Monday, September 28, 2009

Blogging in Georgia and Haunting in Connecticut

If it's unclear: I'm blogging in Georgia while watching the movie "The Haunting in Connecticut."
(Detective Stabler is in, right?!)
Matt is playing poker in the basement so if I get too scared at least there are some big strong men downstairs to protect me. Matt doesn't like (a.k.a. is afraid of) scary movies so poker nights are the only nights I can watch my horror flicks.

Yesterday, we met our friends Dave and Susan at the park for a picnic lunch. It was a beautiful afternoon.

Tyler did some first class swinging on Daddy's lap.

Lauren insisted on swinging all by herself. She does not need anyone to push her anymore.
Ian, Lauren and Tyler had some fun popping bubbles.
Later that evening Matt watched Sunday Night Football with some friends while the kids and I enjoyed a candlelit dinner (per Lauren's request.)
Today Tyler had his 2nd dentist appointment. He was 100% grumpy and refused to cooperate at first. No smiles, no talking, he wouldn't even open his eyes to watch the movie on the ceiling. At least he let the sweet DH clean his teeth.

He wouldn't even open his eyes for me to take a picture. (the little bugger)
Tomorrow I'll try to post our Weekly Menu and the recipes for tonight's dinner. It was DE-lish. Fillet Mignon, garlic mashed potatoes and corn. All healthy recipes and very yummy.
Now I must pay attention to the Haunting and get totally freaked out.
Sweet Dreams to All.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

So long Baby Tooth Number Three

I just found out yesterday that Lauren had another loose tooth. (the bottom right tooth) It was just a little bit wiggly so I figured it would be a while before it came out. Well it came out today and I'm not sure if I should feel bad about it or not.
Here's the scoop: This morning Lauren was bored so, of course, she decided to tease Tyler just for the fun of it. (You know how us older sisters like to do things.) Well she was up in his face and taunting him any way she could think of. She bothered him enough and so he swat at her in the face. She started crying and told me, "Mommy, Tyler hit me." I told her she shouldn't have been bothering him. Well, then she walked up to me with her tooth in her hand. Oops...maybe Tyler hit her harder than I thought.
She doesn't look like she's hurting though.

Later we loaded up and headed to the Dragon Boat Race & International Festival in Peachtree City. In the car, Lauren excitedly showed off her gaping smile.
At the festival we watched one dragon boat race but they took too much time in between races and the kids lost interest. At least the festival had a couple of "bouncy toys" to keep them entertained. However, the bouncy toys were "too hot" for Lauren. So instead, we played with a couple of free Frisbees and then headed out to grab lunch at a pizza joint.
We walked along the bike/cart paths to Partners Pizza.

At the pizza parlour Tyler felt it necessary to be in disguise. He also unwrapped his silverware, pulled out the knife and LOUDLY declared that he was going to "cut me and make me dead." He laughed hysterically after this but seriously where does he get this stuff? He goes to pre-school at a Baptist Church of all places. I'm guessing it's his older neighbor friends he plays with. Should I be worried?!
After lunch we came home and took naps. I even took a nap because Tyler has been in the habit of waking up 4 or 5 times a night to "go tee tee" or to try and climb in our bed. Although Matt can somehow sleep through the loudest of these events...I always wake up when Tyler opens his bedroom door. (which gives me a choppy night's sleep) My kids have always been good sleepers but I'm being challenged right now. Give me strength.
After naps I tried to find the Oregon Duck vs. Cal game on TV but of course our cable network didn't broadcast it. Instead, I listened to it on XM Radio and turned on America's Funniest Home Videos for Lauren. (Tyler played computer games with his Daddy in the office.) Lauren was cracking up over AFV. She kept shouting to me, "Mommy, you have to come watch this." Lauren and I both thoroughly enjoyed watching people get smacked, knocked around and attacked by cats/rats/baseball bats. I'm doing my best to teach her the benefits of a dry sense of humor.
While she watched TV we "frozen corned" her ankle. Yesterday, she was bit by a mosquito and her ankle has swollen up 3 times its size. (She reacts even worse than I do to mosquito bites.)
cute, no?

I probably should give a shout out to my Oregon Ducks. Whoo Hoo. Maybe losing Blount was what we needed?
Tonight we may watch the Georgia game or we may just watch a movie (Babylon A.D.) I'm leaning toward the movie since my fave football team already won.
Happy Saturday Y'all.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I've been a little lazy

Sorry it's been so long since my last post. (over a week...WoW!)
I've simply been a-slacking...I've been a little bit lazy.
I'll try to do better from now on or at least have better excuses.

