Nov 30, 2009

Miss them already

This was the first year we'd be spending the holidays without our families in Ohio. I was sad that we wouldn't be with all our relatives, but stayed positive and looked forward to new traditions as a family of 3. On Thanksgiving morning, Jarrod and I were busy in the kitchen. I made Mom's pea salad and Grandma's cole slaw, because Thanksgiving just wouldn't be the same without them. (And, I must say...they turned out really well!) Jarrod made a new mac and cheese recipe, which also was delicious. Then, we headed to John and Erin's for Thanksgiving dinner with some of our Sam's family. Fried turkey and all the fixings. It was a nice day....not the same, but nice.

I was excited about my mom, Rosi, and the kids coming to visit. A few days before Thanksgiving, they decided to drive up for the weekend. They ended up leaving on Thursday night, with the intentions of staying over someone. Well, that didn't happen. When Jarrod left for work at 2:45am (gotta love Black Friday!) I texted mom and told her to call me when they woke up so I knew where they were. She texted me right back and said she was at Walmart! :) They stopped in Buffalo and she shopped for a while, then around 5am they got to our place. My mom is crazy....but I guess you do crazy things for your kids!

We had a great weekend. Didn't do much....hung out at home, did some shopping, went out to lunch. But it was nice to spend time with them, and I loved seeing Gavin interact with the kids. It was so cute to hear him running around saying, "Ana....Yler!" (His version of Briana and Tyler) Mom gave him one of his Christmas gifts early. A grocery cart. She found it here, and they wouldn't have had room for it in their car, so she let him keep it now. He loves it! Shirley, on the other hand, hates that he tries to run her over with it. We played Whoonu with the kids, and mom, Jarrod, and I played Rummy last night. We watched Christmas Vacation and just enjoyed time together. It would have been even better if Dad and Megan could have come, too. I missed them, but I guess they'll have to come for the next visit.

I'll upload pictures soon. They all just got on the road, and I have to get ready. Danielle's watching Gavin for a couple hours so I can run some errands. We're supposed to get snow tomorrow. Looks like winter has arrived!

Nov 28, 2009

Our little stripper

Jarrod always comes home and wonders why Gavin never has pants on. This is why... :)


Nov 27, 2009

Fun Times Friday

I love that Gavin is getting to the age where we can do crafts (minus coloring since crayons still get eaten) and I'm excited to do some baking this holiday season. On Tuesday, we surprised Daddy with some of his favorite holiday treat. Gavin loved helping! I put 3 M&Ms per pretzel, but you can tell which ones he helped with, because they have 5 or 6. :) He was just grabbing handfuls of M&Ms and laying them on the chocolate.

So, how do we make these? Melt white chocolate chips in a double boiler, stirring frequently. Then, take a small spoon to drop the melted chocolate on the pretzels. (I line the pretzels on wax paper first.) Top with M&Ms and let the chocolate harden before removing from the wax paper. Simple and oh so yummy! The perfect combination of salty and sweet.

Nov 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Well, here we are...Thanksgiving 2009. It's the last week of Thankful Thursday, though it may appear again from time to time if there's something I want to show my appreciation for. So, today...I'm thankful for me and my life. This move to New York has shown me that I'm so much stronger than I thought, and that makes me happy. When Jarrod first told me about this move, I never thought I'd survive. I thought of the silliest things that I thought for sure would be huge obstacles to overcome. But the truth is, I survived being a "single" parent for 8 months! I took Gavin to the ER for the first time at nearly midnight alone, and survived. I flew to NY and back with Gavin, without Jarrod there to help me with luggage, and survived. I packed my house up for the move...ok, nevermind...that was totally not on my own! I never would have gotten that house packed up if it weren't for my family, Jackie, Sara, Tori, Lindsay and so many other people that helped me immensely! :) It feels so great to have our family back together under one roof! Absence does make the heart grow fonder, and it makes you appreciate things so much more. I'm so thankful for my husband. He is by far the most helpful man I know! It's not often that you hear about husbands that cook, do the laundry, clean toilets and the rest of the house, and take great care of their wife and son. He's so motivated and so loving. I'm so thankful for my little bug! I can't imagine what life was like before Gavin was born. He's the light of our lives and makes us so happy. As Jarrod says, we make cute babies :) I'm so thankful for my family and Jarrod's family, for being our support and our biggest cheerleaders. I'm so thankful for my friends, both near and far, for enriching my life in so many ways. I have a lot of things to stress out about...I wish our credit cards were paid off; I wish I could lose the rest of this baby weight that just keeps hanging on; I wish my face wouldn't break out so much and I could let me nails grow....but I have so much more to be thankful for, and this year, I've learned just how lucky I am. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I love you :)

Nov 24, 2009

Santa Sighting!

