Thursday, September 29, 2011

The only craft I've ever made..

So, last year I decided I'd do one crafty thing for Carter before he was born. I decided to hand-sew a felt stocking from Herrschner's. My mom made felt stockings for all of our family growing up, so I figured I would continue the tradition. I really didn't think it would be that hard... until this packet of STUFF showed up in the mail:

A ton of felt, sequins and string. I didn't even understand what techniques of sewing/embroidering they wanted me to do, and I almost gave up. Graham even had to help me figure out how to correctly sew a sequin on!
However, after months of long hours on the couch while I was pregnant, watching LOTR with Graham and sewing sequin after sequin, I finally finished (actually my mom helped me finish) the stocking the week after Carter was born. He had a cute stocking ready for his first Christmas:

Now, if only I could get rid of Graham's perverted stocking and make him a real stocking as well..

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My new obsessions

Ok, so I'm a little behind on Internet fads, but I blame that on the fact that we didn't have the Internet at home for 2 years..

So, I'm trading in my internet obsession from Babycenter for 2 new sites:

Mint & Pinterest

Babycenter, you were good to me while trying to conceive and while I was pregnant, but I don't need you anymore..

Mint, I love you, even though you tell me my "net worth" is negative and that I've gone over my budget for clothing.

Pinterest, you inspire me to be more creative and to surround myself with things that I like.

Anyways, that is all.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Recipe Post

I don't know how many of you have read Amy Sedaris's book, I Like You, but it's this quirky hostess "advice" book. She also has recipes in it, and I tried this one a few months after we got married. It is honestly one of the most delicious and tender chicken recipes I've ever eaten. I highly recommend it, especially if you're into cooking with wine. The combination of red wine and tomatoes is AMAZING.

Chicken of the Taverns
Lightly adapted from I Like You
(serves 4-6)

1 whole chicken (or 3-4# of chicken pieces, skin on)
4 TB butter (I'm still experimenting with how much I can decrease this)
2 TB oil (I use olive oil)
juice of 1 lemon
salt & pepper

28 oz can of whole tomatoes
14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried savory (this herb is hard to find--if you can't find it, I originally used "poultry seasoning" in its place and it was still delicious)
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup red wine

Parmesan cheese

1) Heat butter and oil in small saucepan. Pour half of oil mixture into a shallow baking pan (I use a 9x13 pan), and rest the chicken pieces on it.
2) Mix lemon juice in remaining fat and baste chicken. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
3) Bake chicken at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.
4) While chicken is cooking, put tomatoes, onion, herbs, and red wine into a stockpot or Dutch oven. Cook for about 25 minutes and bring to a boil. If you don't like large chunks of tomatoes, break down the whole tomatoes with your spoon near the end of cooking when the tomatoes have softened.
5) Pour tomato sauce over chicken, reduce oven to 350 degrees F, and bake for 1 hour.
6) Serve over noodles and top with grated parmesan cheese.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A story for the ages...

So, I was trying to think of a funny story from my life lately, but there hasn't been anything.

But, I did remember a hilarious story from my college days at BYU... Let me take you back... 

The year was 2003. Tisha and I (along with our roommate Meri), lived in a 2-bedroom condo complex in Provo called "Santa Barbara". It was fall semester, so it wasn't quite snowy yet. Tisha and Darren were engaged. I wasn't dating anyone in particular, but I was "having fun". I was working as a manager at good 'ol Hogi Yogi, and I worked every Friday night until midnight.

Tisha & I on a late-night run to Wal-Mart in 2003.

 So, now you know the background.. Let me get to the real story.

Tisha, as you may or may not know, has a habit of "collecting" things, whether they be items of clothing (cough cough.. skin tight leather pants..), books, or pets. This year, Tisha had decided to adopt a mouse, which I was cool with because it didn't make noise, it had its own cage, etc. However, Tisha's compulsion to collect things took a wrong turn when she decided to adopt a hamster... that she found on the street.

That's when the red flags should've popped up.. What kind of hamster/guinea pig do you find on the street? (I mean, besides the thug hamsters in those car commercials.) Seriously.. this isn't Argentina! This hamster/guinea pig/rodent had beady little eyes.. and was totally evil. I could tell he was plotting my death.

So, we soon found out WHY this rodent had been wandering the streets in Provo. This hamster was an escape artist. He found his way out of his cage many many times. Let me illustrate the scenarios in which this hamster was found:

1) Tisha had a private room right next to mine and Meri's room. One night as we were getting ready for bed, we heard Tisha scream loudly. We ran in to her room and found her under her bed. Apparently, she had heard some noises under her bed, and when she stuck her head under, the hamster was there staring right at her.

2) I used to sleep with the door open until this night.. I woke up to some weird noises at 2 AM. The hamster was right near the head of my bed, trying to crawl up on the computer cords and plastic bags that were there.

