Sunday, October 31, 2010

Carving Pumpkins

Tessa instructed Jeremy on how she wanted her faces to scary, one happy. One with triangle eyes and one with oval eyes. She knew what she wanted.

She was begging to scoop out the guts until she got a good look at them and decided they were too gross.

Me and Charley's mini pumpkin...he was obliviously playing with the dogs during all of this.

Ta-da, our finished product!

Pre Halloween Fun

We seem to have started an annual tradition of going down south the weekend prior to Halloween...we did it last year and the year before. It gives the kids a chance to show off their costumes to the family, plus we enjoy the Halloween party in 4th grade and Boyd's pumpkin display.

In 4th grade the kids snacked snacked and snacked some more. Tessa had her first fun dip and there were also cookies, candy and cheetos. Neither one of them ate dinner, surprised?

When it got dark we drove out to Boyd's. They carve and display about 275 pumpkins every year.

The big one was dragon (in the process of being carved) by our own Aunt Becky!

We got to see Ashley and the boys as well. Everyone enjoys a little cousin time.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Party at Preschool

Tessa posing for me at home. Below is her 'scary face'.

Snow White, Cinderella and Belle. A couple more princesses and they'd have the whole Disney collection.

The famous Miss Cindy. If only Tessa's eyes were open!

New Toy For...Mommy?

Last night we were living on the edge. We dropped the babysitting kids home at 5 and met Erin at Target shortly thereafter. Since we were hungry I drove through Wendy's and got the kids cheeseburgers and a chicken sandwich for myself.

They ate their cheeseburgers while we shopped and gabbed (and oggled at Aviana, now 7 months old!) If only I had my camera to capture Charley's ketchup saturated face as he tried to grab items off the shelf.

One of those items is my new favorite thing. Erin introduced me to them and I had to get two. Why two?...because they harmonize!

Seriously the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. This morning Tessa wouldn't share one with Charley and I threatened to take them away and play with them myself.

After dinner in the cart, the kids got introduced to Icees and Charley got his first Cheetos thanks to Erin. Cheetos are apparently baby crack and we basically owe her a bag.

Then they both fell asleep on the 5 minute drive from Target to our house. I'm thinking Erin and I really should plan to do this more often. One drawback was that they got morning baths today (because they were both desperately dirty) and Charley took his VERY large morning constitutional in the bath water. Bonus though, now I have a clean tub.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Peas and Carrots

Watching a movie (probably Ponyo) and enjoying some popcorn together

I love it that as Charley gets older the kids are becoming closer and closer. Tessa really is a protective and loving big sister. Most of the time when she gets rough it's because she's trying to hug or tickle him to death.

He follows her everywhere and often repeats what she says. When she's at preschool, he doesn't prefer to play with toys by himself or watch a show. He'd rather cling to my leg and wait for her to come home.

They get a piece of candy each day they behave well at preschool and often Tessa saves hers to give to Charley. Yesterday she ate half an M&M and proudly presented the slobbery melted other half to him upon our arrival. Maybe that's why he's always anxious to go get her?

This morning we were trapped at the dentist office for an extra 45 min during a big storm and blackout and they entertained themselves so well just running circles around tables and chairs and stopping to tickle each other. I just thought...look at these peas and carrots (5 min later they were fighting over a toy, but still)

I hope that they'll always be friends. I was always friends with my brother, even though we're not exactly cut from the same mold. He was always nice to me and hopefully visa versa.

I hope Charley can give Tessa's future husband 'the talk' that Jeremy recieved. You know the one....if you ever hurt my sister, I will hunt you down....That's every brother's rite of passage right? And Tessa will look out for her brother in a loving and motherly way, occasionally hitting him with a shovel, like Jeremy's older sister.

And I hope they'll love each other all the more as they get older. I hope, I hope.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cookies in My Jar Batch #2- Pumpkin Raisin

This week's recipe comes from this book, published in 1985. I had no idea where this had come from but Jeremy tells me it used to be his Mom's and he remembers cooking from it as a kid. Ah, nostalgia!

I started off with a problem right away in that I needed quick cook oats and only had steel cut. I pulverized them in the blender and it worked okay. They are a little different texture than they are supposed to be, but still tasty.

One of my favorite new toys. It's like a mini ice cream scooper to doling out drop cookies. Anything to make life less messy gets a YAY from me!

I think these are supposed to be flatter but hey, extra fiber this way right?

Charley can now say "cook cook", stomp his feet and point at the jar.

I packed a to-go bag for Jeremy.

2 cups flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup butter or margarine
1.5 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup of pumpkin
3 cups quick cook oats
1 cup raisins

Combine dry and wet ingredients separately, then mix together...add in oatmeal and raisins. Bake on 350 for 10 min.

By the way, I've added a little linky on the side of the main page for all of my cookie experiments.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Zoo Boo!

