Friday, November 30, 2007
I am ready for December where every weekend and even every week is slammed packed with events...bring it.
Audrey is better. We are thinking it is her molars. One of them has broken through, and the others I am sure are right there behind it. She of course was fine all day yesterday, even ventured out with me on a quick shopping trip because heaven forbid I sit at home all day one day.
I don't have pictures today...sorry. I spent most of yesterday entertaining Audrey, writing a paper for school, and then leaving early for band practice as I am playing in a woodwind quartet for our town's tree lighting ceremony next Friday night.
And tonight, I am going to bed early and going to sleep. I am tired. Tis the season...
Go here to read my new review and here if you want to win a $40 gift card to Starbucks!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I have a bunch of stuff I need to post about, but at this point I am trying to stay awake and entertain a very tired, yet energetic almost two year old...
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
- Go look at Christmas lights in the neighborhood.
- Bake cookies
- Bake a cake
- Get ice cream from Sonic (more for Ray than the kids...)
- Watch a movie
- Drink hot chocolate
- Play a board game
- Go to the Dollar Store and get a treat
Um, and that's where my creativity ends. Help??
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I love new ideas, don't you? How about trying new things? Or better yet, having someone else try new things for you first, and then giving you the scoop as to whether or not it's all that it's cracked up to be.
Sounds like a wonderful idea, doesn't it?
My good friend SJ and I thought so. Enough to where we decided to invest in a little venture of our own but together.
We are proud to announce the reveal of our new review site Lookit! I Spy.
Make sure you check it out, there just might be something in it for you too.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Audrey, on the other hand, could really care less about the camera...
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Audrey is cutting her two year molars and we attempted to give her some medicine tonight. We almost had throw-up scene #2 for this Thanksgiving weekend, but luckily she swallowed it back. That's my girl.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
These are from Thanksgiving Day and the Turkey Trot I did...here I come...
And here is a really not good shot of me, but it is actually the best I have. Ray and my Mom had actually just walked up and were about to cross a bridge over a lake to the finish line. I was pissed as I realized how far I was from the finish line. They did not have the miles marked for the race, and that was slightly frustrating.
And here is Ashley after her race...which she loved! They ended up with so many kids doing it, they broke it down my age, so she ran against other four year olds and did great. She was so proud of herself.
And this shot is from Thanksgiving dinner, obviously that's Audrey, Ray, me, my twin brother Mike and his wife Jen, and Ashley. Why Mike is making that face, I have no idea. Audrey is already realizing she will actually have to sit in a high chair for this meal and is pissed.
And this my friends, is my new toy. Hopefully my picture taking abilities will increase, although it might take years as I was given two DVDs and an instruction manual the size of a dictionary to read. And yes, I bought this for myself. I get a bonus in December and I know how much I am getting and this was too good of a deal to pass up on Black Friday. Merry Christmas to me...
Friday, November 23, 2007
So last night, after the buffet dinner and two cups of milk before bed and getting highly pissed that we were leaving her in a pack-n-play, she decided that I would be the target of her faucet of throw up when I went in to try and console her and get her to go to sleep. Not the way I wanted to end my Thanksgiving Day...
And it was really weird to see entire pieces of mac and cheese. I mean, does she chew her food at all?
Anyways, at least that excitement kept me awake for midnight shopping, which was nuts. I stood in line to check out at one store for probably a good 20 minutes. We shopped until about 1:30am, and then headed back home. Back up at 7:00am, and did a little bit more shopping. Of which I got a really, really cool thing...I promise to share later...when I get a good picture of it.
I will give you one picture today, and I am so unbelievably excited and thrilled and teary-eyed and happy that my brother and his wife have asked me to be in his wedding. Yes, I did say his wife. In case you don't remember, they got married at a courthouse so that Jen could work here in the States. She is from Canada, which Ray loves teasing her about.
So this is the dress I get to wear...Wahoo!! (except in Navy blue...)
I will let you guys help me with the shoes...the wedding is next August in Tennessee...any Tennessee bloggers out there, I am coming to your state, beware!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I ran a 5K this morning with my Stepdad. I had a stitch in my side the entire time, so I did one of my worst times, but I still did it. What was depressing though was the fact that the people doing the 8K race at the same time passed me while I was on mile two, which for them was mile 4. And the 80 year old speed walker that passed me at some point was not very uplifting either.
