Monday, November 30, 2009

Visiting Grandpop

My dad came from Virginia to visit for Thanksgiving. His assigned grandfather name is "grandpop" and Reese pretty quickly settled on "Pop" which he can say very well. It's crazy suddenly he has words!!
Reese introduced grandpop to all his favorite pixar movies. Gus really enjoyed having an extra person to hold him all the time.
He took quite a few naps this way.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


We hosted Thanksgiving at our house again this year. I wasn't sure how smoothly it would go having a new baby and a toddler, so I cooked a few things in advance.
Tuesday: scratch pie crust apple pie
Wednesday: I made a double batch of the traditional green bean casserole, but left off the fried onion topping so it wouldn't get soggy. I tried a new stuffing recipe from the food network. It smelled delicious as it cooked. The next day it wasn't as fantastic as I expected, so I think i'll try it again when I can serve it fresh. I also remembered to make the cranberry sauce--I just followed Ocean Spray's recipe on the bag for whole berry sauce--I think it's better when it can refrigerate overnight.
Thursday: Here's our turkey!!

Ha ha, just kidding. This is the real bird. I use Alton Brown's roasted turkey method. His method is great. I made a 17.6 pound turkey and it cooked in 2 hours 45 minutes. This year I didn't use his brine recipe though. Kyle's mom got a brine in a jar from William Sonoma---it was good, but expensive, but super simple, gotta weigh your pros and cons. I would definitely use it again.
The rest of the menu was mashed potatoes, of course, gravy, roasted brussels sprouts from Redbook Magazine...their website doesn't have it. It looked very pretty but I forgot to get a photo! Here's the recipe:
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 red bartlett pears, cored and wedged
6 shallots, quartered
10 fresh thyme sprigs
3 T olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425, toss ingredients with the oil and spread out on a cookie sheet (or 2). Roast for 30-35 minutes until Sprouts are browned. YUM!

For dessert we had apple pie, pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Prep

I intended to discuss my Thanksgiving prep as I went along, but totally forgot and never seemed to find time. So obviously it's a little late to just start thinking about it now---are there even turkeys left at the store that are not frozen?
So this is what I did: Last week I finalized my menu choices. I pulled a new veggie side dish from a magazine and searched the web for a new stuffing recipe. Over the weekend I shopped for my groceries and am fairly sure I got everything I need. Saturday I took my turkey out of the freezer and left it in it's original packaging to thaw in the fridge in the roasting pan -- I use it because it is deep and I know it will keep any yucky poultry juice from touching my fridge.
Tuesday I baked a pie. Normally I would wait until Wednesday or even the day of, but I decided to make pie crust from scratch for the first time ever. I decided on this recipe. These photos show Reese's contribution to the effort.

This is the first attempt:
Horrible!!! Good thing I did it today so tomorrow I can go get the roll out pillsbury dough boy kind. But first I smooshed it back into a ball and put it in the fridge to chill. I started again and it worked!
This is my 100% scratch apple pie with little acorns around the edge.
Tomorrow: side dish prep and turkey brining.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dangerous Cookies

I made the cookies on the back of the Reese's Peanut Butter Chips bag. The part where is asks for unsweetened cocoa powder I used Ghiradelli powder. You see these 4 cookies in the photo? That's what was left of the first dozen when the next batch still had 6 minutes left on the timer (they only cook for 8.) WOWZER!!!! These are fantastic. I will never buy the cheaper chocolate powder again!! We made 54 cookies and the next morning their were 19 left. oops. Not good for the old waistline, but these may just be worth the extra sit ups. Okay who am I kidding. These may be worth buying fat jeans!

Friday, November 20, 2009

2 Cuties when I decided to hunt for this photo I really thought they looked more similar.

Gee can you tell which is Reese and which is Gus? They are wearing the same outfit, but Gus is 4 1/2 months and Reese was 7 months. Really Gus is looking more like my brother, Dylan than Reese. I'll have to try to get a comparison photo to post.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reese and Gus

Gus watches his brother's every move and finds it greatly entertaining.
Reese is constantly giving Gus kisses and toys. He hasn't quite figured out that Gus is not coordinated enough to play with toys yet.
The very dramatic "CHEESE" that is the only way Reese will pose for a photo on purpose.
Here's Gus thinking "what is this loony doing?" as Reese dances in place. I forget now what song came on in the background, but music he liked.

