Thursday, February 28, 2013

20 Months

COLTON - You are 20 months old!!!
You are growing so fast!!  I cannot believe how big you are getting!

You weigh 21 pounds and wear size 18 month clothes, size 5 shoe and size 4 or 5 diapers.

You are still a great eater however there are a few things that you used to eat but now you turn your nose up to.  Generally you are a very good eater!  

You are getting better at feeding yourself.  Just this week you preferred holding your banana at breakfast instead of me cutting it into slices.  You love to feed yourself yogurt and applesauce.  

You are a great sleeper and napper.  You take one good 3-4 hour nap in the afternoon and sleep from 7:30/8PM to 7:30/8AM.  

You sometimes fall asleep on the way home from preschool but you are getting better at staying awake til we get home.  

You are the sweetest little snuggle bug.  You love to give hugs and kisses.  You are so friendly and love everyone.  You are so happy and easygoing.  

You have definitely entered the terrible two's.  You want what you want when you want it.  When you don't get your want you throw yourself on the floor and throw a oscar-winning tantrum.  

Your defense mechanism is a scream.  This happens usually when your brother takes your toys or you want what he has and can't have it.  You do listen when we tell you no.  

(I pulled the camera out to take your picture and immediately you sat down right here and smiled big for the camera!  You are so cute!!!)

You are saying more words.  They aren't very clear but I can tell you are really trying to repeat and say words.  

You love to read books.  You will bring me a book and want to crawl up in my lap and read.

You are definitely a momma's boy and want me to hold you 24/7.  Though I would love nothing more than to snuggle and love on you all day but I must get some things done.  

You bring so much joy and love into our lives daily!  We love you so much and cannot imagine life without you!  You are a blessing and such a joy!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie

 I think everyone has a go-to recipe for a quick and yummy snack.  One of my favorite cookie recipe is Betty Crocker's Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies.  They are the best chocolate chip cookies.  Seriously!  They stay soft and yummy for days, even though they never last long around here.  

They are quick, easy and great for that party, get together or just for a snack after dinner!

(Recipe by Betty Crocker)

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup nuts (optional)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, stir brown sugar and butter until blended.  Stir in vanilla and egg until light and fluffy.  Stir in oats, flour, baking soda and salt; stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

2. Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls onto un-greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.

3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool slightly; remove cookie sheet to wire rack.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Party Weekend

We had a full weekend of birthday parties.  Saturday morning Ryan and I headed to our friend Bret's house for a fun circus fourth birthday party.  Bret is one of Ryan's best friends and they always have the best time playing.  (Bret is the one in the clown outfit)

When we got there Bret's dad was dressed like a clown.  Ryan was not so sure about that but he was a good sport.  He high-tailed it down to the basement to play with Bret's toys.  

The kids enjoyed eating pizza and everyone's favorite - Cake!

Sunday we went to a birthday party for our friend Cooper at Recreations Outlet.  The party was from 3-5 so I put Ryan down around 1:30 thinking he wouldn't fall asleep before I would get him up at 2:30 but surprisingly he fell asleep within 20 minutes.  Oh well, he was so excited to go to the party.  

He loves the indoor playground and his favorite part is the bouncy house.  He had the time of his life playing and running around.  He played on all the equipment and loved jumping on the trampoline.  

Colton and Matt came later since C was napping.  Colton was so excited to played and had fun jumping with Ryan.  He was a pro at climbing up the playground (which makes me so nervous) and going down the slide.  

 Are you ready for spring???  I am SO ready for spring and can't wait for it to get warm outside.  The boys are going to have a blast playing on the swing set this summer and riding bikes.  

I can tell I'm ready for spring because I've been shopping online for spring/summer clothes.  The boys are pretty much set I think, but of course I love all the new stuff coming out.  Come on spring days!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Birthday fun and Dunkin' Oreo's

Yesterday while Ryan was at preschool Colton and I went to this fun play cafe to celebrate the birthday of our friend Quinn.  Quinn turns two next week!  He has the biggest and most beautiful blue eyes. 

Colton had a blast playing and of course enjoyed eating snacks. The play cafe is so neat.  You have to pay to play but they have coffee, tea, and snacks.  The parent's can chat and hang out while the kids can play.  Ryan would have been bored but Colton was the perfect age. 

Look at these two monkeys!  They loved playing on these mats.  

Love this picture of these two boys.  Quinn had other friends at the party as well but somehow I only got pictures of these two cuties.  

Ryan's newest favorite after dinner dessert is dunking oreo's in milk.  I'm not a huge oreo fan but Matt couldn't wait to show Ryan how it's done.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

PW Crash Hot Potatoes

 One of my favorite side items to make for dinner are Pioneer Women's Crash Hot Potatoes!  They are SO good and irresistible!  Good with everything from burgers to roast to grilled chicken.  

(picture and recipe courtesy of The Pioneer Woman)

12 whole new potatoes (or other small round potatoes)
Kosher Salt
3 Tablespoond Olive Oil
Black Pepper to taste
Minced Rosemart (or other herb of choice) to taste

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until fork-tender, about 20 minutes, or until fork tender.

2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

3. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet. Using a potato masher, gently press down to mash each one.  Rotate the masher 90 degrees, then mash again.

4. Drizzle the tops of the potatoes with the olive oil.

5. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and rosemary.

6.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. These are absolutely irresistible!

- Variations - place a pat of butter on top of each smashed potato before baking
Top each smashed potato with grated cheddar before baking.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Becoming Such a Big Boy

It's a big day in our house!  
Ryan finally got his new real big boy bed today!  Yes, yes I know he's almost four years old but we wanted to make sure he did well in his toddler bed before we moved him to the big bed.  

