Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gotta love being outside in the FALL!

On the last day of September, the three of us joined Carriel and Georgiana for a picnic at the playground! The weather was perfect, and we had fun catching up, relaxing, and playing together.
Isn't that outfit sooo cute on Izzy? Children's Place clothes for $3 and navy Stride Rite shoes for $5 at a local consignment sale!
Georgi relaxing and eating pineapple :)
The next pictures are too cute. First, Izzy's giving kisses, and then Georgi's giving kisses.

Actually got Carriel in this picture with Clara and the older girls.

Can you see Clara laying in the pillow on the blanket? This pond is in our [large] neighborhood.

Aren't they too cute holding hands as we are leaving?
Izzy LOVES animals... at a distance. :) She did not want to leave the ducks once she was in her seat, but she was not a fan of them walking up to her!

Fall is here!

Just two pics of some of my Fall decorations. Isn't Fall so exciting?!
The pics below show how the new arrangement of furniture and toys... now the toys are semi hidden from when you walk into the family room. (One day, I WILL have window treatments!)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Our favorite Uncle Bob!

Can you tell Clara was smiling at him? This is their first time to meet, and she was so happy to have her uncle from Texas here.
Izzy showed off for Uncle Bob all evening, and she even tried saying his name! Yay! I made dinner for all of us and enjoyed a lowfat sidedish I'd never tried before.
Corn & Pepper Orzo
3/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 large sweet red pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Directions: Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, saute red pepper and onion in oil for 2 minutes. Add the corn, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper; cook and stir until vegetables are tender. Drain pasta; stir into the pan. Yield: 6 servings.

Sticky fun

The Mittens took a getaway weekend trip to the NC Mountains and brought back 2.5 pecks of apples for me to use for applesauce. What a funny feeling to remember making applesauce with MY MOM... and now I'M the MOM!

Izzy often wants to help me with tasks but ends up creating more work for me. This time, she was SO HELPFUL! After I cored/cut each apple, she put each piece into the pots. I was so surprised how helpful she was!!!
An apple being cored and cut, apples waiting to be cut, and my huge canning pot full of cut apples.
I mixed the Virginia Beauty and Stayman Winesap.

My three largest pots... and that one on the right is for canning, so it's huge.

The Foley Food Mill my mom used all the years I was a kid. A couple years ago she got another one and gave me this one. Unfortunately, I think it may need to be retired after today's work.
Proof that Clara was in on the action.
I'll post a pic soon of the bags of sauce. I didn't have freezer bags, but Justin picked some up after work for me. :) Bagging the sauce is on Wednesday's "to-do list." For now, some very large bowls of applesauce are taking up my entire refrigerator!

Loving Sissy

Izzy absolutely LOVES her little "Ca"!

She laid on this activity mat and asked to have Clara lay beside her. :)Aren't these two so cute in the tub together!? I am in love! Justin and I had so much fun bathing the girls together.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I got a bit behind!

Pictures and statements from the past week or so:

1. Aunt Colleen sent some adorable outfits for the girls last week. Izzy looked so grown up in her brown leggings. She finally got to wear her lion and leopard print bow that Angie made--I bought it almost a year ago, but there was never a good outfit for it. :)

