Saturday, January 29, 2011

Haircut



























Before After









My hair
I'm donating my hair to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths. This is the third time I've donated hair, the first two to Locks of Love. The first time was a good experience, but the second time the salon I went to, who supposedly did Locks of Love were idiots and I felt that my hair probably ended up in the garbage. Not a good thing. So I wanted a new salon and when I went to look at the website, they weren't impressive and there is a lot of stuff on the Internet saying they weren't doing that great of job, so I decided to try something new. Pantene has very nice information on how to do the haircut to take to ANY salon and you mail it yourself, which seemed much easier. So we are trying this.

Andrew's Teeth!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Making Dinner

Adam making dinner for us!
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Outside Today

The East Coast is having a snowy winter - can we have it? We had some light snow today and it was fairly nice out, so we went out. Adam got to go out again this evening with Daddy while Andrew went grocery shopping with Mommy.

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I've figured out I CAN move in this thing! You can also check out Adam playing in the snow.

Adam, Adam...

So Adam has been resisting naps, but it makes him SO exhausted. We're working on it. Potty training is actually going pretty well now. He's actually doing very good with peeing, still no No. 2. His new favorite thing is to be naked. We seriously can't keep clothes on that boy! He likes to strip while supposedly napping. Tonight after he fell asleep at bedtime we went up - yep, naked! So I had to dress a sleeping boy (he was dead to the world). Now I realize some people sleep naked and maybe he will eventually, but currently he's still not fully potty trained - he needs some stuff on! I think its just the age and the fun of being naked - very boy!

Today I caught him stuffing papers into the vent in "his" spot. So I stop him, but he says he's already put one in...so I'm trying to see in to see what is up and I find lots of stuff down there! So we had to pull off the vent cover and do some cleaning!

Tooth!

Andrew's first tooth has broken through! He officially has a tooth!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nullification? Really?

I'm not personally a fan of the Obama health care bill, but really - we're back to nullification? Remember what happened last time? It didn't work then!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Destructo Boy!

Adam finally quit pulling all the DVDs out...look who learned how now!

Tubbie Boy

Andrew made a mess of himself and had to have a tub in the middle of the day. He thought it was fun! He discovered the fun of the faucet!

Andrew's mess was what you'd expect...well, the best way is to put him in the empty tub to clean him up so that you can just rinse it out if needed and even just give him a bath (which was necessary today). Well, I USED to be able to leave him in the EMPTY tub (so no danger) while I dealt with the clothes - pretty much use it as a playpen for a few minutes. Now that he can stand up, he's pulling himself up in the tub and so can't do that any longer! That kid seriously is so mobile now!

Pretzel Fun

You can see teeth on the bottom gum now, so we got out the pretzels. We have teething rnigs, but Adam preferred pretzels and it seems Andrew does too! We did learn that these Sourdough hard pretzels, though, are the best from Adam. We bought these and Andrew is quite happy to gnaw away! Adam is also quite happy to EAT them! Whenever we get one out for Andrew, Adam is right there, "Pretzel?" So, of course, he gets one! He still loves pretzels and any salty food the best (over candy). Andrew's we take away when it starts breaking up so he doesn't choke, of course.

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This was rather funny in that Adam kept acting like he wanted to crawl to go see what brother was up to, but then would realize it meant putting down his pretzel and wouldn't go back to sitting! One way to keep the kid in place!

Update

Adam is getting better with the potty - he seems to be able to go when you ask him, so that means I can get him to empty his bladder before leaving, etc., plus I can pay attention and get him at the right time. He asks, sometimes, but mostly I'm still prompting, but I'm sure that will quickly improve over the next few weeks. No poop, yet, so that's next.

Andrew is quite the mover - I saw he is "untrustworthy" now as I can't leave him anywhere as he's always moving and pulling himself up. He even managed to get up one step the other day - gates are back out!

In other news, I go back to the dentist for an x-ray tomorrow so that we can hopefully finally get the insurance situated so I can move forward on the bridge part of this tooth mess! AGH!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Architect Adam

Check at out the architect at work! As a note, his biggest problem was from sabotage...by an 8 month investigator!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sunday Beef for Weeknights

I'm still on "get rid of red wine" quest, so this is this week's. The veggies and sauce were delicious, the meat wasn't. It was way too tough. I've got ideas though as we really liked the veggies and sauce (I think I'll double them next time). The idea was to get a "weekend" meal on a weekday. The veggies and sauce are a yes, the meat didn't work. You'd really have to spend money on meat and then you might as well just do steaks and serve this as a side. But I think I've found an alternative for the meat. Seriously, make the sauce and veggies and ignore the meat. They were great - definitely gave you that rich taste of an all day pot roast vegetables!

