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. 

11 Month Recap

Charlie Ann turned 11 months on October 11th.
Eleven months brought some fun new experiences for Charlie Ann.  Charlie Ann had her first trip to the zoo! She also was sick at the zoo :/ running a low grade fever, and had runny nose.  Nothing like a trip to the zoo with a dear friend to cure what ails ya.. or at least distract you from feeling crummy.  

 Charlie Ann started army crawling!!  So cute.  And watch out, she's pretty quick.

Another amazing feat this month - pulling up! Wow, has this changed the dynamics of our lives... 

And someone is clearly VERY proud of her new abilities to pull up!  I love this cheezer grin.

As far as food goes, Charlie Ann is a champion eater! So, up until this month, I would say I have been pretty much a food nazi regarding Charlie Ann's nutrition.  Well.. with the crazy of moving and buying and traveling and well, the anal-ness of the food was forced out the window.  It was all downhill after her first experience with cheese bread at Mazzios...  

Don't get me wrong, I still balanced her Vitamin A foods with Vitamin C ones and made sure she got her proteins and dairy.. etc, etc.  We just crossed a new threshold with that crust.  :) 

Charlie Ann got her first umbrella stroller and loves it.  Its so convenient and easy.

We had a bit of cool weather, so I brought out the long sleeves and jeggings.  Love playing dress up :)

This is a cute picture because this is one of the first times Charlie Ann was on grass.  And she did NOT like to army crawl in it, so she did this sort of crab/bear crawl over it.  So funny.

Here we are picking up the moving truck in Oklahoma, about to make another cross country road trip!  We left very early that morning, so she traveled in pjs.  Pretty darn cute.

 Pops in Oklahoma is giving Charlie Ann a ride on Jarod's old horse toy.  She was clearly loving it.

Finally, en route to New York!  Swing break near St. Louis.  I need to take this girl swinging again.

Finally in New York! And FINALLY Charlie Ann is with Daddy.. it had been over seven weeks since Charlie Ann had seen Jarod.  It was so good to have our family back together.

 We are moved into our new house and Charlie Ann is definitely loving all the unconfined army crawling freedom!

 And she is cruising and pulling up all over the new place.

Charlie Ann LOVES the "Where is Baby's Belly Button?" book by Karen Katz and "Where's Elmo?" peek a boo cloth book.  Really, books are just her favorite things.  However, when she goes for toys, this month it is wooden alphabet blocks and light up musical stacker by Fisher Price.

Charlie Ann is in 12-18 mon clothes and I cant seem to find enough wintery fleece things for her.  It is barely November and I already feel like she's freezing all the time.  What am I going to do come real winter time?

Charlie Ann is in size 3 diapers and size 2 shoes.  Since we have only wooden floors, I have to have her in shoes all the time or else she slips and falls in socks.. which happened every single day the first week in our new house.  Poor thing.
Also, the season of hairbows has definitely ended.  They last in her hair approximately .23 seconds.  

Charlie Ann's First Birthday

Happy Birthday to our sweet little Charlie Ann.  You are ONE!  And I cant even believe it.  I spent a lot of today (and most of yesterday) reminiscing of where I was last year at this time.  At the hospital, being anxious, laboring and laboring, finally holding my daughter, and those sweet moments following.   It is hard to believe how much has changed in a year.  The days are long, but the years are short. Before I get weepy, I better move on to our celebratory day.  

Charlie Ann's birthday was yesterday, November 11th and we decided to have a little gift opening before church.  As usual, Charlie Ann is pretty stoic, and take things slowly.  We helped her open up her gifts and of course she wanted to play with each one and not open any others.

Reading Grandma's Boo Book with Daddy.

Your first Little People!  A Nativity Set!

Just look at those baby blues.  And this expression kills me.  This was her the whole time we opened presents.  Haha.  Where's your smiles, kid?  However my mom says I was the same way... even when they got me a real puppy for Christmas... Genes.  Guess they're pretty strong.

Sweetie.  And silly knee socks.  Charlie Ann is really into shoes.  She is all about these new bunny shoes.

Party decor!

Sweet feet.

 Angel.  Yes, both.

After her afternoon nap, she was really excited to come downstairs and play with her new toys.   Their memories are amazing.

I made these cupcake toppers and they turned out great.  The cupcakes and the icing... ehh, another story.  I have one year to perfect my skills.

 Bird Nest treats.

 Cake eating!  We had about a dozen friends over in the late afternoon to share in our little celebration.  Charlie Ann is super social, she let everyone hold her and just jabbered away.

 Pretty happy about that cake.

 Family Photo 
November 11, 2012