2. I went to a consignment sale on Thursday morning with Clara, and I found this portable swing for just $5!!! Clara is opposite seasons from Izzy, so I have been very thankful for all the people who have been generous in giving Clara outfits for gifts. I stocked up on fall/winter clothes for her. Izzy JUST got to the point where she needs 2T shirts, onesies, and dresses, but 18 mo bottoms are necessary cause the 2T bottoms are too big in the waist. I found a few things for Iz, but I'm going to a sale this Saturday in Indian Trail to hopefully find her a few more good deals.
3. After the consignment sale, I went to pick Izzy up from her Grammy's house, but we ended up staying the whole afternoon and even for dinner (Daddy joined us there, too)! Aunt Jennifer was at Grammy's and got to have some snuggle time with Clara while Izzy took her afternoon nap.
4. Izzy's sweet actions are growing in number, and they are seriously SO PRECIOUS. Before each of Izzy's naps, she wants Clara to lay in her bed with her for a minute. Then she says "Ca Ma," which means, Clara needs to go with Momma.
4.5 Clara's still in her pj's in this pic, cause I had some tired days earlier in the week from being up at night. Clara fussed some days during the day and took a couple hours to get back to sleep during the night, and Izzy was sick with a head cold/congestion/cough. A couple days I just took care of their needs, napped with them, and got nothing else done. On Wednesday, I was able to get a lot of chores done, which felt sooooo good! Thankfully, Clara's couple days of fussing are over, and she's back to normal! I am satisified with taking everything one day at a time, cause then I make sure to enjoy every little moment with my family!
5. My mom's friend Debbie sent me some yummy recipes to try. This weekend I made a tortellini pasta salad for both a cookout and to bring to Sunday lunch. I kept the marinated olives in a side dish, cause I know some people don't like them, but they are seriously missing out! ;) Here's the recipe:

- 1 carton of fresh cheese tortellini (in the dairy section)

- bottle of italian dsg (I use low cal, low fat)

- olives (green, black and kalamata)

- jar of mild pepper slices

- sliced pepperoni

- grape tomatoes, cut up

- asiago cheese - cube up

Cook the tortellini and then drain and cool. Put tortellini, olives and tomatoes in plastic ziplock bag w/ a little italian dsg to coat. Put in refrig to marinate for about 1/2 hr. Cut up cheese, cut up the pepperoni. Add everything together.
6. The Cagwins visited the Mittens this past weekend, and we enjoyed a cookout with both of those families. I went to college with James, and I enjoyed getting to know his wife, Kelly, a little more. Izzy loved the extra attention from the Cagwins, too!

7. The weirdest thing--Justin and James got to talking and found out that they have the same exact jobs, just in different places! Both of them are electrical engineers by degree but are now in outside sales selling valves and controls. They even represent many of the same manufacturers.

8. I don't know if you can tell, but we took Clara's dress off cause she was so hot. With just a diaper on, she still was sooooo sweaty while Kel held her!
9. Izzy's been begging and begging to have her diaper taken off, so she can sit on her training potty. Last week, Izzy sat on her potty for 2 hours with a drink in hand and still DID NOT pee the whole time! She was so excited to watch a video and sit on the potty, but after two hours of having to sit there, she (and I) were tired of that... and it was nap time by then.
10. On Friday evening, we had a babysitter for Izzy and the three of us went out to eat with some friends at Bonefish Grill. I enjoyed a "date night" with my hubby. I never even held Clara at the restaurant, so it really was a relaxing time with friends and my wonderful hubby. While we were there, Arlene mentioned just letting Izzy run around outside without a diaper on to start potty training.
11. This morning, Clara, Izzy, and I spent 1.5 hours outside with no pee... BUT... I noticed Izzy was starting to poop, so I quick put her on the potty. When she stood up to look in the potty, she started crying and crying. I was trying to be so excited and give her chocolate, but she immediately ran over to a diaper and frantically tried to get the diaper on herself. It was so hysterical! I wish others could have seen the drama. Guess we'll try again soon...
12. Yesterday was Izzy's first Sunday to sit through the entire worship service at church. Usually, we keep her with us for the whole liturgy until just before the sermon, and then she goes to the nursery. We wouldn't have started training her through the entire service yet, but we were trying to avoid the nursery's sicknesses since Izzy had just gotten over being sick. I was proud of her to make it through the morning and evening sermons! We had to take her out a couple times, but she got herself back under control after those trips. ;)
13. Clara is waking once at night and not for a very long period of time the last few days... hoping it stays that way!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day MEAT

