Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Review

Although I haven't finished up our Christmas posts I wanted to at least get this one done in time.  Here is a quick recap of our 2011...a fun 'post' down memory lane!

We started out with a bang last January!  Ryan started at The Little Gym, Kindermusik and eating solids! We also got his DOC band.


We had crazy weather last February - Dallas went from a crazy snowstorm to 80 degree weather! 

Ryan also sprouted his first little tooth!


Ryan took his first beach vacation when we headed to Maui. 
He also graduated from his DOC band complete with a wonderful round head! 
And in other news we got our house painted!

Big month is the mobility area - Ryan started crawling!
Ryan celebrated his first Easter! 
We also met Thompson for the first time (even though he was already 2 months old!)


We stayed busy in May celebrating my first Mother's Day and our THREE year anniversary! 
We also went to cousin Lyla's dance recital!

Our little man was baptized! 
We also took a trip down to Galveston with the Aston's and the Meeks. 
Ryan took swim lessons with his buddy Ford and we helped Audrey celebrate turning two! 
We also we met Ryan's newest little friend,  Jack Pearson - born on June 2nd. 
Daddy turned another year older as well!


You turned ONE! Wow. 
We also took a wonderful vacation up to Montana to visit with grandma & grandpa. 
And you got your FIRST real haircut!


You and daddy had your first overnight together sans mommy (I had a girls night in Ft. Worth).  
Mommy turned one year older - last year in my 20s!
You started Mother's Day Out!

We spent Labor Day in Dallas and your Uncle Nick came to visit! YiaYia and Papu did as well! 
We also took you to your first Rangers game. 
Your Grandma & Grandpa celebrated 40 years of being happily married!


Another BIG milestone this month - Ryan started walking!
Mommy and daddy went on vacation to Jamaica and Ryan stayed with Grandma, Grandpa and Yia Yia and Papu. It was the longest time I have ever spent away from you.
We watched the Rangers make it to the World Series (again) and lose (again). 
We celebrated Halloween and even had a pumpkin carving party!
Your YiaYia and Papu celebrated 31 years of being happily married!

We spent Thanksgiving in Houston with my family. 
Ryan finished/graduated from occupational therapy this month!

Our sweet little family of three (plus two dogs) had an amazing 2011. I can't wait to see what is in store for 2012. Happy New Years everyone!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Shrek on ICE

This year we spent Christmas in Dallas. My family came in to town before Christmas so it was up to us to come up with some pre-holiday activities. They arrived Thursday evening so we just had a late dinner and caught up. We planned to celebrate Christmas (with my family) on the morning of the 24th, so we had a full day to do something fun. Kevin and I hadn't seen ICE and we thought it might be something that the whole family would enjoy so on Friday morning we all headed out to The Gaylord to see what it was all about. 

This year ICE was Shrek the Halls and it was pretty cool to see. First of all, I have never been to the Gaylord. That in itself is something to see. Wow. It's big. 
My mom bought tickets beforehand for the first available time so we didn't have to wait very long. (You do so much walking that there isn't much of a line.) It felt like we walked forever but we finally made it - we waited in one line to get into an auditorium type area. Once in there we watched a video all about how the exhibit was made then went to get a large blue parka (which was needed). A quick posed picture was taken some more walking and then FINALLY we got to the doors of the exhibit. 

After all this walking, waiting, watching stuff Ryan was still doing pretty good. RIGHT before we walked into the exhibit Kevin let him get down (he was squirming to walk) and the little guy tripped and fell on his face. He had too many jackets on and couldn't break his fall with his hands. His sharp little teeth took a chunk out of his lip. Poor guy. So there was a little blood. But all in all he was ok. He didn't really cry so we decided to power through. 
Ryan and daddy 

My Yia yia and Papu
Holy hotdog - it is cold in there! I think it is around 12 even in all my layers it started to get COLD!  i cannot imagine actually being one of the sculptors. The whole thing is pretty cool to see but by the end I was ready to get out. 

A couple of things:
1. Bring your cold weather gear - jackets, scarfs, gloves, hats...everything - you need it! All they give you is the jacket to wear over which isn't very thick. It's great because its super that helps. 
2. Go early! We went the first available time which worked out well. I can only imagine that it would be a crazy mess in there later in the day. 
3. No strollers - you can bring strollers all the way up to the entrance. Everyone told me this and I didn't really find it to be an issue. Ryan was fine being held so no problems there. 

After the exhibit we found a place to eat then headed back to Dallas. While we had a great time I think its one of those "once is enough" type deals. Maybe when Ryan is older and wants to go down the slides we could make another trip, but for now consider it checked off the list of Christmas fun.  
This is as we were leaving. Ryan was itching to do some walking so his Pro papu and Papu went with him. How cute!

Christmas 2011

I can't believe it has already come and gone! 