Sunday Beef for Weeknights

Modified from Rachael Ray

2 tablespoons olive oil
24 oz beef, cut into 4 steaks (okay, she said sirloin, I bought sirloin and thought this really was too tough (poor Adam was not happy with the all chewing required!)....if I were to put beef in this again like this I'd buy GOOD steaks...you'll have to spend money because you are pan frying....as a note, what I think I'm going to try is using leftover French Dip meat, which I'm always trying hard to use up as it dries out so much and I think this will be perfect for it.]
Salt and pepper
1 small onion, chopped [she used a leek, I prefer onion]
2 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, diced small
2 ribs celery, from rib, chopped [okay, I can't get rid of celery and really don't like it so I didn't buy it...I use dried celery flakes in its place]
1 pound potatoes, chopped small [she used red potatoes, I used what was in my fridge]
1 tsp thyme [she used 4 sprigs of fresh]
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup dry red wine [I made this to get rid of this actually!]
2 cups beef stock [she was all about good quality...I used beef bouillon cubes]
[she put in some jelly...I didn't]

Heat a deep, heavy bottomed skillet over high heat, then add 2 tablespoon oil. Season meat with salt and pepper, then caramelize the meat 2 minutes on each side. [So next time, I'll skip this step.]

Remove steaks from pan and reduce heat to medium high. Add butter to the pan and the onions, garlic, carrot, and potatoes. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Add thyme, celery flakes (unless you used real celery then add with veggies) and bay sprigs. Saute veggies 10 minutes. Add flour, cook 1 minute. Whisk in red wine and reduce 1 minute. Whisk in broth and bring to a bubble. Slide meat into pan. If serving immediately, simmer over medium heat 7 to 10 minutes. If this meal is a make-ahead, remove the dish from the stove top at this point. When you reheat, bring sauce to a bubble and simmer 5 to 7 minutes over moderate heat.

Remove from stove top and serve each steak with lots of veggies and broth in shallow dishes with crusty bread for dipping. [Definitely get bread!]

Serves 4.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Adam's Cooking

Adam loves to cook so he got new food for his birthday. He's had those cookies for awhile (Christmas), but I put it all out together so he can "cook" with me. You can see Andrew's kitchen there, so Andrew can as well.
One of his new sets is "cutting food," where the food it segmented and held together with velcro and you "cut" it. Adam LOVES it and cuts up his food and then feeds it to us all!

Andrew Standing

Andrew can pull himself up - he's so proud of himself! He does it constantly, but he made me work for the video footage - he is STUBBORN.



Check out him in video here as well - learning the concepts of "steps"

John Paul II

Looks like John Paul is going to be beatified. I adored John Paul as Pope and think he did SO much for the Church as a whole and just gave off a wonderful presence of holiness, so I hope he is.

Update

Well, big news, Adam is finally seeming to get potty training (knock on wood!). He went three times yesterday and today he only peed in his diaper when sleeping (which at this point doesn't count in my book). He's finally got the idea that I saw, let's go pee and he actually GOES! I can usually tell when he needs to and he's also asked a few times to get on and actually WENT.

Andrew is full steam on crawling and now can pull himself up to standing easily. He isn't "cruising" yet, but he's definitely close. He's a mover!

So that's our big news. Otherwise, we are doing pretty good.

Gluing

Adam likes to help Daddy glue!

Mommy's Hat and Gloves


Adam's 3rd Birthday

My baby is THREE!!! We took Adam to the Children's Musuem on Monday, which he LOVED although it was crazy since it was a school holiday (Martin Luther King day) and they were doing 1/2 price admission. But Ray had it off, so it meant a family trip, which was fun. We did also make him a cake, although he refused to try it! He did like the candles! He got a lot of fun gifts. He got some new kitchen supplies - he LOVES to "cook." We also got him some toddler games (I LOVE games!).
Some videos to check out: helping make his cake (he LOVES to cook, I told you!), blowing out candles, and then playing his new game. The new game is "Don't Break the Ice." He loves to hammer on it! Not sure he quite gets the idea that you do NOT want to make it all fall in, but he is learning the idea of turns, which I think is more important.

As a note, I'm going to YouTube for many of videos now. I've always had a YouTube account (prfessorweber) for class stuff, but I'm putting kid videos on it now. I got a new camera and its better, which means bigger videos that Blogger just can't handle in the upload.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snow Fun

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I THINK that Adam believes his mower has transformed into a snowblower like Daddy's new one.

Adam is very stubborn as well as you can see with this video. As a note, because my new camera (yah, a new camera!) does HD, my videos are bigger and YouTube is easier so I'm doing more uploads there.

Andrew also checked out the snow...even to putting his face in it...that's when it was time to go in!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Attacked by Boys!

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The boys attacking Daddy!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Andrew

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In his jumper - trying to figure out how to walk
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Yep, that our son!

So Ray and the boys go out on Sunday during my office hours so I actually get some work done. Well, last night, they were getting ready and Adam says he wants to go to Borders! Is he our son or what?

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

A New Semester

A new semester starts tomorrow. Here's to hoping it is a better one than this last one. It really wasn't any specific problem, just lots of small things and we could never find "routine." That's what we need, for us and the boys.

Ray and I are as ready as possible. I spent the weekend trying to "set" things up to go smoothly for the next term. I wanted to start on the right foot!

My goals are:
  • Make story hour each week
  • Make sure the boys are getting out and active regularly (not just errands!)
  • Keep up on grading and prep work
  • Finish deep cleaning kitchen, office and downstairs kitchen
  • Keep my weekly menu up so I am cooking on a schedule
  • Find time to do some crafts for myself
  • Exercise each day
  • FIND A ROUTINE!

Big Beef Balls with Bucatini

Okay, so I'm weird. Someone gave us some red wine. We aren't wine drinkers, but decided to open it on New Year's Eve for our toast at midnight. Yep, still don't really like it. So what do with the rest of the bottle? This is recipe 1 on that quest!

Big Beef Balls with Bucatini
Modified from 365: No Repeats by Rachael Ray or you can find it here [if you have the cookbook this is a variation of Veal Polpette or Sausage Meatballs]


1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin [I used 92% lean hamburger - since I can't "drain," I did buy the lean stuff...now I actually only bought a pound so reduced everything slightly and ended up with 9 balls which was still a LOT]
2 small to medium yellow onion, 1 grated and 1 finely chopped [Grating the onion was a PAIN IN THE BUTT...I don't think I'll try again, just really finely mince]
6 cloves garlic, chopped, divided
1 egg
1/2 to 2/3 cup Italian bread crumbs [I used 1/2 for my 9]
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice or nutmeg [I used nutmeg as that's what I found first...she also put in capers, which I don't like, so I skipped them.]
2 tsp dried sage [she used 2 tbsp of fresh]
1 tbsp parsley [she used fresh, I used dried]
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling [I didn't use this much]
1 pound bucatini [this is "hollow" spaghetti, which I couldn't find, so I used regular spahgetti]
1/4 lb bacon, chopped [she used pancetta]
12 baby portobello caps, (crimini mushrooms), chopped [I actually bought these and used my "leftovers" in cavatelli later in the week...I really liked these.]
1/2 cup dry red wine, eyeball it
1 cup, (8 ounces), beef stock [I used 1 cup water and a boullion cube]
1 (28-ounce), can crushed tomatoes

Preheat 400 degrees F. Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil.

Mix meat with the onion, 3 cloves chopped garlic, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, nutmeg, sage, parsley, salt and pepper and a healthy drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Mix meat, score the meat into 4 sections and make 3 very large balls from each section. Arrange the 12 balls on a nonstick cookie sheet and roast 15 minutes until firm but not hard. [this took me slightly longer and as I said I used 1 lb of meat and got 9, which wsa plenty.]

Drop pasta in salted boiling water to cook off. Drain.

Add another tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil to the skillet and the bacon. Cook 3 to 4 minutes then add the remaining garlic and mushrooms to the pan and cook 5 minutes. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Add remaining chopped onion and deglaze the pan with wine, cook off 1 minute, add in stock and whisk up remaining drippings. Stir in the tomatoes and season sauce with salt and pepper, if necessary. Stir in parsley. Simmer 5 minutes.

