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


November
  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.)
December
  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




October

  1. Neighbors

  2. Gone Girl


  3. November

    1. Big Hero 6

    2. The Hunger Games:  Mockingjay - Part 1


    3. December
      NOTHING!

      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 

      Ingredients

      • 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.  

      All the Tricks in 6 Seconds

      Baby can now sit up and crawl.  He more army crawls, but this video makes it seem like he's a crawling genius.

      Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Salad

      I've been making some new recipes.  I'm trying.  This one, I'll admit had a few things go awry.  I did not have nearly enough Brussels sprouts, and I hand-shredded them which took forever.  I also burned the bacon.  It still gave me quite a bit even though more bacon would make it taste delicious.  The dressing is sweet, but the salty cheese cuts that and gives it a unique mix of flavors.  Husband even said it wasn't bad.

      You can find the recipe here

      Ingredients: 
      For the dressing: 
      juice of one lemon 
      juice of one orange 
      2-3 tablespoons apple cider (not vinegar, just regular apple cider! for sweetness!) 
      1 shallot, minced 
      ½ cup olive oil 
      ½ teaspoon 
      salt and pepper to taste 

      For the salad: 
      4 dozen brussels sprouts 
      1 cup almonds 
      6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled or chopped 
      1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (Asiago or Gruyere are also good)

      Directions:

      1. Combine the lemon juice, orange juice, apple cider, and shallots in a small bowl. Add the olive oil in a steady stream and whisk for a minute or two, until it becomes creamy-looking.
      2. Slice the brussels sprouts with a mandoline, taking care of your fingers! and slicing them as thin as possible. This works best when you hold the stem, slice from the top, and stop with a little bit left at the bottom, discarding the remaining bottom stem part since it's not very leafy anyway. The thinner the shreds, the better the salad! Toss the shreds and loosen them with your fingers to they separate and fluff a little bit.
      3. Pulse the almonds in a food processor until finely chopped.
      4. Toss the brussels sprouts, almonds, bacon, cheese, and dressing together. Serve immediately or within a few hours of tossing.