Friday, April 30, 2010

Family Friday

Zachary was an early talker and had a pretty decent vocabulary by his 1st birthday.  He did well at communicating his wants and needs with little frustration.  Around 2 1/2 years old, he started communicating to us that he wanted a brother or sister.  By age 3 he was very clear that he wanted a brother or sister NOW.  He wanted a big family, so we should have a least one boy and one girl...for now.  He started preschool at 3 1/2 and the director often told me how Zachary wanted to have siblings.  I'll never forget the day she found out that Zachary was a big brother.  "Finally!", she said.  "That kid has talked our ears off about having a sibling.  Now he has a baby brother.  We are so happy for him."

Zachary took to Nate right away.  As you might know, Nate was not the easiest baby.  He cried a lot.  But it didn't bother Zachary.  He loved him and wanted to make sure he was safe and sound.  Now Nate is a toddler who LOVES to pick on his sweet, big brother.  He pinches him, turns off his video games, sits in his chair and takes his snacks.  Don't get me wrong, this drives Zachary CRAZY.  He can get so mad.  But, he LOVES his brother.  I told him that Nate will grow out of it.  The other day Zachary said, "I hope he grows out of this soon.  I think I might be losing my mind!"  So funny! 

Zachary still wants a big family, but he knows that he will just have to have a lot of kids when he grows up and gets married.  Even though the thought of that freaks him out...after all, he says he's living with me forever!

You are a great big brother Zachary, and I love you.  Nate loves you too!  He is missing you right now, so come home soon.

 
 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I See You

Thank you Lord for giving man the wisdom and knowledge to create the Video Baby Monitor!
 
It is such a comfort to be able to check on your sweet baby while he sleeps.  It's a comfort to see him breathing, to know when his blanket is twisted or when he has dropped his favorite stuffed animal. 

OK...whatever...the truth is this...The best thing about the video monitor is that it gives you the opportunity to spy on your toddler at nap time.  You know, the time when he climbs in his bed, gives you the biggest hug and kiss ever, and then says "I wuv ou, Mommy".  You know, that time...the time when the door shuts and he's up and into everything!  Yesterday the monitor saved my carpet, walls, the bed and his life! 

I checked the monitor about 15 minutes into nap time to see what he was doing (because I knew he wouldn't be sleeping).  There he was, no shirt, no shorts, and ripping off his diaper.  I watched him work and work until that diaper hit the floor.  Then, he walked over to the corner in his room and said, "poo, poo, pee, pee".  What????  Was he about to "go" right there on the side of the bed?  You have NEVER seen a mom run so fast!  I threw open that door, scooped him up, grabbed a diaper and slapped it on him!  Look people, it wouldn't have just been a little pile of poop in corner...his poop isn't what I would call "a little pile"...more like a swamp!!  Yes, I know that's gross.  I know all too well how gross it is!

So, thank you Lord for the divine Baby Video Monitor.  For without it, yesterday would have been pretty crappy!
(OK...that was a lame ending, but I couldn't help it...at least I made myself laugh!)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sick Days and More...

The past few days have been filled with sickness at our house.  Zachary came home from school on Thursday running a fever.  After running a fever on Friday as well, Saturday brought healing.  He missed his morning soccer game, but by noon we were convinced that the fever was gone for good.  So we headed out to the R&R Company Picnic at the Oil Ranch in Hockley.  The kids had a blast and Zachary was glad to be out of the house!  After a long, fun day, Nate decided that it was time for a little "Saturday Night Fever".  His fever was a bit more intense than Zachary's, and by Sunday evening he had a rash all over his torso.  So, this morning, we were off to visit our favorite doctor.  Turns out that Nate has Scarlet Fever (strep virus with an added rash).  So, the doctor prescribed meds for Nate and also for Zachary.  Last time Zachary had a strep virus it went undetected, and attacked his kidneys.  So we aren't playing around this time!
Here are a few pictures of my sick ducklings and the few hours on Saturday that it seemed like everyone was healthy!

Wow...he must feel really bad!

"I'm sick Mommy.  Stop taking my picture!"

Hockley, Texas

Football Time

Popcorn Time

Nate really liked the horseshoes.

Good Throw

My boys on the train.

Putt-Putt anyone?


Ring that bell!

That was as far as little Nate could get.  He wanted to ring the bell!



