Tuesday, August 31, 2010

lazy days of summer

enjoying a graham cracker break at the pool

You know, it is the end August, and we're all just about tired of the summer heat and ready for cool fall breezes, pumpkin spice latte's, football season, and falling leaves.  Every spring I'm so excited for the green, and every August, I'm so excited for cooler temperatures.

time for wonder pets while mom cooks dinner
So, we're ending the summer with lots of indoor play and a little bit of pool time when it isn't too hot.  If I say, "pool" or "gymboree" it is all over!  Harper actually knows the route to both the pool and gymboree and she starts crying when we pass either one.  On the other hand, when we pull into the parking lot of either, she's screeching either "pooooal" or "g-g-g-g."  She's a mess.  But, those have been our saving grace this summer because it is just so hot.  We'll be finding new outlets this fall since gymboree unlimited classes ends today and the pool closes on Tuesday.  We'll figure something out.


I love my sweet girl.  She just gets better and better.  She's talking more and more and notices these little things that I wouldn't think she'd ever pick up on.  Like when she puts her hand in her mouth because she thinks it is "mickey mouth."  Or then she'll put a dog bone to her ear because she thinks it is a dog phone.  Like I said, it just gets better and better.

Monday, August 23, 2010

make me monday: panini!


No pictures these last couple of days-but here's one from a year ago. My little sweet potato!

We have a nice panini press and don't use it enough. I dusted it off tonight for this DELICIOUS recipe. It is a spin on grilled cheese and is to die for! I cut the recipe in half and have some leftovers. Brian, Harper (and thus Georgia) and I loved it. I followed the recipe exactly, but did use some fresh ciabatta that the store thick-sliced for me. We never eat fatty food at home, but I used all of the cheese and butter this recipe called for. Mmm mmm! This would be great for a party, a Fall football game in the family room, or just a Monday night family dinner. I found it on foodnetwork.com. LOVE IT! Did I mention it was good?

GRILLED CHEESE WITH SPINACH AND PANCETTA

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 6 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mild Cheddar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil, plus extra, as needed
  • 2 packed cups coarsely chopped baby spinach
  • 16 (1/3-inch-thick) slices country-style white bread

Directions

Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. Lay the pancetta in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets and bake until crispy and brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Cool for 5 minutes and crumble. Set aside.

In a food processor, combine the butter, cheeses, salt, and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Blend until smooth, adding extra oil, as needed, until the mixture is spreadable. Add the spinach and pulse until just combined.

Preheat a panini maker. Spread the cheese mixture over 8 slices of bread. Top with the crumbled pancetta. Put the remaining bread slices on top. Grill the sandwiches, 2 at a time, until golden and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes, then cut each sandwich in half and arrange on a platter.

Friday, August 20, 2010

pigtails


Harper finally sit still long enough for me to get some pigtails in her hair. It took some bribing, and they certainly aren't perfect, but they were so cute!





They really were cute. She looked really grown up with her pigtails and Adidas tennis shoes on this morning. Happy Friday!

Monday, August 16, 2010

we WILL eat in this dining room

Brian and I now have a "formal" dining room, and I had an idea of making it look classic but comfortable. So, I went with this navy color to go with the gold chandelier (that I love), big windows, and white paneling. I still need a few things for the walls, but that will take time. I'm not going to settle with art, so I'll just consider the room "done" until I see something that I love. So, here are the before and after pictures.


BEFORE




AFTER


The color is a Benjamin Moore color called "Stunning." But, I was at Lowe's and they color matched it for me in Valspar. The paint can actually reads, "Benjamin Moore Stunning" and I have to say it is right on! I'm bummed about the rug, and will probably take it out. I had the rug before I painted, and I think I may have another spot for it....hopefully. Anyway, the point is we WILL eat in this dining room more than just holidays. I'm determined. I'll let you know when we do.

Finally, this is for the grandparents:


Harper and Brian getting ready for church

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happy 18 months, Harper!



My sweet girl is 18 months old today. It is wild to think she'll be two in 6 months, and even wilder to think about how quickly time flies with a child.

