Friday, November 27, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
- Gillian is wearing all 6 month and bigger clothes. In Carter's size 6 months fits perfectly for now, but it won't be long before she'll be ready for 9 months. Weighing in at nearly 12 lbs. at her 2 month checkup, we're interested to see at what weight she tips the scales this upcoming week during our 4 month well baby visit.
- She has begun to roll over and has become quite the rolling machine. When she first learned to roll over she'd wake herself up during the night just to practice her new skill. So proud each time she performs her new trick, Gillian always looks for recognition and praise from her nearest observer.
- Her focus has grown immensely. She can sit in her bouncy seat and watch an entire episode of one of her favorite shows.
- She loves to touch and explore. The exersaucer is her newest favorite toy. With so much to feel, hear, and see Gillian can entertain herself for nearly half an hour.
- She enjoys being read to. Nightly storytime with Daddy is a calming time for her.
- She babbles all the time. No words yet, but she has become quite the talker. We may have to resurrect the nickname given to my Dad as a boy, Radio, for Miss Gillian Grace.
- She has begun grabbing at faces when being held and talked to. Too sweet!
- She laughs and giggles all the time. Sometimes she laughs so loudly that she actually startles herself!
- She has mastered spoon feeding and gobbles up 2 oz. of rice cereal mixed with half a container of baby food fruit each morning. She seems to like bananas and applesauce the best, but she tolerates prunes and peaches just fine. She also consumes somewhere in the neighborhood of 28-34 oz. of formula each every day. Mmmm, big girl!
- She still loves to stand. She can hold herself in a sitting position for about a minute before toppling over.
- Bath time is still one of her favorite times of the day.
- She goes to bed between 7 and 8. Lately she's been fast asleep by 7:30. She still wakes up a few times at night, usually because she has gotten herself stuck in a corner of her crib and needs some assistance. If she's not stuck, she can put herself back to sleep. She wakes up to begin the day between 6:45 and 7:30. She's getting it!
- She takes two naps each day. The mid-morning nap usually begins between 9:30 and 10:00 and lasts anywhere from an hour and a half to three hours. She then goes down for an early afternoon nap around 2 or 3. Most of the time her afternoon nap is shorter and lasts an hour or two.
- She loves to sleep on her tummy. She has begun to move her legs back and forth in an early attempt at crawling. Many times we'll check on her only to find her asleep on her tummy with knees drawn inward and booty in the air. How it can be comfortable is beyond me, but she seems to like it.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
1-2 pkgs. taco seasoning mix
1 c. water
1 1/2 cans crescent rolls
1/2 to 1 reg. size bag corn chips
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1 1/2 c. Cheddar cheese
Line 9x13 pan with the rolls. Bake rolls at temperature listed on package for 5 minutes. Crumble 1/2 of the bag of chips and put over rolls. Top with meat mixture, sour cream and cheese. Sprinkle with remaining chips. Bake 11-13 minutes, 375 degrees.
I'm pretty sure that whoever coined the phrase, "Easy as pie..." never actually tried baking a pie. Although the pie can be made successfully without it, a double broiler would have made melting the chocolate much easier. Having a large grater for making the chocolate shavings would have also been helpful. With only a small grater, creating chocolate curls for the topping was impossible! Only after beginning the recipe and then realizing that I didn't make it home with unsalted butter (and yes, it was on my list), I substituted the missing ingredient with regular Land O'Lakes salted butter. Having never made this pie before I cannot tell you if the change from unsalted to salted butter effected the taste, but can say that the chocolate fudge part of the pie lived up to its name as it was chocolately fudgey deliciousness!
Being a baking novice, I didn't realize that pie crusts could be found on the frozen dessert aisle of the supermarket. Duh! Instead, I purchased a ready-made graham cracker pie crust from the baking aisle. The graham cracker crust was tasty, but if I don't make my own pie crust next time, I will plan to use a frozen pie crust. A frozen pie crust would have also helped the first direction in the recipe---bake pie crust for 20-25 minutes until golden brown---make more sense. Other than that one step in the directions, which I now understand, I found the recipe easy to follow and all the preparation/baking times accurate.
