Friday, March 27, 2015

The Humor of a 7 Year Old

Little Miss:  How do you spell "UP"?
Us:  U-P
Little Miss:  You pee?!  

aughter erupts.  

Little Miss:  Get it?  You said the "P" word.  She shouldn't give up her day job.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Big Day!

Baby has been standing assisted and taking steps while holding onto a ledge or the couch.  Today, he pulled himself up on my leg.  He had a block in each hand.  Then, he leaned back and stood on his own, unassisted.  We were very impressed.

After, I kneeled on the floor and stood him up and he took steps towards me, but then his little legs got tired.  We gave him tons of praise, and he was very proud of himself.  

It's only a matter of time before his legs pick up strength and he nails this walking/running/jumping.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March Madness!

Husband entered a pool with his friends.  I entered my work pool.  For fun, we had Little Miss fill out her brackets this year.  She really took her time and made her picks like many of the country - totally random.  

  1. She wanted to chose Hampden against Kentucky because it starts with "Ham" and she loves ham.  
  2. She chose Butler because (hehehe) it starts with "But(t)".
  3. She chose Xavier because she has a friend named Xavier.  She actually chose them to go to the final game which is a risky move.
After Day One, she is tied with me at 13 - which is 5 ahead of Husband.  We'll see how it all plays out.  I don't think she has good long-term chances, but it will be respectable no matter how it plays out.  Her goal is to get more than 7 (which she's already done) because then she will have improved upon her final score in the Oscars pool.  

After the first weekend, we all took hits, but she's still hanging in there.  She made a few fatal flaws so we'll see how she does when it's all said and done.  She may in the gutter with the rest of us, but she's very proud of herself and has been following all the games.  

Sunday, March 22, 2015


This past weekend, I went to lunch with friends - one made a yummy chicken picante soup, one made a yummy Greek salad.  I made a roasted vegetable pesto wrap.

You can find the recipe here, but the recipe makes it seem much more complicated than it really is. The recipe calls for caramelizing the onions in a sautee pan, but I roasted them with the rest of the veggies. Because of an allergy, I eliminated the portobello and substituted black beans which I added to the veggies after they roasted. I bought store-bought pesto, too. The vegetable mixture makes a ton of little wraps. I brought 6 to lunch and we only ate 1 each. I made some more today to bring to my mom's, and we had 2 each. I left her with 4 and have enough to make some for lunch this week. I will run out of pesto eventually. I have tons of veggie mixture though - and that's including sharing the veggie mixture with the baby who loves the sweet potatoes and black beans. Other than the roasting, it takes no time. If possible, I would freeze the ingredients and make the wraps fresh, but I didn't add that much cheese. The wraps got a little soggy so I worry about that during the thawing process. It's really not a big deal to throw them together after the roasting is done. 

Roasted Sweet Potato Wraps with Caramelized Onions and Pesto 
Makes 8 to 10 wraps 
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes 
1/2 cup pesto, store-bought or homemade 
3 large portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 
1/4-inch thick 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half 
1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices 
8 to 10 whole-wheat burrito-sized wraps 
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
Olive oil 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange the sweet potato cubes, mushroom slices, and tomatoes on the baking sheets. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and then spread in a single, even layer (keep tomato slices with the skin face-down to avoid sticking to the pan). Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring several times, until the tomatoes and mushrooms have softened and the sweet potatoes have browned. The sweet potatoes will likely take longer than the other vegetables to cook, so check and remove vegetables from oven accordingly. While the vegetables are roasting, caramelize the onions. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, and when hot, add the onions. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until soft and caramelized. Turn down the heat if onions begin to brown too quickly. This process may take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. Once the onions are browning and the pan begins to dry, add a few tablespoons of water to deglaze the pan and allow the moisture to cook off. Wipe the skillet clean and return to the oven. When ready to prepare the wraps, warm the skillet over medium-high heat. Heat each wrap for about 10 seconds on each side in the skillet, or until the wrap becomes pliable. Spread 2 teaspoons of pesto across middle of wrap. Add handful of sweet potato cubes, several mushroom slices, and a tablespoon each of caramelized onions, tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese. Close the wrap by first folding in the sides and then rolling from the bottom up, tucking the sides in as you go. Repeat for remaining wraps. Refrigerate for several days, or wrap tightly in foil and freeze for up to 6 months. 

