Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy homemaker

This weekend I decided I wanted to roast a chicken, rather than buying the rotisserie ones all the time. Plus, I'm trying to work on meal planning, and a lot of the sites I read say to have cubed and shredded cooked chicken in your freezer so you can just pop it out when you need it. So, off to Target we went to get a roasting pan and to Safeway to get a chicken.

I'd never roasted a chicken in my life. Until about a year ago, I'd never even TOUCHED raw chicken. Blech. But, I donned my rubber gloves, pulled the bag out of the cavity (yuck, that word makes me cringe), seasoned it up, and stuck some onion up its butt. Into the oven it went! And went. And went. Freaking thing took forever to cook! The timer finally popped out about 2 hours in.

Chris showed me how to carve it (for future reference) and a little while later I had cubed and shredded chicken sitting in my freezer. Woot!

And then. And THEN. I made stock! My gas bill's gonna be insane this month from all that cookin'.

We were so excited about it that we went out to BJ's and got ourselves a two-pack of roasters and we're gonna cook them up this week also.

Next up...bread.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The sincerest form of flattery

Carter is starting to imitate what Chris and I do. For instance, the other night Chris was playing with Carter's Leapfrog table and Carter repeated everything on there that he did. If Chris pushed the red button, so did Carter. If Chris moved the slidey-thing, so did Carter. Chris got a real kick out of it.

My favorite imitation so far? I hold Carter's lovey up to my cheek and say "Aw" in a singsong voice. Then, I hold it up to Carter's cheek and he says "Aw" in his sweet little voice. It's the cutest thing I've ever seen. I can't get enough of it.

(and in other news, please send some well wishes to Sarah...she had her nose surgery yesterday and looked pretty miserable in the pic my brother sent last night.)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fall Festival

Today, Carter and I met up with my friend for the Fall Festival at Cox Farms. What a great event! Not only was it fun to see Amber and her family, but Carter got to see goats up close and personal....

Slide down a big slide....
And make funny faces while posing for pictures.

We also went on a hayride and he was so relaxed and chill. He hadn't had a nap since 10:30 this morning, but he was so well-behaved anyway. Well, except for when he stole Handsome's snacktrap and the Cheerios inside. Sorry bout that, dude.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Toofer #5 popped through overnight. It's on the top next to the first top tooth that popped out (his left front one). Again, I wouldn't have known he was teething if it weren't for that white spot I happened to notice when he was yelling at me while I changed his diaper.

We have a busy weekend ahead of us. I'm looking forward to it!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


My mother has some sort of magic mojo. Every time we're either at her house, or she comes down here, Carter does something new. Yesterday, he learned to shush. It's so funny. You have to shush him first and then he'll imitate you. I love it! Can't wait to see what he learns from her this weekend!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Stop plucking your eyebrows and drive!

I feel better now. Thanks.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Worth Sharing

Made a recipe the other night that was just so delicious and easy, I had to share it.

Spaghetti Casserole

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground beef (I used ground turkey)
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and cut into slices
1 can (10.75 oz) cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups pasta sauce
1 cup pre-shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 cups cooked spaghetti (8 oz uncooked)
2 Tbsp pre-shredded Parmesan cheese (I used the green can)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble in the ground beef and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring and breaking up the lumps of meat, until the beef is brown all over and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the beef to a large mixing bowl. (If there is a lot of fat in the pan, drain the mixture before transferring it.) Add the mushroom soup, pasta sauce, 1/2 cup of the Cheddar cheese, the cooked spaghetti, and 1/2 cup of water, and stir to mix. Transfer the spaghetti to a 13x9 glass or ceramic baking dish and sprinkle all but 1 Tbsp of the remaining Cheddar and 1 Tbsp of the Parmesan over the top.

3. Bake until it bubbles throughout and the cheese has melted, 18 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle on the remaining tablespoon of each cheese and serve at once.

(Source: "The Dinner Doctor")

The cream of mushroom mixed with the pasta sauce (I'd recommend a really flavorful one, not a boring tomato-only one) was so rich and fantastic. My mouth is watering just remembering it!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Some favorites

Here are some of my favorites from our photo shoot with Jess.

