Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Birthday

To the best:

coloring partner






daycare ride


And all-around best Dad!

Thanksgiving 2010

We had a great Thanksgiving.  It was nice to have 4 days off to spend with Avery (minus the 24 hours we spent in Stillwater for Bedlam-BOOMER).  Even though the holidays always seem hectic and the time away from work inevitably flies by, we try to slow down and enjoy our time spent together and with friends and family.  Thanksgiving Day included our regular stops where Avery reveled in attention and lots of food!

We ate

Yes, we're wearing the same sweater. 
Ate some more

Put our jammies on and soaked up some more attention

And one last thing. 
Can I show you something?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Paula Deen Pumpkin Bars

Photo and recipe courtesy of Food Network
I made these for a work luncheon today.  Everyone, myself included, really liked them.  I'm not a HUGE fan of pumpkin like some people are, but these were very good and the icing was amazing.
I did not cut them and ice them individually as the pictures shows, I just iced the cake in the baking dish.   
 4.5 Stars
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.

To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

White Chicken Chili

I'm going to start posting more recipes and reviews on here.  In addition to quite a few cookbooks, I have so many recipes I've printed out or that were given to me by someone over the years.  Sometimes we make something and love it, other times we go "eh, probably wouldn't make that again."   I'll try to document the good and bad on here.  I made this White Chicken Chili the other night.  It was pretty good.  It probably won't blow your hair back but it's healthy, low-calorie, easy (I made in the slow cooker), and Avery liked it.

White Chicken Chili  3.5 stars

  • 2  pounds  skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used 1.5)
  • 2  cups  finely chopped onion
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 2  teaspoons  ground cumin
  • 1/2  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 1  teaspoon  ground coriander (I didn't have any)
  • 2  (4.5-ounce) cans chopped green chiles, undrained
  • 1  cup  water
  • 2  (15.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (such as Goya)
  • 1  (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2  teaspoon  hot pepper sauce (I omitted for Avery)
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2  cup  chopped green onions (I omitted)

  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 10 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently.
    Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in cumin, dried oregano, and coriander; sauté 1 minute. Stir in chiles; reduce heat to low, and cook 10 minutes, partially covered. Add the chicken, water, cannellini beans, and broth; bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in hot sauce. Ladle 1 cup of chili into each of 8 bowls; sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese, 1 tablespoon cilantro, and 1 tablespoon green onions.

    I made this in the slow cooker.  I just put everything in there (minus the last three ingredients), set to low, and cooked for about 8-9 hours.  We then took the chicken breasts out, shredded them, and returned them to the slow cooker.  Top with cheese, cilantro, tortilla chips, or whatever you want.

    233 (23% from fat)
    5.9g (sat 3.1g,mono 1.6g,poly 0.5g)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Day

One of the best things-probably THE best thing-about this blog is that we get to look back at it in 5, 10, 15 years and see what exactly we were up to.  I can't imagine having had a blog throughout high school and college and being able to read it now at 30 31.  That blogs weren't around back then (at least in high school) is probably for the best.  Anyhow, in the spirit of journalism, I thought I'd record what any given weekday is like for us. 

6:35 6:45 6:50 a.m.  I get up, shower, get ready for work.

7:00 7:15 7:25 a.m. Rob gets up, showers, gets ready for work.

7:25 a.m. I go in to get Avery.  She is usually awake by this time. Sometimes, like this morning, I actually wake her up.  I change her diaper and get her dressed for daycare.

7:35 a.m. Rob finishes getting ready, I get my stuff together for work.  I try to spend a few last minutes with Avery playing or reading a book. 

7:40 a.m. Crap, now I'm running late!  Leave for work.

8:00-8:15 a.m. Rob takes Avery to daycare.




Play Words with Friends


Play on Facebook


Work on school stuff

5:25 p.m. I pick Avery up from daycare.

5:30 p.m. Arrive home and start making dinner.

6:00-6:15 p.m. Eat dinner. Pet/feed/water Arthur.

6:15-6:45 p.m. Play, read, pick up, etc.

6:45 p.m. Bath

7:00-7:15 p.m. Read, wind down, bed.

7:00-10 p.m. Pick up house, clean kitchen, make lunches, prep for next night's dinner, laundry, household chores.  Also, any shopping, grocery or otherwise is usually done in this time frame.  If need be, I work on stuff for school. 

10-10:30 p.m. Watch TV, read, play on iPhone.  I go to bed at this time, but Rob is a night owl and usually stays up much later and does homework, plays on computer, etc.


And yeah, that boils down to less than 2 hours a day that we get to spend with Avery on a typical weekday.  That part pretty much sucks.  But in between all the regular weekdays are vacation days, sick days, holidays, and weekends.  Like today, for example, Rob is home with Avery due to chronic unexplained diarrhea (daycare's words).  Yeah, I don't know either.  So he's home with her today and I'll likely work from home tomorrow.  So it's days like those that we love the extra time we get to spend with her, diarrhea and all.  And then we're reminded of just how EASY we have it at work!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mini Me

Rob and I were cleaning out the office last night and we came across this picture.  One of my aunt's gave me this photo at my baby shower.  I don't think I've seen it since Avery was born. 

She kind of looks like me, huh?

Monday, November 8, 2010

18 Months


What?  How?



Moving along...

Length: 31.5 in (45%tile)
Weight: 21 lbs 14.5 oz (16%tile)

Dr. B said she is doing great and commented on her easygoing nature...that is until it was time for shots.

Here's my bellybutton, Dr.!

This is how you do it, Mom.
Avery at 18 months:

Loves to read.

Starting to talk more.  Common words include hi, bye, mama, dada, nana (banana), no, Elmo, more, dog, ball, bird, and (new, I haven't heard) Avery.

Loves to put on lip gloss, lotion, headbands, and shoes.

Likes puzzles.

Loves to eat.  Favorites are fruit, yogurt, meat, crackers, beans, cheese, pasta, green beans.

Loves to open/close, buckle/unbuckle, zip/unzip, etc.

Gives hugs and kisses.

Identifies nearly all body parts and facial features.

Loves to be outside.

Sleeps about 12 hours a night.

Happy 1/2 birthday to our baby girl!

Monday, November 1, 2010


We had a busy and fun Halloween weekend.  We started Friday with my company's annual Halloween event, with a stop on the way at Mimi's work where Avery saw a big airplane and garnered some treats for her bag.   At my work, employees are invited to bring their children to trick or treat in the afternoon, along with various other activities and a photo area.  Avery was not smiling for the pictures, however.  Oh well.
Aloof Bee

She loosened up a little later with the other kids in my department.  Two of my co-workers, my boss, and myself all have children within a couple months of each other.  They were not cooperating for the picture.  Imagine that!
Elise (born in August), Bryce (born in April), Zoe (born in June), A (born in May)
Bryce has the right idea-Avery was clueless about the candy.

Saturday we went to the annual Boohaha parade on Brookside.  We had Mexican for lunch and of course Avery had to have chips and salsa.  You *have* to pass her the salsa to dip her chip in.  It's really quite ridiculous (and cute).

She had a great time at the parade, checking out all the people and dogs.
She spotted some of her kind in a store front
Sunday we showed the bee off to her great-grandparents (and grandparents) (and Aunt Lynn) and the lucky bee garnered some more treats. 

I think we got our $5 (+ S&H) out of the bee costume!  I am already thinking about next year's costume (I'm thinking a ballerina).