Saturday, May 31, 2008

Urban Nora

They're done! I am so pleased to finally make you aware of the photo shoot Nora recently had! When the the session began, Jean insisted, that she take Nora off to play, with mommy away! I didn't mind one bit, and either did Nora. The hardest part, was not being able to see any of the shots! So when I got my gallery, it was a complete surprise. My girl did so good, of course! One super cute urban kid, and one super talented photographer... makes for some goooooood pictures.

So, here are the instructions... follow the link, Jean Smith Photography, click on the tab "client proofing", and the password is, urbannora.

One of these pictures is being entered into a contest judged by lots of other photographers. The winner gets fun free stuff! Keep your fingers crossed for us! Because the galleries aren't going to be on her website forever, I will post them when I get copies. Mainly for future posterity! Also check out Jean's blog, and make comments on her amazing talent! Oh, and if you have a favorite, let me know!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Complete Cuteness!!!

I know this is like my 19th post today, but I keep coming up with things to post about. Tell me, how could you not post about these two!

Kyree and Marley or Shiiiii and Marmaly!

These are the best cousins ever! Nora loves kids in the 4-10 age range! And she loves babies. So you can imagine her happieness when we get to play with the cousins! Marley has on a Bob Marley onsie! Her mom is so clever! I LOVE THESE KIDS!!!!!!

Goooo GREEN!

Nora is learning her colors. Since she was teeny tiny, she never did care for the color green. Never ever would she think to even eat green. When I told to Dr. she won't eat her green vegetables, she said, oh, just put it in her pasta sauce, or in an omelet. Of course... so easy... except she knew if it was the color green, she wasn't eating it. If she missed picking it out, and green made it into her mouth, she would spit it out! She gets a daily vitamin, so honestly... I'm not too worried! She has recently loved eating frozen peas. (Maybe because I told her they were Skittles). But last week, mommy was very happy! I guess I should have thought to cover the broccoli in butter, cheese and salt before! That is the trick! Oh, wouldn't it be so nice? If I could eat broccoli like that, I would probably eat a lot more too!

Maybe there is such thing as too much broccoli?

She is most definitely a meat and potatoes gal!

A sweet taste of what I love!

You know how we always talk, about everyone has some sort of talent? Well, I am surrounded by people with talent. Weather it is a musical talent, an artisitc talent, running a business that is sucessful, of course there are also those many many talented mothers. So, I wonder what I could call "My talent"? Sure, I love being a mom. I love looking at artwork. I have so much fun doing all the super mom things. But don't ask me what's for dinner tonight, or don't even take a look at my laundry room! So after looking at all the possible talents in my life, I need to have something that I love doing, and makes me happy, and maybe others happy too. I love helping people. I love to be given a project, and to see the whole process followed through. On Tuesday we completed the treats that I was able to help my friends Jean and Laurel with. It was so fun to be in the kitchen. It was even better to be with friends. They are photographers, and tell me this... whats up with photographers never being photographed! Here are the pictures of our project. There were 5 kids all running around, and they were so patient, under the circumstances! They really wanted to taste our yummy treat! And who could blame them! So much fun!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

So UN-exciting!

So I had a friend giving me a hard time, becuase when I started to BLOG, I would post every day, and since then, I have slowed way down! I am soooo not a Blog Drop out. In fact... I have fallen in LOVE with some blogs, that I spend my "Blogging Time" reading, and not blogging. Some bloggers have WAY too much time on their hands. I thought I was bad. Anyways, other then that, I have been protesting my camera, till I am aloud to get a new one, and so pictures aren't very exciting to me anymore. I know it sounds super lame!!! I will say this... later this week, I will have a FUN post, and next week, an even better post!

I will leave you with my new FAVE!!! During a midnight shopping with the girls, Katie was buying FROZEN PANCAKES! Jennifer and I were not sure why, when you can make them, and freeze them. Then we talked about how we HATE making pancakes, and how it is always so messy, and they don't come out very well, blah blah blah!!! By this time, we were convinced that maybe frozen pancakes aren't that bad. And you get 2lbs for $3.00!!! Not only are they cheap, convienent (1minute in the mic), but they are super yummy! Nora loves them, and has them every morning, loaded in BUTTER! and syrup! One happy girl! Oh, and did I mention, there are fresh blueberries in them! My new favorite thing! Thank you Katie, and how could I have ever doubted you!???

Thursday, May 22, 2008

WAAAAY behind!

This week has been MAD! Ever since I started this potty chair thing, everything else has gone to the wayside. And I have totally been defeated (this week anyways!). There have been some fun events this week, so let's recap....

P is for... POTTY and PEE PEE
I sure hope I don't get slapped with "Exposure of children" charges or anything, but these were too cute not to post. This was our WHOLE day on Saturday!

Of course I have to try everything, so we tried a little bit of both potties. It was not easy, and has gotten harder since. These two pictures went on for about 2 hours!

