Friday, July 30, 2010

A Crazy Week

As you can see from the pictures, we fixed the back awning - Dave had Sunday and Monday off so those were our "work" days. The thing is that really was our "weekend," hence it seems we've been behind all week! So anyway, here is a recap!

Dave got here on Sunday and he and Ray started work (first a Home Depot run, of course!). It turned out to be much mroe work taking the old stuff down that anticipated, but they got that done on Sunday. So then Monday was put up the new stuff, but Ray did have to work as he had tests scheduled to give. So he gets home and they go to work. Now I had office hours but held them in the backyard so Adam and Andrew could "help." They actually got finished at a reasonable time, so I had a bright idea - let's try the Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland. I'd been wanting to try it for quite awhile now and I figured it would put Dave already an hour into his drive home. BAD IDEA!!! So first we didn't know there was an Indians game. But we got there and it looked busy, but it turned out the dining room was empty, so we got seated right away and all seemed good....not so. We wait, and wait...Andrew poops on me...seriously!....we wait some more. We are very frustrated, the waitress says "soon," Ray finally gets up and says we just want the bill and we are leaving (both kids - minus the pooping - were being awesome, though). This had been an hour and a half! While the food finally goes, it was good, but not like "oh, my gosh, this is the worth the wait..." So the manager comes to was mixed up, etc....well, I say what I'd already said to Dave and Ray earlier - food was fine, but we probably won't be back. So he gave us our meal free in hopes we'll try again! Still not sure, but at least we got a free meal....but I still would have rather gotten the food on time and paid for it!

Now this was a big two days for Adam so he was EXHAUSTED Tuesday. It definitely took him a couple of days to rebound - being a construction worker is hard!

So we've been trying to have a quiet week, but we've had some exciting things going on. First, we paid off Ray's car! Just over a year to do that - we bought it last summer! It was a surprise purchase - we weren't planning to buy a car, but his old one wasn't worth fixing - so it is nice to have it taken care of. Second, Adam is moving up to a toddler bed! We've had it for awhile, but he hasn't been interested. Well on Wednesday, he wanted to get in it and actually stayed this time! It took some work to get him to sleep - we'd leave, he'd get up and we had to pretty much sit by him until he went to sleep. Ray figured out that sitting in the hall worked, so we've been doing that the last two days. He's just using it at nap right now, but we figure once he's comfortable with that, we'll work on sleeping in it at night as well.

The weather really turned great here - cooled off and is just perfect! I hope it stays for awhile as it is so enjoyable!

Graden Haul

Yummy - fresh beans from the garden! But something bite me while picking these and the bites are so annoying - I'm not happy about that!

Ray with Boys

Dave with Boys

Look what my son brought me!

Adam's Photographic Endeavors

Back Awning

The wooden frame under our back awning was in serious trouble - carpenter bees weren't helping - so Dave came up to help Ray replace it. Because of the poor shape, it turned out to be harder to demolition than put up the new stuff!

This is the old wood - what a mess!
Notice something? The farthest post was actually put in the middle of this last section not the end even though it originaly went at the end. The previous owner was seriously a moron! Anyway, it is now back in place!

My "work" station - I had office hours but needed to be outside so the boys could as well (it would have killed them not to be with the men "working" - even Andrew who believes he should live outside! Our wireless works in our backyard thankfully!
The finished product
Andrew sleeping off all the fun!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Andrew Smiling

Andrew was smiling so good - of course, you can't really see it here as he was being stubborn...just like Daddy!

Adam's T-Ball

We got Adam a t-ball stand - he's already got it down!

Adam in his Sandbox

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Children's Musuem of Pittsburgh

This is the Children's Musuem of Pittsburgh - Adam had a blast! This is simple an AWESOME place for kids!
This amused me - Adam on a rotary phone! This was in the Curious George Exhibit
Driving the trolley in the Mr. Roger's Room
Looking out of the castle

Outlet Mall

This is a new playground at the Aurora Outlet Mall - I'll probably go back there now. They've been changing stores to all stuff I hate, hence I've been annoyed with them, but hey playground for the kids make me happy!

Would he get in this as a baby? No....

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mexican Rice

I was pretty proud of myself as I experimented all on my own - not my strong suit - and it turned out well! I only did 1/2 of the enchilada recipe, so I had 1/2 of jar of chiles, so I threw them in a pot with 1 cup rice and then a can of tomato sauce plus enough water to make 2 cups. Ray rather liked it!

Extra sour cream from the enchiladas made sour cream loaves to send overseas! Good planning! I always try to plan so I don't end with waste on a little used item. I actually cooked my chicken all at once and made chicken wild rice soup as well!

Chile-Chicken Enchiladas

I made these on Tuesday - yummy! Ray didn't get excited as he doesn't like enchiladas.

