Saturday, August 28, 2010

Catching Up (again!)

Behind on posts again and I don't think I'll ever get caught up with everything. We've had the best (and perhaps the busiest) summer ever and I've enjoyed every minute.

Jenny, my best friend from college, came and stayed for a few nights and we enjoyed watching and re-watching some Bachelor Pad episodes. Mary Ella was up at the Compound during her visit, so Chad did a lot of Sam-sitting while Jenny and I enjoyed some quality friend time at the pool, the thrift store and the hibachi grill up the street. Our favorite past times. I am sad she is back in Ohio for another year but maybe one day she'll realize that being so far away from sweet tea is not a good thing for anyone, and she'll return home and maybe even live with us for a while (for FREE, Jenny. Hello?!?) Anyway, the time was good.

When she left I went to the Compound to get Mary Ella and ended up overstaying my welcome by about 5 days. No one seemed to mind.

Here's a picture of the Compound, well half of it anyway, taken from my aunt Kristi's house. It's the house at the very back of Compound land. The house you see to the left is my parents' house, and the house to the right is where my aunt Amanda lives (with Annsley, Ann Marie, and Charlie.) If you look closely, you can also see the red barn in the middle, and straight through those trees behind the barn lies my grandparents' house, where all the eating takes place. We do a lot of eating on the Compound. That's why we love it there so much.

IMG_9009

We also love that there is always, always, always someone to play with...

IMG_8970

... or something new to experience. This time it was the tire swing. She loved it.

IMG_9036
IMG_9035

And the trampoline is always a winner.

IMG_9031
IMG_9029
IMG_9013


As is my personal favorite activity. Laying around. Snuggling.

IMG_8908IMG_8917IMG_8943IMG_8940


Please say a special prayer for Chad's family. His grandmother (we call her Granny) passed away this past Monday. We will always remember sweet Granny - she was one of a kind - sassy, spunky, stubborn in a good way - and she loved her family so much. She also loved Mary Ella and even in her last months, when her dementia might have prevented her from knowing Mary Ella's name, she knew that somehow, Mary Ella belonged to her, and she would light up when we'd visit at the assisted living home where she lived. I am so thankful that she was also able to meet Sam a few weeks ago; her eyes lit up when we brought him over to her. On the evening that she died, I was driving up a huge hill in our neighborhood and at the top, I looked in my rear view mirror and there was the most beautiful sunset I've ever seen. I couldn't help but think of Granny and how she was probably watching this same sunset, only with a much better view... sitting beside the King of Kings, who had welcomed her into her eternal home only a few hours earlier.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." - 2 Corinthians 4:16 -

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Good Weekend.

We had a great time yesterday and today with Betsy and Chris. They arrived late in the afternoon yesterday so we decided we'd cook dinner and have a low key night. It was fun just being at the house, hanging out with the kiddos and hearing the engagement story. The boys talked about fishing and Betsy and I flipped through the 2010 Alabama Weddings magazine and talked about costs, color schemes, and ideas for the reception. Then I made her watch 2 episodes of "Say Yes to the Dress" that I'd recorded for her; she'd never seen the show. It was fun making some preliminary plans with my sis. Still can't believe she's getting married! Agh!

For dinner, I cooked Ina Garten's steakhouse steaks which are good enough to have their own post. So I'll do just that. I also made Giada's amarticiana pasta, which is TO DIE FOR. I'll post these recipes and pictures in a day or so.

We put the kids to bed around 8:30pm and ventured to the den downstairs to watch a movie. I made it about 30 minutes and was out cold. I am so O.L.D.

Today after church we went to Chuy's of course! We feasted on salsa and cheese dip and then I indulged in Combo # 5 which is a chicken chalupa and a deluxe chicken enchilada. It was wonderful. But I must say that I was coveting my husband's lunch after he let me try a bite. He ordered the baja tacos (tortilla chip-encrusted fried shrimp on a soft tortilla with deluxe tomatillo sauce, red cabbage, etc) and I must say, I've been craving them ever since. I have never been a huge fan of mixing seafood with Mexican food (I guess that's the country girl coming out in me) but when I took a bite of this shrimp taco, I quickly changed my mind. It was absolutely delicious. You can get shrimp or catfish on the baja tacos. So go try them! (By now I'm sure you think I am secretly in the marketing department for Chuy's. I assure you, I am not. But I think I'd do a mighty good job if they needed anyone.)

After we feasted, the boys took Mary Ella to Bass Pro Shop and Betsy and I went to David's Bridal just to browse. Of course I made her try on dresses, too, just because she's never in her life tried on a wedding dress and she needed to get an idea of what she wanted, right? Right. She looked beautiful in everything she tried on, even the hideous gowns that our "professional bridal consultant" pulled for us. I can't wait to go dress shopping for REAL with her! So fun.

