Saturday, November 27, 2010

10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...never mind



We recently traveled to Cocoa Beach, Florida via Cumming, GA in an effort to see the final launch of Space Shuttle Discovery.  

Due to launch delays we ended up spending a few days relaxing with good friends.  We played in the Chattahoochee river, watched a great soccer game, ate some yummy food, trick-or-treated and even got a few naps in. 

 




 Finally on Monday morning we were off. 


We have yet to travel more than a few hours since becoming a family of 4 and were a wee bit apprehensive as to how the trip might unfold.  Truth be told, it wasn't as bad as it could have been but it was not a piece of cake either.  9 years of pre-kid travel does little to prepare you for traveling with litte ones.  Gone are the days of only stopping for fuel, reading a book, dozing, friendly conversation, NAPS.  Welcome to pit stops every 50 miles it seems, the passenger riding backwards 70% of the time, diaper changes, cup refills, Matthew telling us he is "all done" 469 times an hour, adjusting blankets, sun shades, rotating books, fuel stops taking no less than half an hour followed by a crying fit by the little guy becasue he does NOT want to get back into his seat (not that I blame him).  

We finally made it and had a great time...despite the fact the shuttle never actually went off.  Our 4-day vacation turned into a 7-day adventure.  Matthew keeps telling us that he wants to do that again. 

Pretty sure there are not many things cuter than wet sand between chubby baby fingers.
 I think Kimber was pretty impressed with his first beach experience, and he didn't even eat that much sand!




The one overcast day we went out to Jetty Park and got to see turtles, porpoises, birds, "a big bridge", tugboats and even a couple of submarines leaving.  I was reduced to tears watching our soldiers headed out to sea.



During a rainy spell Kimber decided climbing on the dash was a good idea.

Matthew THOROUGHLY enjoying his first Drumstick.
 Saying bye-bye to the beach on the morning we left.

The best Chowda' EVER

We discovered this recipe from Williams Sonoma our first Thanksgiving as parents.  It has become tradition and we look forward to it all year long.
We buy 2 medium butternut squash and roast them with a little butter and then puree them instead of buying the Williams Sonoma puree.
 
Chowder has a long-standing reputation as a communal dish. It is said to have originated in 16th-century French seacoast towns, where local fishermen would contribute part of the days catch to a stew that was shared by the entire village. The stew derives its name from the vessel in which it was cooked: a large pot known as a chaudière. Over time, chowder became synonymous with a type of thick, hearty soup that can be prepared with a variety of ingredients. Like our butternut squash version, classic chowders typically include chunks of potatoes or other vegetables, which add texture and substance.

Ingredients:

  • 4 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh sage, plus small sage
      leaves for garnish
  • 4 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch
      cubes
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 jar (32 oz.) butternut squash puree
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until crispy, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.

Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the pan and return the pan to medium heat. Add the onion, celery, bay leaf, chopped sage, the 4 tsp. salt and the 1 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, just until the vegetables are soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the potatoes, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.

Add the wine and simmer, stirring to scrape up the browned bits, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.

Add the butternut squash puree and bacon and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaf and discard.

Ladle the chowder into warmed bowls and garnish with sage leaves. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Poop & Puke & Pee.......Oh My!!!!

Its like lions and tigers and bears....but different.  VERY DIFFERENT!!

Bath time tonight was one for the books.  These boys LOVE taking a bath and are quite celebratory during their bath each night.  When we remodel their bathroom, there will be a floor drain on the outside of the tub...to accommodate all of the splashed out water.  I digress.

I had gotten Matthew out and was in the process of assisting him into his pajamas when Kimber starts screaming in absolute hysterics, I turn around and he is perched on the side of the tub about to fall headfirst onto the tile, I scoop him up and peer into the tub and see a massive poop that was causing all of the drama.  So I stand him up outside of the bathtub and get some toilet paper to remove said poop from the tub, while I am doing this, half-dressed Matthew comes over to see what's happening and gets sick at the sight/smell and starts puking.  My hands are full (literally) and Kimber is now standing by the toilet observing the poop disposal so I tell Matthew to throw up on his towel that is on the floor, which he does...the first time.  The second and third round of puking occurred in route to the toilet area.  So now I have poop laden Kimber and puke laden Matthew standing in front of the tub that I am trying desperately to sanitize.  Muppet the dog is happily lapping away at the regurgitated food.  The smell is overwhelming and the space heater working overtime is NOT helping matters.  I eventually got the tub clean, Kimber wiped off and then showered off, Matthew rinsed off and back out onto the enormous pile of rugs/towels/clothes that were providing a barrier between the ick and the clean boys.  As I am drying Matthew off....Kimber walks off to the other side of the bathroom and proceeds to pee....everywhere.  At that point I just laughed...I had to.....where is my wine...pretty sure I earned a glass bottle or two.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Oh Christmas Cards....how I think about you WAY TOO MUCH!

I don't know about you but I spend the entire year thinking about our Christmas card picture.  When I am behind my camera, or without my camera, I think, hey...that would be a great photo for our card.  I love (and have used) a collage in years past and love the idea of it.  It seems to hard to capture our essence in a single photo....especially with a one and three year old who never seem to smile at the same time.  I also think using several pictures is fun when you have babies since they are growing and changing at lightening speed..or so it seems.

We spent nine years married without kids and watched our Christmas mail change from cards from friends to cards with just kids on them, mind you, our friends have some pretty darn cute kids...we just missed seeing the friends.  We swore that our Christmas card picture would be of our entire family...and it always has....no matter how rough we felt looked!   


I am pretty sure I have decided on this one for our 2010 card but I really like the simplicity of this one, if only my family were that frickin' gorgeous, don't get more wrong, my red headed babies are precious just not that happy....or tan!! 

I am also IN LOVE with these desk calendars and think they may just get put into some stockings this year.

I have to brag on Shutterfly here, I have used them for both babies birth announcements, thank you cards, stationary and more prints than I can count.  Their consistently excellent quality has made me a loyal customer and their prepaid print prices are hard to beat.

Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly, follow the arrow √†  http://bit.ly/sfly2010 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Family Pics

2010 Family Picture Time

These were done in our backyard by the talented Apryl Murphy and incorporated some meaningful objects as well as our little family.

A head hug...on the porch swing...that is patiently waiting for us to build it a new home.


My grad school graduation gift, Will's great grandfathers rocking chair.
 My sweet boys in the red wagon we had long before boys.