Yay! My favorite time of the year :) I love when we get to put our Christmas decorations up, especially the tree. Jarrod and I set the tree up while Gavin was napping, and you should have seen his face when we brought him out of his room. He was so confused. He immediately grabbed the silver candy cane ornaments and started putting them on. Then, he'd grab anything around and put it on the tree, but it would just tumble down. Jarrod said it was like he was playing Plinko! :) I was so excited to put him in this outfit for our tree-decorating day. My grandma bought this for him while I was still pregnant. It's been in storage for a while, but when I switched out his clothes, I put this in his drawer, hoping it would fit for this Christmas. I had to roll up the sleeves and his pants are folded down a few times, but it fit! It was really special to decorate the tree with Gigi's Santa outfit for Gav. So far, he's done pretty well with the ornaments. He's broken a few of those silver candy canes, and there's a Shirley ornament at his eye level that he likes to bark at. But, he's done better than I thought. We'll see what happens once the presents get under it!

Nov 23, 2009

More Videos

It was requested that I post more of the videos that I take on my cell phone so everyone can see them. So, I will try to get one on here each week. Here's one to start your Monday off right! We sent this video to Daddy while he was at work one day. Gavin has started talking so much more in the last month. One morning, he put his shoe on my lap and said 'shoe' which he's been saying for a while now. But then he grabbed his socks and said 'sock' which was a new word I'd not heard yet! :)


Nov 21, 2009

Rainbow Salsa

Here's another recipe for you to try. We tried this salsa at Alex and Stephanie's, and it was delicious, so I made it for us to munch on during the OSU vs. Michigan game. It's super easy to make....chopping the peppers is the hardest thing. And I promise, even if you don't like peppers all that much, you'll love this! It's very addicting :)

Add a can of corn and a can of rinsed black beans to the bowl. Then add a chopped green, red, and yellow bell pepper. Lastly, add Kraft Seven Seas dressing to taste (I put about 1/3 cup I'd guess.) So good! I'm going to use this also for quesadilla fillings and to put in a salad with grilled chicken. Yummy!

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Well, today is the big game! Gavin and I are excited to watch OSU vs. Michigan with Daddy when he gets home from Syracuse. We're hoping he'll get to take tomorrow off since he's been traveling the last three days, and we can put our Christmas tree up. I'm a bit worried how Gavin (and the other kids that come for playdates) will do with the tree. Let's just hope it doesn't get knocked over!

Gavin and I had a fun time showing Aunt Sandy around Rochester. We took her to Melon Bean for some coffee, visited Strong Museum and the mall, and she was able to meet some of our new friends. It's always great to see family. :)

And, how about a picture to get your weekend started? This was from Gavin's first carousel ride a couple weeks ago at Strong. He loved it...for the first couple times around, and then he kept trying to stand up and was ready to go. Unfortunately, this merry-go-round lasted FOREVER!

Nov 20, 2009

Fun Times Friday black and white! While Sandy was here visiting, we headed to the park to enjoy the weather. I knew if I got Gavin busy enough, he'd actually leave this hat on. I love it, but he never wears it. It actually didn't match his sweater at all, but that's what's great about black and white, huh? :) Enjoy!

Nov 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm so thankful for technology! In my opinion, technology has made it easier to be so far from friends and family. Between cell phone pictures and videos I can send easily, this blog for updating what we do and pictures we take, and Skype to talk to family via the webcam, technology has been wonderful! :)

I'm so thankful for this weather! It's mid-November, just a week from Thanksgiving, and though we have our place decorated for Christmas already (minus the tree), it's been gorgeous weather. 50s and sunny this week :) We spent some time yesterday at the park with Aunt Sandy. She's up visiting for the week. Pictures from the park coming tomorrow...

Nov 13, 2009

Fun Times Friday

How about some bath time fun for today? I really think these are some of my favorite pictures of Gavin...EVER! Plus, one more reason I love when Jarrod does bath time. He seems to have so much more fun with Daddy and I get to snap pictures! :) This camera takes such great pictures. I love how you can see the water droplets on the shot of his little tush, and how the water looks in the last picture.

Nov 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Just a few more weeks for Thankful Thursday! Thanksgiving will be here soon :)

I'm very thankful for the new friendships I've made here in NY. Earlier this week, Danielle came over to watch Gavin for me for a couple hours and I was able to go to library BY MYSELF! Isn't it crazy what excites moms? I was able to look for books alone, and didn't have to reshelve books that Gavin had pulled off from the stroller :) I can't wait to return the favor for her.

Even though Alex and Steph lived in Ohio and we've known them for several years, I'm thankful that I've been able to get to know Steph more now that they, too, have been transferred here to Rochester. We have a lot of fun hanging out on the weekends, and Gavin loves spending time with their kids.

Erin has become my newest scrapbook girlfriend since moving here. I took her shopping for supplies and told her I'd give her a few pointers of how to get started, and now she is making pages that look better than mine! We have fun on Tuesday nights scrapbooking and watching Biggest Loser together.

When I moved to Dayton after college, I missed my college friends so much. But, then I met great friends that I still talk to all the time when I started working. When I moved here, knowing I wouldn't be working, I was worried about how I'd make new friends. But thanks to Sam's Club and Mommies Gone Wild, I've found great friends that I know I'll still keep in touch with even if Sam's moves us again! I'm so thankful for all my friends!