To reheat: Heat wraps in the microwave in 30-second intervals, rotating and checking as you go. Alternatively, heat in the toaster oven or oven at 350°F, wrapped in foil for first 10 minutes and unwrapped for the final 5. Wraps are ready to eat when the filling is heated through and cheese has melted. If frozen, allow wraps to thaw in the refrigerator to speed up reheating time. Recipe Notes: Vegetables can be roasted a few days ahead of time and wraps assembled as needed. Experiment with roasting other vegetables, like cauliflower, zucchini, or beets. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the filling for extra sweet and tangy flavor.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

So cute!

Little Miss was trying to give Baby a kiss, and I was trying to capture it, but Baby is too aware of cameras and is too much of a ham.  He was having none of it.  Just wants his close up.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

We're not an Irish family or a family that owns a lot of green, but I dug some out.  Little Miss thinks her shirt is too blue/green, but it's the best we could do.  She has a necklace, a bracelet, and a crown.  I think she's covered.  Baby has his shirt and bib.  Little Miss protests his bib because he's not Irish so I reminded her that she isn't either.
 Then, Little Miss begged for a selfie so we made that happen.  She also told me I didn't have enough green on and pinched me.  She's a strict one with the rules.

So big!

This is Baby's favorite thing to do.  We've done it with him, but the Inlaws do it with him all the time.  He just is so proud himself for the interaction.  He's constantly waving his hands up in the air.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Week 46

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Big Show


Give it up for these lovely ladies, indeed! The elementary school extended day program holds a little show every year. Little Miss and a friend sang Taylor Swift's Blank Space. It's amateur video and I had to compress it to link to the blog so it seems low-res. Many children were intimidated being on stage, but the audience seemed very encouraging and she did great. She was more subdued than she is singing at home, but she said she got better by the end of the song. She's definitely a solo act. She didn't look at her friend once during the performance.

Week 45

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Week 44

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Movies Watched in February 2015

  1. The Fault in Our Stars
Poor month, but we were trying to keep up with our television. I squeezed in this movie on almost the last day of the month. I thought the movie was decent, but I did like the book more. Hopefully, I'll get to some more in March. I started to watch a movie, but I didn't get to finish so hopefully, I'll be able to finish that one up in March.

Books Read in February 2015

  1. Flirting with Disaster by Victoria Dahl (NOTE: This is part of the Girls' Night Out series. The order of which can be found here.)
  2. Quarterback Draw by Jaci Burton (NOTE: This is part of the Play by Play series. The order of which can be found here.)
  3. Obsession in Death by J.D. Robb (NOTE: This is part of the In Death series. The order of which can be found here.)
It wasn't a big month for me. I needed light after Outlander last month, and I continued on that streak and read all quick, fun romances. We all got a touch of a cold so there was more exhaustion than reading though.

February 2015 Weekend Update

February was a good month and, as always, flew.  Good golly, February went by quickly.  The first weekend, Little Miss and I did Bingo Night at her school on Friday.  She won a game and had great fun with a couple of classmates.  The next night, she had a sleepover at the In-Laws' apartment with her cousin.  
The second weekend was Presidents' Day weekend.  My office closed early on Friday so we took advantage of that and went to Maryland.  My aunt, cousin and his girlfriend were there and got to meet the baby for the first time.  The kids were showered with gifts.  The weather was bitter, bitter cold though.  We stayed in and played on Saturday, and the couples went out to dinner on Valentine's Day, but we were stir-crazy by Saturday.  Sister, Brother-in-Law (to be), Nephew, Cousin and his girlfriend and Husband, Little Miss and I all went bowling and to the arcade.  It was a lot of fun and nice to get out.   
Surprisingly, Baby was really great in the snow.  He really liked it and giggled even though he's kind of, well, a baby in the cold usually.  It must have felt funny to sit in it.  He also enjoys wearing his snow suit.
The third weekend of the month, Husband's friend came over.  It was cold out so we were pretty happy just staying inside and eating our way through the cold weather.  That's pretty much what we did the next day, too.
I'd like to say we had a blast the last weekend of the month, but it was cold again, and we did nothing.  On Friday, Little Miss and I went to Family Gym Night where Little Miss wore herself playing basketball, jazzercise and scooter hockey.  It was tiring to watch her.  Unfortunately, I had plans, but we wisely cancelled due to the ice storm we received.  So, we kind of just stayed in and played games.  Little Miss did her homework.  All in all, it was a nice, quiet weekend. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Faux hawk