They headed home this afternoon and took Mary Ella with them. I am headed up there sometime in the next 24 hours because Chad is going out of town for the early part of this week. Yay for the Compound! Here I come!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Packing, Climbing, Dumping, and Losing Stuff

I am behind on blogging again but thankfully I don't have too much to report! We've had a low key week and I just woke up to a perfect Saturday morning thunderstorm. It's almost 11am and everyone is still in bed! The only thing that'd make this better is if Krispy Kreme had a delivery service! Ha... kidding... kind of.

We finally got our house on the market and I've been doing a little packing here and there. It's amazing how much stuff I have in my kitchen that I DON'T use. I have 2 HUGE boxes full of kitchenware - random small appliances, platters, baking sheets, etc - that have literally not been used since we moved here. Who needs 5 ice cream scoops? Not me. (Hard to believe, I know.) I basically just boxed up everything I knew I wouldn't need in the next whoknowshowlong. Baking sheets, tupperware bowls, mixing bowls, wooden spoons... I left myself 1 or 2 of each and the rest is boxed and ready to move. Now if someone would just buy our house.

Mary Ella has entered into a new phase. I call it the climbing and dumping phase. She climbs onto EVERYTHING. Sam's changing table. Our night stands. The commode. Sam's crib. Her play kitchen. The kichen counters. The washer and dryer. Everything. She has this little table from Ikea and some cute little stools that came with it, and she's realized that these stools are small enough to be transported to any room in the house to aid her in her climbing ventures. So whenever she thinks she needs to get on top of a piece of furniture, she just grabs her stool and away she goes. It wouldn't be such a problem if she could actually climb back down. But she can't, for some reason. She'll be hanging from my night stand, her little feet a mere 5 inches from the floor, calling, "Maaammmaa! Helllp!" and I'll have to drop everything and go rescue the little daredevil. We've caught her 3 times on top of Sam's changing table. Once she gets to the top, she goes into the "dumping" part of this terrible phase, where she takes everything within reach and throws it to the floor. Or dumps it out. In our case, it was baby powder. All. over. everything. Seriously.

powdergirl7
drawer climber 1

I am hoping she grows out of this soon.

(Ironically she has not tried to crawl out of her crib yet. And I am willing to let her sleep in that crib until she is 5 years old if she can't get out of it.)

Sam is sleeeeeping! We started putting rice in his bedtime bottle around 7:30pm and he goes to sleep around 8pm and doesn't wake up until 4:30-5:00!! It's been the best thing ever. I count that as sleeping through the night, people. It counts. I feed him when he wakes up and then he goes back to sleep until 7:30 or 8am so I cannot complain. Mary Ella did not sleep like this until she was 4 months old so I just hope it continues. He is getting to be a chunky little thing too. I love me some baby rolls.

My beautiful sister got engaged Thursday night! She and her fiancee Chris are coming down today for a visit. I think we're gonna take them to Chuy's!

aunt betsy

I'm excited to see her bling. Because right now, I don't have any bling of my own. That's the thing about toddlers and climbing. The other day I was bathing Mary Ella and Sam and my ring kept scratching Sam when I'd reach under his rolls to bathe him. So I stood up, took my rings off and put them on the bathroom vanity. I finished bathing both kids, got them out, dried them off, put on their diapers, their clothes, brushed hair, brushed M.E.'s teeth, etc... and by that time I had forgotten about my rings. Stupid, I know. Well, later in the day I remembered I'd taken them off, so I went back in there to get them, and they're GONE. As in, nowhere. We've torn up our house looking for them. We've looked in the drains, the toilets, the vents, the piggy banks, the drawers, the toys. Everywhere. I am totally bummed about this and I am just praying they turn up when we start packing. (And I would not be upset if you decided to pray for their reappearance as well! I feel so guilty praying for something like this, and I wouldn't do it if they weren't my wedding rings. There's some sentimental value there, people.) Anyway, I am hoping they turn up, and if they don't, they don't. Lesson learned, either way.

Well, that's about it, people. Happy weekend to all.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

FACEBOOK ANNOYANCES

So, my friend Courtney is HILARIOUS. She has a blog called "How Do You Fold a Fitted Sheet?" and just recently she posted a few Facebook Pet Peeves, relating in particular to status updates. I was literally DYING laughing. Couldn't have said it better myself. So I'm posting them on my blog. I will say, for the record, that the most annoying to me are what she calls the "vague, inquiry-provoking" statuses. When people post things like, "Will it ever get better?" blahhh blahh... annoying! Anyway, here's her list... and bookmark her blog! It's so good!