We had lunch at Hot Stacks (Edie, we thought about you!!) which is a local pancake shop. Then Thanksgiving dinner was at a fancy-schmancy restaurant here in Myrtle Beach. The food was great (especially the mashed potatoes, I ate my weight in those), but Audrey hasn't sat in her highchair at any meal so far. She hates them and expects to sit in our laps. I am really tired of eating with one hand. We hope she eventuallys grows out of the unfortunate stage.
I will post pics of the race and dinner tomorrow...I must go rest now, the outlets here are open at midnight, so Ray and I and my brother and his wife are going.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
They picked up right were they left off, but night time? They stayed awake until about ten, and then at 3:00am they decided it was time to party. Seriously. And they didn't go back to sleep until 5:00am. And then back up soon after 6:00am.
I need some sleep...hope everyone has a great day before Thanksgiving...
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
"My dinner is more points than yours, Audrey."
The competition never ends...
Thankfully, today is my Friday. We have friends coming from Virginia staying with us tonight, and then we are heading to Myrtle Beach in the morning to be with my Mom and Stepdad and my brother and his wife.
I will leave you today with this...click on this, take the survey and get a chance to receive a Senseo Coffee Pod system. I did receive this product to review, and it is great. A full review will come later...
Monday, November 19, 2007
And waking up two nights in a row to a dog who needs to go out at 1:00am doesn't help. Nor does a certain four year old who got up today at 5:30am.
And I am stressing a little. Just ask Ray, I tend to stress out about stupid stuff, but I don't know how not to.
Like the class I am in now for my Master's degree. The teacher gave me a freaking D on my paper. And I am PISSED because it was a stupid summary of a chapter in our book paper. And I think she is just being a bitch because she is being observed in this class. So I questioned some things in my grade in hopes she will reconsider.
And as usual, for our team paper that is due today, I have done 90% of the work. Cause I actually care about my grade.
I know it will probably turn out okay, but it still stresses me out. I have a bunch more stuff for this class that can pull up my grade.
But the real stupid thing I am stressing about? Now stores are opening up at midnight on Black Friday...but not all. What the heck? So some stores I can go to at midnight, but then I have to get back up at 4:00 am for the other stores? AAAHHHHGG....see, I told you I tend to stress about stuff that really shouldn't stress me out.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
"Ray, I never decide because you always veto what I decide. You decide."
"No I don't. You decide."
"Fine. On the Border."
"Yuck. I don't like that place."
"Okay, Olive Garden."
"Hell no. Let's go to Pei Wei."
"And you freaking wonder why I NEVER DECIDE."
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Anyways, I bought Audrey's newest pair of shoes from Kohl's for $14.99...what a deal!
The next pictures are going to showcase what I do for an hour and a half on Thursday nights...just in case anyone out there was curious...My town built a brand new cultural center a little over a year ago. Yes, my little town outside of Raleigh has a cultural center. It's really kind of cool, it has a library, rooms for classes, a coffee bar, and a 200 person auditorium. That auditorium is where we practice and play. The town provides us with chairs and stands.
Gathering before practice. That person in the red on the right is my good friend Heather. She comes to my house and eats dinner with us prior to practice every Thursday. And she got to see the wrath of grumpy Ashley last night. I think I scared her from having more children.
I sit next to these clowns. Seriously, they were laughing so hard at one point last night they were crying. Or maybe they were crying because they miss Martha?
Our low brass, the trombones and tuba guy. Oh, and the end of my bassoon. There are normally a few baritones, but they didn't show up tonight. I think they knew I was going to bring my camera.
And this is what I play.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...well, it has for a while for us since we have been practicing Christmas music since September. This piece we are actually playing along with a children's choir.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
And this is Ashley's first reaction.
Ashley is used to one of our neighbors dogs who is big and jumps on her all the time. Ashley warmed up quickly though. And Audrey? Watching her with the dog is hilarious. She goes from sheer joy to excitement to terrified to mad in the matter of a few seconds. She is so excited about the dog, but then we the dog puts her paws on her, she gets a little scared. And then she wants Tootles to just sit so she can pet her, and when Tootles doesn't, she gets pissed. She spent much of the first evening with Tootles chasing her through the house yelling "DOG, DOG, WAIT". It was quite cute.