Chile-Chicken Enchiladas
Modified from Betty Crocker

1 can (19 oz) enchilada sauce
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups Mexican cheese [they used Monterey Jack...I also didn't measure this...I used more (I like cheese) as I had 2 cups of Mexican cheese and used it all plus some cheddar and I only did 4 enchiladas - 1/2 this recipe]
1 cup sour cream
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
8 (8 inch) tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese [does anyone actually measure cheese....]
1 cup onion, diced

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup enchilada sauce in bottom of baking dish. In medium bowl, stir together chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream and chiles.

Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas; arrange, seam sides down, in baking dish. Top enchiladas with remaining enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Spray sheet of foil with cooking spray; cover baking dish with foil, sprayed side down.

Bake 35 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 to 10 minutes longer or until hot and cheese is melted. Top with avocado or green onions. If desired, serve with lettuce, chopped tomato and additional sour cream.

Serves 8.

Zucchini Cookies

If you are like me, you are always looking for things to do with zucchini! These turned out really well and yummy. They were fairly "cakey," but still good. These were the package I just sent overseas.

Zucchini Cookies
Modified from Apple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
12 oz bag of chocolate chips [they did 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup walnuts, I don't like walnuts, hence I did all chocolate chips]
4 cups flour

Mix sugars and butter until nice and fluffy (they recommend a wooden spoon...I'll admit it...I used my mixer as Adam loves to play with it!). Mix in baking soda next. Beat the two eggs and then add to bowl. Add in vanilla and mix thoroughly.

Shred zucchini and add it to your bowl (pack it down). Stir until incorporated. They have you add in chocolate chips (and walnuts) here...I didn't because I wasn't sure if I'd make it not using my mixer, but as I did, I probably will next time. I assume you need to add the zucchini first because of the water content hence then you don't want to beat it too much.

Mix in the flour one cup at a time, stirring well. When all was added in, it will be very stiff - that last cup is hard on the arms!
Drop by teaspoonful on cookie sheet (if your cookie sheet isn't non-stick, make sure to spray it or use parchment).

Bake the cookies at 350 F for 10-12 minutes (this took me more like 15 minutes but I make big cookies).

Makes 8 dozen cookies (I only got about 5 dozen...the big cookie thing!)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Schedules and Potty Training

I'm a night owl and don't like mornings plus Ray has been teaching/taking late evening classes, so we had Adam on a fairly late schedule to mesh with ours. But then he started getting up earlier and earlier....too early in fact as he was obviously not getting enough sleep. So we had to move his bedtime up and that seems to be working - he's going to sleep earlier, but not getting up any earlier, hence getting more sleep and therefore can have more fun.:)

Potty training really has been going nowhere. With everything going on and his lack of interest we've been very on and off. So we've committed this week to potty training. At this point he obviously knows when he's gone and he can hold it if necessary so he has control. He also has the verbal skills necessary (he always had the understanding skills for our was getting him to verbalize...he's not a talker). So he's ready...we just have to get HIM on board now. He actually thinks he's supposed to go in his diaper! We get him on the potty when he obviously has to go and we keep him there, encouraging, etc. Then we finally let him up as he's not going and fighting us about it. Two minutes later he goes in his diaper! He holds it FOR his diaper. AGHH!! If you ask him, he'll tell you that you go potty in your diaper....we are working on correcting that. This is recent, too, on him saying that. Today we really forced the issue and tonight he actually went while in the tub BUT he told Ray he was going. So a small (if gross) step.

Size 2 Diapers

Yep, Andrew is already moving up to size 2 diapers and he's only 2 months old! That's three sizes in two months!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Drive In Movies!

We have a drive-in theater here in Kent (its actually a twin theater - two screens!). Ray and I got a friend to baby sit and went once last summer. We took both boys last night to see Despicable Me. We'd picked a cartoon we thought Adam would enjoy (and it turned out pretty cute), but weren't sure how he'd do. He LOVED it and was SO good! He had a blast in the car watching the movie! We put down the back seat and Andrew and I sprawled out and he was happy as a clam. It was a great night. The movie started at 9:20, which is pretty late, but we were home about 11:30 and got Adam to bed. The issue was that he was still up at his "normal" time, which meant a very tired boy today. But still it was fun and we'll probably do it again later this summer.

Only a Two Year Old!

How does he stay up? And yes, we removed him.....

Adam's "Little" Men

Adam now has his own "little men." Daddy says they are so Adam won't bother his, but I think Daddy likes them as well! Adam's are Star Wars minis - they are cheap and replaceable as they are pre-painted. Adam really enjoys having them "fight" each other! Adam, though, does still like Daddy's! You can see he is into them below!

Adam playing with his and Daddy's little men:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Our Taskmaster!

