Thursday, September 29, 2011


The kids have been playing dress-up in the afternoons this week.  One day I picked Avery up and she was a candy corn witch with a ninja mask.  Yesterday, I walked in and all the kids were coloring at the table.  None had on a costume except Avery, who had on an astronaut outfit.  This exact one, actually:

Me: Oh, an astronaut.  You look so cute!  Let's take it off so we can go home.

Avery: No!

Teacher: Yeah, she didn't want to take it off earlier either.

Me: I bet you can play with it again tomorrow, honey.  Let's take it off.


*struggle ensues*
*astronaut outfit comes off*

For a couple of months (yes, a couple of months) I have been searching for the perfect Halloween costume for Avery.  I decided she would be Minnie Mouse.  Not only would she look adorable, but she LOVES Mickey and Minnie so I was sure she would love dressing up like Minnie.

I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a costume, something that will be worn only a handful of times.  But I wanted a good quality costume too.  So I turned to eBay and quickly found out that Minnie Mouse is apparently a hot costume.  I saw one entire costume including gloves, shoes, ears, and dress go for over $60 (used)! Yeah, not so much.   But I watched and waited and eventually found a great deal on a used dress and ears ($15!).  Score!

Cue yesterday, coming off the astronaut debacle at school, we come home to see that the Minnie Mouse costume has arrived in the mail.  Yesssss!

Me: Avery, your Minnie costume is here! Awwww, look how cute it is!

Avery: I no like it.

Me: What?! What do you mean you don't like it? You love Minnie!

Avery: No, I no like it.

She was interested in the ears and wore them for a while.  Later, she asked to try on the dress, and when I got it on she started crying and saying "get it off."


So maybe she should be an astronaut for Halloween.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa

I don't feel the need to be modest because it's not like this is my recipe, so I'll just go ahead and say that these were AWESOME.  The best enchiladas I've ever made, anyway.  I made these last Sunday and they're definitely not a weeknight meal (for us anyway) as they are a bit time consuming.  If you used a deli roasted chicken and pre-made the salsa it would probably be doable on a weeknight.

I started by roasting two whole chickens.  I wanted to have chicken for this recipe as well as two other recipes I was planning to make during the week.  I also made extra sauce for another meal later in the week (tonight, actually).  

I pretty much followed the recipe exactly.  The only thing I noticed is there were no juices that cooked out of the roasted vegetables, so I added a bit of water to the food processor.  Also, this made more than the 10 indicated.  We had a pan full and also filled a smaller square baking dish with about 5 more, which we put in the freezer.

I didn't take a picture because, well, I forgot.  Just imagine that they looked delicious!

Tyler Florence's Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce


Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa:

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked
  • 1 white onion, peeled, sliced, quartered or whole
  • garlic cloves
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 lime, juiced



Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

For the salsa:

On a baking tray, roast tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapenos for 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables and any juices on the bottom of the tray to a food processor. Add the cumin, salt, cilantro, and lime juice and pulse mixture until well combined but still chunky.


Meanwhile heat a 2 count of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and caramelized - this should take 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin then cook for a further minute. Sprinkle on the flour and stir to ensure the flour doesn't burn then gradually add the chicken stock to make a veloute. Continue stirring over a low simmer until the flour cooks and the liquid thickens. Turn off the heat, add half of the roasted tomatillo chile salsa, some additional fresh chopped cilantro and fold in the shredded chicken meat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Change the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees F and begin assembling the dish. Take a largebaking dish and smear the bottom with some of the reserved tomatillo salsa. Now take the flour tortillas and briefly flash them over the stove-top flame (or put them briefly under the broiler if using an electric stove). Using a shallow bowl, coat each tortilla lightly with the reserved salsa mix. Put a scoop of the shredded chicken-enchilada mix on top of the tortilla followed by a sprinkle of the shredded cheese. Fold the tortilla over the filling and roll like a cigar to enclose it. Using a spatula place the tortillas in the baking dish and continue to do the same with all the tortillas. Finally pour over some more of the salsa and top with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until bubbly and cracked on top. Garnishcilantro and tomato.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

5 Years Ago Today

We got engaged.

