Friday, December 29, 2006

Please comment

Please comment here. $1 will be donated to St Jude's Research Hospital for each comment (up to 500) Kelly receives in the next two days!

Thanks for the heads up, Shannon!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Forgot to give this a title!

This should be a quiet week of staying close to home for us. It was a wonderfully busy weekend. We had a baby shower for Danny's sister, reunion with Ian who is home from NAU for the Christmas break, church festivities on Sunday, lunch with Danny's Mom and sisters after church, and a celebration for our good friend Kevin's birthday on Sunday evening! Needless to say, my kiddos need some time to get back on their normal schedules, especially Miss Abby who protests any disruption of her naps by waking up 3 or 4 times at night. She also has a very difficult time settling into sleep in the evening.
So, we are going stick close to the house for the rest of the week. I need to do a grocery run, but when depends on how long Abby sleeps this morning. Hopefully I can make it a short trip just to Safeway. I don't dare try to go to Walmart this week!
Anyway, I need to get this mealplan done and then shower!

Monday: Chili with corn
Tuesday: Spaghetti with homemade meatballs and salad
Wednesday: Crockpot Italian Chicken with rice and broccoli
Thursday: Homemade McMuffins
Friday: Dinner with friends
Saturday: Lasagna with Salad (make extra for Rach)
Sunday: Christmas Eve (who knows)
Monday: Christmas! Chocolate torte!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Making baby food

Today was my first attempt to make baby food using the Kitchen Aid food grinder I received for my birthday. Thanks Mom and Dad!

I had some carrots ready to cook, so I popped them in the microwave for about 11 minutes. I did stir them halfway through.

Here they are ready to be ground. I checked to see if they were ready by sticking a fork in them Nice and soft!

Into the grinder!
Don't forget to have a bowl ready!

The carrots are pretty pumpy, so I put them through a few times. They still ended up pulpy, but because Abby hasn't been exposed to how smooth store bought baby food is, I think this will be fine. If she doesn't like the texture, I can put them in the blender.

I ended up adding a lot of the liquid I cooked them in to make them pretty runny. As Abby gets older, I assume I will add less liquid.
Finally, I put them in a nice Tupperware ice cube tray I had found at Goodwill. I will freeze the carrots into cubes and then pop them into a baggie and store them in the freezer.

My tray even has a nice lid! :)

Voila! Easy baby food! I loved the grinder. I had tried a hand grinder for Joey and it was a ton of work. This was very simple and fast. Cleanup was a breeze, too. Many of the parts are dishwasher safe, but it was very easy to just was out by hand!

Decorating Cookies

We spent some time last night decorating cookies! A good time was had by all. I was impressed that Joey even decorated more cookies than he ate . He did try spreading frosting on cookies and licking it off repeatedly. Smart kid. If I could get away with it, I'd do the same!

First you get some frosting...

Then you spread it just like this...

Look what I made!

Daddy and Abs joining in the fun.

I worked too! (I'm on the phone conspiring with Dad about Christmas.)

A sampling of our finished product!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Photo Session!

On Saturday, Danny and Joey were working on the cars, so Abby and I played glamor shots! Here's Miss Abby at 6 months old! I can't get over how beautiful she is.
You can't resist smiling back at her, can you?

Here's her more "scholarly" face.

Joey and Danny joined us after a bit. This was our attempt to get a photo of the kids together. It didn't turn out great, but the grandparents will love it anyway! :)

Doctor's Appt Update

So, because my posts right now are so boring, I decided I better load up on the pictures! These are of the kiddos in the bathtub last night. It was Abby's first bath sitting up. She loved it! Most of the photos turned out blurry, but I had to share her expression in the second one!

I finished picking up the east side of the house. I think Danny is going over to Nanay's (my grandmother) house tonight to help her with her computer this evening once the kiddos are asleep. I'll use that time to do a quick pick up of our room. The house should then be in good shape for cleaning.

We made it to playgroup just a little bit late this morning. We stopped at the bank on the way to deposit some checks. I love making deposits! :) Joey was having a great time playing, so when I told him "It's time to go to the doctor, say goodbye to Quinton (the friend who was hosting playgroup)." Joey looked up from his toy, waved at me and said "Bye Quinton!" He didn't understand that he needed to leave. Thankfully some of my sweet friends volunteered to watch him while I ran Abby to her appointment. It was really nice to have some alone time with Abby and not have to worry about keeping Joey entertained while I helped as Abby was given her shots.

Abby weighs... drumroll please... 17lbs 15oz! She's a big girl, in the 85 percentile, but not nearly as big as her brother was at 6 months. I am pleased because we can get a couple more months use out of the infant carseat.

I asked the doctor about cereal and he said I was asking "good questions." He told me that infants usually deplete their iron stores between 6 and 9 months. (There is an iron level test that will be done at her 9 month appt.) I can give her spinach to boost her iron. Or, he said cereal once a day certainly won't hurt her. He also said she doesn't need solids yet, but by 9 months should be eating table food regularly. Then he told me I have 3 months to get her there. He was very comfortable with me holding off on solids longer. I actually got out a pack of banana baby food that we were given to let Abby try at dinner tonight. Danny got the camera and the batteries were dead. Then the next set he tried were dead. We decided to hold off because we want pictures of her first experience of food! Poor Abby, she may never try solids! :)

Happy Monday!