Knowing that my Dad would provide an honest critique of the pie, I sent a few slices home with Mom. Both Dad and Mom agreed that the pie was divine and shortly after arriving home the pie was gone! With approval from Mom and Dad and a happy hubby to boot, I decided this recipe was a success and a keeper. I've even been asked to make it next week for Thanksgiving! With not much room to improve upon taste, I'll focus all my efforts on improving the overall look of my pie. Let's just say mine didn't quite turn out like the picture in Real Simple.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Earlier in the week, Gammie and Grandad got a wild hair and decided to transform a guest bedroom into a nursery complete with new crib, bedding, and changing table for GG. They planned to keep it a secret and let us discover it on our own during a future visit. It just so happened that our visit came sooner than excepted. I was surprised by the nursery, but not my parents' continued show of thoughtfulness. As though able to anticipate our needs, my family has been extremely generous with us since Gillian's birth. Whether lending a hand with GG, staying up with her at night so we can sleep, cooking us dinner, or making sure we have groceries, my parents have and continue to go above and beyond the call of duty. We could never begin to thank them enough for all that they've done.
Mom mentioned wanting some artwork for Gillian's Pensacola nursery. After browsing a few stores and coming up empty handed, I decided to try my hand at painting. I decided to return the favor and surprise Mom during our weekly visit with a few personally handpainted pictures for the nursery. I purchased a few canvases, paint, and brushes at Michael's. My inspiration for the pictures came directly from the crib bedding Mom and Dad purchased---ladybugs, dragonflies, and flowers. Using templates I created by drawing free-hand on white paper, I traced the images on each canvas. I then painted each background and the images on each canvas. Going for whimsy not perfection, I was pretty pleased with my first attempt at painting. What do you think?
And, my favorite---the ladybug
Love. Love. Love the lamp. Good eye, Gammie!
Gillybean's new crib and bedding at Gammie and Grandad's
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Thanks Bret, for all your help with our newest layout. After a hard day at the office, your tireless devotion to your wife and family are commendable. Although I consider myself to be somewhat of a computer aficionado, HTML coding still sends me running for the door. It was then that Hubs stepped in to save the day. My husband, my hero!
In mid-October, Bret and I presented Gillian Grace for the Sacrament of Baptism at our church here in Mobile. At Dauphin Way United Methodist the baptism ceremony is very brief, lasting no more than a few minutes. Gillian Grace was brought before the congregation along with another baby, Russell Lawrence. Having never attended a church service prior to her own baptism, we were unsure of how the morning's events would unfold. But, as we have come to expect, Gillian Grace was quite the little lady. A very composed GG instantaneously took to her new surroundings and was not the least bit intimidated by the unfamiliar faces nor the vastness of the Sanctuary. With eyes wide, mesmerized by the stained-glass, Gillian seemed more at peace than I had ever seen her before. Surely, the presence of the Lord was in this place.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of her counterpart, Mr. Lawrence or Law as he was referred. Born just days before our Gillian Grace, Law wanted no part of the baptism. His disdain for the ceremony began shortly after his family's arrival to the front of the church and didn't let up until he was given a bottle after returning to the pew. Refusing to allow anything to detract from our moment with our daughter, Bret and I focused on the words of Reverend Gormon Houston, trying our best to tune out the wails of one Mr. Law.
Gillian's love of all things wet was once again confirmed when she reacted favorably as Rev. Houston sprinkled the Holy water upon her head. Her smile and soft coo prompted a simultaneous chuckle from the congregation. As the ceremony drew to a close, a collective awe could be heard echoing through the Sanctuary as Reverend Houston and Jorgensen carried Gillian Grace and Law down the center aisle as the congregation shared a prayer for their salvation. There were many memorable moments that day, but for me there was a particular moment that still gives me goosebumps. Struggling to fight back tears, Bret gently touching my hand, the congregation vowed in unison to surround our darling Gillian Grace with a community of faith, hope, and love so that she may grow in love for God and in her service to others during the recitation of the Sacrament of Christian Baptism. Soaking in the words, and realizing the endless love and support surrounding Gillian Grace, that moment simply took my breath away. It's always been said that children are a gift from God. I know believe that the love of the church family is the gift wrapping.