Good morning!

What a great morning! Carter woke up at 6ish to nurse and then went right back to sleep. I got up and showered before he woke up again so when I heard him playing and talking in his crib (as opposed to the yelling for me that he normally does) I was ready to hang out with him. I opened his door (I close it after I nurse him in the early a.m. so Chris and I don't wake him while we're getting up and showered) and was greeted with this bright, sunny face:

He's delicious.

After changing him I put him down on the floor with some Cheerios (dude, what is it with kids and Cheerios? They're like crack!) and Blue's Clues. He's usually not interested in watching tv. I know...whose kid is this??!! But today he sat nicely, eating his Cheerios, and watching Blue until we were ready to leave for work/daycare.

I absolutely love mornings like this. They happen every so often and they're just wonderful.

Monday, September 08, 2008

He waves

This is his wave. He sort of curls his pointer and thumb in like he's giving the "okay" sign. It's cute.

He's a pro!

It really only took a few times of warning him to be careful when he got close to the edge (and a few faceplants) for him to realize on his own what to do. Usually he just drops to his belly and slides down that way. Last night, he sort of crawled/slithered down. He's smart.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

All business

Carter was all business eating his eggs and cheese last night. He looked at me maybe twice the whole meal.

And here's a (very unflattering) pic of his top toofers. So far, no sign of #5.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Renaissance Faire

Monday. The big day.

I was so nervous the night before. I kept running through different scenarios in my head and get all sweaty and my heart would race. I felt like I was going on a first date, in a way. But with my husband and son.

Anyway, the drive up there was uneventful. We were on the highway for about an hour and then driving through little towns, and turning every mile or so (not even kidding) for the last hour. It was very pretty, though, and broke up the monotony of the highway.

We pulled into the parking lot and got a great spot even though people and cars were just streaming in. It was BOGO day and Labor Day so I knew it would be pretty packed. We unloaded Carter, got him in his new stroller (yes, ANOTHER new one...but this one can go off-roading!), and set out to find my friend.

We waiting at the entrance where there was a fountain and all sorts of people in their costumes talking to everyone and making funny jokes. Carter enjoyed listening to the bagpipe players and watching everyone walking around. He's a people-watcher, through and through.

I saw Girl's mom before I saw her. And then...there she was. My friend that I'd only seen in a few pictures, but poured my heart out to for the past (almost) two years. We hugged and she introduced me to her family. There were a lot of them! It was Girl, Buns, Sissy, Phatboy, Doogal, her sister and her boyfriend, her brother and his girlfriend, and her mom and dad. We were outnumbered. :-)

We went through the e-ticket line since I'd ordered ours in advance, and met them inside the gate. We started to walk around and after a few minutes, I didn't feel awkward anymore. I just felt like I was hanging out with my friend and her family. I think Girl was getting frustrated because with that many people, it's hard to make decisions on where to go and what to do next. Thankfully, the kids had ideas on what they wanted to see so that helped us!

Before I go any further, I need to discuss the costumes Girl made. They were unbelieveable. Doogal was the cutest jester that ever existed. Even when he got pissed and slapped his head with his hands. Phatboy was a king, and every time one of the "actors" passed us, they bowed to him and said, "Your highness." I got a kick out of that. And Sissy, oh man. Sissy was a princess and she looked so beautiful. The kids warmed up to us pretty quickly, especially since they were surrounded by family and really didn't need to talk to us at all. Having Carter there helped in that regard. They kept coming up to him and saying, "Hi Carter!" It was so cute.

Anyway, the fair itself was really awesome. Way better than I remember the Maryland one being. We walked around and checked out all the sites, and at some point separated from the extended family. We were all about going to have cake with the Queen. Hello! It's cake! They wanted to eat lunch so we said smell ya later and went to get cake. Before lunch. Girl and Buns are the greatest parents ever to allow that. As we were waiting in line some lady behind me full on took her arms and tried to elbow me out of the way. I couldn't believe it. I've heard stories of people doing that at big sales and stuff, but had never had it happen to me. That one, she had some balls. Of course I stood my ground. No one gets between me and cake, thank you very much.