 Ryas was super excited to see his new bed after nap time!  The boys were wild and so hyper!

 Colton's very favorite thing right now, hands down, is to play in Ryan's bed.  As soon as he gets up and I change him, he is running in to Ryan's room and crawling in his bed before he is even awake.  I'm afraid I won't be able to hold off the transition to the toddler bed like I did with Ryan.  I think Colton will be eager to get a big boy bed.  

This is looking in from the door.

These sweet boys were so fun tonight.  We all climbed in Ryan's bed for story time.  They were giggling and being silly I don't think they heard much of the stories but it was fun.  After I put Colton to bed I climbed in bed with Ryan and read his stories.  I LOVED it!  I loved getting to read and chat with him before bed.  One of my favorite parts of the day.  

As I'm watching him on the monitor tonight he is like the three bears checking out the bed.  He is moving all over the place and trying to find just the right spot.  He's getting so big and growing so fast!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Our weekend

We had a nice weekend around here!  Friday night we made pizza and relaxed on the couch watching our favorite show, Sharktank!  It was nice to relax and not have to go anywhere.  

Matt has like five tests this week so he needed to study so I took the boys out to run some errands and grab lunch.  I don't know why I do it to myself but I needed to get some things.  The boys were good until Ryan tells me in Target that he needs to go #2 but then says he didn't want to use their potty and wanted to go home.  Awesome!  We had one more stop and lunch.  

Thankfully he held out til we got home and all disasters were avoided.  Funny how some kids can't wait to go to a new place and check out their potty.  And some kids, like Ryan, refuse to go in public potties.  (I don't blame him really.)

Saturday night Matt and I went out to celebrate Valentine's day.  We didn't really get each other anything except he got me cards and flowers and I got him cards and candy.  We went to Outback, always yum, then we went to a comedy club.  My friends husband was the featured show for the night so we decided to check it out and it was great.  Hilarious! We laughed so hard and had the best time.  We haven't been to a comedy club in a long time so it was fun and something different.  

Sunday was just a nice relaxing day.  We went to church then came home for lunch and naps.  Once I put the boys down Matt went to study and I caught up on my DVR and worked on the boys photo books.  I am so happy to say I have Colton's finished, Ryan's three year finished, just needs to be edited and Disney almost finished.  

Once I get those ordered I need to start this years.  I do them from June - June since that's when their birthday month.  I suppose at some point I should start in January but for now we will stick to June-June.  The next book will be from June '12-June '13. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Cookies and a little ham

These are the fun heart cookies I made for Ryan's preschool valentine's party.  So cute and fun to make!

This morning we went to the gym.  Afterwards we met my friend Elizabeth to drop off these fun firetruck cookies for her son Jake's birthday party this weekend!  

I made firetruck cookies for Ryan's birthday party last year but I think these turned out even better. 

 Many people ask me how I get my writing on cookies so perfect.  Well it's not perfect, I can see the imperfections but just like anything practice, practice, practice.  I've definitely gotten better the more cookies I make.  

And check out this little ham!  At first he was sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor with the laptop (behind him) on this legs with his hand on the little mouse.  Too cute!  Then he saw me get out the camera and started cheesing!  Love that boy!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Today was a sweet day!  Our day was surrounded by love, pretty hearts and lots of sweetness. 

We had Ryan's preschool valentine's party this morning.  It was so fun and I enjoyed getting to see Ryan interact in his classroom.  He loves school and his teachers.  

These were the valentine's Ryan took to school for his friends!  

I had Mops this morning so Colton was in childcare until the last 30 min of the party.  Colton was busy checking everything out in the room.  When the kids went to sit on the rug for story time Colton plopped himself right down like one of the three year olds ready to hear the story.  

The kids recited the sweetest valentine's poem for us.  

We came home after school to a sweet surprise from my honey.  Love my sweetie so much!

 This afternoon after naps the boys helped me make valentine's cupcakes.  Unfortunately Ryan didn't get to eat one since he didn't finish his dinner but still a fun memory with the boys!  

When I was single I was never really a fan of valentine's day but now with my sweetheart and two sweet boys I love celebrating valentine's day and making fun memories.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Skillet Dinner with Bacon

 Who doesn't like Chicken and rice?  I found this recipe about a year ago and it is seriously one of my very favorite dinner meals.  It has all my staples - easy, quick and SO yummy!  And the best part is it's even better reheated and warmed up.  I'm usually a leftover snob but this meal I think, get's better after it's chilled and reheated!  

No need to wait any longer!  Check out Cheesy Chicken and Rice Skillet Dinner with Bacon by  

1/2 pound Applewood smoked bacon
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1-2 tablespoons hot sauce (optional)
2 cups cooked shredded chicken
4 cups steamed white rice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Render bacon, drain and set aside.  Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon drippings.

Place butter into a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Once melted whisk in flour, and pepper until smooth and bubbly.  Slowly whisk in chicken broth.  Increase heat to high whisking broth until thickened.  Reduce heat to low and stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese.  Stir in hot sauce.  Reduce heat to a simmer and set aside.

Place reserved 2 tablespoons bacon drippings back to cast iron skillet (or large skillet).  Stir in cooked rice.  Add chicken and cheese sauce, mixing to combine.  Top with 1 cup cheddar cheese then top with crumbled cooked bacon.  Place under oven's broiler for 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted.  Serve immediately!

Makes 4-6 servings