Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Afternoon Drive

A quiet drive south of the city brought us to here.  Although the road closed half way to our destination, we still enjoyed the beauty of the afternoon and a deep breath of fresh air.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Morning Tunnel

Among the hits of loved presents - this one is near the top for Charlie Ann.  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Snow Baby

Christmas morning in New York.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

Our family dinner tonight... (great for one year olds!, they can eat everything in here... and our little hungry hungry hippo wouldn't stop chowing down)  So so so good!

Chicken Pot Pie

2 medium chicken breasts
1 1/2 cup sliced carrots
1 1/2 cup frozen green peas
1 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 3/4 cups broth
2/3 cup milk

2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts (I apologize, I didn't make from scratch ;/!)

Directions:    Oven - 425 degrees, 9 in glass pie plate
1. Boil chicken breasts in large sauce pot with a couple cups of water.  Meanwhile, chop carrots and celery.  After chicken is no longer pink, add carrots, celery and peas to same sauce pot.  Continue to cook another few minutes until carrots are soft.  Shred chicken in pot.
2. Chop onion.  Saute onion and butter in frying pan until onion is tender, on low/medium heat. Slowly add flour and spices, mixing constantly. Pour broth liquid from the veggies and chicken slowly into roux, stirring constantly.  Slowly add milk.  Stir until thickened.
3. Drain remaining liquid (if any) from veggies and chicken.
4. In a 9 in pie plate, place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
5. Bake 30-35 min or until golden brown and bubbly.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Before baking... 

And after baking!  Mmmm.

13 Months.. And Counting

I was thinking that after Charlie Ann turned one, I would stop with the monthly updates.  Welp, I don't think I'm stopping... at least not yet.  So, speaking like one gushing mother, Charlie Ann still continues to change so much and so quickly from month to month that I like having a recap of all that has happened.  Crazy how much one can forget..

That being said... onto the thirteenth month!  Charlie Ann's thirteenth month can be summed up in pretty much two words: visitors & teething!  Boy, did we have some great company this past month!  The day after CA turned one, Gabby (Jarod's mom) came to stay for a week to help out while Jarod was out of town.  We had such fun decorating for Christmas and hanging out!
Charlie Ann & Gabby on a walk at Lake Ontario.  

Part of our Christmas handiwork :)

Right after Gabby went home, we had Jarod's Dad and Fiancee here for five days.  Charlie Ann was definitely eating up being the center of attention.

And unfortunately, the day after all of our fun visitors left, Charlie Ann started in with four days of teething madness... immediately followed by one week of being sick.. then another two days of teething.  Mercy! **Then we discovered this aMAzing product called a Baltic Amber Teething Necklace-- it is a MUST have!**

Here is one happy girl on her one good day between teething and being sick.  

Charlie Ann is not walking yet.  She cruises everything about 2 1/2 feet and shorter.  We are getting her to stand alone, she will hold it for about 15 seconds, then sit down and start laughing and clapping.  Silly thing.  And of course she's crawling like a speedy Gonzalez and and climbing on anything, including the stairs.   

We do have a gate installed now at the bottom to prevent the above situation :)

Once she turned one, we started the transition from formula to whole milk.  She made the transition like it was no big thing- atta girl.  She still takes a couple of bottles a day, and I'm not in a hurry to break the bottle drinking.. she still coughs and nearly chokes from her sippy cup and isn't walking yet... so I am deeming her "baby", not yet "toddler".  At this point, I don't see the need to rush away from the bottle...

She is eating everything that Jarod and I eat. (ie, I walked into the kitchen this morning, and both Jarod and Charlie Ann are sitting on the floor eating green olives and cottage cheese.. yup, she eats everything.) 
But it is super handy.  It's SO nice to have one family meal for all of us. 
Out for breakfast before church.

Her sleep has been a discombobulated mess.  Okay, that's an exaggeration.  But it has taken me a while to figure out where her one nap goes in the day.  We have finally landed on about an 11am nap.  She sleeps a couple of hours and still goes to bed around 6:30pm, and sleeps til about 7:45am.
In her nighttime routine we have added brushing teeth (so cute) and blow drying her hair.  She's growing up, people!

Charlie Ann LOVES her Winnie the Pooh Airplane ride on toy.  Right now she is totally content to push all the buttons and open and close the seat to play with the shape sorter.  But it will definitely grow with her as she learns to walk, and eventually ride it.  Seriously, this is a FUN toy and she loves it!

She is also very much into puzzles, the wooden animal ones and the Fisher Price Pet Puzzle (plastic).  

Another thing she is really into, and I am embarrassed to admit, are the Baby Einstein videos.  I know, I know... but when we had ALL those consecutive days of teething and being sick, we needed something- thank you, youtube.  

Another new thing this month is sign language!  She signs for "more", "all-done", "please" and "thank-you".  It is seriously cute.  
I dont really know where she picked this up, but she knows a few body parts! Like eyes, tummy, feet, cheeks, hair... She points when you ask her where they are.
And speaking of pointing, she points to everything, all the time.  She wants to know the name of all thats in her little world.

