Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nothing is as Easy as it Seems

I did something unusual last night.  I admitted to myself that I didn't have time for something. 

I had been contemplating what to get for Avery's daycare teachers.  We had already purchased small Starbucks gift cards for each of them, but I needed a supplement.  Last year we did gift cards and the Bakerella cookie-in-a-jar mix, and I was thinking I'd do the same this year.  We had a very busy weekend so I didn't get anything accomplished in that area, and the gifts needed to be delivered today as Avery will be out tomorrow and next week. 

I had some Christmas shopping to do last night and had the cookie jar ingredients on the list of things to get.  But while I was out I thought to myself "Self, you don't have time for that.  Just admit it.  You'll have to go to at least 2 additional stores to get all the stuff, and you won't even get home until 9, then you'll have to assemble them all.  Self, just buy something else." 

And I actually listened to myself and found these super cute reusable cups for cold drinks with straws at TJ Maxx.  I'll put the gift card in the cup.  Perfect.  Done. 

When I got home and began putting the gifts together I thought to myself, "Self, you need some candy to go in these cups too!!  Why didn't you get some Kiss's while you were at Target?  Maybe the husband will go."   

Smiles at husband sweetly.

After convincing Rob that he should go to Target to get candy (I didn't think it would actually work, but it did) I busied myself with uploading pictures to Facebook and Shutterfly while waiting for him to get back with the Kiss's.  Upon his return I began filling up the cups and LO AND BEHOLD the straw on one of the cups was broken on the bottom.    Because of course it was. 

Rob, looking a little frightened, reluctantly offered to go back to TJ Maxx and exchange the cup.  No.  I know right where they were (were there any more?), I'll go.  So, thanks to extended holiday hours, I found myself BACK at TJ Maxx at 10:30 pm.  And OF COURSE they don't have anymore of the cups.  Of course not.  Long story short, I had to get 2 totally different mugs and give the morning teachers one kind and the afternoon teachers the other.  As I was filling the cups at 11 pm, wondering how something so very, very simple turned into a huge time waster, the irony was not lost on me that I could have probably been totally done with the cookie jars by then. 
Stupid cups

And the moral of this long and completely pointless story is...

You can't win!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Tour

Of our tree and a couple other items.  I don't have a fancy designer themed tree.  While those are very pretty I prefer the hodge-podge of special ornaments that you collect throughout the years.

Clockwise: 1. 2010 Gingerbread Girl Avery's Gigi got for her.  2. Green Eggs and Ham-I saw this at Hallmark and had to get it since we read this about 7 times a day.  3. OU Snowman.  I don't know where I got him but he's just cute.  4. Bride and Groom from the year we got married.  I think my mom got this for us.

Clockwise: Musical Santa that belonged to my granny.  I don't know how old it is exactly but it seems old.  It was given to me and still is wrapped in a 1992 Tulsa World.  2. This is a handmade replica of the boat we had when I was growing up. 3. Stephen got me this snowman a couple years ago.  4. Lovey hedgehogs from the 1st Christmas we lived together (2003).

I just like these Nutcrackers.  Nothing special.

After Christmas I hope to pick up some new stockings and a tree topper.  

Avery has done fairly well with leaving the tree alone.  Although she has brought me many bulbs she has removed from the tree 1) she always brings them to me and 2) she hasn't broken anything.  Yet.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

When you come home from the hospital with a new baby, the LAST thing you want (or have time) to do is cook.  At least for a couple of weeks.  Before I had Avery I made several freezer meals, and my mom made several for us as well.  I can't remember everything she made (although I'm sure they were delicious) but I do remember the chicken pot pie.  Rob and I loved it.  I got the recipe from her and finally got around to making it a couple of weeks ago.  It turned out great!

Chicken Pot Pie

Whole chicken or 4 breasts
4 whole carrots
1 whole celery rib
1 quartered onion
I had some Rosemary so I threw that in too.

Everyone in the pool.

Simmer above ingredients in water (if using breasts use broth) about 2 hours.  Remove carrots and slice.  Set aside.  Remove chicken.  Skin and de-bone.  Cut chicken into bite size pieces.  Strain the broth and discard onion and celery.