Above is a picture of our Christmas tree this year - notice how there are no ornaments on the bottom half of the tree? Worked out well for me I suppose - my "Merry Christmas" fit right in.  Anyhow, I am sure you could guess that Ryan was the reasoning for that. All in all he wasn't OBSESSED with the tree/ornaments (which was nice) but I can't really blame him. The tree was in our living room, which is also his play room, so every once in a while he would catch a sparkly ornament in his vision and he would just have to go for it.  We lost a few this year but it was to be expected. I will say that it made it easy for me to take everything down quickly - its the first year I have had all the inside decorations down by NYE!

Anyhow, back to Christmas! We had a wonderful Christmas and are so grateful that we have family so close and were able to spend the holidays together.   We really lucked out because we were able to celebrate Christmas with both sides of the family. My parents, brothers and grandparents were able to make a trip up to Dallas before Christmas and then we spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Kevin's family. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Dear Ryan (17 months)

Happy 17 months little bugaroo!

I can't believe another month has gone by! You were quite a busy little man - here is a quick recap of what you were up to:
- Meeting with Santa
- Celebrated Lyla turning six, Andy turning two and Truman turning ONE! Wozers! Lot's of December birthdays!
-Visited with your Pro Yia Yia and Papu
-Went to ICE at the Gaylord
Grandma and Ryan

Yia Yia and Ryan

Lyla's sixth birthday

Andy's 2nd birthday
You have been waking up a little bit later - anytime between 7:30 and 8am.

We haven't been walking much in the morning because the weather has been so chilly. It's not fun being homebound so we actually have made it to quite a few morning music classes at the library.

Your napping has been pretty great - you go down around noon and sleep for two or more hours.

It is getting increasingly more difficult to get errands done with you in tow. You only last so long in a cart or stroller.

You seem to know when it is time for bed and are completely ok with it. When you are tired you just want to get in your crib and go to bed - so cute!

You are pretty bad about throwing your food on the ground. I am trying to break you of this habit but it is hard...

You are a decent eater but when you are teething you don't have much of an appetite. You really love eating hamburgers but only when daddy feeds them to you. Sometimes you don't mind your food being cut up into small pieces and sometimes you's always a guessing game. If you don't want something you will turn your head and swat it away. Oh and you also started taking food, acting like you are going to eat it, chewing it all up,  then spitting it all out....I suppose you are getting some nutrients? 

Two NEW chompers (your one year molars)! Your top right came in early Dec and your bottom came in December 23rd. One more to go!

You definitely know your nose, mouth, teeth, ears, eyes, hair/head and BELLY BUTTON! It's so cute when someone asks you to point and you do it.

Sizes (same)
12-18 months
size 5 shoes

New Words
Pleahh = Please
Uhh (with arms up) = Up
Milh = Milk

Other random notes:
We got your THIRD haircut this month! (Don't worry, I will stop counting soon.)

Gotta stay hydrated

You sign 'please' and its really cute. When you sign you also say it, but it comes out like "pleahhh" and you have a huge smile too.

You are obsessed with your little mini table and chairs

You enjoy coloring but really love to watch or make others color

You discovered play dough and are pretty fond of it

You are a HUGE fan of giving the dogs their treats when we leave (yes, I know....why do I give our dogs treats when we leave?) You always give Macy hers first and then Bob.

Tormenting Bob is one of your favorite things to do. You like to grab a dish towel from off the stove rack and then shake it in his face....he is not a fan.

Macy loves you and you are pretty fond of her but sometimes you lash out for no reason. You will throw food on the ground and then when she eats it you get mad at her. Poor girl.

I can't believe you are almost a year and a half! Ahhhh! Love you bunches little bug!

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Little Andy turns 2

This weekend was super busy - lots of parties! On Saturday morning we headed out to Irving to help Andy celebrate turning two. His mom did such an awesome job on his party - what a lucky little boy! The weather was amazing, the decorations were adorable and the food was delicious!

The sweet little birthday boy!

Yummy rainbow cake push pops!

Nat's husband assembled this balloon rainbow!

Can you say "party pleaser"?  It's just a donut hole with sausage and cheese - Ryan was a big fan! There was SO much yummy food there including chick-fil-a, donuts, kolaches,  chicken salad croissant sandwiches, a build your own waffle bar (complete with fruit, chocolate and nuts for toppings) and every breakfast drink imaginable. Seriously amazing.

How pretty is this? 

Ryan loved the bounce house - he is really into jumping these days (even though he hasn't quite figured out how to do it.) He loves to watch others bounce and try to do it himself. 

And there was a BIG slide which he LOVED even more. 

I guess my lens picks up everything...lovely Bob hair

There was also a balloon artist and he made some pretty incredible hats and animals. I mean - look at that hat - It's pretty serious!

Someone found another slide...

