challenge yourself always. Challenge yourself to love, Challenge yourself to Accept, Challenge yourself to Seek, and Challenge yourself to Grow.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

GoodBye High Heels, Hello Flip Flops: My Life as a Stay At Home Mom

Not too long ago I was a Working Mom. I worked until I was 37 weeks pregnant, at a job that required me to stand on my feet the entire shift, and deal with complete and total A holes the entire time. Every single day spent at that place was a lesson in patience, tolerance, and acceptance. Throw some Pregnancy Hormones into that mix and it was a disaster.
Needless to say I was more than ecstatic to go on maternity leave.As a matter of fact, I went out with a bang.. or yell I should say, and quickly told a rude old man where he could shove it after he proceeded to get the manager (who completely undermined her own rules for this customer 10 min after closing on New Years Eve) and then tell me " See your life is just easier when you do what I tell you to do." God I had never been so happy as the night I clocked out of that place for the last time. If there was one think I took away from that Job, it was that Job was not for me. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is worth that much chaos and insanity. Life is too short to put myself through that type of torture for any amount of a pay check.
Two weeks after my maternity leave began we welcomed our beautiful Daughter into the world. The first 6 weeks spent with my Daughter were amazing. It was so nice to go from working in that stressful of a situation, to spending all day with the new love of my life. I got to nap with her, sit with her, watch her, take a million pictures of her, and welcome my Fiancee home every night like the perfect little family I'd always dreamed I would have.
Shortly after the six week mark I went back to work. Luckily I found a different (office) job. The hours were short and it was a perfect fit. That first month was the worst. Sobbing every day as I had to leave her, and having to rush home after work to Breast Feed her. As time went on it became easier tho, but I still wished I could spend all day with her. The fear of missing any firsts constantly ran through my mind.
When she was about six months old, my Fiancee took a job about two hours away from where we lived. For the next six months I worked, came home, and took care of her by myself six days a week. It wasn't long before this started to take it's toll on my sanity, and relationship. It allowed me to realize just how much I valued my Fiancee, and the family we had made together. Every Monday when he would drive back to work I would cry, followed by an entire day of anxiety and feeling like I couldn't breath. Lili seemed to notice it too, as she was more cranky on Mondays than any other day. It was very lonely and hard. The urge to have my family together again caused me to make the decision to move. After much contemplation, meditation, and prayer I decided this was best for my Family. We found a wonderful home, with a yard, in an amazing town. The only problem, it was two hours away from everyone and everything I had known.
This also meant I had to quit my job.That decision in itself cause me great anxiety. I had worked since the day I was legally able to do so, and I had a lot of outside issues with not being Financially independent. This was definitely one of those instances which caused me to put into action all of the life lessons I have previously discussed. Once the idea finally sank in I was able to accept the big change that was about to occur.  And a huge part of me was so excited to finally go back to being able to stay at home with my daughter. I imagined days filled with the previous memories. I didn't take into account that my once perfect little bundle of sleep all day infant was now a curious never sitting still one year old. I imagined us playing, me teaching her things and passing the days using every moment to bond and learn. (Yes, I know that sounds sappy, and yes, I am an idealistic person at heart)
It was and is still amazing... well...sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I love being with her, teaching her, and watching her grow every day. I love the attachment she has formed with me since becoming a SAHM, she loves her Mommy. I love seeing the "new thing" she has picked up from week to week, and not having to worry about missing a first. I truly am blessed to have the opportunity to see her from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to sleep.
But I do occasionally miss getting dressed up every morning and having somewhere to go. I miss being able to have a conversation with someone other than a baby or a dog. I sometimes long for the opportunity to get out of the house alone. Being that I am two hours away from anyone I know, the chances I have to be alone are few and far between. And after a horrible Babysitter experience while my Daughter was still an infant, I am very skeptical of leaving her with anyone I don't personally know. My days of high heels and business attire have been replaced by jeans and flip flops.
About 3 months after we moved I noticed I was in a pretty big funk. I didn't feel like doing much of anything. It was a major adjustment going from being in a home with just my daughter and me and working 5 days a week, to sitting in a large home, not working and just us for 12 hours a day. At one point I actually thought I might be getting Post Partum, even tho my daughter was already well passed a year old. I then realized that I could still do something, even if I had nothing to do. I made a deal with myself to begin getting dressed as if I had somewhere to go even if I didn't. A nice outfit, done hair, and pretty make-up can do wonders for you. I think I feel better about myself when I get up and get dressed even if I have no where to go. In the process of becoming a new Mom, I, like most other Mommies I know, had begun to forget about the things I enjoyed doing prior to being a Mom. Yes, I was still living a life of spirituality, and acceptance, but I wasn't active in the actions that go along with that life style. I had become stagnant in my search or the Truth, and personal growth. So I began Meditating again and practicing Yoga. I obtained a Library card and began reading again.I took up blogging again. All of these little things allowed me to begin to find who I was again, and what I enjoyed to do. It is still an adjustment, but I'm doing okay. I still find myself in funks every now and again. But I have become aware of my moods and surroundings as a direct result of Meditating and self awareness. Because of this I notice that when I do have a "funk", some sort of fear, or uncertainty is attached to it. It gives me the ability to not become attached to these feelings in a way that I might have been 6 months ago. These Fears are fluid, and they too shall pass.
All in all I love being with her, but I can definitely relate to the recent research stating that Working Moms have a better mentality and are all around healthier. Being a working mom is harder in a lot of ways, but in the same breath it is easier. The sentences that come out of my mouth at any given moment would make even the most seasoned veteran laugh. Some days I clean up 3 different species bodily fluids. I also have learned that Banana, when dried, makes a great hair gel, and that Rice, when thrown into your floor vent, is best cleaned up immediately regardless of it being mid night and you just wanting to go to bed. The messes that a toddler can make would blow your mind if you don't already know.
When I am at home, I feel like there is more pressure on me to have the laundry done, house cleaned, dinner ready, and everything perfect. Or else people will give me the typical "Well stay at home Mom's do nothing all day" look or vibe. Which that's a whole other topic in itself. I do more now as a Stay at home mom, and get more stressed now as a stay at home mom than I ever did working and being a Mom. Not to mention the trust I have put in my Fiancee to provide for us. Which is something I swore I would never do. (Depend on someone else for my income). I find that most Mom's I know feel guilty if they admit they sometimes question their decision to stay at home. That it somehow means you don't love your children. I on the other hand feel it is important to discuss the issues at hand regarding parenting. We as women need to uplift each other, and help each other.  After all, it takes a village is how the old saying goes.
My Beautiful Lili Dancing to The Fresh Beat Band