Sunday, April 25, 2010

Savory Sunday

Today's recipe is Pork Chops alla Pizzaiola courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis.  I refer to this recipe as Easy Pork Chops.  It's one of those recipes that you can add to, change this and that, and even use different meats.  This type of recipe is made in our home at least once a week.  The secret ingredient is a regular 'ol can of diced tomatoes...seasoned Italian style, Mexican  style, sweet onion, or just plain...anything.  It's amazing what a can can do.  I'll give you Giada's recipe and you can do with it what you wish.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (1-inch thick) bone-in pork loin center-cut chops (about 12 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, in juice
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Directions
Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the pork chops with salt and pepper. Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook until they are brown and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted horizontally into the pork registers 160 degrees F, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the pork chops to a plate and tent with foil to keep them warm.

Add the onion to the same skillet and saute over medium heat until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

Add the tomatoes with their juices, herbes de Provence, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.

Cover and simmer until the flavors blend and the juices thicken slightly, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and more red pepper flakes. Return the pork chops and any accumulated juices from the plate to the skillet and turn the pork chops to coat with the sauce.

Place 1 pork chop on each plate. Spoon the sauce over the pork chops. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.


So there you have it.  Let me just say that I have never used the herbes de Provence.  I usually just leave it out, because I don't feel like buying it.  If I have garlic in the house I will throw that in, and I even threw in a handful of fresh green beans once and that was great.  And just so you know, the parsley really makes a Yummy difference.  I didn't have any on hand this week, so I left it out.  This week I served the Pork Chops with plain 'ol buttered egg noodles and roasted zucchini.  Just cut the zucchini into big chunks, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper, and place on a cookie sheet in a 400 degrees oven for about 15 minutes, turning after about 7 minutes.  If you have it, throw some Parmesan cheese on top...of everything!

AND by the way...if you are lucky, maybe someone else will wash the dishes tonight!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Family

Today I'm thinking about family.  And since my family includes two young boys, a children's song comes to mind.  Laurie Berkner sings a song called, My Family.  I love, love, love this song. 

F-A-M-I-L-Y
F-A-M-I-L-Y
F-A-M-I-L-Y
Family!

When you’re in my heart, you’re in my family,
When I’m in your heart, I’m in your family.
When you’re in my heart, you’re in my family,
When I’m in your heart, I’m in your family!
Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers,
Cousins, friends, sons and daughters,
Uncles, aunts, and grandparents
I’m so glad you’re my family!

Oh, I’m so glad you’re my family.
I’m so glad you’re my family
I’m so glad you’re my family
I’m so glad you’re my family.

Even if you’re far away
or if I see your every day
when you’re in my heart to stay
You’re my family!

When you’re in my heart, you’re in my family
When I’m in your heart, I’m in your family.
When you’re in my heart, you’re in my family
When I’m in your heart, I’m in your family.
Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers,
Cousins, friends, sons and daughters,
Uncles, aunts, and grandparents
I’m so glad you’re my family!

Oh, I’m so glad you’re my family.
I’m so glad you’re my family
I’m so glad you’re my family
I’m so glad you’re my family.

F-A-M-I-L-Y
F-A-M-I-L-Y
F-A-M-I-L-Y
Family!
Oh, I’m so glad!



My post was supposed to end here...but the following just came to mind.

I never thought summer school at A&M could impact my life in such a huge way.  But that first summer session before senior year, I met Shelli.  We had an instant connection and began chatting like we had known each other forever.  In fact, it was very shortly after I met her that I asked her to be in my wedding (Randy had recently proposed)...we became that close, that fast.  Shelli and I were eager for our boyfriends to meet and hoped they would get along. We all got together one night, had a great time and were from then on forever friends.  The four of us did so much together.  We met each others families, took trips together (nothing big...college style) and hung out a lot!  As time passed, we graduated, got married, and had children.  We have remained very close and our children are growing up together.  Their daughter, Emma Rose, is my goddaughter and their son, Will, is Randy's godson.  Though distance separates us, we make it a point to get together often...though it's never often enough.  The children all love each other and Zachary refers to Emma and Will as his cousins.  He once told me that he knew they weren't really his cousins, but they were for sure his family!  Yep, Zachary...you are right.  We don't have to be biologically connected for them to be our family...they are in our hearts and that's all we need.
(Plus...it would be weird for Zachary to someday marry his cousin...hehe!)