We had so much fun at Andy's party but had to leave a little early to get back to Dallas for Truman's first birthday! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Yesterday while Ryan and I were out running errands we ended up smack in the middle of a HUGE storm. We had finished everything except a quick little trip to the grocery store. Since this week is a little crazy with Kevin traveling and the holidays I was only planning on cooking one meal so instead of messing with the weather I decided that we would just go home and pull something together with whatever items I had there.

I had some boneless, skin-on chicken that was thawing (thus needed to be made), some brussels sprouts that were about to go bad and two sweet potatoes that probably needed to be eaten soon. What to do....

I flipped thought my cookbook that I put together with all the recipes from NMTG and anywhere else I clip or print them from and found three yummy recipes! Yay, organization to the rescue!

Our meal was a little bacon intensive but I love bacon (who doesn't) so I think that was ok. We had rosemary and garlic chicken, sweet potato fries with bacon vinaigrette and then bacon roasted brussels sprouts. (Everything was actually from NMTG.) Kevin was super excited about the sweet potatoes and gave them five out of five stars. Wohoo!

The chicken: Originally I wanted to try that Buttermilk grilled chicken recipe from NMTG but it was raining so we couldn't use the grill...and the buttermilk I bought expired. oops! So what is one to do? Well, I just adapted the Rosemary and Garlic flank steak recipe that I love....and baked it in the oven. I love rosemary. I love garlic. It was delicious.

The brussels sprouts: These bad boys were still hanging out in my fridge since I was planning to make them last week (but apparently I never got around to it). I am glad I finally got to make them! Here is that recipe:
2lbs brussels sprouts, halved
3 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 onions, chopped
1/2 cup cooked bacon, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Cut ends of brussels sprouts and removed and damaged outer leaves. Cut in half
3. Heat oil in large skillet over med heat. Add Brussels sprouts, onion and bacon. Cook until onion is translucent and bacon begins to brown
4. Transfer to backing dish and sprinkle with S&P
5. Roast for 35-45 minutes. Sprouts should be brown on the outside but easily pierce

The potatoes: I had randomly bought two sweet potatoes because I decided we should eat them since they are healthier. (I am not a huge fan of sweet potatoes but Kevin and Ryan seem to like them.) They have been sitting in the pantry for a couple of weeks now. Yesterday was the perfect day. Here is the recipe:
2lbs medium sweet potatoes (about 3)
1/2 lb sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 green onions
2 tbsp wine vinegar

1. Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 450
2. Peel sweet potatoes, then cut each lengthwise into 6 spears. Cut spears in half crosswise if desired, then arrange in 1 layer in a large backing pan
3. Cook bacon
4. Remove bacon from grease onto paper towel to drain. Chop into bite-size pieces
5. Pour bacon fat onto potato spears and toss. Add salt & pepper
6. Roast (uncovered), turning every 15 to 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender and edges are browned
7. Transfer to serving dish
8. Drizzle with vinegar, bacon and sprinkle green onions

Oh and one more little treat...while Kevin and I were enjoying our dinner last night little R was in the best mood ever. He was running around the house playing with everything and chatting up a storm. Then the little man discovered my box of ribbon....he was in heaven. So cute!

Anyhow, that is basically the only night this week that I am cooking. With my family coming in town its easier for us to dine out but I do still plan on making some things. I am headed to the store at some point to get ingredients for casseroles and cookies! I will be making this casserole for Friday morning (it looks super easy) and then making one of my favorites for Saturday morning when we will celebrate Christmas with my side of the family. I'll post that later!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cookie Exchange

Last Thursday my friend Nat hosted her annual cookie exchange party and it was delicious! Everyones cookies were so yummy! Nat even had a milk and a hot chocolate bar - so adorable. I am pretty sure that everyone left with a major sugar high.

12 yummy cookies for all!

Those ginger snaps look so darn professional!

Hot Coca Bar with different flavored marshmallows! So yum!

Chocolate, Strawberry and Regular Milk

 I didn't do a very good job taking pictures of actual people - apparently I was very focused on the cookies. 
Lindsey and Lauren

Lindsey and Nat

Oh and by the way, my cookies won!

Salty Carmel Crunch Bar

90 Club Crackers (such as Keebler brand)
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup butterscotch baking chips
1 cup chocolate hazelnut spread, such as Nutella brand

Line a 9x13-inch pan with 1 layer of crackers, cutting as needed to fit

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add graham crackers crumbs, both sugars, milk and vanilla. Bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and spread half of the cooked mixture over the prepared crackers. Place another layer of crackers on top. Spread the remainder of the cooked mixture over the creackers. Place a last layer of crackers on top.

In a small microwavable bowl, carefully melt the butterscotch chips, using short bursts of power, stirring in between. Stir in the chocolate hazelnut  spread until smooth, heating slightly if needed to make mixture spreadable. Evenly spread chocolate mixture on top of bars and refrigerate for about an hour to set.

Cut into bars.
Makes approximately 54 bars.
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