Then the chair started to sing... I thought, it must be defective, because there is no way... and what do you know... there was PEE Pee in the POTTY! WOO HOO!

So of course she had to be rewarded! Notice her bib? She is so smart! Although, I think a smart child would know why she was being rewarded, and she was oblivious!

A smart child would also never let her picture be taken with hair like that! But I love her to pieces, and she makes every day happy!!!

F is for FOOOOOOOOD!!!!
I have been trying to make super yummy meals for the hard worker in the family. He has really been under the gun at work, and has been really deserving of a good meal. I have also been pursuing a new hobby, and even though I haven't bit the bullet yet... I am playing around. I love food, and I love photography. I have been playing around with my settings on my "point and shoot" camera. Some day when I am ready to commit, I will take it to the next level, whatever that is? So here are two of my first pieces of what I call, ART.

Chicken, Asparagus Alfredo

Chicken Bruschetta

M is for MOM!!!

My mom is an outstanding chef. She does catering for fun! So we love going over for lunch, breakfast, dinner, midnight snack... anything! She likes to try fun things too. This was a fun thing she tried, and I thought it was cute, and creative. Any guesses as to what we were eating?

C is for COOKIE!!!
Anyone who has kids, or loves Sesame Street knows the song by Cookie Monster, "C is for cookies, that's good enough for me, OH cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C". This week we made some classic chocolate chip cookies. I am including the recipe, because people... this is really the BEST chocolate chip recipe EVER! The cookies I am sure are great, but we never get that far! The dough is always the part we eat. WE love it on Ice Cream, or just out of the bowl. I usually half this recipe, because well, the whole thing would not be good! Very bad!

Killer Cookies
2 c white sugar

2 c light brown sugar

1 pound (that’s right…four sticks) butter – room temp

3 eggs

2 T vanilla (yes, tablespoons)

6 c flour

1 ½ tsp salt

1 ½ tsp baking soda

4 c choc chips (I love Ghirardelli milk chocolate the best)

Mix sugars and butter. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat exactly four minutes. Mix flour, salt and soda and add to mixture. Add chocolate chips.

Cover with damp cloth and chill 1 hour or more. Eat a lot of the dough because it’s SO good. Bake for 18 minutes on plain white paper (you could probably use parchment, but baking on paper is kind of fun).

A note: the key to these is to not overcook. They should almost look raw – just barely browned

And here is my Cookie Batter Monster

J is for Just one more!
It is a good thing that I didn't do this all separate. I would hate to clog up your Google readers with my umpteen million posts in one day! My friend, knows I love to bake, and cook, and called me for an idea she needed, and I was, A) so honored that she would call me, and B) so excited to help. I can't give anything away, so I will leave you with the picture, and hope it doesn't hurt her strategy. I can't wait to make more.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Best Strawberries... and nursery craft!

When I was a nanny, it seemed like every day the kids were making me a picture, or a craft project, and they were always so proud to bring it home and give it to me. As sweet, and thoughtful as this simple gesture was, it never really made me as excited as it made them. My walls became cluttered with huge pieces of paper, with a few scribbles over them. When I had to throw them away, I was torn... it wasn't as easy as I thought it would have been. I often see the same problem at friends houses. I have seen very great pictures get great frames, and make it on the living room wall, and then there are some that make it in a Tupperware storage container with all the other semi-important ones. So when Nora came home from nursery last week with her first thing she ever made for mommy, I found myself, once again, torn. Keep it, or toss it? OR BLOG IT!!!!!!! I took pictures of it, so I can throw it away now, but I want to remember the sweet gestures. So I am going to teach Nora that I love her home made projects sooooo much that I want to share them with everyone! Really, I just want to put them on my blog, so they don't get lost or ruined any other way!

By the way.... COSTCO has THE BEST strawberries! We bought 4lbs yesterday, thinking we would come home, and do something fun with them... but 3lbs were gone that afternoon! They are so delicious, and yummy, we eat them raw! Nora calls them "Nona's bibis". (Nora's strawberries!) They are also delicious on Kirkland vanilla ice cream! Here is a picture of "Nona" and her "bibis".

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Maybe I DO have a naughty side? Her name is Alie!

I have the best sister-in-law ever. She is a kick in the pants and I LOVE HER to pieces!!! She seems like the one that is always taking a risk. So this weekend, when we went to get pedicures together, she was as surprised as I was, when I talked HER into getting Black polish! She is always the super sexy and "put together" mom, when I am the frazzled "trying too hard and still not hitting the mark" mom! So I would like to dedicate this black, polish, pedi, decision to the best sister-in-law a gal like me could ever ask for!