This guy has crazy hair

Thursday, February 26, 2015


The love is strong between these two.  It's a perfect symbiotic relationship.  She loves to be bossy, and he loves nothing more than to please her.

Week 43

Week 42

Monday, February 23, 2015

Big Helper

Last Saturday, we had a friend over and, per usual, I waited until the last minute to clean the apartment.  So, I was running around like a crazy person cursing that I left it all to the last minute when Little Miss decided to feed Baby.  I had to take a break to film it.  It kept them both busy for 15 minutes or so while I finished up.  So very helpful.  I did realize I had the sound option turned off for Vine, but I turned it on this time.  I'm not sure it'll work, but you can always follow me on Vine or go to that website to see/hear in all its glory.

Everything is Awesome

Ever since Little Miss and I watched the Golden Globe Red Carpet, she's been asking when the next Carpet is.  So, she's been looking forward to the Oscars.  She got dressed up in a lace dress I own and put on some crystal jewelry.  She drank her milk out of a crystal champagne flute.  It was a big, fancy night for her.  Also, and I may regret this, we let her stay up WAY too late.  She put in her picks for the Oscar pool and got a respectable number correct considering she had never heard of most of the movies and kept trying to vote for "The Theory of Whiplash".  She chose a couple of categories correct that we didn't guess correctly.  She was absolutely entertained by The Lego Movie's performance and was super happy Big Hero 6 won.  It was a lot of fun watching the awards with her, and I look forward to award season with her next year.

Food Update

So, I've been feeding Baby pretty much anything (within the pediatrician guidelines).  I've been buying him the purees because he prefers them - prunes, bananas, applesauce, pears, sweet potatoes.  I've also made him butternut squash, peas, and sweet potato.  Now that he's a little older, I've shared a baked potato, sweet potato, baked chicken, and fruit.  I've given him the veggies from my chicken soup (which he loves).  He thoroughly enjoyed the chicken last night.  Fruit can go either way.  He prefers that pureed over chewing.  I have a few recipes I'd like to try so I can get a leg up on freezing him some real food while he's transitioning to eating dinner with us.  Yesterday, I gave him some small pieces of mandarin orange.  He kept eating it, but he did not enjoy it.  Then, to get back at me, he threw up all over the place.  So, lesson learned.  No to mandarin oranges.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Kiddie Update

Little Miss received her second quarter report card (though I think, at this age, it's still more of a progress report).  We should have our parent/teacher conference soon.  It was rescheduled to the middle of March.  She has done so well.  Based on how the grading is done at this age, she has the highest marks she could earn.  She's reading at far above her grade level, and excelling in math.  She also gets high praise from her Spanish teacher.  

She had a growth spurt so she's just shy of wearing size 8 clothes already.  Her feet grew 2 sizes.  She has stayed the same weight though so she is so super skinny.  

Her self-esteem is still the highest I've ever seen on a person.  She values intelligence, but she's also still very logical and a very concrete thinker.  She's a wonderful mix of "types".  She's so girly in some aspects yet so not in other areas.  She likes being active, but she also likes arts and crafts.  She likes reading, but she also likes randomly jumping (sometimes naked jumping for whatever reason).  She's brave in that she loves roller coasters and rides and trying new things, but she hates trying new food and is scared of the dark.  