Tootles is definitely a lap dog. She wants to be on someone at all times. And we were told she likes to sleep with people. Ashley wanted Tootles to sleep with her the first night, so she made a bed out of blankets on her floor. Ray went to read Ashley books, and Tootles got a little excited and ended up peeing on Ashley's blankets. I asked Ashley if she wanted Tootles to sleep with her when Ray was done reading to her, and her answer was an emphatic no. I think she was worried Tootles would pee on her. So Tootles slept with Ray and I, or rather me, as she slept on me most of the night. Then last night she slept more with Ray, which was nice since the dog had gas...ah, to be a pet owner again...
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Cocktail pumpernickel bread
Vegetable cream cheese
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Instead, today I will show you my favorite things, or more importantly, my wish list for Christmas. This is really more for Ray who stated "I don't need a list for you". I am fortunately already done shopping for Ray for Christmas. I will have to tell you that tale after the Holidays...
1. An Apron - If you recall, I have mentioned the need of an apron before. And check out this cool apron from Vera Bradley. Plus, it won't break the bank.
2. A new watch - I love watches. I have a digital watch, a Disney watch, and a VT watch (what, are you shocked?). But I would really like just a plain old watch.
3. A potato ricer and a potato masher - I really am not nuts. I just love to cook, and as I am trying new recipes and such, I am finding the need for certain tools. Like these.
4. PJs - one thing that I failed to buy myself after losing 60 pounds was pjs. I have a few things, but a few more would ensure that I don't go to bed and wake up in the morning with my pants at the bottom of the bed.
5. A Bassoon Book - this is an item I have asked for from my husband a few times...I should have just ordered the damn thing myself. One day I will learn!
6. Photo Smart printer - this is really a wish list item. Ray got me a photo printer last year, but it was free with the camera he bought me, and it really doesn't work well. Plus the few pictures I have printed from it have all seriously faded. So what's a must have item for you this Christmas? And speaking of more Christmas, head over to my friend Julie's blog...she is hosting an ornament exchange.
Monday, November 12, 2007
But today, I would like to thank all of our service men and women, from past and present, for what they have done for our country.
My Stepdad is retired Army, and with a couple of bullets still in his back, he served our country well.
Thanks to all our veterans...
Sunday, November 11, 2007
The original band director had some issues. He wouldn't listen to us as a band, chose music I hated (as well as most others), and made mistakes in concerts. Was he getting paid? Absolutely not. Do I make mistakes in concerts? Absolutely. The difference was he wouldn't take constructive critism, not from the band members or the board.
I was at one time the fundraising chair person. I pretty much quit because no matter how much work I put into it, it wasn't enough. This guy expected a full time job to be done by me, and here I am thankful I found a band that only practiced for two hours once a week. I was doing this because I loved it....
The Board members all had issues with him, and approached him on several occasions. Then I guess they finally had enough after myself and my good friend Heather said we were going to go try out another band (although the only other band Heather and I found looked like we would be the youngest members by a good 30 years...). Their plan was to meet with the band director and convince him to step down. And they wanted me present for this.
Of which I was not. I knew this was going to turn ugly and I do not like confrontations. I don't do well with them. I mostly just cry. Ask Ray about the time he tried to buy a car with me and started getting loud with the sales guy....me crying actually helped...anyways...
So the band director stepped down. And now we have this cool new woman director who rocks. And all is good in band geekdom.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
I am running a 5k on Thanksgiving Day and I am signed up for another one in January (which I won't mention where, but it may be in the happiest place on earth, which I may or may not get to go to). I am really thinking I want to do a half marathon. I know I could never do a full one because I don't have the time to train (or desire), but the half is more attainable.
And yes, I am really only running the one on Thanksgiving Day so I can eat more that day...
How's that for some Saturday randomness?
Friday, November 09, 2007
This Friday, though, we decided to make it a family day and keep the kids home and Ray stayed home from work. Which is kind of funny to say since he works from home sometimes, but you get what I mean. It was nice, especially since the girls have been fighting off a cold all week and at least this way they could get some rest. Or we thought they would. They are still getting up BEFORE 6:00am no matter what time they go to bed at night.