Nov 10, 2009

Park Photo Shoot

So, Sunday was gorgeous and I wanted to get out and play with Gavin and my new camera. It was a perfect day for the park, and Gavin loves slides and climbing equipment. We had a great time, and I took probably 100 pictures in the 45 minutes we were there. Here are just some of them. It was so hard to narrow it down to my favorites! :) (And these aren't edited versions...I'm still trying to figure out the settings on the camera, then I'm going to tackle the editing tools in Adobe that Jarrod bought me for our anniversary 2 years ago!)

The last time we were at the park, he wasn't a big fan of the swings. But this weekend, he loved them!

Nov 8, 2009

Today.... a gorgeous Sunday here in NY! I can't believe that it's November and the temperature is forecasted to get close to 70 for the next two days. Jarrod's off golfing...probably the last time for 2009. Gavin is napping in his room. I just finished a lot of Tastefully Simple work - emails, phone calls, setting up online parties, etc. After G wakes up and eats a little for lunch, we're going to head out to a park to enjoy the sunshine, and so I can play around my with new camera! I love it so much! Then, we're planning to grill some steaks and pretend like it's summer since the sun is shining so much!

Just wanted to post some pics you might enjoy. A bunch of random shots...

Always playing with pillows now Shirley kisses
Look at those eyes! (this is with my new camera)

After falling and busting his lip, he finally calmed down with some Mickey Mouse. It was his idea, though, to lay under a pillow in between the couch and ottoman. Not sure why...
Best pals now ~ well, at least Gavin thinks so!

Nov 7, 2009

Fiesta Chicken Casserole

We tried this new casserole earlier this week. It was really good and would be perfect for a cold winter's day...which lucky for us would NOT be this weekend! The weather looks gorgeous. :)

1 package of refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts)
1 jar (16 oz) salsa
1 can (10 3/4 oz) Cream of Chicken Soup
1 cup of sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese
1 package (24 oz) frozen corn
2 cans (9.75 oz each) canned chicken breast, drained (such as Swanson brand)
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained

Heat oven to 400. Let pie crusts sit at room temp for about 15 minutes.
Stir all ingredients (except crusts) together in a large bowl. Spoon into a 9x13 pan.
Unfold the pie crusts and lay them on a floured surface, overlapping about 3 inches in the center. Press the seam together to seal. Roll the crusts into a rectangle and lay over the chicken mixture. Trim any excess off. Cut several slits in the crust.
Back for 40 minutes.

We both really liked it! Gavin...not so much....but if I made it with beef instead of chicken, I bet he would have liked it, too. :) For the future, we'd probably cut the recipe in half since it made so much for just the two of us.


Nov 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

November is the month to give thanks! So, today I'm just going to ramble a bit. I have so many things, big and little, to be thankful for...

Thank you, Jarrod, for buying a new camera for us. I can't wait to learn how to use it and I promise I'll take amazing pictures to blow you away! Thank you, Megan, for being there to help Tyler and Briana with their homework. I know Mom and Dad appreciate it, and I am grateful you're there with them. Thank you, Jackie, for all the cute clothes you've sent us for Gavin. He's bound to stay warm this winter! Thank you, LL Bean, for the amazing flannel sheets we have on our bed. I've slept so well this week. :) Thank you, friends, for still calling, emailing, and sending me pictures even though I'm so far away from you now. I'm glad you're still keeping me "in the loop." I especially love hearing all the crazy stories from Shaw. Thank you, Gavin, for snuggling with me before bed. I love when you lay your head on my shoulder while I sing to you and how you give mommy and daddy lots of kisses before we lay you down. It's one of my favorite times of the day. Thank you, Shirley, for letting Gavin crawl all over you now. I know he bugs you, but he loves you so much. Thank you, Tastefully Simple, for the delicious Awesome Amaretto Cocoa mix. It makes me so happy to drink a mug in the morning. Thank you, Jillian Michaels and Exercise TV, for getting my butt in gear. I really needed it! Thank you, Erin, for watching Gavin for me tomorrow night. I'm really excited about this party and am glad you could help us out. Thank you, Strong Museum, for giving us a fun place to place on cold days like today....

Now, off to the museum. Happy Thursday, everyone!

Nov 3, 2009

Tyler and Briana on Halloween

Check out Megan's blog for awesome pics of the kids from Halloween....So fun!

Lovin' some chocolate pie!

Jarrod always has a tendency to bring home some delicious and extremely unhealthy dessert from Sam's just as I'm getting back into my Biggest Loser routine. (Of course, I eat it anyway! Who wastes dessert???) This past weekend, it was Chocolate Dream Pie...a yummy pie crust, with a chocolate pudding-like filling, whipped frosting and chocolate shavings. Needless to say, we all loved it, including Gav.

This a great picture of his "Cheese!" face. :)