Baby is 9 months now.  He's not nearly the chub that his sister was, but he's in the 65th percentile in length and still in the teeny tiny percentile in weight.  He is very clingy and cuddly.  He doesn't have stranger danger so much as he prefers his mommy and then sometimes his daddy.  He has 4 teeth and we believe he's getting more in everyday.  Between his teething and a little head cold, he's had a lot of trouble sleeping, but I feel we turned a corner last night.  He slept on his own just shy of all night (he woke at 6:30AM which, for some kids, is all night).  At that time, he wanted to cuddle only, no food.

He can sit up, crawl and pull himself up to standing.  He can feed himself small pieces of food with his fingers though he prefers you to feed him.  He loves eating solid food.  He has tried almost everything we've given him.  I'm guilty of sneaking him table food on top of his baby food.  Nothing elaborate or anything he can't eat yet but simple foods like bread, veggies/fruit, rice or pasta.  He's not a huge fan of his bottles anymore, but he drinks them.  I think he'll be happy when that's over with and he's all onto solid food.  I hate to break it to him, but he's got a bit of time left with the bottle.

He loves bath time.  He will push his face into the water.  He doesn't mind getting water in his face when you rinse him off.  He likes to crawl all over and play with his bath toys.  Surprisingly, when we were at my parents' house, he also didn't mind the snow and the cold.  He laughed when he was in his snowsuit and placed in a snow drift.  He didn't try to move, but he gave me big smiles.  He loves his toys.  He received many for Christmas.  I put them all down low or in drawers, and he can help himself to them.  He is very playful.

He's still not into his pacifier and only finds self-soothing with his fingers (specifically the third and fourth ones on his left hand).  He doesn't seem to rely on his fingers unless he's tired so it shouldn't be that bad of a habit at least.  He has no interest in drinking with a sippy cup yet, but we try.  He'll drink if we hold it.  He doesn't have an issue with water, just doesn't care for the cup yet.  

That's pretty much the latest.  We anticipate Little Miss will get more into some activity.  We took some time off, but she wants to go back to skating as soon as possible.  We also believe Baby will be an early walker.  I suspect in the next month or so which will put him around the time Little Miss took her first steps, but then she took another 3 months to walk.  I think he's going to take his first steps early and then go straight to running and jumping off of things.  Only time will tell...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Week 41

Movies Watched in January 2015

  1. The Imitation Game
  2. The Theory of Everything
  3. Togetherness
  4. The Other Woman
  5. Wild
  6. Into the Woods
It was a good movie month. I wanted to catch some before the Oscars. I went with friends and family and basically anyone who would go with me. I enjoyed all of them to some degree. This will probably balance out with February during which I'll be lucky if I rent a movie. I also counted Togetherness even though it is a series on HBO. I won passes to see the first two episodes in the theater so it counts as a movie - a short movie that is later viewed on television, but it still counts if I got to sit in a movie theater and smell popcorn.

Books Read in January 2015

  1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (NOTE: This is part of the Outlander series. The order of which can be found here.)
  2. Turn and Burn by Lorelei James (NOTE: This is part of the Blacktop Cowboys series. The order of which can be found here.)
  3. Broken Open by Lauren Dane (NOTE: This is part of the Hurley Boys series. The order of which can be found here.)
  4. Hillbilly Rockstar by Lorelei James (NOTE: This is part of the Blacktop Cowboys series. The order of which can be found here.)
Once I got past reading the enormous Outlander, I got a good number of books in there. I enjoyed Outlander. It helped that I watched most of the series on Starz before reading. The others were all good books, too.

January 2015 Weekend Update

The first weekend in January, we hosted a sleepover with Nephew.  He and Little Miss ate some junk food, played loudly and then crashed together - in an air mattress built for one.  They were really great, and they had a lot of fun.  That next day, Little Miss had a playdate with a classmate which thoroughly knocked her out for the evening.  The next day, my mom and I went out to lunch and to a movie.  We kicked off January right!
The second weekend in January, Husband had to go out of town.  So, the kids and I laid low.  We had a blast, cleaned a bit.  I cooked some new recipes.  It was nice and low-key.

