Monday, June 30, 2008

I Traumatized AJ Today and totally unrelated... MY EGGO IS PREGGO!!!

So this morning started out innocently enough.  I got up at 6:00am and started cleaning house...made AJ some strawberry him up and dressed.  At 8:00, we lasso Kallie and kennel her up and load Latte in the car for his grooming appointment.  AJ squeals with delight at the idea of a car ride...with the dog!  We get to the groomer and Latte heads right in the door as he doesn't recognize the building yet.  AJ tags along with his hot wheels.  We get Latte all checked in and turn to leave.  Then my momma world comes grinding to holt as AJ throws himself on the floor screaming, "MY DOGGIE! MINE!  I LOVE THAT DOG!" protest.  You see at the age of nearly two, he doesn't realize we are going to come back and get the dog...he just knows we got in the car with Latte and WE ARE LEAVING HIM SOMEWHERE!  

After I drag my kicking screaming toddler to the car...past a delivery driver, a window cleaner, and a room full of dog groomers...we head to Mimi's for breakfast.  I love Mimi's, and I love breakfast, but I REALLY love Mimi's breakfast.  Well, AJ is still pissed as all get out that I gave our dog away.  Before my friend even gets there he punctures the side of his cup and floods the booth with milk...I'm beginning to think "Why did I get out of bed this morning?"  I suffered through his cranky breakfast with a wet milk butt!  

AJ never completely calmed down until we had Latte back in our about 1:00 this afternoon!  Lesson learned:  Andy can take Latte to the groomer from now on.  

BEST PART OF TODAY:  seeing my new baby wiggle inside of me and watch the little heart beat!  That's right!  We are 9 weeks preggo!  (I figure my loyal blog readers should be privy to some special information first.)  As with Addison, I feel like crap every waking hour of the day, but after seeing our baby puts it back into perspective...we are blessed to be parents again!  Just four more weeks of feeling like I am going to puke my guts out every second.  And no...I never actually puke to relieve the feeling...just feel like I'm on the verge of losing my stomach contents from the time I wake up till the time I go to sleep.  What we put ourselves through for kids!  

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Summer Dinner on the Deck and A Trail of Sand

Last night we enjoyed a summer dinner on the deck, complete with BBQ chicken, watermelon, corn on the cob boiled with sugar and slathered with Andy's special seasoned butter, and grape kool-aid!  It was delicious!  I love summer!  AJ had such a fun time eating these summertime backyard favorites...juice and butter running all down his face and overalls!  

I would have eaten his left overs, but somehow his food was heavily peppered with sand from his sandbox...yuck...sandy corn on the cob!  

AJ leaves a trail...sometimes piles of sand behind everywhere he goes in the summer.  Usually his shoes are atop a grand mound of sand in my living room floor, but I don't mind...I love the childhood innocence of abandoned sand.  It makes Andy and I smile as we sweep or vacuum it up.  At the age of two, AJ doesn't seem to mind it in his bed...on his his diaper.  

I realized the other day after finishing my book that was set in Nantucket that the only sand between my toes this summer would come from AJ's sandbox and I'm perfectly content with that.     

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Milk Incident...

As AJ ever so gracefully climbed up on the couch this afternoon, his big boy cup of milk in of his feet caught an invisible pocket of gravity, sending the cup flipping into the air, and soaking both of us and the couch.  

He was pretty astonished as the cold liquid splattered all over his head and upper body.  At first it was pure shock on his face and then the anger set in.  He looked at me in disgust and seeking comfort from such a tragedy...I of course was laughing my head off and running for the camera.

Needless to say, the incident resulted in an emergency pre-nap bath which calmed all things in his little world, and he is now napping peacefully.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I signed up for a class today!

I am so excited!  I have owned my Janome sewing machine for...five years now...and never really learned how to use it and take care of it.  After fumbling with my own machine at my recent craft day I decided I needed to learn how to actually sew.  

Sooo...I signed up for a basic "How to use your sewing machine" class today!  Now I will not have to fight with the pesky bobbin every time I try to make something!  

This is just the beginning!  The place I am taking my class at also offers quilting classes.  Maybe I'll be brave enough to try making kids clothes after this!  I am well on my way to the perfecting the art of sewing goal on my bucket list.  Mom would be so proud of me!  Maybe I will make prom dresses and wedding dresses like her one day...or quilts.  She would be so happy to know that one of her kids carried on her love for sewing.  I have been intimidated by it until now, but I am going to conquer this goal in life!  