As I type this long overdue post, Lauren is with her friend Kylie at the "Family Fun Night" for Kylie's elementary school and the boys (Matt, Tyler, Mr. Buddy and a handful of neighbor kids) are playing cornhole in our driveway. If y'all don't know what cornhole is then you best be fixin' on finding out. It's hot y'all.

Last weekend we brought down Matt's old Lego's from our guest bedroom (a.k.a. extra storage space.) These were a HIT. Lauren and Tyler loved them and have played with them every day since.

I think the kids are enjoying them as much as Matt.And yes, Tyler is in his pajamas. He chose not to change out of his PJs last weekend.
(I pick my battles and that was not one of them.)

Lauren gives a shout out to her favorite dinner from the last week. Obviously, the one which had black olives in it.

This meal was my adaptation of Sweet and Sour Pineapple Chicken (from the Weight Watchers in 20 Minutes cookbook) served over rice. It was yummy....healthy and yet very satisfying and filling.

Lauren has really been into her artwork lately. She comes home from school and immediately goes to the "little table" and creates all sorts of drawings and works of art. Here she is snapping a photo with her home-made camera.

This afternoon Joshua stopped by to show Tyler a baby frog he had captured. Tyler thought this was the coolest thing ever. Tyler loved to watch the frog jump out of Joshua's hands. Last I saw...said frog did escape and jumped safely into the woods behind our house.

And to close this sub-spectacular post I will leave it with the following pic.
You Might Be a Redneck If:
You move your Big Green Egg from your neighbor's house using a tarp, rope and a Jeep.
But hey, it worked.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Weekly Menu

Tuesday: Mom's Chicken and Rice Bake (very good...see previous post)
Wednesday: Healthy Cheesy Pizza Pasta and Spinach Salad (this was alright...use spicy turkey sausage for more flavor)
Thursday: left-overs
Friday: dinner at Baci with Dave and Susan
Saturday: Black Bean Pasta Cancun
Sunday: Sweet and Sour Pineapple Chicken (from Weight Watchers in 20 Minutes cookbook) over rice and with salad
Monday: Easy Pepper Steak, bulgar and salad (from the Weight Watchers cookbook)

Septembers of Tyler

September is Tyler's half birthday.
(It's actually the half birthday of both of my children but this post is about Tyler.)
He's my favorite little snuggle bug
(although if I call him that he will immediately inform me, "I'm not your little snuggle bug."
Snuggle Bug or not, I love my son!

Seriously, what's not to love?!
6 months old
18 months old

2 years plus 6 months
I've no clue on the number of months...
Today, I'm lucky to remember his name.
I seriously had to bribe him to give me this goofy smile.
Tyler's first artwork from school came home today.
"the painted blue square"
(I will sell reprints if enough interest.)

Today, he also told me he was "Shaking Like a Leaf."
"Shaking Like a Leaf" in context...
Me (after observing him do the tee tee dance for 15 minutes:)
"Tyler why don't you just go to the bathroom."
Tyler: "I don't want to, I just want to shake like a leaf."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