The third weekend in January was ridiculously busy.  We started by having the In-Laws over Friday night for Mother-in-Law's birthday.  The next morning, Little Miss had a birthday party and painted some pottery.  Straight after, we drove to the trampoline park where Little Miss had a blast, and I felt every single year of my life.  We then met up with friends for frozen yogurt.  When we got home, I immediately fell asleep.

The fourth weekend in January was another classmate's birthday.  Little Miss played laser tag for the first time.  She had a blast despite no natural talent.  She did not come in last though!  The next day, I met Sister-in-Law for a movie and then went to my mom's house in the afternoon.  Before we made it to my mom's, we took a brief detour though.  Little Miss got her haircut!  She also donated it.  I don't have a great after photo, but I have the photo below showing the length.  They had a special day where the kids dressed like their favorite character, and Little Miss dressed like Mo Willems's character, Piggy.  Her classmate dressed like Gerard, and they were the cutest things ever.
The last weekend of January we did very little.  Friday night was First Grade Readathon at school so Little Miss got to hear a lot of books read, and I got to learn a lot about the first grade reading program.  Saturday, we cleaned.  Sunday, Little Miss's friend came over to play, and then we watched the Superbowl (and ate too much).

Week 40

Valentine's Day

We bought Little Miss Big Hero 6 for Valentine's Day.  On Valentine's Day, she asked Husband what he bought her.  He said he bought her Big Hero 6.

Little Miss:  No, Mommy bought me the movie.  What did you get me?

Husband:  (crickets)

So, when we went to dinner, there was a gift shop.  Husband bought her (and Baby) a stuffed bear so she wouldn't be scarred for life that he never bought her a Valentine's Day present.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Trash Talk

It was Sports Day at school.  Little Miss wore her hockey jersey.  She told Husband that she was going to wear her hockey jersey because the Jets "were a little bit bad."  Then she paused and said, "And by a little bit, I mean a lot bit."

Well, that's a solid argument that meant no response.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Week 39

Lots happened in January.  Baby learned to crawl - and does.  He gets all over the place.  He went from pulling himself up to sitting to scooting on his belly to crawling in about a week.  Last weekend, he pulled himself up in the crib to standing.  He's done this twice, but I don't think he's confident to do it on his own.  He gets so proud of himself, but he doesn't know what to do once he's upright.  

His top teeth are coming in, and it is making him more fussy than when his bottom teeth came in.  So, his sleep has just started getting back into the routine after being very erratic.  He eats less formula per day, but he has embraced solid food - finally.  He has liked almost everything we've given him from table food to baby food to food I've pureed for him.  He didn't care for the green beans or peas, but the second time he had peas he liked them.  Maybe the second time will be better for the beans.  As with all children, he prefers the sweeter fruits and vegetables.  He will drink from a bottle, but he likes to take a break.  Both kids are slow eaters which tries our patience.

I suspect he'll walk early, but he's not quite there yet.  Little Miss took steps at 10 months, but she didn't fully walk until 14 months.  We'll see where he falls, but at the rate he's going and the amount he loves standing, it'll be soon.

Health-wise, he's doing very well.  Eventually, he'll need his little tag on his ear removed surgically, but that's minor (maybe not to him, of course).  His bottom should be an issue of the past by his first birthday.  

He's a social guy.  He loves attention.  He loves Love LOVES his big sister.  He won't sleep if he's out and about.  He doesn't like to miss a thing.  So, that usually tuckers him out, but he will sleep in my arms if we're out and will sleep in the car but prefers his crib.  He's gotten really good at hanging out in his crib, too, though he prefers when we pluck him out of it, of course.  