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Trip to the Petting Zoo, A Ride on the Train of Terror, A Picnic, and A Tote

We had an action packed adventurous weekend!  I started Saturday getting my hair chopped into a low maintenance bob.  Yay!  Followed up by meeting with my 2nd grade team mates for lunch and an educational shopping spree.  Then ended Saturday night by hosting Prayer Group at our house...our fellow Godly friends destroyed the house...and the back yard.  We are still finding toys in odd places.  

We spent most of Sunday at a nearby park.  $4 landed us admission into the petting zoo and tickets for a train ride.  AJ loved making animal sounds at each of the animals, but did not love the train ride.  He screamed nearly the entire (what felt like an eternity) 10 minute go round.  Not sure what this new found fear of riding the train is all about.  He was content to wave as it went by and shout an enthusiastic toot-toot, but put him on that thing and all hell breaks loose!  I felt bad for the birthday boy taking his birthday ride a couple rows ahead of us...probably not how he envisioned his birthday train ride.  Then AJ played in the stream for hours with mom and dad before and after our picnic of PB&J, fruit snacks, and goldfish crackers under a huge shade tree.  It was a relaxing Sunday with the fam.  It truly captured the essence of summer quality family time.  Check out the gallery on AJ's webpage for more pictures.  

Sunday ended with a fabulous craft day where I learned how to make the most adorable tote pictured here!  I can hardly wait to make my next one!  I love the fun funky fabric I found at Joann's!  

So far today, AJ and I have played trucks, hung out in the sandbox where the sand just coats AJ's sun blocked body...yuck and made homemade blueberry and peach popsicles.  Maybe tomorrow we will venture out to a craft store to pick up more tote making supplies...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day Tradition

I love traditions!  Each year for Father's Day AJ and I always get Andy a daddy book.  I started this tradition three years ago when I was still pregnant with Addison.  It is fun to see them read their daddy and son books together at night before bed time, and I never have to fuss with trying to figure out what to get for Father's Day.  Here is our small collection of Father's Day books.  

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Bucket List

We watched The Bucket List this weekend which made me start thinking about what ambitions I would like to check off before I kick the bucket. It is a work in progress, but here is a start:

My Bucket List:
Snuggle love my children's children

own a pair of kelly green cowgirl boots

take photography classes

get a tramp stamp (after I'm done having kids and back in shape?)

take an Alaskan Cruise
plant and cook with veggies from my own garden
take my kids to Disney land
learn to fly fish
perfect art of sewing
ride a tandem bike
rent a Tuscan villa
explore the Grand Canyon
mountain bike
perform in a community play
ballroom dance in a gorgeous formal gown
make a wedding cake

take a girls trip with all of my sisters

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Favorite Summer Dinner

By the time one season starts nearing the end, I start eagerly/impatiently/irritably anticipating the beginning of the next season.  By the fall, I'm ready for Christmas and curling up by the fire on a snowy the end of winter, I'm ready for spring colors, flowers, and being the end of spring, I'm ready for flip flops and the smell of sun tan the end of summer, I'm ready for pumpkins, sweaters, and crisp cool air.  BUT one of the things I most look forward to as the seasons change are my favorite seasonal foods!  I get tired of the same old dinner menu rotations after awhile.  

One of my favorite summer dinners is a Bistro Chicken Salad I discovered a couple years ago.  It is a must try for the warmer months, complete with a homemade dressing!  

Bistro Chicken Salad
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
4 small red new potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 cup cubed mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crumbled
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup pitted and chopped Greek olives
1 large head romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces

In medium saucepan, heat chicken broth to boiling.  Add chicken, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10-15 minutes.  Remove from heat, drain, and set aside to cool.  Cut into bite-size pieces.

Place 2 inches water in saucepan, add green beans and heat to boiling.  Reduce heat to low an simmer about 7 minutes.  Remove with slotted spoon to colander, reserving water, and rinse with cold water.  In same saucepan, heat potatoes to boiling and cook 2-3 minutes.  Remove to colander and rinse with cold water.

