Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Driveway Picnic

Dear 65 degree weather that we had this weekend,

You're such a tease. Please come back and stay this time and bring the sun with you. I'm tired of all this cold rain. Besides, it might finally get rid of all of the excuses I have not to prepare for that 5K I said I'd run this summer. And then the kids wouldn't be so whiny because they'd have gotten to play outside. And maybe Natalie would actually start napping again. You know they say that playing outside and being in the sun wears you out more. Yeah, that would be cool.

- Lauren

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Guess Who Went Poopy on the Potty?

Dude... imagine how much bling Kevin would have if we rewarded like this every time!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Perfect Weekend for a Birthday!

This past weekend Kevin turned the big three three. I told him next time he was a palindrome, he'd be 44. I think the scarier fact here is that Natalie will be 13!

Birthday's before kids were so much more adventurous. I'd arrange with Kevin's boss for him to have the day off of work and then I'd surprise him with a day of stuff planned that I thought he'd like. We've had some fun birthday dates over the years - from a helicopter flight lesson, to cooking lessons, to a surprise paintball party. This year, though, the it became more of a family affair. Kevin treated himself the week before to his present this year: his very own brewers kit. He's taken his love for all things gourmet to a whole new level and is starting to make his own beer. A friend of his got him started and I have to say, the result blows the stuff at the liquor store out of the water. As the kids start to play together more, I hope for his brewing times to be a time when I can crack open some of my cookbooks and try some new recipes too. A new way to spend time in the kitchen! As long as he doesn't start LOOKING like some of the guys I saw at the home-brew store. Imagine Grizzly Adams, turned biker.

For his birthday this year we visited a brewers store in the area for Kevin to stock up on some extra supplies and then headed to a trail to take the kids for a stroll. Natalie put on a good show and wore underwear (instead of diapers) out of the house for the first time (and had NO accidents)! Then Kevin and I went to one of our new favorite Baltimore restaurants, The Chameleon Cafe. Its a French-inspired restaurant that specializes in using local produce and meats on its ever-changing menu. Sooooo... delicious. I mean, I didnt know food could taste so good. I feel like my attempts at gourmet at home are like Chef Boyardee in comparison.

The rest of the weekend we pulled out the shorts and the short-sleeve-shirts and did LOTS of playing outside. It was in the 70s! It feels like we've been cooped up FOREVER this winter with all the snow we've had and it was fun to actually say "YES" when Natalie asked to ride her bike outside for a change.

Liam chillin in the grass. Still no teeth (I was wrong in my ealier post.) He drools like he's sprung a leak though. Not a problem now, but in 15 years it might be! =P

Oh the bike, the beloved bike, that she would probably like to cuddle up to at night if given the chance.

Natalie's friend, Sequoia, has a Barbie Hot Wheels that the girls had a good time taking a spin in. I'm imagining Natalie's face hurt from all the smiling she did while riding around in that thing.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patricks Day!

In the spirit of St. Patricks Day we tried a new recipe - Irish Chicken and Dumplings. Mmmm... It was pretty yummy stuff! Not sure what exactly makes it Irish (the green peas maybe?). I also tried green beer for the first time. A little strange, and feels like I'm drinking Draino... minus the call to poison control. It remindes me of the green ketchup thing Burger King did for a while in 2000. Although, I never really could get used to that one!

Liam got in the spirit with some green beans for dinner.

BGB (Before green beans)

AGB (After green beans)

And since it's been forever since I posted (Mom) I'll leave you with an extra snapshot of the kids!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Flowers in Your Absence

Kevin is in Phoenix until tomorrow and left me with these in his absence. Thanks, hon! I miss you lots!!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Heaven

Made these cookies last night. Let's just say that I had to give away MOST of the leftovers. And after having some for breakfast this morning decided the rest had to be sequestered to the freezer. These things are DANGEROUS!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Playing Together

As Liam has gotten a little bit more sturdy, the kids have been playing together more frequently. He truly ADORES Natalie and I often hear them giggling in unison. This morning I put him in her crib to see what would happen. Natalie is such a good big sister and was happy to show him her book. I have a feeling Liam will want to play dress-up with Natalie and push the baby doll around in a stroller here in a year or two.

Yesterday I just discovered that Liam is getting his first tooth! He's been such a trooper if he's been in pain. At least we have something blame the constant drooling on! He's had one haircut already and looks like he could already use another. Bizarre, as he's only 7 months old! As long as he doesn't start sprouting chest or back hair next month. =)


Last week, Kevin made the BEST carnitas. Now I know I'm a Missourian living in Maryland so I may not hold as much weight as someone from California or even Mexico. But, I AM a foodie. This recipe, folks, is the REAL deal.

Note: we DID add green chiles to the crockpot and then browned up the shredded meat in a cast iron skillet while reducing a lot of the yummy juices to further infuse the flavors in the meat. We'll DEFINITELY make this one again.