the kids are surviving

Tonight marks the second (and final) night this week that Matt a.k.a. Daddy has been working out of town. He had some business in Fernandina Beach, Florida and then today in Jesup, Georgia. Given a choice, I would travel to Fernandina Beach over Jesup any day but with my love of new places I imagine I could find some fun in Jesup, GA too. Unfortunately, with Lauren being of Kindergarten age it really puts a damper on my "travel with Matt's work schedule."
I anticipated having to miss out on a conference Matt was attending in Portland, Oregon next week. But unfortunately (or fortunately!) Matt won't be able to attend either. His company landed a HUGE project at a nearby mill and will instead have the "kick-off" meetings next week. This is great news because one way or another he will be getting his full pay back. More details to come I'm sure.
But anyway back to us surviving (...or barely surviving if you, Matt, are reading this...)
Monday I found out more about Lauren's school day.
Me: Hey Lauren, what was your favorite part of school today?
L: Center Time. We get to play with really, really cool toys. (i.e. dinosaurs, legos, etc.)
Me: I thought you liked to play on the playground best.
L: I don’t like to go on the playground because my friend runs so fast and I don’t like to go so fast.
Me: Is there anyone else you could play with when your friend wants to run fast?
L: Well, when Madie (her fast running friend) was sick I played with Kerra.
Me: Why don’t you play more with Kerra on the playground then?
L: But then Madie, my friend, wouldn’t feel very good.
My girl is already thinking about other people’s feelings. What a special girl she is!
After school on Monday, Emma came over to play. The kiddos wanted to look at Lauren's and Tyler's photo albums. I was surprised at how much fun they had looking at and remembering the photos. Lauren definitely recalled a trip to the Enchanted Forest in Oregon from 2 summers ago! (I'll have to be more deliberate and cautious now because I know permanent memories are being formed.)
Dinner last night was Spaghetti Puttanesca with Broccoli Rabe. It was pretty good and a total of 8 Weight Watchers points. (yes, I've started to count WW points this week (again)) Lauren and Tyler enjoyed twirling their spaghetti around their forks.
Today (Tuesday) was my busy day. I was on the move the whole day.
Since Matt isn't home I have time to list it out (regardless, if you are interested or not...wink)
(disclaimer: if you are the crazy internet stalker type...we are fully armed just like all of our good old southern neighbors and we have a security system too.)
Tuesday, 9/15/2009
6am: wake-up to an almost silent alarm clock...but I can hear it like it's the blasted fire alarm. brush my teeth, get dressed.
6:15: wake Lauren up so she can get herself dressed for school.
6:20: wake Tyler up and get him dressed for school.
6:30: breakfast, brush hair, shoes on...then color or play while waiting for the bus
7:00: bus picks L up for school.
7:15: I shower and get ready for the Mom's Club Mixer.
8:30: leave to take Tyler to school
9:30: arrive at the Mom's Club Mixer to meet the newest members, socialize and teach/learn more about the Mom's Club.
12pm: pick T up from school.
12:15: lunch and then nap for T
3:00: walk to end of drive-way to meet Lauren as she gets off the bus
3:01: scream at L to get her dance clothes on so we can make it to ballet/tap class on time.
3:07: load up in the car and head to dance class.
3:30-4:30: T and I watch Lauren dance
5:00: L homework and then kiddos play while I fix dinner.
6:00: We all enjoy my Mom's yummy Chicken and Rice Bake for Dinner.
I don't feel like typing out the recipe but IT IS GOOD! E-mail her if your are interested. =) 7:15: clean up toys and have a snack
7:30: PJs and story-time (Bedtime Mouse by Sandol Stoddard, excerpts from A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein and chapter 6 of Cam Jansen: The Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds by David A. Adler)
8:05: tuck kiddos into bed
8:15 to now! Me writing the blog.
In the Immediate Future: the season Finale of BIG BROTHER. Yeah...can't wait.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Beef Negimaki

My all time favorite cooking blog is Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations. Whenever she posts a new recipe I just know it's something that I would love to try. (We have very similar tastes in food.) I've been saving a bunch of her posts in the hopes I would try them in the near future.

Tonight's recipe was her Beef Negimaki. Mine weren't nearly as "presentable" as hers were but they were VERY good considering it was my first try.
pounded down flank steak wrapped around scallions waiting to marinate

side dish #1

side dish #2
the final product...
my mouth is still watering just remembering how good it was
Other than eating:

Matt played golf and injured his hand (blister.)
I mopped the hard floors and changed all the bedding.
The kids played games, watched movies and had a great Sunday.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

show me the money!

I got a job! (cue Matt to roll eyes)
I contacted a company a while back about becoming a home use tester.
(I heard about this from one of the frugal living blogs I frequent.)
As a result, they sent me a cooking sauce to try and then give my feedback. After receiving my feedback they will send me $10 in payment.
So in summary...they send me a free product, I cook with it (keep in mind cooking is one of my favorite things to do) and then they send me money after I cook with and review it.
Seriously, sign me up FULL TIME!
Anyhoo, dinner tonight was cubed chicken breast simmered in the cooking sauce and served over brown rice.
a-simmeringand served
Matt and I thoroughly reviewed this product and I sent in my results via an internet survey. Now I'm waiting for my compensation and am going to research how I can do more of these product testings for compensation. Can we all say The. IDEAL. Job?!
While I fiddled around in the kitchen the kids played with neighbor Joshua. Although he is in the 2nd grade he still plays VERY well with 5 yr old Lauren and 3 yr old Tyler. L and T love to play with Joshua. And he really seems to enjoy them too. Here he is encouraging Lauren while she plays on the computer.
As I'm typing up this post, the kids are in bed and Matt is waiting for me in the basement. We are either going to watch Yes Man the movie or the USC v. Ohio State (the other OSU) game.
I told Matt that I wouldn't be able to make it to the 4th inning [wink] of the football game so we might as well watch the movie. So I best be heading down there ASAP or he's going to get stuck in football mode.