Charlie Ann is in 12-18 month clothes and we were completely blessed this month with MASSIVE bags of hand-me-downs from our neighbor's granddaughter!  YAY!  She is still wearing size 3 diapers, Pampers cruisers.

Charlie Ann, you are a smart little cookie and bring so many smiles and laughs to your Daddy and I.  We love you, Missy!

Charlie Ann and Mommy

Monday, November 19, 2012

Holiday HOT Chili

Yesterday was freezing!  Okay, not really freezing.  But it was 48.  Never has 48 felt so cold - I am thinking that it must be the humidity from living on the lake...  Anyway, the hubs and I went on an afternoon date during naptime (thanks Mom-in-law!) -- we rode our bikes along Lake Ontario and stopped for pumpkin soup at ParkSide Diner.  It was a darling date.  However, we were frozen cold, very cold, when we got back to the house.  I rummaged around and came up with this recipe.  It is VERY SPICY, but so good.  And it just looks so festive in your bowl with all the colors of the veggies.  Enjoy!  Guaranteed for a good warm up.

Holiday HOT Chili

1 lb ground beef
1 med onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro
2-4 jalapenos, diced (with seeds!)
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies (ro-tel)
3 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans chili beans
3-4 cups water
1/2 tsp marjoram
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
sea salt

1. Brown beef in the bottom of the soup pot.
2. Add onion and celery with beef, saute.  After a few minutes, add peppers and cilantro, saute.
3. Add tomatoes and beans and water.  Add spices.
4. Bring to a boil. Turn to low and let simmer about 40 min.
5. Serve with shredded cheddar and sour cream.

Monday, November 12, 2012

12 Months!

ONE YEAR OLD!  Wow!!  I just cant even believe I have a ONE YEAR old... and that she could even possibly be considered a TODDLER..  I am just in unbelief.  Mercy.  

Charlie Ann is darling and she makes me laugh more and more.  It's funny to watch her react to my reactions, especially when she does something over and over because I laughed.  What a ham.  
Family Photo - Lake Ontario, October 2012

New tricks: a clapping fanatic.  And she likes to dance in a swaying/bouncing kind of way when her little toys play their ditties.   Giving kisses.  Especially to daddy.  And two to Taiga.  

Still pulling up and cruising from furniture to doors and back.

Charlie Ann is also crawling, for real crawling!  No more dragging that belly :)

Like I mentioned in the previous post, hairbows are out.  It's much cooler to have ragamuffin hair in your eyes, didnt you know?
(I am holding her hand here to prevent hair bow removal - she is protesting)

Saturday morning at the Farmer's Market.

Charlie Ann is no longer a vegetarian!  Hello, chicken!  She is clearly LOVING chicken and is about to give her thank you speech.  On other food matters, she is having hardly any pureed food.  She eats mainly what Jarod and I have, just cut up small.  Which is AMAZING.  Life just gets easier and easier. Praise the Lord.  She still takes 3 bottles of formula a day and pretty much loves her bottle.  Oh, she's also using a little no spill bowl thing and it's awesome.  She gets Cheddar Bunnies or Cheerios in the bowl and she can get them out, one at a time. Perfect for car rides and shopping trips.

 Charlie Ann and Mommy 

Charlie Ann and Daddy

Charlie Ann "carried" this pumpkin from one end of our living room to the other with a 'thump-crawl-crawl, thump-crawl-crawl, thump-crawl-crawl'.  Hilarious.  Serious determination.  Enter Autumn.

Our sweet neighbor knitted Charlie Ann an adorable hat and matching mittens!  Unfortunately, Charlie Ann feels similarly about her hats, as she does her hairbows.

Strollin' on the sunny days.

Halloween - Lady Bug Charlie Ann.  In love with her costume.  And if she see's it in the closet, she is ready to put it on again.  Silly girl.
 Lady Bug and Elephant Friends

On other notes, Charlie Ann dropped her morning nap.  Boo.  She actually did this LAST month, although I think I was in denial about such things.  Apparently there are only about 17% of 10/11 month olds who take one nap a day.  I guess someone has to be part of that 17%.  
Her night time sleep is about 12 hours now (instead of the previous 13 hours), and the time change has thrown us for a sleeping loop.  She is getting up EARLY, like 6:45am... which I was so accustomed to that 8am wake up time.  

Her favorite toys this month are still books.  Haha.  I try to "play" other things with her and she just brings me books and jabbers away.  Okay.  So we read a lot of Eric Carle books, "Daddy Cuddles" and Dr. Seuss and magazines (she's into it, I promise!).  Charlie Ann's Gabby (Jarod's mom) got her a little Christmas dog that sings and jumps and barks when you squeeze it's ear.  She likes this dog, from a safe distance.  She wants me to press the ear, then quickly crawls to my lap to watch.  Pretty cute stuff.  

She isnt talking, but there are distinctive "word/sounds" for certain things.  Those beloved things that actually get the same name day in and day out are: cheese, Taiga, and Daddy.  I dont make the list.  

I love this little one year old.