So, you're 18 months old, Miss Harper...here's what you're up to
  • You go by "Harper," "Miss Harper," "Harper Rose," "Monkey," "Harpster," and "Bubbaloo"
  • You wake up at about 7:30 am and go to bed at 7:30 pm
  • You now have to have milk in your cereal, followed of course by half of a banana-we share
  • You LOVE Gymboree and go two to three times a week. Your favorites there are the rocking horse, the trampoline, and any setup that you can run down into my arms
  • You take one nap a day, usually 2 1/2 hours, and you always wake up cheerful
  • You are in love with books, particularly The Little Engine That Could and your toddler version of The Bible. You even call it "bibul." It is very sweet.
  • You love your baby doll and treat her like she's real. You try to push her in the stroller, feed her, give her your milk, hold her hand, dance with her to music, and change her diaper. I love how you love on her and all of your toys.
  • You kiss your toys and make the toys kiss one another. You give your mom and dad kisses too.
  • You've finally started calling me "mamma." It melts me every time. You also say dadda, more, all done, pop, that, up, down, hot, hello, hi, bye-bye, Bible, night-night, bubbles, sit, socks, boo boo, ouch, blue, no, and yes. Your favorite word is "uh-oh." You make a million animal noises too and said your name a couple of times last week.

  • You blow on your hot food and say "shh" around babies.
  • You love the pool. I can sit in a chair and watch you play in the water. When we pull into the club parking lot to go swimming, you begin shrieking and shouting with joy. You're very independent, and mimmic the older kids at the pool.
  • You love bath time and your bath toys.



  • You sleep with a blanket and a binkie. We're on the verge of removing the binkie this week, as soon as we get up the nerve.
  • We cuddle with you in our bed and watch morning cartoons on the weekends.
  • Your favorite foods are macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cheddar bunnies, peas, and cookies. You also had ice cream on Sunday and loved that.
  • You brush your teeth-and have the last two coming in right now.

  • You throw tantrums by throwing your hands on the ground.
  • You love to dance and twirl.
  • You weigh 22 pounds and are tall. You're long and lean.
  • You snuggle with us at bedtime in your rocking chair and point to your crib to go to sleep.

  • You're happy, talkative, social, strong-willed, kind, funny, and wild



We love you so much!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

new baby and old friend


My friend Amanda had a baby last week and I got to run over to the hospital to visit her and her new son, Ryan. He is absolutely adorable and so LITTLE! I haven't held a newborn in...many months, and he was just so tiny and cute. Amanda was such a trooper and is going to be a really good mom. She was all calm and laid back about the whole situation, and said she was excited to take him home. It was so good to visit with her and see her beautiful son-and a little surreal being back in the maternity ward!

Here's the happy family!

That same night, our friend Tom came in town to stay for the weekend. He lives up in New York now, but we try to get together a few times a year. We really miss him and had the best time hanging out. Harper was a little shy at first, and then in true form warmed up immediately. She gets attached pretty easily.

Harper and Tom getting ready for the pool

But nothing compares to her love for her daddy. When he gets home from work, she runs to him with arms stretched out for a hug. Then, we he gets her, she looks at me like, "see, this is my daddy." It is the sweetest.


Tonight Harper and I went to Chik Fil A since Brian had to work late. If he's working late on Tuesdays, we go because they have family night on Tuesdays and kids eat free. It usually goes really well...usually. Tonight the Chik Fil A cow came out. Cue the Jaws music, because Harper was absolutely terrified. Take every action that a terrified person does and that's what Harper did. First her eyes got wide, then she shook, then she grabbed me and was clawing at me to get her out of the high chair. She spent the next 30 minutes eating her dinner with her head buried in my chest. Every time the cow came by, she shook violently! I couldn't believe it. I felt so bad for her. I suppose it is normal for this age? One thing's for sure-there's no Disney World for her in the near future.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

roll... eh hem, tide?


Our sweet friend and babysitter, Hope, is going to the University of Alabama in a little over a week and we wished her a happy farewell last weekend. She came over to watch Harper and they exchanged gifts.

I somehow managed/forced myself to go to rolltide.com (which is now sending me spam) and got her a crimson hoodie for the Fall. She brought Harper a cute cute CUTE tutu and they both looked adorable. Hope was a student of mine for a little while before I started staying home, and I'm really going to miss her.





oh and by the way... Hope, if you're reading this,
IT'S SO ON!

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!