3) When the hamster escaped again, I decided to sleep with the door closed. One morning we found a patch of carpet the hamster had worn through to the carpet pad right under our bedroom door. The hamster REALLY wanted to get into my bedroom!

4) One last time when the hamster was MIA, Tisha left for the weekend. I got home from work late that Friday night. I opened the door and the hamster froze in his tracks, right by the front door. I decided I'd had enough with this sociopathic hamster. I grabbed my umbrella and ushered this hamster out the door.

I don't know how many of you know the layout of these condos (other than Tisha, Whitney and I), but the condo complex had indoor stairwells for 6 condos. We lived in the basement condo, so this hamster had to get up a flight of stairs and out of of the stairwell's door to get outside. I didn't feel bad for this hamster at all. I kind of hoped he would die. When Tisha got home on Sunday, I lied and told her the hamster escaped. A few days later, I confessed and told her I kicked the hamster out.

I thought the hamster wouldn't make it.. But I should've known this hamster would somehow convince another sympathetic human to take him in.

A week later, we were at a neighbor's condo, and this guy said, "Hey check out this hamster we found running free!" It was the same little evil hamster..

Would you have done the same thing?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Carter's Newest Trick: The "Windmill"

Remember this hole at the mini golf course? It was the hardest one, and the windmill always seemed to swing around RIGHT when your ball was about to go through!

Well, Carter has decided to imitate this motion and make it nearly impossible to feed him. He holds up his left arm up by his head, and when you bring the spoon to his mouth, he will suddenly swing down his arm, directly hitting the spoon. He gets the food all over his hands, which he then smears everywhere on his high chair and his face. Sometimes we are quicker than he is, but sometimes.. he times it with exact precision and we are unable to prevent it.

It's hilarious. He thinks it's funny and sometimes I can't stop laughing... but it's getting annoying. Hopefully it is just a phase!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Oh yeah.. THAT'S why we're here!

Occasionally I will surf the Internet, looking for other Dietitian jobs in Seattle, Portland, and Sacramento. Usually I find crap, like being a Dietitian for the CA prison system..

But the other day, I got super excited when I found a full-time RD position in Portland with a home health company. I started thinking about being near Graham's family again, living closer to an actual city, being able to get *free* daycare from Graham's aunts, Graham could get an engineering degree from Washington State Vancouver and it wouldn't take as long to graduate, etc. My mind was running a mile a minute and I was thinking about actually putting an application in.

Then reality hit me like a ton of bricks.. Exactly why did we stay here in Brem Brem?

The co-op program with the shipyard, which not only allows Graham to work full-time (get paid $15/hr) and get "tenure" with the government, but provides a guaranteed job right out of college with a salary of at least $55K starting off, and also pays for school and student loans.

My spirit was quickly deflated. Oh well.. my only solace is that we will NOT live here forever!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

End of Summer

So, it's my favorite time of the year..

The time when I get to put up my FALL decorations. Woohoo!

There are other reasons I love the fall season coming up this year..

1) It's almost time that I will stop being a single mom and Graham will be home before 10 PM every night..

2) Carter is turning 1! But, I haven't decided on birthday stuff yet..

3) I love the slight chill in the air and the reminder of high school football and cheerleading. I love the turning colors of the leaves and trees.

4) Sweaters.. although I CAN wear sweaters practically all year long here in the Northwest.

5) Soups and stews.. More dinner choices..

Life is boring lately. I work, pick up Carter from daycare, make dinner, work out, and put Carter to bed.. and then wait for Graham to come home.

I have started working out again, though.. which is definitely a good thing. I freaking hate this baby paunch that remains from my pregnancy. I don't even like to look at my body in the mirror anymore! And, what's with the saggy boobs?!

What's Carter up to lately? He's learning to "crawl like a man", ie, on all fours.. He still loves his army crawl though. He's started pulling himself up on stuff, which is not fun. He sometimes wakes up in his crib sitting up and crying because he's too tired to lay back down. He still is the cutest boy ever with the happiest disposition ever. He like never cries and is always smiling. His eyes are turning the coolest hazel color. His hair is still blond, and is growing out after his haircut. He is currently sprouting his 6th tooth. He loves ALL food, from quinoa with zucchini to Greek yogurt with fruit. His favorite food has unfortunately become the Graham cracker, which we are limiting to one half-cracker daily. He also is able to drink water from a sippy cup.

Graham is finishing his ice cream truck driver job next week. He heads back to school on September 19th and is gearing up for a hard core quarter of engineering physics and differential equations. We recently got a new desktop that has enough memory for Graham's engineering programs so he can do homework at home.

It also means we are getting the internet at home soon.. So I should be posting more.. but like I said, life isn't exactly moving fast here..

Ch ch ch ch ch ch Changes

One thing is for sure about this home building process.. There will be changes! Quick Update : drywall is nearly done. Our project manager...