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Happiness Comes in Many Forms: Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

I have fond memories attached to this recipe of Cinnamon Rolls. My Mom always made them on the weekends. I recently began following in her path, and cooking them on Saturday Afternoon. I  put them in the fridge, and Sunday morning we heat them up and have nice hot Cinnamon Rolls for Breakfast. (Ok,  I also make them during the week and hoard them for myself.) As a Mom living on a budget, I like to find Fast, Easy, and Cheap recipes. This is one of those. The only difference is it was handed down to me by my Mother. I hope you all enjoy!

Ingredients Needed:
2 Cups Jiffy Mix (You can use Bisquick as Well, but I like Jiffy better and it costs less than Bisquick)
2/3 Cup Milk
2 tbs. Butter
1 cup (Not exact) Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup (Again, Not Exact) White Sugar (Optional)
For the Icing:
1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
2 tbs. Butter
1/8 cup Milk
1 tbs. Vanilla Extract (Or any other flavored extract you would like)
Start by mixing the Milk and Jiffy Mix until it forms a ball of dough. 

At this time I usually lay down two strips of Paper Towels containing two paper towels in each strip.
Also sprinkle some Jiffy Mix onto the Paper Towels, as well as a little pile off to the side. This keeps the Dough from sticking to the paper towels, and also helps it from sticking to you hand.

Dump the ball of dough onto the paper towel. Begin Kneading it about 5 times. Some recipes call for about 10 kneads, but I don't agree. Usually 4 or 5 turns will work well. If the dough sticks to your hands, grab some of the mix from the pile and sprinkle on top.

You can choose to use your hands, or a rolling pin. Begin to roll the dough out into an oblong shape. It needs to be about 1/4 inch thick. If it is too thin it will break and not roll up correctly later.

Take the butter and melt it in the microwave for about 30 seconds (time may vary). Then spoon this onto the rolled out dough mixture. I use the back of the spoon to spread it evenly to the sides/

Take your brown sugar and begin sprinkling it on top of the butter mixture. I don't use an exact measurement for this. It usually ends up being about two handfuls. If you want more sugar or less sugar you can adjust this to your preference. This is also the time you would sprinkle the regular sugar  on as well.
After the sugar has been put on the dough, begin to sprinkle the cinnamon. I also don't use an exact measurement on this. 2 tbs should be about right, but again if you like Cinnamon you can always add more.
I then take the back of my spoon and spread it out evenly, getting it as close to the edges as possible. This also helps to keep pools of butter from gathering and then leaking out as you roll it up.

Begin rolling the dough from one side to another. Once you have it rolled, Pinch the open ends as well as the seem to close it off and keep any filling form leaking out.

Take a knife and begin to cut the Roll into 2-3 inch pieces. Prepare your pan prior to this step, so that you can immediately place the cut slice into the dish, preventing the filling from leaking out. I use a regular 9x9 glass dish. Don't forget to grease your pan with either spray or Shortening.
Once all slices are in the pan, place in the oven and bake for 15-20 min at 350. Again, cooking times may vary depending on oven, pan, and the thickness of your rolls.
You want them to be a light golden color. They will continue to cook slightly once removed from the oven. I have made the mistake of taking them out and having them end up hard as a rock. Once you see the slightest tint of gold on them they are ready.
For the Icing:
Melt the butter using the same process as listed earlier. The recipe calls or 2 tbs. but it usually ens up being 2 heaping tablespoons. Slowly add the powdered sugar (You want to add the powdered sugar to the butter while it is hot to prevent lumps). The mixture should be very thick and creamy. The other liquids will bring it back to the right consistency.  Then add your vanilla extract and milk. Stir until mixed together.
Pour icing onto Rolls Directly out of the oven.

Looks good right?! I hope you enjoyed this post! Be sure to check back for more great ideas! Have a great weekend!