Prematurity Awareness Month

January 30, 2007 at my 5th obstetrician appointment he said "Well, there's some protein in your urine." I casually replied "So does this mean I can stop going to work?" When he answered yes I was pretty floored. While I'd be overjoyed not to return to my job being ordered by your baby doctor not to work is a whole different ball game. I went home that day with a urine collection bucket to use as it's name implies and had to drop if off in the morning. Kyle happened to be working 5:30pm-6am, so for once I had no problem waking up so early. When I dropped it off they said either it's good and we go on as normal or I'd be referred to the UWMC Hypertension Clinic which meets on Thursdays. As it was Thursday they said for the next week do "modified" bedrest and when I had my appointment they'd give specific restrictions. By 11 am they called to say UW wants me now. Pack for 4 days and go ASAP and be sure to lie down in the car. As Kyle had slept only about 3 hours so far we had Thomas drive us over. My blood pressure was 154/104. They started magnesium sulfate, Thomas went home, Kyle stayed the night and we were so clueless about what was happening. I spent the next few days in the hospital bed hooked up to monitors that had to be adjusted constantly because my little peanut was so small when he moved he fell off the monitor. Sunday came (you know day 4 when I should have gone home) and my doctor kind of chuckled when he said he couldn't imagine why they said pack for 4 days, I was staying until I had a baby. At this point I was 27 weeks. We hadn't done our taxes. We had no baby furniture. My baby showered was scheduled for the end of March. I couldn't stay!
But, of course, stay I did. We actually got a notice from the hospital informing us that my diagnosis of severe preeclampsia may result in a poor birth outcome. On February 16 our son, Reese, was born. He was 2 pounds 2 ounces, 13 3/4 inches.

He spent 46 in the NICU 70 miles away and 13 days in our local hospital learning to nipple feed. He came home at 2 months old weighing exactly 5 pounds.

With my next pregnancy we knew I was high risk from the get go. I had my first OB appointment at 6 weeks and went every 3 weeks for awhile, then every 2 weeks, then weekly. At week 36 I started going twice a week. At 16 weeks I started going to UW Hypertension clinic. I started blood pressure meds before it got out of hand. We were able to prevent the same problem from recurring and made it to 38 weeks.

Unfortunately a large number of preemies are not a result of a known issue. Women go into preterm labor for no apparent reason. Luckily with Reese we had 2 weeks of me being an inpatient to meet with neonatologists and social workers, so we had time to get used to the idea and get an idea of what to expect. Every year, 20 million babies are born too soon, too small and very sick ― half a million of them in the United States. The March of Dimes does valuable research to help. Find out what you can do here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rice Krispy Treats

But first here is the cutest baby ever. I think I'll send this one to all those win $25,000 cute baby contests!!

Kyle and Reese made Rice Krispy Treats.
Reese added the marshmallows to daddy's melted butter.
But we saved one out for Gus (we didn't let him eat it).
Reese's favorite part of baking is generally the stirring.
But for this dish he thought buttering the pan was pretty fun.
We ended up eating nearly the whole pan that first night. The recipe clearly says best if served the same day!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I don't know what happened last week but we ate almost nothing on the menu. The ziti lasted a lot longer than I expected for leftovers. The chicken I was going to do in the crockpot, but forgot to put it in so I just roasted it in the oven. Unfortunately I also tried a home made gratin potato thing. The milk bubbled over and burned to the oven bottom and set the fire alarm off twice and stunk up the house. It was horriffic. So we had Burger King on our way to the store to buy oven cleaner. UGH!!!!
Monday: try again, roasted chicken, potato gratin from November 09 Everyday Food magazine, roasted squash (I'm trying a striped one shaped like an acorn squash).
Tuesday: baked ziti (I accidentally bought double the ricotta cheese last week, so we're having it again but a different recipe.)
Wednesday: butternut squash ravioli
Thursday: Red Beans and Quinoa Chili (I keep planning to do this then not getting to it!)
Friday: leftovers
Saturday: Black Bean, Corn, Barley Burritos (except we may go out to dinner for Kyle's uncle's bday)
Sunday: leftovers or Saturday's meal if we end up going out saturday.