Okay, Justin was pretty geared up for his Labor Day cookout! On Sunday night after church, he made up a rub and applied it to 4.5 lbs of pork tenderloin and 3 racks of ribs. On Monday morning, he injected the meat with orange juice, and then he smoked the meat for 6 hours! Izzy had fun being outside with Daddy.
Injecting the meat
Here's a glimpse of the smoker I got Justin for his b-day/V-day gift this past FEBRUARY! Finally, he used it!
The finished product--he loved it enough to take the leftover ribs to work today! That's a big deal since he NEVER takes food to work!!!
A big thanks to our friends for spending the evening with us! We had a few couples with young kids over for our Labor Day Cookout--the Mittens, Surratts, and Fawcetts! The Mittens' sister/sister-in-law, Jess, joined us, too. Izzy enjoyed playing with Abe and Maggie, even though she was too scared to go in the big blow up bounce house that the Fawcetts brought over for the kids to jump in. I enjoyed having other hands around to hold Clara. Each family brought food to share, and I know I had fun spending time with everyone!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday of Labor Day Wknd

I LOVE weekends with my hubby and the girls! This morning we broke our #1 weekend rule: No Walmart on Saturdays. I picked up some Fall Mums to plant, and we needed a few items for our cookout on Monday (I'm sure there will be pics to come). Justin and Izzy did the grocery shopping, and Clara and I did the flower shopping. It's much more efficient to put Justin to complete the food shopping, cause I'll stand there and compare every stinkin' price and size and brand, and then I'll see something we "need" and add that to the ever growing shopping list. I'm sure we could have had a hilarious picture of Clara in my front carrying pouch with me trying to lift the 2 cu. yd bag full of potting soil onto the bottom rack of the shopping cart. ;)

I rototilled our garden plot at lunchtime--it just has a few tomatoes, different peppers, and some herbs left. The rest of the garden is now planted with SPINACH, cause that is the ONLY cool weather vegetable that Justin eats. :) We'll have plenty of spinach for Justin's salads--spinach, croutons, craisins, slices of egg, bacon, and some fruity or tangy dressing. Actually, part of the garden is yet to be planted cause my tiller broke down before I finished. BUT... that's okay, cause Hank successfully stole my packets of spinach seeds and shared eating them with Paris. Just glad we salvaged enough of the packets to get SOME spinach planted!!!

When I was in the hospital, most of my flower planters croaked, so I planted the mums this afternoon, too. We needed a little color on the back patio, since I haven't yet put in flower beds in the back. It takes time filling up a bed, and I've concentrated on the front for now. A big thanks to my mom--she sent me a box of plants this week that she divided from her beds. My front bed is in the fire-y color scheme of red, orange, yellow, and white. I'm excited to see those plants come up next summer.

This evening, we packed up our awesome double stroller and headed into Matthews for the Matthews Alive festival. Justin and I have been going every Labor Day Weekend since we've been married. We love us some festival/fair food! I had a gyro and fried mushrooms cause they're SOOO healthy!!! ;) Justin and Izzy enjoyed their food on a stick--corn dogs and turkey legs! We finished our low cal dinner with a chocolate funnel cake. Yum! We ran into two families that we love while at the festival--the Mittens and the Surratts. The Mittens just moved here, and they're friends from my college days. The Surratts are friends from church. Izzy loved played with Crosby & Abram Surratt while munching on the corn dog. I didn't get to look at many of the craft vendors this year, but I did see some wooden earrings that I need to get my dad to make for me with all his spare time. ;)

Patrick, Abe, & Justin
Jessica and me
Naphtali and me

Friday, September 4, 2009

Almost forgot--Izzy got her 1st haircut!

Okay, these pics are out of order, but I don't feel like fixing them. Anyhow, Nanna gave Izzy her first haircut. It wasn't easy, but it got done. Everything needed a trim.

Trimming the back...
All done!

We turned her around to work on the back and distracted her with fruit. ;)
The beginning--Not a fan of the scissors coming toward her eyes.