Time flies when you're having fun.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Last weekend we went to OKC for a football watch party at Dale and Jennifer's.  We also got to see the home they purchased several months ago, which is beautiful!

Looking cute on the way out of town

She was asleep about 5 minutes after this picture was taken.  Notice the quasi-shiner.  She fell off something at school on Friday.

We got there a little early so Jenn and I took Harper and Avery to the neighborhood elementary school to play on the playground.  By the time we got back nearly everyone else had arrived.  We hadn't seen most everyone since June, and all the kids have grown so much over the summer.

Cailyn, A, Jenn, Harper, and Jordan checking out the neighbor's puppy
Someone had the idea to put all the kids on this bench for a picture.
From left: Jordan (2), Declan (6 mo), A, Harper (18 mo), Cailyn (1), and Rearden (6 mo)
I think Harper was mad because someone took her water
Cailyn is like, dude, what's your problem?
Yep, Steve & Brandi went to OU despite Cailyn's lack of OU gear-hehe.  Everyone was giving them a hard time.

Jordan is a professional, never moving or changing expressions
And that's a wrap, folks!
A, Jordan, and Harper picking "flowers"
We had planned to spend the night but were also prepared to drive home.  With all the issues we've had with Avery getting out of bed lately, I wasn't too surprised when she refused to go to sleep.  We only had the pack and play, which she can climb out of, so we were pretty much hosed on options.  We left around 10:30, got about 10 miles down the highway, and Jenn called and said we left the camera, so back we went!  We got home around 12:30 a.m.  Late night for us, but definitely worth it!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Weelicious Granola Bars

I'm always looking for quick, easy, healthy breakfast ideas.  Normally for Avery it's some combination of banana/yogurt/applesauce/berries/granola bar that we send to school for breakfast.  I ran across the recipe for these Chocolate Chip Granola Bars on Weelicious and happened to have all the ingredients on hand.

These turned out really good.  Even Rob, who never eats breakfast, has been taking them to work in the morning.  I have been crumbling some on top of vanilla yogurt and eating it that way.  I didn't use the baking sheet.  I put them in a 9x13 pan and the end pieces got a little browner than the rest.  Also, they weren't cool enough to cut after 10 minutes so I left them overnight and the next morning they were already set and pretty hard to cut.  Next time I would like to try them with raisins.  Very easy to make, not to mention really inexpensive!

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (makes about 30 bars)
4 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
1/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Chocolate Chips*
1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Canola Oil
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Honey
1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
2. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.
4. Pour the wet ingredients over the oat mixture and stir to combine.
5. Place granola mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet and shape into a rectangle, about 13 x 9 x 1 inch thick.
6. Bake for 40 minutes.
7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then cut into 3 x 1 inch bars.**
8. Serve.
* You can substitute raisins or other dried fruit for the chocolate chips.
** Individually wrapped, the bars will remain fresh for several weeks.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Night Crawler

We have a night crawler.  A creature of the night.  She carries a stuffed monkey and a ratty blanket and looks something like this

Pretty scary.

Or at least startling when all you see is her silhouette in the doorway at 3 a.m.  Or you get up and she's sleeping in your bedroom doorway.  Or standing on your side of the bed peering at you while you sleep.

Mind you all these things happened to Rob, not me.  I go right on sleeping.  She could be making macaroni and cheese and watching Dora at 2 a.m. and I wouldn't wake up.

Almost every night this week she has gotten up in the middle of the night and roamed the house, spreading 5 million tiny hair bands around the house (she has done this countless times, why I do not put them somewhere she cannot get to is beyond even me) and smearing Vaseline all over the floor.


Two evenings ago (about 7:00), she made a great escape.  I went to the bathroom and Rob was in the office.  She opened the door that goes to the garage (which was up), went outside, and (fortunately!) went to the front door and proceeded to rattle the handle.  This is when and where Rob discovered her.  This happened in about a 1 minute time span.