We were going to be lazy yesterday and not do our daily walk...Adam insisted! Today we were just going in the backyard this morning - yep, Adam took off! So I threw stuff together and off we went. No planning and a two month old isn't the best recipe though! We got all the way downtown (yep, that far!), no diaper bags, and we realize its pretty much noon! Adam is hungry and we know when Andrew wakes up he's going to be hungry as well. So we start home, stop for lunch for Adam, doing our best to keep Andrew asleep and then hoof it home. Ray and Andrew go inside to eat and Adam doesn't want to, so he and I stayed out and even go on other short walk as he wanted to go the park! He finally decided to go inside after the park...we'll probably be back out after naptime! He's so going to collapse!

Andrew also then decided to have me change clothes by doing a 902 all over me...that kid is definitely a celebrated pooper! He's going to collapse as well - lots of fresh air and sun!

Friday, July 16, 2010


Look at this adventuresome squirrel!

Jennie and Andrew

I used this for Adam, but I think its going to be even more important now with Andrew as it makes it easier to run after Adam!

The Boys

Tummy Time!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Two Playgrounds and Playland!

Adam had a good day - two playgrounds and playland at the Mall! I needed to go to Sam's Club and Home Depot so decided to hit Chapel Hill so I could take Adam to the mall between. We went home, napped and stuff and then we went out to go for a walk to the apartment playground. I took a long-cut home, as the playground isn't very far, through a subdivision (turned out there is a slight incline and with the double stroller with two boys in it...quite the workout!)...well its near the elementary school and went Adam saw the guessed it! "Park, Park!" So we went! Then we went home, ate dinner and then back into our own yard to play some more....a good day! Andrew, who ADORES being outside, was quite happy as well. Seriously, if Andrew is fussy take him outside...he'll immediately get happy!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Andrew Update

Andrew is now 14 lbs (for comparsion Adam is just 28 lbs now!) and 23 inches. He's HUGE, but healthy.:) He's wearing 3 month clothing, no shock. He got a bunch of shots today, poor little man.

I also looked it up - Adam, at 2 months, was 12 lbs, 6 oz and 24 inches.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Andrew's Two Months Old!

Andrew is now 2 months old - he's grown so much! I do think, though, that I've used more Destin on him in 2 months that I have on Adam in two years! Adam was a kid you always were asking "did" he poop. With Andrew its does he ever STOP! Combined with the heat, it's been hard on him - lots of diaper rash. Poor little boy!

No more Triple D

We bought a Diners, Drives In and Dives book and have been to a few of Guy's picks. They are fun to go to. But after the last one, we've decided no more Triple D for us until our youngest is at least three. They are great restaurants and even usually cater to kids, but they are just too crowded and too noisy for babies. The one in Pittsburgh was just too much for poor Adam, who did really well despite it. I think we are done for awhile with them - at least until the kids get older! Great food and great places...just not for us right now!

Sleeping Andrew

I put Andrew here to change his diaper and then left him there for a minute to help Adam (he can't escape, don't worry), but he was so happy I left him there. I think he likes that he can see around from there as its higher and he just fell asleep there!


Making Mud Puddles

We were outside and Adam was playing. All of a sudden he grabs his bucket from his sandbox and heads to his pool. He fills it up and then takes it to the sandbox and dumps it in - he had decided to make his own mud puddles, which he then jumped in! He had a blast!

Watering Mommy's Garden

My garden
Watering is never a problem for us with this little helper!

Pool Fun

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Adam The Artist

Here are Adam's artistic endeavors - he's also quite the musician - he like to pretend he's Tom on the piano!
Adam's photograph of his brother
Adam's photograph of Mommy

Now for Adam's artwork! Adam was having fun - first the chalk then the back of my students' exam envelopes (I saved the exams!).

Chalk Art

Paper Art


Andrew loves being outside and watching big brother run around - here are some videos of him hanging out! Andrew checking out the grass!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pittsburgh Childrens' Museum

We took Adam to the Pittsburgh Children's Museum yesterday - that is simply AWESOME!!! Adam LOVED it. We actually bought a family year long membership and will be back in two weeks! We didn't know they closed at 5....we got there at 4:30! Adam really barely got to explore - he loved the Mr. Roger's display, though! Anyway, we were really happy with our trip. Adam also got library play time in the morning, so an overall good day.:)