With so many pictures of Gillian's baptism, I thought it best to put them in a slideshow. The slideshow takes a few seconds to begin. Happy looking!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
This week's recipe is Chocolate Fudge Pie from the November issue of Real Simple. With only a few hours remaining before Tuesdays slips into Wednesday, I've finally found the time to post the first of many Tasty Tuesday recipes.
In addition to new recipes each week, I'll also fill you in on how last week's recipe panned out. If any of these recipes get your taste buds watering, please give 'em a try in your own kitchen and leave a comment letting me know all about your experience and opinions regarding the featured recipe.
Happy Cooking, everyone!
Hands-On Time: 20m
Total Time: 4hrs
- Basic Flaky Piecrust
- or 1 store-bought piecrust, fitted into a 9-inch pie plate
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped, plus more shaved for topping
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 3 large eggs
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Heat oven to 375º F. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet. Prick crust with a fork and line with foil. Fill to top with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the edges are firm, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake until just golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325º F. In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs, salt, and ½ cup of the sugar until fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Fold a third of the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder.
- Pour the combined mixture into the crust and bake until puffed and beginning to crack, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool for 1 hour, then chill.
- Beat the cream with the remaining sugar until soft peaks form. Spread over the pie and sprinkle with the shaved chocolate.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Although I've never claimed to be a diehard frugalista, who doesn't enjoy finding name brand merchandise at drastically reduced prices? There's a certain satisifaction that I get from finding an inspiration room and then making it come to life for less with items from HomeGoods. In fact, I 'm such a fan I once made hubs stop at every store between here and West Virginia. If you're lucky enough to have a HomeGoods in your area, you definitely owe it to yourself and your wallet to check it out.
Love, Love, Love, Target! I could spend hours in this store. With everything under the sun at affordable prices, who isn't a fan?
If you see me, you can be sure that I've brought along one of my favorite accessories---a hoodie. I've always got one zipped up over a tee, tied around my waist, slung over my purse, or in the backseat of my car. With enough hoodies to spare, I can be sure that I've always got one when I need it even if it is laundry day!
Girly Girl Shoes
What woman doesn't covet a good pair of heels? Especially expensive ones like these Christian Louboutins. After years of being teased relentlessly by my father, I have now traded in my flip flops for more sophisticated footwear.
Okay, so I'm not a totally reformed flip flop junkie. Besides after wearing a pair of five inch heals my tootsies need a reprieve.
Hot and Spicy Pickles
Something my mom introduced me to while I was pregnant (you know pregnant women and their pickle cravings), these pickles have become a staple in our house. A woman out of Destin, Florida makes these pickles and sells them at a local store in Pensacola. Between Mom and I, we like to think we keep her in business. Just last week we spent nearly $50 on pickles alone as we cleaned out the store's entire stock! Gotta have 'em!
Octane Q37 Elliptical
Isn't it obvious? I love food and with hopes of regaining my pre-baby figure, I need to exercise. It hasn't even arrived yet, but this elliptical has already become one of my favorite things. My uber generous parents, purchased this elliptical for me. Now, I have no excuses when it comes to exercise.
The 80s may have been their heyday, but this band still rocks my world nearly thirty years later. Having been a fan for many years, my infatuation with front man- Jon Bon Jovi was taken to a whole new level after seeing the band in concert last year in Fort Lauderdale. Even a bomb threat at the Bank Atlantic Center couldn't dampen the mood as the New Jersey native and his band rocked until the wee hours. With a new tour this spring, I can only hope another show lies in my future.
There's nothing quite as enjoyable as spending a Fall afternoon watching college football, especially if your team happens to be the 9 and 0 reigning National Champion, Florida Gators! As a proud graduate of UF, it doesn't get much better than Gator football!
There's no big surprise here. I love holidays and birthdays. Any excuse to decorate or shop is aces in my book. Besides the obvious and very important religious implications of the holiday, there is just something extra special about Christmas. It's a magical time of year that can make a 90 year old Granny feel like a kid again, turn a Scrooge into a Salvation Army bell ringer, and melt the frostiest of hearts with a Carole of peace and joy. Aren't we lucky that the season is upon us?
With most of my favorites being "things" I wanted to mention that there are just some favorites that money cannot buy. Family and friends trump anything I could find on a store shelf and, to quote the Mastercard commercial, are simply priceless.