In medium bowl, combine olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, mustard, and oregano.  Whisk to blend and set aside.  Combine reserved chicken, green beans, cheese, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, olives, and lettuce.  Toss with dressing to coat.  Enjoy!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A June Wedding

There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved. - George Sand

I attended a beautiful summer wedding today of one of my team mates!  I love weddings, but I love receptions more!  The colors were an elegant combination of black and hot pink.  The bride was absolutely gorgeous, and the groom was beaming the entire day.  Tears filled my eyes as they danced the first dance.    

Today made me think of my roses...chocolate covered strawberries...& where Andy and I were at in our lives nearly four years ago.  Wow, things have changed.  I left inspired to find a sitter for little dude and set aside time for Andy and I to go out and do something together just as a couple.  Life is so busy, we never seem to make time to go on dates anymore.  Although I love our nights of taking the wagon to the park, singing Old McDonald or our ABC's, and reading The Very Busy Spider...I also miss an occasional night out to the movies.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Easy and Delicious

No Bake Cookies

4 ounces butter or margarine
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 to 4 tablespoons peanut better, optional
3 cups oats, quick or old-fashioned
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place chocolate chips, peanut butter, oats, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.  Combine the margarine, milk, and sugar in  a saucepan; bring to a rolling boil.  Boil for 1 minute.  Combine the hot mixture with the oatmeal and chocolate chip mixture; stir well.  Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper.  Enjoy!  

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A Sign, Cupcakes, Beads, and Lettuce

We had a great family Sunday together.  We woke up early, made a weekly menu, and ventured to the grocery store early to beat the crowds and avoid dealing with the over-picked produce and sale items.  I tell ya, going to the grocery store is a bit like going to an amusement park for a toddler around here.  We always fight off other parents for the limo of all grocery carts that looks like a sports car with a mini steering wheel that actually turns(then usually fight to get AJ out of it at the end of our shopping trip), opt for the free cookie when little dude gets restless, and today we were even suckered into the mechanical horse ride for a penny.  Going to buy the weekly groceries is a special treat for a nearly two year old!  

After our trip to the store we hung up my fabulous new sign Jess got me for my birthday.  After much debating and carrying it around and holding it up places, we found its special location right in the center of our living room where it can be seen in the dining room and kitchen.  This is perfect because these are the places where most of our family adventures and laughs take place.

I also made 50 cupcakes today during AJ's nap to bring to school tomorrow as my birthday treat.  This will be the first time in my life that I have ever been in school to celebrate my birthday!  That seems like reason enough to make cupcakes to me!  

Between taking the cupcakes out, filling new ones, and frosting, I made a fun bracelet with my new beads that were a b-day gift!  I love glass bead dangles!  I can't wait to sport it at school tomorrow!  

And lastly, Andy and I enjoyed making a healthy dinner together that my sis, Jess, introduced us to...Asian Lettuce Rolls.  They are AMAZING and so nutritious!  They take a lot of prep, but are well worth it in the end!  

Asian Lettuce Rolls
2 packages of chicken flavor ramen noodles
2 cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken
1 each: red & yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions with tops
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 half inch piece peeled fresh gingerroot, pressed
1 medium cucumber
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
1/4 cup chopped peanuts (optional)
24 Boston lettuce leaves
1 jar sweet and sour sauce

1.  Boil 3 cups of water.  Break each block of noodles into quarters; add noodles and seasoning packets to boiling water.  Microwave covered 2 minutes; stir.  Drain noodles and rinse under cold water.
2.  Coarsely chop chicken.  Slice tops and bottoms off bell peppers; remove stems and chop tops and bottoms of bell peppers.  Set center portions of bell peppers aside.  Place noodles, chicken, chopped bell peppers  and green onions in a large bowl.  
3.  Combine soy sauce and oil.  Add garlic and ginger.  Pour over noodle mixture; toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate.
4.  Slice reserved bell peppers into thin stripes.  Thinly slice cucumber.  Cut carrots.  To serve, spoon noodle salad into medium bowl; sprinkle with peanuts, if desired.  Place bell peppers, cucumber, carrots and sweet and sour sauce into small bowls.  To serve, top each lettuce leaf with noodle salad and vegetables.  Drizzle with sweet and sour sauce and roll up.  
5.  Enjoy!