Good morning! I know I've said this before, but I LOVE the fresh start of a Monday morning. We have a busy morning today, so this will be brief. We'll head to playgroup just as soon as I finish drying my hair and brush my teeth. (Aren't you glad your computer doesn't have smell-o-vision?) We'll only be able to stay at playgroup for about an hour and then we'll head to the pediatrician's office for Abby's 6 month checkup. I'm eager to see what she weighs and learn her percentiles! I also am going to talk to the doctor about beginning solid foods and if baby cereal has any redeeming qualities or is just iron fortified empty calories as I suspect. If so, we'll begin with veggies. I have some different goals for feeding Abby than I did with Joey. I'd like to share more foods just off our plates rather than giving her lots of jarred baby food. My understanding is that she gets all her nutrition until she's one through breastmilk, so she doesn't need "meals" of the baby food. She just needs to practice eating skills. It makes sense to me to practice with "real food." This could turn into an entire new post.

Other things to fill my day... laundry! I know you were wondering if I got caught up! Yeah right! :) I also need to do an sweep through the house to pick up because our sweet cleaning lady comes tomorrow!

Opps! I didn't get this posted this morning before I left. Well, here it is. I'm going to pick up the east side of my house and then I'll post a Dr's visit update!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Chocolate Cappuccino Torte

This is the most rich torte I've ever tasted! It's delicious! It's a recipe from my dear friend Alli which was given to her by her sister. It has been a feature at my and my close friend's wedding and baby showers and important events. It's becoming a tradition!

Danny bought me my own spring form pan for my birthday so chocolate cappuccino torte can now be a family tradition as well.

Without further ado...

Chocolate Cappuccino Torte
8oz semi sweet baking chocolate (I used semi sweet chocolate chips)
12oz milk chocolate chips
1C whipping cream
2T instant coffee (decaf if you want to temper the caffeine from the chocolate)
1t vanilla
1/2C flour
1/4C sugar
5 eggs
1/4C coffee liquor

In heavy saucepan (or double boiler), heat chocolate, whipping cream, and coffee over low heat until melted, stirring constantly. Cool to room temperature.

In large bowl, beat eggs, coffee liquor, and vanilla with electric mixer until combined. Add flour and sugar. Beat on high speed for 8 minutes. Batter should be light and slightly thickened.

Fold 1/4 of egg mixture into chocolate mixture. Fold chocolate mixture into remaining egg mixture.

Pour into greased and floured 9" spring form pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes until slightly puffed around outer edge and soft in the middle. Cool in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove sides and cool completely.

Cover and chill up to 24 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

A few notes... bake on a cookie sheet. Chances are, the spring form pan will leak a bit. One torte can serve quite a few people because it is so rich!

Ahh... Friday!

Hello to my many readers! All two of you! (Hi Mom! Hi Danny!) :) I am so thankful today is Friday. It's been a good week, but I'm ready to have Danny home for the weekend!

I do have plenty to fill my day. I am still working on catching up laundry! It's too depressing to think how long it's been since I've been caught up. I made great strides this week, but with four people soiling laundry everyday, it just piles back up! I really really really want to see the empty bottom of my laundry baskets! I also need to figure out a new plan for Abby's laundry. We've had a basket by her changing table. It's super convenient when changing her, but her laundry tends to pile up while the rest of ours (which gets put in the baskets outside the laundry room) is much easier for me to get done. So, perhaps I'll just remove the basket and turn it into a hand wash basket in the laundry room.

I also need to peel potatoes and get them into the crockpot for some potato soup for tonight. We are going to a friend's house to prepare cookies and frosting for an ABF party tomorrow evening. So, dinner and laundry, that's all I'm going to try to get done today. If I get more done, hooray!!!

In kiddo news... Abby has learned to sit up on her own! If I can get blogger to cooperate, I'll attach some photos of the kids playing with their new Veggie Tales Nativity Set. Abby is so happy to be a part of the action while Joey is playing. It is amazing to watch her look at Joey in such awe. It's completely different than how she looks at us. She ADORES him! May I look to Christ like she looks to her big brother! We also have been letting her cry at night. It's so sad and she has quite the stamina for crying! But, this is what she's been looking like when we wake up in the morning (she's been sleeping late) and she doesn't look too traumatized!

I'm off.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

STRIKEOUT!!! (My goal today)

Good Morning! I am sitting here this morning sipping my coffee and thinking through my day. It's going to be a busy one! We are having some new friends over who I met at the park. J is coming with her two daughters who are both less than a month from my kiddos in age. It shoudl be fun, although I confess I'm a bit nervous. So, I need to get my todo list written and get to work! I'll update later with how day 2 of my carb restricted diet is going. I usually weigh myself in the morning before breakfast, but yesterday I weighed myself at the end of the day and was 135. I'm happy with this as a starting point. I was expecting to see about 140!

Things to bless my family today...
  1. Unload and reload dishwasher
  2. Clean kitchen counters
  3. More laundry
  4. Clean guest bathroom
  5. Christmas decor cleaned off the living room floor
  6. Vacuum
  7. Make lunch
I'll update with my new strikeout html skills as I get things done!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, December 04, 2006


I just looked at my blog and I was bored! I need some color in a bad way! I am hoping to post soon about Moms for Modesty, advent, pictures of our Christmas decor... but first I need to get though my house chores! Perhaps I can ask my sweet husband for some redesign help this week.

What am I keeping busy with today?
picking up the master bedroom
cleaning the living room and kitchen
conquering the laundry pile (23 loads folded, ironed and put away)
meal planning
playgroup (although I'm on a roll cleaning, so I may ditch today)(ditched)
jesse tree preparations
keeping up with a busy boy and girl!

Whew! That should be enough! I'm also working on keeping the television OFF all day long! Even after the kids go to bed! Time to pop in some Christmas hymns, email the playgroup host, and work some more!