As for pictures, sorry these are kind of old. My laptop has reached max capacity and we are in search of an external drive to put all my pictures on. It stresses me out to no end to have some pictures saved on Ray's laptop...I have them very organized on my laptop, and he isn't following my pattern. We are hoping to get a good deal on one on Black Friday.
So pictures...this first one is finally one from Halloween...
And these next few pictures are from the Dan Zanes concert we saw in MGM our last day at Disney. As I said before, great concert, great music, just great all around. I hope they do this again next year.
This is Audrey not dancing with all the kids...she was all about getting up with them, but once she did, she just stood there, like in a trance looking at all that was going on.
I promise to maybe have some more relevant photos next week...
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Untitled from Amy W on Vimeo.
And well, this video? Audrey is T-I-R-E-D...
Audrey Laughing from Amy W on Vimeo.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I promise next week this won't be a food blog as I know this is the third recipe posted this week. But as some of you may not know, I love to cook. And recently, I am getting into baking.
And more recently, I like pumpkin pie. I have never eaten pumpkin before this year, and I had some pumpkin bars a couple of weeks ago at the dinner prep place I go to every once in a while, and now I am hooked.
I also like recipes that I can involve the kids. Ashley is always asking to help in the kitchen. I think it's great to get her involved. That's less work I have to do...
Handprint Pumpkin Pie
1 15-oz. pkg. refrigerated piecrust
1 16-oz. can packed pumpkin
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. apple pie spice (or pumpkin pie spice works well too)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)(so not optional in my house, everything must have chocolate in it)
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees, then begin making the turkey handprint for the pie. Trace your child's handprint on a piece of lightweight cardboard, then cut it out to create a stencil. Place the stencil over one of the circles of pie dough and cut around it, adding turkey feet to the bottom of the hand.
2. Place the cutout on a nonstick baking sheet. Brush with water and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.
3. Next, place the remaining circle of pie dough in a 9-inch glass pie pan. Press the crust firmly against the sides and bottom of the pan. Crimp the edges.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs and apple pie spice. Mix until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips, if desired.
5. Pour the mixture into the piecrust and bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean (except for melted chocolate).
6. Place the baked turkey cutout in the center of the pie and allow the pie to cool before serving. Makes one 9-inch pie.
Go check out the other great ideas....
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
And that continued for me this week. With Ray gone, I have been obviously doing the dropoffs, and this morning, I pretty much had to drag Audrey to her room. She normally goes into her old room to say hi to her old teacher, but that teacher wasn't there this morning. So I take her crying into her room. Luckily, her teachers are great and take her from me and by the time I leave and wait about 30 seconds, she has stopped crying. But still. I feel like mother of the year. That and there were two other mothers in Audrey's room sitting on the floor with their kids, while Audrey's teacher came and took Audrey. I felt like I should have stayed, but honestly, that just would have made it worse. And maybe those mothers staying is the routine they have every morning, I don't know.
And prior to that, I had to drag Ashley out of the van. She wanted to get out on Audrey's side, but that would have required her to step over some stuff, and I had already shut Audrey's door. She didn't want to get out on her side as the parking space next to us was empty and a car could pull in any second. The mind of a four year old....
So after dropping the girls off, I get on the road. My tire is making a weird ticking noise (you see where this is going, don't you...), but I checked it, and it seemed fine. I stop and get Starbucks (I am already late for work, why not be more late) and then get on the highway. As soon as I get up to 65 mph, my tire makes a funny noise and bam, it's flat. On the beltline with three lanes of traffic. I make it over to the left side of the highway and pull off.
And then I become a wuss - I cry. Pathetic, I know. But I had no idea what to do. Ray is miles away, and everyone else is at work. We don't have AAA or anything like that. I call Ray who is still in Phoenix. He tells me to call *47 for Highway Patrol. I call them and tell them my location (I had no idea if I was going east or west, I think the guy thought I was a complete idiot) and as soon as I get off the phone, a state trooper pulls over with me. He makes sure I am okay and tells me an IMAPP truck (motor assistance) was on the way and to stay in my car.