Rob immediately went out to buy some of these

So yeah.  She's sneaky and quick.  I'm not sure what to do about the nighttime wandering. Aside from installing a chime on her bedroom door, we can't be sure that Rob one of us will wake up every time she gets up.  Our house is relatively safe but nonetheless there are still a million different things she could get into if unsupervised.  Hopefully it's just a phase, and at least now we know she definitely can't get outside!

Monday, September 12, 2011

School Open House

Last Thursday Avery's school hosted an open house.  It was just for the parents, so Rob stayed home with Avery.  We met the teachers several months ago when Avery moved to the 2 year old room, but it was nice to talk without any distractions (kids) and really hear about the curriculum, methods, approach, schedule, etc.   Her teachers have nearly 50 years of experience in child care between the two of them and I believe both have degrees in Child Development.  More importantly, they seem to genuinely love the kids and what they do.

We got to see many of the materials they use and received a schedule with the class themes for the next year.  They will be going over everything from dinosaurs to apples to hygiene to seasons and holidays, and the list goes on.  Mrs. Laura is a book collector and has over 5,000 books in her collection and brings books according to the theme of the week.  They do lots and lots of crafts and worksheets and coloring sheets. Much to Avery's dismay, many of them have to go to the paper recycling bag.  We could wallpaper our house with the amount of paper that comes home.

They switch activities about every 15 minutes due to the short attention spans of the kids.  Pretty crazy!  I can't imagine my workday being that sporadic.

Mrs. Laura said that Avery is quiet, sweet, always good, a great eater, and very meticulous about everything she does.

It was nice to get a little glimpse into what our girl does 9 hours every day!  We trust that she's in a good environment and is flourishing in it.

Labor Day Weekend

I have a little catching up to do, it seems!  We had little plans for Labor Day weekend other than to relax and enjoy the symbolic end to summer.  Saturday morning I made pancakes and Rob, taken by the game day spirit, headed out to find a flag pole on which to hang the OU flag we bought a while ago.  After going all over town he finally found one.

We bugged him to hurry up and install the flag pole so we could go to the pool and enjoy one last (hot) day there.  The pool was closing two days later, on Labor Day, but the forecast was much cooler for Sunday and Monday so we figured this would probably be the last trip of the year.  We had it all to ourselves which is always nice.

Later that afternoon we went to the Bradshaw's to watch the first OU game.  But not before torturing Avery with 72 pictures of her in her cheerleader outfit.

This basically sums it up

We had good times and good food at the Bradshaw's until after half-time when we decided we better pack it up.  Avery was extremely energetic for 9:30 pm but she needed to get to bed!

The weather turned much cooler Sunday morning and after breakfast we took Avery to a big park a couple of miles from home.

Sunday evening we went to Gigi & Pepaw's for dinner.  Must have put our camera/phones down for a few hours because there are no pictures!

Monday morning Avery and I went to brunch with Shannon, Lynn, and Stephen and then to see Gina's beautiful new baby girl while Rob stayed home and smoked some meat.  Later that afternoon Gigi & Pepaw came over for dinner and we enjoyed the beautiful, cooler weather.

We finished up the weekend with ice cream on the deck (Avery had ice cream, the rest of us watched).  Overall, a wonderful weekend!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up

This week started with a birthday party for my boss' daughter.  I've mentioned before that several of my coworkers have kids around Avery's age.  I can't believe they're all 2 now.  
Birthday girl getting stickers from Rob

Avery had so much fun and loved Elyse's big swing set.  We may need to invest in one of these next year.

The rest of the week hasn't been too eventful.  Avery continues to entertain us by saying things like

okie dokie smokie

Oh my goodness!

Mimi got this book for me.  What a nice Mimi!

I'm swinging my bottom around (video to follow)

A-V-E-R-Y! That spells ME.  

Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone!