Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Lil Chef

So recently I've been letting Natalie "cook" in the kitchen with me. Mostly that constitutes of letting her stand on a chair at the counter with me while I make dinner. Occasionally (if I'm brave) I let her stir something in a bowl and push buttons on the microwave. She really seems to enjoy being a part of the action and it helps me get through making dinner without a lot of complaining and whining from a bored and hungry 18 month old.

I'd mentioned this to my mom and she commented how cute that was but we didn't talk about it much more. So, it was much to my surprise this past weekend when I got a package in the mail with matching aprons for both Natalie and me that my mom had made herself! It really touched me and I almost found myself in tears. Thanks, Mom. I really appreciate all of your hard work!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


So, you may have noticed that I posted "potty" pictures last week of the new potty seat we had - and then promptly took them down. Kevin thought it probably was best NOT to have pics of Natalie breaking in the new seat on the web as there's plenty of sicko's in the world. Ahhh... but the picture of her carrying the little bucket around with her bare bum was SO cute. Oh well....

The whole potty training thing is not really an effort that we're pushing - yet. We're really just introducing the chair and talking about it more. Not sure she really gets the whole purpose of the toilet since I just had to go disinfect her from head to toe because she was splashing around in the upstairs toilet not 10 minutes ago. Hmmm... what part of "dirty" doesn't she get??? =)

In a few weeks I'll be heading out west to Washington State for work...FOR THREE WEEKS. I'm not very thrilled about being away from the family for so long, and Kevin is even LESS thrilled about working full-time and watching Natalie on his own. It will be a challenge for all of us. I'm already ready for it to be over and done with, but I'm just keeping in mind that this job has enabled me to be around a LOT more for my family than my previous job. And for three weeks of travel a year, it's worth it.

I've been on a cooking streak recently - trying new recipes, etc. I found the BEST recipe (from a girl at MOPS) for making my own tomato sauce. It's posted below. I made it and was able to make a couple pans of ziti from it and freeze the ones we didn't eat. Makes it nice for nights I don't want to cook.

Tonight we're having deer tenderloin (we have about 90lbs of deer in our freezer right now... and let me tell you it's been REALLY good) that will taste like filet mignon. The deer has been SO tender. We're also having broccoli cheese cornbread (which I've never made) and salad. I've been working on finding a recipe for yummy yeast rolls, so if you have any ideas, send them my way.

Last night I made pizza from scratch (a greek pizza and two pepperoni pizzas) with this dough. Super good and super easy since I used my bread machine on the "dough" cycle.

Oh, and I've recently fallen in love with THIS recipe. Except I grill the chicken, add grilled mushrooms, add cumin and saute my onions with some garlic. I also only use 1 1/2 chicken breasts. This is SO good.

Well, I could ramble on and on, but I probably ought to go rescue my kid from the certain peril she's getting herself into!

Super GOOD Marinara Sauce
2 28oz Cans whole peeled tomatoes
2 28oz Cans Crushed tomatoes (or you can use whole peeled)
FRESH basil (one big handful)
1/4 c Olive oil (it calls for regular, not EVOO, but EVOO is all I've ever used)
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a pot and let simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.

Did you know you can get an institutional-sized can of whole-peeled tomatoes at Costco for around $2.87? That's a great deal! You'll just need to size the recipe appropriately.

Thank you, Jamie!

Thank you, Jamie, for the super cute outfit!

Valentines Meme...A week Late

So for Valentine's Day last week, Kevin took me to Ruth's Chris. We'd never been and I was a little concerned that it wasn't going to be my thing (I'm not much of a red meat craver). But, I was totally blown away by how good it was and loved every bit. Afterward we went to Dairy Queen and got sundaes. Do I have a good guy or WHAT?

This picture is just before we went to dinner last Friday night. Why do I always look tired in pictures these days??

So, I found this meme on the web and thought it was appropriate for the whole Valentine's post - even if it IS a week late. Kevin, I'd be interested if you'd fill this out in the comments so I could hear YOUR take on some of these questions!

What are your middle names?

How long have you been together?
6.5 years

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
Hmmm...2.5 months?

Who asked who out?
I asked the question "did you ever wonder what it would have been like if we would have started dating?" after we'd been spending lots of "friend time" together. And then the next week he told me he loved me. Hey... when you know, you know.

Whose siblings do you see the most?
His, but it's really about a tie.

Do you have any children together?
Yes, one here and one in heaven.

What about pets?
Yes, a cat that he claimed ownership as soon as we started dating and that I've tried in vain to pawn off. She's a sweet cat, but we've had our moments. I don't think we'll have anymore when she kicks the bucket.

Did you go to the same school?

Who is the most sensitive?
Me. But he can definitely show a softer side.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
All over the place, but I'd have to say Fuji Sushi gets the most visits from us out of any ONE place (although not in a while).

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Whistler, BC. I miss skiing.

Who has the craziest exes?
Hmmm...I have more exes than he does, but I think he wins in the "Craziest" category.

Who has the worst temper?
We're about tied. I think we've gotten better than when we were first married, though.

Who does the cooking?
Both of us, but me on a regular basis.

Who is more social?
Me. He has close friends from high school and sees them only so often. I am meeting new people all the time.

Who is the neat freak?
I didn't start out that way, but I've slowly become pretty anal about socks on the floor, etc.

Who is the most stubborn?
Ummm.. I plead the 5th!

Who hogs the bed?
Definitely him. He thinks that he can sleep in the middle and give the cat a third of the bed. We sleep in a queen-size!

Who wakes up earlier?
Definitely me.

Where was your first date?
Arctic Circle. I thought that it was a joke when he said we were going there (all I could think of was "The North Pole"). It's a dive of an ice cream stand but it has absolutely the BEST soft-serve chocolate dipped cone that you've ever eaten in your WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE!

Who has the bigger family?
Him. He has far more extended family than I do. We both only have one sibling though.

Do you get flowers often?
Nope, although I got them TWICE Valentine's week. Gerbera daisies too. I am a well-loved woman!

How long did it take to get serious?
Refer to the "who asked who on a date first" question.

Who eats more?
Right now I do. Being prego has me hungry ALL THE TIME!

Who sings better?
Definitely him. I embarrass myself when I'm alone in the car.

Who does the laundry?
It's all me, baby.

Who’s better with the computer?
We both have our strengths when it comes to the computer, but, by a landslide, it's him. Hey, living with the IT guy has its perks.

Who drives when you are together?

Who picks where you go to dinner?
We always over-analyze this one together. We did BEFORE we had kids and we could go anywhere at any time and we do now when we get on average one date a month. When it comes to food, we don't mess around.

Who is the first one to admit when they’re wrong?
It seems like I'm always the one apologizing and giving in. He'd probably disagree. But I'm right. He just won't admit it. :)

Who wears the pants in the relationship?
I'd say him, but I knew I couldn't marry a wishy washy guy because I'd railroad him. Kevin is anything but wishy washy, so I'd say we're fighting over the pants most of the time. I've got one leg in one side and he in the other. The whole submitting to one another thing is something we're still trying to master.

Who has more tattoos?
No tattoos on either of us. I wanted one on my foot when I was single, but I didn't do it. And then I wanted a nose stud when I was married, but Kevin said it would be over his dead body. I considered it.

Who eats more sweets?
Hands down, me. I'm bad.

Who cries more?
Me. No offense, but it would weird me out if he cried more than me. And I'm pregnant right now. Raging hormones... need I say more?

Friday, February 13, 2009

And We're Back...

So we're feeling better. And that's a good thing, considering the weekend is upon us. The last two weekends we've been sick - and it's been a whole lotta NO FUN.

It started out with Kevin while on training... And then it was Natalie... and then it was Lauren and then it was Kevin AGAIN. Uggg...

Here's a few snapshots from the last week...

Natalie while still in recovery... not sure if you can see the snot dripping out her nose. Makes for a nice picture, eh?

Last weekend Natalie and I had started feeling better. Here's a snapshot of us reaping the benefits of good antibiotics.

And finally, I couldn't resist. Heh Heh Heh... Monday night Kevin fell asleep reading a book while I was out at a MOPS meeting. Poor thing was as sick as a dog and had taken some Benadryl for his sniffles. Ahh...what a priceless picture!

"What's with the fishing hat?" you ask? I think his head was cold. =)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

It's Snot Funny.

Death. That would probably describe the way I'm feeling right about now. This weekend Natalie was diagnosed with a double ear infection and was the biggest crank you've ever seen (but who can blame her?). Last week Kevin started fighting off a cold while in DC for training (he's still got remnants of it). And Saturday I started to get a sore throat.

I should have known.

This morning the doctor said that pregnancy is considered a weakened immune state. Hmmm... maybe that would explain the violent shivers and the constant fever and the snot that is draining out of my face faster than I can wipe it away.

All I have to say is thank the LORD for babysitters and husbands. Because I really would be dead if it weren't for both.

I think the really cruel curse for pregnant women is that they can't take any of the really GOOD drugs when they're sick. I mean, there's a reason I dont take Tylenol when I'm not SO isn't working.