Check out many more ideas at OrgJunkie.

Hmmm....can you tell we just watched Food, Inc tonight (coming soon to intsant play on Netflix if you don't want to waste a dvd pick on it). We've been buying organic for awhile and eating more "whole foods" but kind of loosely. We're renewing our commitment to it and really going to try to stick with it this time. It's just so easy to hit the fast food drive thru in a pinch.


We went to El Sombrero Sunday night for my mom's birthday and for my brother Dylan's 18th birthday. I was 18 when he was born---ugh! I can not believe how time flies.

The birthday girl and boy.

Reese digging in to the birthday fried ice cream.
2 cuties
Mama and Gus sporting double chins.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Handy Reesie

We have been meaning to hang our picture wall for quite some time. One corner of our dining room used to have the china cabinet and another had some photos. In order to have a Christmas tree we move the cabinet so it covered the photos, but opened up a huge corner for the tree that could be seen from the living room and the front window. Well, we never moved the cabinet back, so we are finally putting photos up in the Christmas tree's corner.
When the first nail went in Reese ran off. He quickly came back with his bag of tools that he dumped on the floor. We were thinking what the heck is the deal mister? But he was after his own hammer and promptly took over the step ladder to get to work!

He hammered a bit on the wall in general.
Then he busted out the safety glassesEventually he insisted Dad let him hammer a real nail.
The finished wall with no flash to avoid the glare so it's hard to see.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Book Basket

I'm sad Halloween is over and we'll be putting away our cute Halloween books!! For the past few weeks we've had a stack of books moving from the couch to the ottoman to Reese's picnic table to the floor. Annoying! But I want them in the living room instead of on Reese's bookshelf in his room so we can grab one readily throughout the day.
We've been reading:
Apple Trouble, Alphabet Adventure, Bat Jamboree, Big Chickens Fly the Coop, Go Away Big Green Monster, Goodnight Moon, The Halloween Play, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, If you give a pig a pancake, Llama Llama Red Pajama, Mouse's First Fall, SkippyJon Jones and the Big Bones, TRex Trick or Treats, Wee Witches Halloween.

My new organized plan is to have the books we are concentrating on in a basket in the living room. This way they are tidy and easy to access.For the next few weeks we'll read: A was once an apple pie, Apple Trouble, Biscuit is Thankful, Edwurd Fudwupper fibbed big, Froggy bakes a cake, Froggy goes to bed, Go away big green monster, goodnight moon, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, I know an old lady who swallowed a pie, If animals kissed goodnight, If you give a mouse a cookie, llama llama red pajama, mouse's first fall, one little two little three little pilgrims, T is for turkey, Twas the night before Thanksgiving, and Who's the Beast?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween Treats

Mimi went out of town over the Halloween weekend so she brought over a new batch of treats on Monday.
Reese tries out a starburst.

He is pretty happy with all the Halloween candy.Gus investigating his loot was just too cute, so I had a hard time narrowing my photo choices.
Our pumpkin is shriveling!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Phew! One more day of day shift then things go back to normal! You'd think having from 4pm-bedtime to have dinner would make things easier but we had such a hard time functioning with Kyle on day shift. UGH! Tuesday we go back to leaving for work at 3:15pm getting home about midnight:30. And I. Can't. Wait!

Monday: Baked ziti and salad
Tuesday: Chipotle BBQ Chicken, green beans, some kind of rice
Wednesday: ravioli
Thursday: red beans and quinoa chili
Friday: enchiladas (cheese, black bean and chicken)
Saturday: slow cooker chicken, spanish rice, peas
Sunday: El Sombrero restaurant for Mom and brother's birthdays

Get more menu ideas at Organizing Junkie.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treating

We went to the mall to trick or treat, but discovered they don't start until 5pm. Seems like that sort of defeats the purpose of going to the mall to me. It didn't matter. Reese didn't really know what was going to happen anyway.
"Seriously, they are gonna put candy in my pumpkin?"
Holding on to his balloon and pumpkin candy collector for dear life.Christmas shopping at Sears.
Stopping to taste the goods.
Scary, scary spider.
Ready for bed.