"Super sexy, put together mom!"

frazzled "trying too hard and still not hitting the mark" mom

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pitcure Perfect for Lulu

I wanted to post these pictures a long time ago, but it would have ruined the Mothers Day surprise. Jennifer Urbin is one of my photographer friends. She took pictures of Lulus three grand kids for her Mothers Day gift. It was quite the challenge to get an 18 month, a 5 month, and a 4 year old to do something together. But she pulled it off, and came up with some cute pictures! Thank you so much Jennifer for the time you put into these. Lulu absolutley loves her story board!!!

Food Storage Crisis

Last night we were talking about our food supply, and what we need to do to get it in order. We have a big chest freezer that has about 3 months worth of food in it now, but if we lose power, that doesn't help us for three months. Anyways, Joel suggested that we store 1 gallon of ice cream for each person in our family. Their most favorite kind. So if we lose power, we have to eat the ice cream first! So every year on our birthday we will rotate out the ice cream of out choice! He loves ice cream so I am not surprised he came up with this brilliant scheme.

With the huge increase in gas, and the price of lots of food going up, it is time to store up. Only if it means a few extra things on your grocery list every week.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Props to Joel

Ok, we all know how great Joel is! Everyone loves Joel! (He is already so embarassed I can tell) But tonight was our super fun Mothers Day surprise. He has such a cool job. He manages office buildings, and commercial properties. There is a fun play place in Ann Arbor, that has these HUGE indoor play structures. Well, a month ago they went out of business, and basically they just shut off the lights, and never came back. Part of his job is to lease the space either "As is", or any other way he can. It hasn't had a lot of takers, but that is alright, because I WANT IT! Well this place was so super fun. Him and Nora took me to Itchibon Steakhouse, (another one of his properties), and then to Fantasy Forest. We had the whole place all to ourselves. It was awesome! Nora got to run and play, with out any big kids knocking her over. I got to pretend I was 7 again! The worst part was having to leave, and hoping that someday we can do it again. Enjoy these fun pics!

Package Day!

Today we got three packages in the mail! I love when I get packages. Plus we got our stimulant check from the IRS!!! HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to me! I got an order of Shades, anyone that placed an order, I have your shirts!!! Then a random CD came to me from an old friend from Ricks. Its of him singing! I while back I looked him up to see if he has done any work recently, so he sent me a cd of him! Then these super duper cute bows came. I have to plug for a minute! Lil' Critters makes these darling little bows. I am working on this little outfit for my little critter, and needed the right hair accessory to go with it. I told her the colors that I wanted, and sent her a picture of the outfit, and she made, and mailed me the bow THAT DAY! I ordered some other ones too. This is Nora with her new bow that is a set of dragon flies. SO cute, and great quality, and great price. I highly recommend them to anyone, big and lil' critters!

Joel took the day off work today so we could spend some family time together, and so he could get some work done around his yard. He went to story time with us. Then we went to Costco. You can tell he is totally out of his element. It is so funny. He belongs at work! Don't get me wrong, I love having him home, but its almost like having two kids! Nora knows her way around the stores, and library a little better then he does. But he tries, and I love him for it. He has some surprises planned for me later today, having to do with Mothers Day? I am a little nervous! Its always an adventure with him.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

G is for Garden

Really, what have I gotten into? Today Joel came home from work early, so we could start the garden. He is annoyed that we only talk about it, and gosh darn it, we are going to start one! So this is our first blog posting, on our first day, with our first garden! My mother-in-law would be so proud! So since this is our first, and we are very much beginners, we are starting with 5 veggies; green onions, carrots, tomatoes, beans (I heard that anyone can grow beans), and cucumbers. And 2 kinds herbs. It is very small in size, and in quantity. Here are some pictures that explain the happenings. Note to self- next year, start your garden indoors in... March!

These are my poor nails after my first time gardening. I even wore cute gardening gloves!

Not even phased that she is a little dirt ball! Loving that she is able to help!

Seriously... NOT FUNNY!

This is the first bug in my garden. Don't worry, it is supposed to be there. Phew!

I really have no idea what is going to come up where. She was putting seeds everywhere. She loved it, and she made it all worth it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

From tractors to tutus!!!!

Joel and I are so lucky. Last night we were talking about how Nora loves to play with her dollies, loves to get into mommies make-up, loves all the girly things. She also loves to play in the dirt, run around with the boys, and get scratched up too! We are so curious as to what sort of person she will be.

Ryan is staying with us for a few days, and he LOVES Joel. It is really cute to see Joel play with him. Joel let Ryan drive the lawn-mower. He let Nora drive too, and she thought she was on her way to Mars.

I finished the Tutu this morning. I have a confession. It turned out pretty good, but... I was too impatient to wait for her to wake up, to size her in order to finish it. I knew if I waited, then I would size her, then I would have to wait till she went back to bed to finish it. So I guessed... oops! The good news is it will fit her some day! It was a little big. And the other bad news... she is afraid of it! I think because I was teaching her that when there are pins in it, it could hurt her. So she is going to have to warm up to it, but here are a few pics anyways!

Oops... too big!