1 chopped onion
1.5 cup sliced celery
2 small peeled, diced potatoes
Green peas (optional) thawed (I used)
1/2 cup butter (this seemed like a LOT of butter so I only used about 1/2 stick)
1/2 cup cream, 1/2 and 1/2, or milk (I used milk)
6 tbs flour
1.5 cup broth
2 bay leaves
Fresh or dried parsley (Rob took this opportunity to enlighten me on his severe hatred of parsley....so I omitted.  But seriously who hates parsley?  Eight years and I never knew...)

Melt butter in pan.  Add celery and onion.  Saute about 10 minutes.  Add potatoes and saute another 7-10 minutes until potatoes start to get tender.  Add sliced carrots and peas.  With mixture still hot add flour.  Cook into mixture for approximately 3 minutes.  Stir in broth and cream and cook until thickened.  Add more broth or cream if mixture is too thick and salt and pepper (next time I would probably add some more liquid).  Add parsley and bay leaves.  Pour into casserole dish.  Top with pastry (I used store bought), score for venting.  Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.
Is it obvious I used a store-bought crust?

I didn't take any pictures when it was finished.  Look, Pioneer Woman I am not.  But it looked pretty.  I'm sure you can imagine it! 

While this isn't difficult it is time consuming so it's definitely not a weeknight meal.  Unless you made it the night before and baked it the following night.  It's also very inexpensive to make and will last a family of 2 or 2.5 for a couple meals.  This is perfect to freeze and give to a friend that's expecting!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I'm wondering if it's coincidental that Avery started making a monkey noise and climbing on everything in the same weekend.

Suddenly she needs to sit on the coffee table (which, fortunately, is just a storage ottoman) and is exercising her ability to climb into chairs.  She can also open the top drawers in the kitchen and bathrooms and pull stuff out.  Which means...nothing is safe.

Saturday, I walked out of our office where she was playing.  I passed Rob in the kitchen on his way back to the office and by the time he walked in she was ON the computer desk.  Not in the chair.  On the desk.  In 6 seconds.

She also found a new place to sit: Rob's laptop at the dining table.
Attempting to log in

Note that the screen is locked but I'm sure that will be the next thing.  She can already unlock my iPhone. 

Speaking of.

This girl has no interest in TV but she'll play on the phone for 20 or 30 minutes.  Probably longer if I didn't beg and plead demand she give it back.  I can't really complain, as I created the monster.  It started out innocently enough with a few baby/toddler apps, namely one Itsy Bitsy Spider app.  Now, anytime I'm foolish enough get the phone out in her presence, she puts her pointer fingers together and twists them urgently (as a symbol of the itsy bitsy spider)...until I usually give in.

Finally, a (fitting) video of the monkey noise!
Her hair was crazy because it had been pulled up with a rubber band.
Aaaaaaaaaand, someone needs to work on their monkey noise.  I'm not naming names though.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hold the Phone!

I would love to know who she was talking to!  It was a pretty intense conversation!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Avery & Au-ter

Avery has a love-hate relationship with Arthur.  Sometimes she is treats him like the deity he believes himself to be and brings offerings to lay at his feet.  It may be a coaster or an Elmo sticker.  Sometimes it's actually one of his toys.  When he doesn't express interest in said item she'll remain persistent, pointing at the item while grunting as if to say "Hello, do you not see that I brought you a roll of Scotch tape? Scotch tape! Go ahead, take it.  It's yours."

When he gets too excited she gets annoyed and/or scared and wants him to go away.  I can't blame her: a running, chasing, jumping, 100+ pound animal that's eye level with me would scare me too.  

She also fancies herself to be somewhat of a disciplinarian.  Sometimes it comes in handy, like this morning when he was nosing around the ornaments on the Christmas tree.  She stood next to me, my little enforcer, and told him "no, no, no" while furiously shaking her arm like a tiny dictator.  She'll walk up to him and do this when he's simply lying on the rug too.  The looks he gives her in return, complete with raised eyebrow, is priceless.  If only he could talk...

For the record, she got this from my mom (telling Arthur to sit down, lay down, no, etc in an exaggerated manner) and she now does it to kids at daycare too.  

It's neat seeing them form a bond and relationship, even if it is a bit one-sided.  Deep down I think the old guy kind of likes her.