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Not the best week

First, I'm not having a bad day today - it just hasn't gone right. Anyway, Monday was a "holiday," so it seems we've been off all week. My grading was off, so it seemed that was constantly going on. Tuesday was a bad day - something work related so I'm not sharing - but it got better once I got that resolved. Wednesday was fine, but today nothing went right. I woke up with a headache, which is never a good sign. In addition, its been over 90 all week which just sucks! So today I needed to go grocery shopping, but I knew Andrew was half asleep and so wanted him all the way asleep so he wouldn't try to convince me he was hungry half through the store (when he wakes up, he always wants fed, no matter when he ate last). So I thought I'd make a quick trip to the bank to get him asleep. But every idiot was on the road going slow and Andrew never went to sleep...instead Adam, who I didn't want to sleep (as he won't nap if he sleeps for even 5 minutes earlier in the day), did! AGH! Anyway, I get to the store, there are no kiddie carts and I know Adam will wake up crabby and Andrew now probably IS hungry. So I went home, woke Adam up and fed Andrew and then restarted. We got a kiddie cart when we got back, so I figured that meant I made the right decision. Ray had to take Adam on a drive to get him to sleep at all. This evening we did our yard work, despite the heat, so at least we are getting things done.:) Ray also got me a new Nook cord as I can't find our original one....which seriously is bugging me as I'm really careful about things like that! I also ruined some chicken by leaving it out of the freezer...another thing that drives me nuts (wasting food). It has just been a strange's hoping for a good weekend and a break in the weather soon!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Boys

My handsome men!

Adam's Hair Cut

We got Adam's hair cut yesterday - he did not enjoy the process but the result is good!


Andrew is getting so big!
Look at his head control!
My big boy!

Sausage and Penne Marinara

This was tonight's dinner. I always liked Applebee's Penne Rosa pasta, but they quit serving it. I found this recipe and it is just as good - and cheaper!:) I was very happy with this end result. It is simple and yummy!

Sausage and Penne Marinara
Modified from Simple & Delicious

2 1/2 cups uncooked penne pasta
1 lb Italian sausage links, cut into 1 inch pieces [I left the casings was a pain...I'm either going to cook the sausage whole first or take the casings off next time...I used Johnsville's Sweet Italian with was awesome!]
1 large onion, diced
1 medium pepper, diced [I used red and can use whatever]
1 tbsp canola oil
1 can (14.5 oz) stewed tomatoes, cut up [I used my home canned tomatoes and just used 1/2 quart and diced a bit in the pan]
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup frozen peas [this is my addition to get it like Applebee's Penne Rosa Pasta they no longer serve as theirs had peas in it so I just added it to this similar recipe]
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes [I didn't use this]
Grated Parmesan, optional [we didn't]

Cook pasta. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook sausage, onion and pepper in oil until sausage is no longer pink and veggies are tender. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings, heat through. I boiled a bit to thicken up. Add peas.

Drain pasta, toss with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese if desired.

Smoky Beer Burgers

I tried a new recipe for the 4th - RR's Smoky Beer Burgers. They turned out quite well! We all enjoyed them! Definitely will make them again. Adam enjoyed eating the Gouda.:)
Smoky Beer Burgers

Modified from Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals

2 pounds lean ground sirloin [I actually used moose meat]
1/3 pound smoked Gouda [she died, I shredded...Adam ate this raw!]
1 medium onion or 1/2 large onion, diced
2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Grill seasoning
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped [I used minced]
Generous handful finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley [I used dried]
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 (12-ounce) bottle beer [I used Great Lakes' Irish Lager]

Mustard Sauce: [Ray recommends this!]
1/2 cup spicy brown mustard
1/4 to 1/3 cup sour cream
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill [I used dried]

Preheat grill over medium-high heat.
Place the meat in a bowl and add the cheese. Peel the onion and halve it, if using the medium onion. Grate about 3 to 4 tablespoons of onion directly over the meat into the bowl. Finely chop the remaining onion and reserve for topping. Add spices to meat: paprika, cumin and about 1 tablespoon of grill seasoning. Add garlic, parsley and Worcestershire and beer then form 4 large patties making them a little thinner at the center than at edges [okay, I ended up with a lot more than this as 1/2 burgers PLUS all the goodies are just too big....RR"s recipes are always could probably easily halve this for 4 people]. Burgers plump when you cook them so this will prevent burger bulge. Grill until done to your likeness. These were hard to grill as they tend to want to fall apart so be careful!

Mix mustard and sour cream with dill.

Serve patties on hamburger buns. I added ketchup and onions. Ray liked the mustard sauce with ketchup and onions. Lettuce would be good here as well and you might want pickles.

Serves 4 (at least!)

4th of July

Adam enjoying his hot dog!
Andrew hanging out

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Exhausted Adam

Adam has been getting up an hour earlier than "normal" for him. This makes him so overtired when you combine it with the heat (and I'm not going to make him stay inside when he wants to be outside). I think we'll end up moving bedtime up for now as he has to get more sleep. He's just SO tired. Today Mass was a nightmare because he was so tired - he just couldn't manage to listen and behave. Luckly Mass was empty....

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Lake Erie

Pictures from Lake Erie today. We found this great park where you could walk right down to the lake. The trials were really nice but VERY hilly. Ray got a huge workout pushing our double stroller!
Hoofing up the hill!
Adam and Jennie
Ray helping Adam look across the lake
Looking across to downtown Cleveland