Week 38

Monday, January 19, 2015

Books Read in Fall 2014

  1. Blood Magick by Nora Roberts (NOTE: This is part of The Cousins O'Dwyer series. The order of which can be found here.)
  2. If I Stay by Gayle Forman (NOTE: The other related book/sequel is Where She Went.)
  3. Show Me, Baby by Cherise Sinclair (NOTE: This is part of the Masters of the Shadowland series. The order of which can be found here.)
  4. Unbridled by Beth Williamson
  5. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  6. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  7. Take Me to Paradise by Olivia Cunning (NOTE: This is part of the Sinners on Tour series. The order of which can be found here, but it has not been updated to include the latest novella.)
  8. Holiday on Ice by Jaci Burton (NOTE: This is part of the Play by Play series. The order of which can be found here.)
  1. Yours for Christmas by Susan Mallery (NOTE: This is part of the Fool's Gold series. The order of which can be found here.)
  2. Merry Christmas, Baby by Jill Shalvis (NOTE: This is part of the Lucky Harbor series - the last one! The order of which can be found here.)
  3. Covering Kendall by Julie Brannaugh (NOTE: This is part of the Love and Football series. The order of which can be found here.)
  4. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
It looks more impressive than the list should be.  Many were novellas, just quick little fun romance short stories.  I did have some quality books in there - both romance and mainstream fiction.  It was a good run, and I have no complaints.

Books Read in October 2014

  1. He's So Fine by Jill Shalvis (NOTE: This is part of Lucky Harbor series. The order of which can be found here.)
  2. The Best Kind of Trouble by Lauren Dane (NOTE: This is part of the Hurley Boys series. The order of which can be found here.)
  3. Hope Burns by Jaci Burton (NOTE: This is part of the Hope series. The order of which can be found here.)
  4. Looking for Trouble by Victoria Dahl (NOTE: This is part of the Jackson Girls' Night Out. The order of which can be found here.)
  5. One in a Million by Jill Shalvis (NOTE: This is part of Lucky Harbor series. The order of which can be found here.)
It looks more impressive than the list should be.  Many were novellas, just quick little fun romance short stories.  I did have some quality books in there - both romance and mainstream fiction.  It was a good run, and I have no complaints.

Movies Watched in Fall 2014


  1. Neighbors

  2. Gone Girl

  3. November

    1. Big Hero 6

    2. The Hunger Games:  Mockingjay - Part 1

    3. December

      Let's see.  Husband and I rented Neighbors for our anniversary.  There wasn't anything out at the time or the one movie we wanted to see wasn't local or at a convenient time.  Friends and I had been long-awaiting Gone Girl since we read the book years ago.  I'm glad I snuck in Big Hero 6.  I had no big desire to see it, but Little Miss wanted to so we went with Sister, her fiance and Nephew.  I cried through the whole thing.  I enjoyed Mockingjay more than I expected to as well.  So, I haven't been watching as many films, but I've been pleased with what I have seen at least.

      Tuesday, January 13, 2015

      Little Miss Words of Wisdom

      1.  Last Friday, I chose clothes for Little Miss to wear to school.  She told me she didn't want to wear the shirt I chose.  This isn't new.  She doesn't like any clothes I pick, but she also doesn't want to pick out her own clothes.  Her reason was that the shirt was too special.  She didn't want the other kids to be jealous of her special shirt so she should probably just wear a regular one.  Seriously.  I don't know if I buy it, but she gets points for originality.

      2.  Yesterday, she wanted to know what All About that Bass was about.  I told her it was about a girl that all the boys chased.  Boys find her pretty.  She told me that it's more important to love herself than have someone love you.  She then told me that she loves herself because she's so smart.  I told her that she will be a better partner to someone if she is smart and confident and loves herself.  She just kind of rolled her eyes like duh.  Girl needs her own advice column.

      3.  On Sunday, we bickered quite a bit.  I won't lie.  At 1PM, her friend dropped off a coat left at her house.  The mother asked if Little Miss could go to their place for a playdate.  I happily said yes (and Little Miss had her shoes on and was gone before I even finished agreeing).  When she came back, we went to get some Frostys at Wendy's because I promised her we could use her gift certificates.  So, I was asking her what she did at her playdate and asked if she was polite and well-behaved.  She just said, exasperated, "Libre soy, mama!"  For those who haven't watched Frozen a billion times including the bonus features of Let It Go in different languages, it means Let It Go in Spanish.  So, now I have a snotty brat who can drive me crazy in 2 languages.  

      Monday, January 12, 2015

      Week 37

      Thursday, January 8, 2015

      Talkative One

      Baby is a talkative guy. I don't know what he says. The funny thing is whenever I play this video, he gets really upset or, at the very least, he looks alarmed. It's probably the equivalent of anyone when they hear himself on video. I do not sound like that! LOL  I don't know if the sound works when I embed.  If not, you can follow the link to Vine to the right and see it there.  Visit there for video (very rarely) and Instagram where I take photos and post more often.  The photos from Instagram.

      Wednesday, January 7, 2015

      Happy New Year!

      As you may have noticed, I dropped the Blog Ball last year.  Life has moved on, but it's moved on without me updating the blog.  I'm trying to make up for lost time though.  For my own purposes, I will update my books read and movies watched as well.  

      Let's see.  Since I've updated (and really, since last week practically), Baby is crawling all over the place.  He's a pretty good listener, too.  He has, so far, stayed away from things he shouldn't be near.  We don't really childproof so much as train early not to go into dangerous situations.  We are cautious and don't take unnecessary risks, but the entire house isn't bubble wrapped or anything.  He sits up unassisted and can move around and then bring himself up to the sitting position.  He has finally accepted solid food.  He's been game to try all sorts of new things.  We've been doing mostly fruits and veggies - a combo of store-bought and homemade.  I've also started passing him some table food depending on what it is.  He had a tiny bite of pasta.  He loves Puffs and prunes and pears and sweet potatoes.  Those are his favorites.  

      Little Miss is doing well in school.  She loves it and looks forward to hear quarterly assessments this week.  She has a strong vocabulary and a strong sense of self and an astounding amount of self-confidence.  She tends to think we're all here for her and that our world must be so lonely and horrible when she is not with us.  Baby worships everything she does.  He looks at her with wonder and laughs at everything she does.  She eats up the adoration totally and completely.

      Husband's boss lost the election last Fall so he's looking for a new position, but I have to admit that it's nice having him do the pick up and take care of many things at home.  I'm sure it'll be a transition when he gets a new job.

      We had our first snow storm this winter yet not our first snow day which caused issues.  We ended up keeping Little Miss at home because her bus never came and the street on which the school is located was closed.  Today, there was a delay at least.  

      I'm still working in DC, and it's going really well.  I've been busy, but I am finally not in a stressed mode.  Sort of.  This week has been a bit meeting heavy, but I have a handle on almost everything at least.  If I can get through Monday, I feel confident that 2015 is my year.  

      My sister got engaged at the end of last year.  So, that's exciting!  Even though she has been with her fiance for many years, Little Miss still asked who she was marrying so that brought the soon-to-be brother-in-law down to earth.  She loves him though.

      We celebrated Hanukkah with former brother-in-law and his wife last month as well.  Little Miss declared his dog was the best ever which is high praise because she doesn't like animals that close to her.

      I definitely feel more confident this year than last.  Last year had a lot of different emotions.  I'm a lot more laid back this year.  

      Week 36

      Week 35

      Week 34

      Week 33

      Week 32

      Week 31

      Monday, January 5, 2015

      More New Cooking!

      I made jambalaya last night from this website. It was good. I didn't have cayenne so we used paprika. I think I would use more next time and season more with salt and pepper and also a dash more hot sauce. I added more tomato and juice as well as bumped up the rice. The whole tomatoes crushed, but they stayed in big chunks. I'd either better squish or go with the crushed tomatoes next time. Either way, the flavor and texture and overall taste was pretty good.  I'd also say 4-6 servings is pretty accurate.  We had seconds and there were leftovers.

      Jambalaya, My Way 
      Makes 4 to 6 servings 


      • 6 tablespoons butter 
      • 1/2 cup chopped green onions 
      • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions 
      • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and julienne 
      • 1 cup coarsely chopped celery 
      • 1 teaspoon minced garlic 
      • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined 
      • 1/2 pound cubed boiled ham  (I substituted chicken)
      • 1/2 pound smoked sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (optional) 
      • 1 (16-ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed with the can juices 
      • 1 cup chicken broth 
      • Salt and cayenne 
      • 2 bay leaves 
      • 1 cup long-grain rice, uncooked 
      • Hot sauce 
      Heat the butter in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring, until they are soft and lightly golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the shrimp and ham, and sausage if using. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink. Stir in the tomatoes and chicken broth. Season to taste with salt and cayenne. Add the bay leaves and the rice. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and serve. Pass the hot sauce!

      Sunday, January 4, 2015

      Weekend Updates - December

      December was a blur. We got our tree a week later than usual, and it seemed to just throw off the entire month. It's now January, and I'm just thinking of sending Christmas cards out. I've had them for awhile.

      This year, I got the kids matching Christmas pajamas.  I haven't loaded those photos yet.  I got Little Miss's on the larger side, and I bought a second pair for Baby for next year when they went on sale.
      Little Miss got a really pretty dress as a hand-me-down.  She's been wearing it non-stop.  It is really beautiful, and we got quite a lot of pictures in it.  Baby has his shirt with his bow tie which got a lot of mileage out of it.  
      The two gave me many great pictures in front of the tree.  It was hard to decide which to use for our Christmas card... so I used them all.
      This Christmas, we spent it in Maryland with my family.  We celebrated with a nice dinner out with the In-Laws the weekend before and then had dessert and presents at our place.  Christmas was low key.  Little Miss had a little stomach bug so she was out of commission most of the day.  Then, the day after Christmas, Baby got a bad cold (which he later passed on to me).  Still, it was always fun to hang with the family.  Plus, the week before Christmas, my sister got engaged so there was even more to celebrate this year!

      Weekend Updates - November

      In November, my grandparents came to town.  They hadn't seen the baby since he was born.  He loved the attention.

      He loved listening to my grandmother and hanging with my grandfather.  He and my grandfather have the same hair and laid back attitude.
      The end of November was a busy time.  My parents took Nephew and Little Miss to Great Wolf Lodge.  Little Miss came back with matching ears for both herself and her brother.  He still worships the ground she walks on.  My parents also took Little Miss to Ice at the National Harbor which looked like a lot of fun.
      Thanksgiving was very relaxing.  We watched the parade.  I made cranberry sauce.  Then, we all went to Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law's house for dinner.  
      It was a relaixng evening, always fun to have all the kids together.  Little Miss and Nephew play really well together, and the babies are fascinated with each other.  
      I didn't get as many pictures as I wanted.  No one was of a calm demeanor all at the same time.  The babies seem to take turns napping or freaking out.
      I love baby cuddle time though!

      Weekend Updates - October

      I'm far behind and will not bore you with all the details, but here is a pictorial tour of our Fall/Winter so far.

      Baby looking happy in his jumper.  He would live in the thing if we let him.  He likes to jump and then have some swing time to fall asleep.
      We went to our annual trek to the pumpkin patch with Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law.  It was windy, and we didn't stay too long because of traffic.  Plus, we went to a friend's baby shower in the evening.
       Still, we got pumpkins and some cute pictures, just not as many cute pictures as in years' past.
       Baby was a minion for Halloween.  Halloween doesn't mean much to him so I wasn't going all out for a costume.  I wanted something practical but, of course, cute.  So, he got a minion hat, overalls and a yellow shirt.  He tolerated it.
       Nephew really liked Baby time during Little Miss's 7th birthday party.  I can't believe the big girl is 7.  She's matured so much this Fall.  She has such an extensive vocabulary and so bright.  
       She, as most of the children in the known universe was Elsa for Halloween, but she also had an Anna costume that she wore to Disney on Ice and to Halloween at school.
       Baby will like Halloween much more next year.  I'm on the search for a Max from Where the Wild Things Are costume.