Things I don't need to see in my facebook news feed:

My first list! I always think of lists I'd like to post, but hate to break away from my usual Q&A format. However, this topic is timely and relative enough to make me deviate a bit. This list is sparked by what I feel is a pretty common frustration among fb users. Personally, I consider myself a recreational user. I check fb at least once every 2 days, update my status maybe once a week, check on my close friends fairly often... Having an iphone makes participating in fb much easier. Especially since I see it as somewhat of an obligation. I have this fear that something major will happen to one of my friends, and that'll be the one week that I don't check facebook at all. I'll then talk to the friend, having no idea of this major event, and of course NOT MENTION IT AT ALL. Consequently, I try to at least scroll through all of my news feed or status updates daily. Just to make sure nothing gets by me. However, it's usually the opposite that happens. Because when you're on fb daily...trust me...NOTHING will get by you. Some people really have a lot to learn. So, on with the list!

Warning: I do not aim to offend. This post is meant relieve myself of a little frustration. However, it's also meant to be educational for anyone who doesn't have quite the firm grasp on facebook etiquette. For the rest of you, here's a good laugh...

Oh, and these are in no particular order. The numbers are arbitrary, so...hmmm, I'll just make up numbers.

Things I don't need to see in my facebook news feed:

1.) A play-by-play of your day. Sure. I realize that many fb users lead fascinating lives. However, not ALL fb users have anything interesting to report. So, here's a good rule of thumb: if you, yourself, would not be impressed, entertained, or at the very least...slightly amused by your own post, DON'T POST IT! I don't need to know every. single. thing. you. did. today. Go join Twitter! Some examples of this offense (names changed to protect the...guilty?): "Jimmy is eating pizza.", "Jimmy is so full...ate too much.", "Jimmy just wants to lie around.", "Jimmy is going to bed." Enough already!

14.) A play-by-play of your child's day. I am more than happy to share in the excitement of my fb friends' children's milestones. However, we probably need to work on our definition of that term. See rule of thumb above. More examples: "Carson just had a stinky diaper.", "Carson just went down for a nap.", "Uh, oh. Carson's waking up already.", "Carson's fussy because he didn't nap long enough."

47.) That you're tired, sick (especially if you're really only building your case to your co-workers and/or boss for calling in tomorrow), sick and tired, sick and tired of being sick and tired, glad it's Friday, bummed that it's Monday, etc. We all get sick and tired. We all love Fridays and hate Mondays. It's not really newsworthy or statusworthy. Move on. Not to mention, the LAST thing I need in my day is someone else's negativity messing up my chi. Some typical offenses: "Katie is not feeling it this morning.", "Katie is TGIF!", "Katie wishes this headache would go away."

63.) Details about your escapades. Reading about how late you were out last night, how many hotties you ran into, or how much you wish you had a man/woman really annoys me. Please reserve that junk for MySpace. Particularly revolting specimens: "Ben wishes he could get lucky.", "Ben got in from the club at 2 a.m.! Not gonna make it to work today.", "Ben had a heck of a night last night with some foxy ladies!"

64.) Your vague, inquiry-provoking status. Not many things annoy me more than reading a status posted by someone who desperately wants people to post comments asking what they're talking about. This is narcissism to the nth degree. My personal faves: "Candy is waiting...", "Candy wishes things were different.", "Candy is wondering..."

104.) Your farm, mafia, sorority, etc. There, I said it. I understand that some people find these games amusing. More power to you. That doesn't mean that I want to read about them. From what I understand, it's optional for you to actually publish these activities. So, you need more panels for your greenhouse...fine. Go ahead and ask. But posting the mere fact that you're just playing these games?! No. Not okay. No examples. You all get what I'm saying.

157.) Your dirty laundry. Ok, no, wait. I actually love this. Forget I mentioned it. When people have marital spats, family feuds, and other various disputes via facebook...I'm all over it. Do me a favor. Please, don't anyone tell these people that you can delete that stuff. I need fb drama ON DEMAND! Awesomeness: "SOME PEOPLE just don't know how to act.", "I hate when people say one thing to your face and then something else behind your back...", "I'm glad I at least have a few TRUE friends."

249.) What shoe/historic figure/80's song most fits your personality. See #104. If you have the time to take these quizzes, be my guest. I don't really need to know.

274.) Rrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllyyyyyyyyy llllllllllloooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggggg status updates that make me click "more" just because I'm wondering what on earth could have been so detailed that you couldn't possibly fit it into one entry. Geez. Brevity, people!

318.) "Goodnight, facebook!" Enough said.



Friday, August 6, 2010

We do not look alike.

Mary Ella at 2 months, 1 week (and probably 14ish pounds)





Sam at 2 months, 2 days (13 pounds)









Thursday, August 5, 2010

Freezer Recipes

At last! Here are the freezer recipes I've been using, along with reviews of each.