Toss pasta with half the sauce. Remove balls from oven and add to remaining sauce and turn to coat. Serve large balls, 3 per person, along side pasta. Spoon any remaining sauce over the pasta.

Serves 6. [She said 4, this is way too much for 4, as usual.]


Andrew's "real" crawl

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Andrew is actually crawling now. That boy can move! We are starting to see him try to stand now too...we are so in trouble!

Setting the Table

We went to the Kent Library to play to give the boys some "fun" time with other kids.


Adam showing off his table setting skills!


A good picture of the boys from the library today as well. Their shirts say "big brother" and "little brother."

Swinging!

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This was last week - we have snow back now, but I figured we'd get some use out of the park while we could. Adam was THRILLED!

Dinner

We had baked cavatelli tonight - I updated the recipe on my site from it. The mushrooms were leftovers from my "new" recipe, which I made Friday and will hopefully have posted later tonight.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Making Cookies

Adam got this set of "cookies" for Christmas and loves to make cookies now. He already loves to bake with me, now he can do it himself! Once he gets them all on the sheet, then he hands then around to everyone so even Andrew gets one (Adam always gives him one without prompting!).

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Cutting dough


Frosting Cookies

Andrew eating his cookie!

"Move Baby"

I posted the kids getting along - here they are annoying each other. What I usually hear is "Move Baby" from Adam when Andrew is annoying him! I will move him if he's obviously disrupting (since Andrew's mode of play is just to eat things!) things, but otherwise I make them deal with each other. Adam will give Andrew toys - I think he's trying to distract him at times! The cat is the best distraction - Andrew is totally in love with her...she's not so happy about that!

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Good Weekend So Far

Last weekend turned out to be a bust, but this weekend, so far, has been very productive. Here's to continuing that! We got all the Christmas decorations down and put away, we reformatted both my computers (sucky, but necessary and hopefully will "fix" them) and I got them re set up, I've caught up my checkbook, cleaned the house and even managed to get the boys to the library to play on Friday plus try out a new recipe. I really want to continue this level as we are trying to start the term on the "right" foot. We got through the dentist this week...here's to less appointments!

We also got some baby stuff put away (Andrew is obviously down with the bassinet, we finally got that put away) and moved around some new stuff (Adam's art easel for instance) into their permanent locations. My living room looks so big! I think we've solved the napping issue. The boys nap at the same time, but Adam usually talks/sings for 30-60 minutes as part of his (he's resting that's all I really care about), which wakes Andrew up if they are near each other as Adam also, for some reason, is into napping in the guest bed, which is in Andrew's room. So Andrew will be napping in the playpen in our room.

Root Canal: Part Infinity

Since infinity is infinity, I can't be "beyond" that for this post. So I went back to the endodontist and was told there was nothing they could do, go back to the dentist. The end result was to pull the tooth...so all that root canal mess I went through was for NOTHING. I'm SO frustrated! Now I'll have to get a bridge. Andrew so owes me! :) Not that he isn't worth it (as I would have went through so much worse for him to be healthy), just that I get to tease him about this (Adam I have 24 hours of labor to bug him about!). Anyway, I'm definitely bummed and annoyed. The tooth is now pulled, so now we wait to do the bridge. UGH!!!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Ick

That's our day...ick. So we had big plans for the last day before Ray goes back to work, but both Ray and I are sick and just miserable, so we aren't donig anything. The Christmas decorations gets to stay up another week as we have no motivation to take them down as planned among other things. Hopefully this all blows through and we are better tomorrow.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Entertaining Each Other

Ray was gone tonight, so I was getting both boys ready for bed myself. So once I put Adam in the tub and got him set, I put Andrew in the bathroom with him so I could get their bottle/cups/etc ready. Andrew likes to hang out in the bathroom for some reason (he was already heading there anyway) and he likes to see what his brother is up to. So I was in the kitchen making Andrew's bottle and I hear both of them laughing - they were playing and just both cracking up! It was awesome! Up to this point they really haven't "played" with each other as Adam obviously can do so much more, so this was really cool to see. I think it was some form of peekaboo, but whatever it was funny to both of them.

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Finger Painting

Adam got finger paints for Christmas - this is that Color Wonder stuff that only works on the paper (very helpful to Mommy!).

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Adam decided that he'd rather paint via Daddy's finger than his own!

On Ray's New Netbook

Checking out Daddy's new netbook!