Happy Birthday Max!  

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I hear that today the long awaited arrival of my cousin's baby, Max, has finally happened! YAY! Congrats Jennifer and Sam on your newest little angel, and Congrats Samantha and Jack on the arrival of your little brother!! We are thinking about your family today and wishing we could be there to meet him! We are also praying on a speedy recovery for Jennifer. Happy Birthday Max, we hear you are a big boy already at 9 pounds!

We are working on a time when we can come visit since we have two new baby cousins to squeeze on!! Love you guys!!!

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Simple and Deliscious!  

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Family Recipes

I am going to share two of my favorite recipes that are super easy to prepare, easy on the bank account, and always a hit for our family and guests. Both use similar ingredients which is why I will post them together. The first one I have made several different times usually on New Year's Eve or a big football game day. It is a brisket recipe that was originally given to us by my Aunt Jamie, who will always be in my heart and both as a mom and an Aunt I think of her often hoping that I can be as incredible as her.

  • Brisket
  • 1 Beer
  • 1 packet of Lipton's Onion Soup Mix
  • 1 jar of Hunt's Chili Sauce( I had no idea what this was until I made this recipe, it looks just like a bottle of Ketchup and is found in the same aisle of the grocery store as ketchup, but is usually kept near the Tabasco products)
Pour ingredients over brisket in a large baking dish and bake in the oven at 400 for 20 minutes on each side uncovered to sear the meat. Then lower temperature of the oven to 350 and cover, bake for 1 hour on each side.

The second recipe is just as simple, for a slow roasted whole chicken. I have made many versions of roasted chicken before, and I think this is my favorite. I cooked this one tonight, because I had the stuff left over from the brisket and a whole chicken in my freezer. If I had to add anything to it I might consider stuffing it with limes or some sort of citrus, but it was awesome as is.

  • Chicken
  • 1/2 Beer
  • 1 packet of Lipton's Onion Soup Mix
  • Olive Oil

In a dutch oven pour half a bottle of beer and place your whole chicken. Rub olive oil over the skin and sprinkle soup mix. Cover and bake at 350 for 2-3 hours, uncover and bake for another 10-15 minutes to let skin crisp.

Ok so I didn't actually take these pics, I didn't think to do that because I didn't realize I would be blogging about them until after I ate a plate of this tasty chicken. These pics were actually found on the web, and they were the closest in appearance to what mine turned out like... my chicken was a little more golden than this one because I took the lid off to let it crisp a little. Both of these recipes were so tender and fragrant, and required little effort on my part, which I love as a busy Mommy who's husband works late nights, so I thought I'd share.

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Walking Shots  

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January 2010: 13 months old

Bailey's confidence is growing every day with her walking abilities. Within the last two days she has been walking from one piece of furniture to the next quite a bit! Every time she makes an attempt at it Bailey and I both clap and celebrate. She has gotten to the point that if she is walking when I am not looking she will clap for herself anyways LOL. She is very cautious as she walks, if she starts to lose her balance instead of trying to hurry to her desired destination she will instead stop to regain her self control and then slowly proceed. I don't know if all babies do that when they are learning to walk, but I thought it was pretty big of her. Anyway today I took a few snapshots of her on some of her journeys.
toes digging into the carpet for balance
Walking several feet from the fireplace to the couchcelebrating a successful journeylooking a little concerned about this voyage

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This week  

Friday, January 1, 2010

December 2009: 13 months old

Bailey had her first sleepover last week at her Aunt Candi's! We had received two gift cards to Papasitos so we decided we should go on a long overdue date since we haven't had much time together in the last month due to retail and the holidays. We desperately wanted to get out of the house, but of all the days John had off it landed on a night with snow and frozen roads so we made the choice to leave her at her Aunt's for safety reasons. I was a little sad leaving my side kick for the first time for so long, but the Margaritas helped and the fact that she didn't seem to mind one little bit helped rid me of my guilt. I thought the babies were supposed to get separation anxiety, but it seems to just be me who has it. While she was there she learned to say Bella... except it sounds more like Bell with some kind of vowel noise attached as an afterthought. She totally adores Bella. Ever since she was super tiny if Bella was around Bailey would instantly become mesmerized by her, and if she left the room Bailey would cry. Now days she just follows her around like a little puppy.

She has also started braving her first steps. She has been considering this for a while now and has been letting go of the furniture more and more as she cruises, but lately she has started to brave the gliding to and from various pieces of furniture. It is still pretty random, but I don't think it will take her long to get her confidence around it. Such a big thing for a little!! As she starts to do this more I will try to record it or photograph it for the blog. YAY Bailey!!!

As for the New Year's Eve, it was pretty tame. It pretty much has to be with a baby in the house! I cooked a brisket, John got off work early, and I had my best friend come over for a few drinks. After she left John and I toasted to the new year and declared our resolutions for ourselves and our family, then cuddled up on the couch and watched True Blood until we fell asleep. Bailey woke up some time around 2 am, probably because she has some molars cutting through, and so she joined in on our snuggle fest and we all fell back asleep on the couch as a family.

John had to leave for work in the morning, so Bailey and I cooked my traditional Black-Eyed Peas in the crock pot and tackled organizing what is supposed to be a formal dining room, but in actuality is our play room for now because it keeps her visible to us at all times. My mom always cooked Black-eyed Peas on new year's day, but I was never a fan. And then one particularly horrible year my room mate and I decided that we needed all the help we could get on luck and good fortune for the new year so we should eat some to prevent a repeat. We did not think of this until 11:30 pm so we rushed to the grocery store and bought a can and rushed home to cook it. We didn't have time to heat it up all the way before the day officially ending so we scooped the luke warm peas into our mouths, chewed and swallowed just as the clock struck midnight. That year ended up being amazing, so I have superstitiously stuck to this tradition. The one time I forgot since then sure enough ended up being a trying year. And you better believe I ate them all through pregnancy ;oP but that was more for the folic acid that they are full of. *since then I have made up my own recipe instead of using a can, I have learned they are much tastier my way.

2009 was particularly different for me than other years of my life. This last year was really my first year as a Mom since B was born at the tail end of '08. We both spent the year with our minds and our hearts wrapped around our foundation for our family, learning how to be parents, learning this new dynamic in our relationship together, and cutting costs as much as possible to clean up the credit enough for our home. So as far as setting and meeting our resolutions in 2009 we did just that! We both agreed that in the last two years of our lives everything has changed and that we need to focus a little more on ourselves in 2010, making time for our friends, going on dates, family outings, and finding a hobby to get a little "me" time that we are both starving for. We are working on getting me a car ASAP now that we have our house and that his car is paid off, which will help with EVERYTHING! I can not even begin to express how excited I am to get that little piece of freedom back in my life, especially after this December, I think I stayed in the house this whole month! Talk about cabin fever! We have both made tremendous sacrifices to get where we are now, so it's time to reap the rewards and we couldn't be more excited to see what this year has in store for us and how much Bailey will learn and grow!
These are a couple pics off Candi's camera from Christmas Eve at Nanny's house in her cute Christmas dress. She had snuck over to the tree before we had sat down for dinner to dive into Bella's basket of wrapped Beanie babies. She looks reluctant to leave the gift alone! Guess she was ready to get the party started :)

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