PW's CHICKEN SPAGHETTI
-I will not type this one out but you can go to Pioneer Woman's website and find the recipe here.
-This is probably one of my favorite freezer meals I've ever made. Comes out nice and bubbly every time.
-Tweaks/Tips: I leave out the cayenne pepper. But be sure to season everything well. A little S&P goes a long way in a pasta dish!


CHICKEN AND RICE CASSEROLE
*This one you bake ahead of time, cool, then freeze.
1 cup uncooked rice
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 7/8 cup water
1 1-oz pkg dry onion soup mix
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 350. Spread uncooked rice in botom of casserole dish. Arrange chicken pieces on top of rice. Mix cream of chicken soup and water, and pour over the chicken and rice. Sprinkle the onion soup mix over the top. Seal with foil. Bake for 1-1.5 hours.
-This one was good and easy. Not over the top delicious, but hey, it's a make ahead meal and I was thankful for it when I ate it.
-Tweaks/Tips: I would buy name brand Onion Soup mix rather than Great Value.



SPAGHETTI PIE
*This recipe is soooooooo yummy. You have to try it! The noodles become the "crust" of this pie and it is fantastically scrumptious.

6 oz spaghetti
2 T. butter
1 egg
1/3 c. grated Parmesan
1 c. cottage cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1 15oz jar spaghetti sauce

Cook spaghetti noodles. Drain them, then stir in butter, parmesan cheese and your eggs. Form spaghetti into a crust into a 10" pie plate (or a casserole dish works too.) Then, brown your onions and pepper until soft. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Add spaghetti sauce. Simmer for 25-30 minutes. Spread cottage cheese onto your noodle "crust." Top with your meat sauce. Bake 30 minutes at 350. Top with mozzarella and let cheese melt.
*This one doesn't require you to bake it before freezing; so if you want to freeze it, just seal it up after you assemble the casserole (make sure it cools off first) and then put it in your freezer. Baking time is 30-45 minutes if frozen.
*Tweaks/Tips: You do not have to jazz up your spaghetti sauce by doing the onion/pepper thing. You can just use plain ol' spaghetti sauce without that stuff. I bought Prego original sauce and just mixed it with my cooked ground beef.



CARIBBEAN CHICKEN
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can pineapple chunks in juice
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 c. orange juice
1/2 c. raisins (optional)

Place all ingredients in 1 gallon freezer bag. Freeze. When you're ready to cook, thaw it overnight in the fridge. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. OR put the frozen chicken in the crockpot and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. Yum.
*Great recipe! Only negative is that you have to thaw in fridge the night before if you don't use the crockpot option.
*Tweaks/Tips: I left out the raisins because that just sounded weird to me. But if you try with raisins, let me know how you like it!


Happy cooking!

Monday, August 2, 2010

2 Months Old

Sweet Sam is 2 months old today. Can't believe how the time has flown!

sam 2 months

At 2 months, Sam is somewhere close to 13 pounds (weighing him on my scale); he is at least 24 inches long. Growing like a weed and becoming sweeter every day. He is most alert and happy in the mornings. I love snuggling with this little guy, and he doesn't seem to mind it either (as long as he can get a meal in first.) He LOVES his changing table in his room, and no matter how fussy he is, you can go and lay him on his changing table and he is content and smiley. That is where I capture most of my pictures of him. I don't know if it is the natural light or the color of his room or if he's just comfortable there, but he loves it. I've even let him nap there a few times when he wasn't content in his bed or cradle rocker.
He is nursing about every 3 hours during the day, and usually takes his last feeding around 10pm. He wakes up anywhere between 2-3am and then eats and goes back to sleep until around 5-7am so I couldn't ask for a better schedule at this point! I'm hoping we can eliminate that night feeding soon! Momma needs some Zzzzs.
He is generally a good baby during the day. He enjoys his swing and loves music. He smiles a lot and he definitely knows his Momma's voice. He thinks I am funny and I can get him to smile when other people can't. (You can tell I am proud of this, right?) Hehe.) He is gaining better head control and we're trying to incorporate some tummy time when I actually remember to do it. He doesn't particularly care for his activity mat yet or laying flat on his back. If he could be held all day, he'd gladly choose this option. He is generally fussier in the evenings; around 6pm he "turns it on" as we like to say... pretty much cries unless he's being held. I remember Mary Ella having a fussy period at night too. Hopefully this is just a phase and he'll grow out of it soon.
Yesterday I collected an entire bag full of clothes he can no longer wear - sad! I'll miss those teeny sleepers. We took them all to Jamie though so hopefully baby Bradford (Sam's BFF) will get some use out of them.

Here's his one month photo; I can't tell a huge difference in his size but he's gained much better control of that head since then.
sam 1 month

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...