After that, it was turkey leg time! It took forever to find the one booth that was selling them. I remember them being everywhere at the last one I went to. Finally we found it and I ordered while Chris waiting in the world's slowest line for a drink. Because of course the turkey leg place doesn't sell normal drinks. So, there I was standing off to the side, a turkey leg in each hand. Some guy in line totally calls me out for double fisting. I must have looked ridiculous. Especially because I was gnawing on one while holding the other. Neanderthal, I am.

Anyhoo, we met back up with her family and then headed off to an acrobat show. They were really funny and all of the sudden, the girl was in our row, pulling Chris on to the stage with her! Of course they pick the one guy with back issues. Oy. They were climbing all over him and then stood on his shoulders to juggle. Chris was hilarious too. Every question they asked him he had a funny answer to. I bet people in the audience thought it was pre-planned. He had the audience absolutely roaring when the guy asked for a hand (to get up on his shoulders) and Chris started clapping. He's too much. That's like my worst nightmare to be up there in front of all those people, but he was great. (click the pic to make it bigger)

We spent the rest of the day exploring the fair and chatting. The kids got to play games and Sissy killed in the jousting "ride." She rode on his horse that slid along a rope (think zip line) and got her sword in the ring on the first try. Phatboy enjoyed using some sort of trebuchet-like contraption to get frogs into a bucket. Unfortunately, we missed the actual jousting competition though. Boo.

The only hiccup on the day was Carter getting sunscreen in his eye. Poor baby got all red and watery and irritated. He kept rubbing his eyes. I tried to flush it out with some water but that didn't really help so we went over to the First Aid office. She couldn't find her saline so she just dribbled water in his eye as well. By the time we got home that night it was fine.

The drive home was uneventful. We went a different way, since all the turns on the way up would have made it confusing to reverse. Thankfully, Chris' parents gave us an EZPass so we just sailed through on the PA Turnpike, went through Frederick and down to the Beltway. I expected a lot of traffic but it never really happened. Took us exactly 3 hours to get home.

How beautiful is this picture? I love it so much. She's got a special eye.

For more pics of the day's festivities, click here!

Note: All pics in this post were taken by Girl. No way in hell they're mine!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

What a busy, great weekend!

Saturday we drove up to Baltimore to surprise my mom and my niece and nephew. They thought we were coming on Sunday morning so they weren't expecting us. I thought it would be nice for Carter to spend some time with Bella and Brandon since they don't get to see each other too often. They seemed thrilled. They were showing him all sorts of stuff and playing with him and getting all in his face. Thankfully he's used to kids being all over him from daycare.

On Sunday my aunt and uncle came over to see us Carter. They're getting ready to be grandparents for the first time and I'm so excited for him. My aunt absolutely loves seeing all the kids in the family and goes out of her way to be able to love on them. She's going to spoil her grandchild like crazy!

After that, Bird came over and we walked down to California Tortilla for lunch. My mom lives in a new neighborhood that has a whole bunch of places to eat right down the hill. It's great. We got to hang with Birdie for just a little bit because she had to go back to work since her girls were starting to move in.

My mom and stepdad made a yummy dinner and then we met up with Heather and Tucker for ice cream (again, right down the hill so we walked). I grabbed Tuck right away and held him the whole time we waited in line. He was so good. I love when babies don't cry when you take them away from their mommas. Carter's like that too, which makes me happy.

We sat outside since it was absolutely beautiful out and ate our yumminess. Then we tried to take pictures but Carter was more interested in poking Tucker's eyes, or rubbing the back of his head. They're gonna be best friends.

Next installment: Radish meets Girl!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Big Weekend!

Before I do a post about what we did this weekend (here's a teaser...we met Girl!!!), I wanted to share some "firsts" for Carter.

Per doctor's orders, he had eggs for breakfast on Saturday and he LOVED them. He was shoveling handfuls in his mouth two at a time. It was so funny. Then Sunday he had his first pancakes. Again, absolutely devoured them. Boy loves to eat. What can I say?

And the big thing? He can wave hello and goodbye! It's so cute. He loves doing it. He'll pull himself up on something and then wave one arm in the air while grinning and saying, "Haaaaaaaa!"

He's smart, that one.
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