Last night we went to the "Zoo Boo" for the first time. We had plans to go last year but got rained out. They had all the exhibits open late plus trick or treating, decorations and giveaways. It was a lot of fun. Jeremy was just coming from a flight and met us there from the airport. We stayed until they started turning off the lights at 7:30 (btw walking past lion cages in the dark is kinda creepy)

When I asked Tessa what she wanted to be this year she said Snow White, her costume from last year. It's getting a little tight around the waist but otherwise still fits. So we fashioned Charley into a Dopey to go along with her. This is what they will be for Halloween next week.

Our Dopey was fashioned using a over sized green turtleneck, black belt, black tights and a purple hat made out of felt. I also slipped some big slouchy socks over his shoes.

Since Tessa's costume was a leftover and Charley's was Halloween cost= $15. Oh yeah.

Charley and Charlie Brown
One of the rare moments he had his hat on. It doesn't look all that perfect up close but I figure since he's only going to throw it on the ground anyway, who cares?

Snow White loved petting sharks and looking at the giant spider. That's my girl. She likes bugs.

They got on the carousel and surprise! went backwards. For the Zoo Boo they call it the "round go merry"

For the record, Jeremy was informed that was NOT a bear in front of them, but a yeti. Duh!

I told Jeremy peanut butter is good for your hair

Snow White and Dopey raced the cheetah. Charley's got 6 inches before the imaginary cheetah tackled him.

Shortly after this Tessa fell off a park bench and conked her head pretty good. She's fine but has a bump. She was consoled with some strawberry ice cream just before the night was over.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sweet Nightime Moments

Jeremy and Tessa sitting on the front porch 'watching the sun go to sleep'.

That is something that her and I do from time to time now that the sun goes down at about 7:30, then she heads to bed. Daylight savings is certainly going to mess up our routine. Jeremy's been trying to get more involved in these night time rituals. Since he is gone so much, when he is home she almost always wants ME to put her to bed, which kinda sucks. But I understand, she's used to our routine.

Our routine, by the way, is getting more and more drawn out as she gets older. Charley...I just hug him, say a prayer and lay him down. Done. I remember the good old days when Tessa was like that. Now she wants stories, books, songs, animals, drinks, hugs, prayer, another prayer, a singing prayer and oh more potty!

I don't mind doing those things but I have to eventually put a stop to it or we'll be there all night. I've concocted this whole story about how God send angels when you're sleeping who bring you your energy. They only come once you're quiet and on your pillow. Sometimes I'll pretend to hear them or see them outside. Or I'll tell her we have to HURRY cause they're in Charley's room. She knows that without energy she can't go to school or do dance or any of those things.

It works pretty well but some nights she still does the whole 'I don't want to go to bed' thing. I've always been the type to shut the door and walk away, and I still am. After 20 min of bedtime routine she'll start asking for ONE MORE...animal, drink, hug...and eventually I say "nope, no more...goodnight" and shut the door. Once in a while there are loud protests.

I'm horrible and mean I know, but also tired in my own right. And I always thought there was something to be said for kids who can soothe themselves in their room alone.

I've wondered if I were a working Mom who missed their kids all day if I would be more inclined to cuddle and rock and everything, for extra bonding time. But after 12+ hours with the kids I'm usually ready to hang it up and do something adult like watch DVR'd episodes of House, paint my nails and linger on facebook. Ahhh, the sweet life.


Anyone else think the 1st degree soap making burn on the back of my wrist looks like a Halloween ghost with it's mouth open?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cookies in the Jar- Batch #1

A couple of weeks ago I solicited cookie recipes to start a new project. I bid on this great antique green glass cookie jar on Ebay. Only $12.99! And I hope to make cookies once a week to feed the family with.

The kids (and babysitting kids) enjoy the occasional treat and I guess I thought it would be better to give them a real cookie made from fresh homemade (and mostly organic) ingredients than something from a package. A seemingly crazy idea, but also doable.

My second goal here is to overcome my fear of baking. Everyone knows that Jeremy is the executive chef around here, but I am the day laborer...cranking out all of the every day meals after he puts on a big show for special occasions.

I don't mind cooking at all but baking has always escaped me. So many ingredients, so many steps. I cannot even count the times I have mis-measured something and screwed up the whole batch.

Last year I became owner of my first hand mixer and discovered life could be alot easier than I thought. I wondered if baking could actually be enjoyable?

Indeed it can be, as long as I don't over think it. I am starting simple with easy recipes using my hand mixer, new sparkly cookie sheet and scoop thingy. There's nothing to be scared of. Baby steps...

So this will be an ongoing thing on the blog. My weekly cookies. Friends have given me so so many recipes! This week I started simple with Mamaw's peanut butter cookies. The bonus being that I already possessed all the ingredients.

Now to the extra hard part of this challenge. I hope not to eat many, if any of these cookies. Not that they are not super tasty, but my waist line just can't take it. I have to think of them as for the kids. I'll admit I'm kind of excited about packing one in Tessa's preschool lunch tomorrow.

For the kids....and well, also the husband who has already enjoyed three.

If you want Mamaw's PB cookie recipe, check out her blog. Yes my Mamaw is hip and cool enough to have a blog. Love that lady.