And the truck showed up 5 minutes later. I love living here. People are so nice. The guy helps me out (although he didn't believe me at first on where my spare was...) and I was on my way. I am driving on a donut, but at least Ray is coming home hopefully tonight (he is flying standby today, otherwise he is taking the red eye tonight and will get home in the morning as planned).
Monday, November 05, 2007
Normally on Christmas Day I make just a bunch of appetizer stuff, and we just snack all day. I heart appetizers. Dips, things baked in crescent rolls, little sandwiches, quiches, you name it. But I always make this as well as it is a favorite, and the recipe has been passed around my family. And sorry for the recipes two days in a row...guess I am just hungry.
All Day Macaroni and Cheese, courtesy of Allrecipes.com
8 ounces elbow macaroni
4 cups shredded sharp
1 (12 fluid ounce) can
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black
1. In a large pot, cook the macaroni in boiling water 10 minutes, or until al dente, and drain.
2. In a large bowl, mix the cooked macaroni, 3 cups of the sharp Cheddar cheese, evaporated milk, milk, eggs, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a slow cooker that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of shredded sharp Cheddar cheese.
3. Cover, and cook on Low for 5 to 6 hours, or until the mixture is firm and golden around the edges. Do not remove the cover or stir the mixture until the mixture has finished cooking. Serve warm.
And now for the winners of my contests:
The BOB Giveaway - Frannie
The Circle of Friends Giveaway - Live and In Color
Congrats Girls...I will email both of you.
And my back? No idea, just hurts. I think having duty of me being the sole lifter of the children all weekend since Ray is out of town, I just hurt it. And thinking back, I lifted both of them a lot at the birthday party on Saturday at the gymnastics place...and now I have to sit at a desk all day. What fun.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Baker's Chocolate Sugar Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
3 squares Baker's Unsweetened Baking Chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks, GOOD GOD) butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Heat oven to 350. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwavable bowl on high 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until the chocolate is melted (the chocolate won't be melted when you take the bowl out of the microwave, but as soon as you stir it, it melts).
- Stir 1 cup suger into chocolate mixture until well blended. Mix in egg and vanilla until blended. Stir this into flour mixture until well blended. Refrigerate dough about 15 minutes or until easy to handle.
- Shape dough into 1 inch balls; roll in additional sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. If you want flatter cookies, flatten with bottom of a glass before baking.
Recipe courtesy of my Best Loved Cookies cookbook...
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Which I hate. Seriously. I have kids that get up between 6:00am and 7:00am....so what does the fall time change mean? Means they get up at 5:00am. It takes about a week to adjust.
And this morning? Ashley got up at 5:00am. I let her climb in bed with me and she maybe went back to sleep for 20 minutes.
And of course Ray is in Phoenix until Wednesday. And I know I promised Halloween pics, but they are on Ray's laptop...in Phoenix (Ray, email me a few!).
But it's 8:20am right now, and Audrey has yet to get up. She's the sleeper in the family. Of course, I really need her up as we have a birthday party for Ashley to go to that is about a 45 minute drive away (an hour if I include the Starbucks stop I intend to make) and the party starts at 10:00am.
I foresee no shower for me this morning.
Friday, November 02, 2007
The coolest Mickey we encountered the whole time...he pretty much wouldn't let us go.
Audrey rode the carousel with Chip...or is it Dale?
Some love for Tigger.
I think I need to install one of these in my backyard....Audrey is done.
We always have dinner at Chef Mickey's the first night we are there. Ashley was feeling the love (and not eating her dinner, but somehow she had room for dessert...)
Donald and Audrey playing Peek-a-boo. And for all of those people who say they don't want to take their kids "until they can remember it", the characters paid so much attention to Audrey the whole time. Who cares if she doesn't remember it, she loved it when it was happening.
Our first night in Magic Kingdom, like the hats? I have no clue where they are now of course.
Audrey's first Disney ride.
The greatest place on earth...
Yes, this is a beach. We stay at the Beach Club. We were attempting to take pictures for a Christmas card...and then they heard the fireworks at EPCOT.
More beach time.
Hey, it's me! On the fateful day the Hokies lost in the final 2 minutes to BC...Ashley actually took this picture. Audrey loves giving hugs...