To close, I'll leave "y'all" with a picture of Lauren enjoying her ice-cream w/ choco syrup for snack tonight.
So Yummy.

a family's gotta eat

It was a typical school week for us: School, Work, Playdates, Exercise, Dance class, Poker & Bunco. Nothing too exciting but I did manage to snap some pics.

We had a couple of playdates with Lea afterschool. One day L and T played at her house and the next Lea played at ours. The three play A-Mazing together...especially Lea and Tyler.

Lea brought over her Disney Princess Laptop. Lauren was spelling words on that thing in no time.
Why play in the playroom when you can move the kitchen into the family room?

T perfects his Slam Dunk facial expression.
We outsourced story time and had Joshua read Hop on Pop to the kids.
And then we ate...
The chicken was super. It was a great way to use the left-over chips in the bag and much healthier/cheaper than McNuggets.
The pasta, however, was lacking something. I'll need to play with the spices and seasonings.

Pan Bagnat & Mom's Tri-Color Bean Salad
tuna sandwich without mayo...very salty...very yummy
I made Quick Italian Bread for the sandwich.
fresh bread...divine
the drinks at Bunco were picture worthy...or so I thought.
my first of two Cosmopolitans
and now we're getting busy with our weekend.
Laundry is spinning, Bathroom Tile is laying, Jogging shoes are lacing and
Netflix is entertaining the kids.
(no extra charge for watching movies instantly...we've come to love this feature)

Happy Saturday Y'all

Monday, September 7, 2009

Weekly Menu

Tuesday: left-over home-made pizza
Wednesday: Tortilla Chip-Crusted Chicken & Emeril's Macaroni Salad
Thursday: Pan Bagnat (make fresh Italian bread) & Mom's Tri-Color Bean Salad.
Friday: Bunco...on their own for dinner
Saturday: Mom's Chicken and Rice Bake
Sunday: Beef Negimaki, box rice from pantry & frozen veggies
Monday: Spaghetti Puttanesca with Broccoli Rabe & freezer bizkits

a little "pizza" heaven

We took advantage of the cooler temps (80s) and headed out to another local park today. This one had mega playgrounds so we took advantage. I scoped out the jogging trails for next week. Maybe we'll come back and Matt and the kids can play while I pound some pavement.
Daddy takes a power nap

in honor of AMS Nascar
the fountains were of course we took advantage,
too bad we didn't bring any towels
After a fun day at the park we headed home for pizza night.
I found a recipe for pizza dough I wanted to try and the recipe made enough for 3 pizzas. I must say that I LOVED this pizza dough. It is much better than the pizza dough I normally make in the bread machine. I will definitely make this dough in the future (even though it takes a little longer to prepare than the bread machine dough.) I asked Matt to toss, bounce, turn and stretch the pizza dough into perfectly sized circles. He still is the pizza dough artiste even though it's been a few years since his high-school job at the Hut.
Pizza #1: PEPPERONI (topped by Lauren and Tyler)
1. Sprinkle dough with Parmesan cheese so dough won't be soggy in the middle.
2. Spread with pizza sauce, add Italian seasoning or other desired seasoning.
3. Top with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni.
4. Bake at 500 degrees, 10-15 min. depending on pan used & location in the oven.

1. Sprinkle dough with Parmesan.
2. Add balsamic vinegar (I used a balsamic vinaigrette but will omit the oil next time and just use balsamic.)
3. Add fresh sliced mozzarella and sliced roma tomatoes.
4. Bake at 500 degrees for about 10 min.
5. Top with sliced fresh basil.

1. Sprinkle dough with parmesan.
2. Drizzle some Williamson Bros. BBQ sauce (or your favorite BBQ sauce)
3. Sprinkle with mozzarella.
4. Top with pineapple chunks, cooked chopped bacon and sauteed jalapeno slices.
5. Bake about 10 min. at 500 degrees.
All three pizzas were heavenly, especially the two not geared toward the kiddos. Matt and I couldn't keep from commenting about how good they were. The perfect pizza dough topped with the tastiest toppings made my taste buds very happy.
Today started with a fun family-time visit to the park and ended with such a delicious dinner...we enjoyed a little "piece of"/"pizza" heaven today.