Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday mornin' snow is fallin'

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It's a very chilly 13 degrees here today and there's some snow onthe ground, so Luke got to wear his robe!
Aren't I dashing?

Lucky Luke gets go help mommy make coffee & a bottle.

If you don't hurry mom, I'm going to eat my toys.

Look who woke up and decided to join the party!!



Saturday, January 30, 2010

Italian Wedding Soup - so easy!

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Any of my close friends or family could tell you that I love to eat soup. It all started when I was a young girl living at home. My mother made a pot of soup once a week at least – even in the summer! She taught me how to make a good stock and the importance of the soup holy trinity: carrots, onion and celery. When I moved out on my own at 23, I had a pretty good feel for what I was doing, and Justin reaped the benefits.

The boys and I are alone for a good portion of the day today, so I decided to make Italian Wedding Soup for dinner tonight. It’s so easy and quick to make, so I thought I’d walk you through my recipe. I can only spend time like this in the kitchen if Justin is home to keep an eye on the boys (which he isn’t) or if at least one of the little guys are sleeping (Nolan is).

It’s always helpful to have a handsome sous chef.
Thanks Luke!

Ingredients

For the meatballs – 1lb ground turkey, 1 small grated onion, 1 clove garlic minced, 2 palm-fulls of bread crumbs, 1 egg, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, salt & pepper to taste

For the soup – 4 32oz cartons of chicken broth (I cheated and didn’t make stock!), 1 shredded carrot, 1 head of escarole (roughly chopped), 2 eggs, 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, ½ cup orzo


Directions
Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a fork. Use a teaspoon to scoop the meat & form into little meatballs. Place them on a baking sheet (I line mine with aluminum foil for easier cleanup). Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.


While the meatballs are cooking, bring the chicken broth to a boil on the stove.

Intermission -- Luke went up for a nap and Nolan came down to join mommy in the kitchen! How lucky am I to have two sous chefs?!?!

Grate the carrot & chop the escarole.

Add orzo and cook for about 7 minutes then add the chopped escarole and carrots & cook for another 8 minutes.

Add the eggs & cheese to a small bowl & mix together. Stir the soup in a circular motion and add the egg mixture very slowly. Use a fork to break it up.


When the meatballs are finished, add them to the soup & serve.

Nolan checks out his reflection in the oven and laughs -- so cute!


Enjoy!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Favorite

Photobucket


I just returned home from taking the boys for their second round of flu shots. They were so well behaved and, of course, hammed it up with patients in the waiting room and with the nurses!

Friday morning is the best morning of the week because it's the first day I wake with the boys after leaving for work early on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. I love hearing them babble from their crib only to see their face light up when they catch their first glimpse of me. It's these moments that I know I'll always remember!

Every Friday I plan on doing my Friday Favorite which will be my most favorite moments from the week. I know that sometimes we can dwell on what's stressing us out or bothering us and I'd like to create a day where I set aside some time to reflect on my most favorite events of the week. If you'd like to participate, copy my button, put it on your page and tell everyone about your favorite moment from the week!

My favorite moment from this week has to be both Nolan & Luke saying "dadadada" and "mamamama." I'm trying to get Luke on video saying "mama!" Hopefully I can today!

Have a great Friday everyone!!!

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wish List Wednesday

Money doesn't grow on trees, so I am participating in Jennifer's Wish List Wednesday.
I would LOVE to have these Robeez dockers & sneakers for the boys, but at $34.99 a pop, you can fuhgeddaboudit! Their feet grow too quickly :(
Next up, SJP NYC perfume.
Smells awesome!!!


And lastly, I've been wishing for a Vera Bradley large backpack for a while now and this new pattern -- Sittin' in a Tree -- is adorable!
Honey, if you're reading and you'd love to get me a special Valentines Day gift, I wouldn't object ;-) Smooch!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Our treadmill solution

I think that I've mentioned before that I'm not big on exercise. I was into it when I was much younger, but I completely stopped the year before I got married & haven't really looked back since. I ran a 5k in 2008, but I don't count that because it was a one time thing I did with my law firm.

We have a treadmill in our house that I've used an handful of times. My husband has used it, but I got my aerobic activity from shopping & walking around the city during my lunch at work.

I decided that I wanted to start using it again, but finding the time is difficult because of the boys. Justin has offered to give me an hour at the end of the day to use it while he entertains the boys, but I like spending that time with all three of them together and would rather workout during the day while he's working.

The problem with me walking on the treadmill is that Nolan is crawling now and gets into everything, so I needed to separate him from the treadmill somehow. We received a play yard (baby jail) for Christmas, so I broke it out, placed the babies inside with some toys and was able to walk without any worries!

On Sunday we had dinner with Mom Mom, Poppy and Aunt Amelia. The little guys were spoiled with hugs and kisses that day!

Luke & Mom Mom

Nolan practicing his standing (and assaulting a rubber block)

Mommy debuting her new bangs.Sweet Luke having fun with his toysDaddy & sleepy Nolan

Monday, January 25, 2010

This Week's Lunch Solution

This is my first week of not purchasing lunch while at work. Today is a miserable, rainy day so I didn't want to drag the boys outside to do some grocery shopping. In other words, I needed to make lunch for work for tomorrow with whatever I had in my fridge & pantry.

I took a look at what I had on hand and decided to make Tomato Bisque. I have a recipe that I've made several times, but I didn't have all of the ingredients needed for that recipe, so I modified it a bit and I must say -- it turned out delicious! Now all I need to do is pack a small salad to go with my soup.

I'm going to approximate the ingredients because I didn't measure -- I just poured!

28oz can chunky crusted tomatoes with basil, garlic & oregano
15oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp sugar
4 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 stick butter
3 tbsp flour
2 - 3 cups milk -- I used 1%
black pepper to taste

Directions: Add tomatoes, bouillon cubes, beef broth, bay leaf, sugar & black pepper to large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil then reduce heat & simmer for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.

In another saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in the flour to make a roux. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Transfer to the tomato mixture.

Total time: 20 minutes. 4 servings.

Bath Time!!

We are officially finished with the baby bath tub and have moved onto a laundry basket in the big tub! From what I can tell, this is the boys' favorite part of the day. If they're cranky, they instantly brighten up once their toes hit the water. Do I have mini Michael Phelps boys on my hands?




Sunday, January 24, 2010

Nolan saying "dada"

I was running a bath for the boys when I heard Nolan saying "dadadada." This is a new phrase!! I ran into the room & this is what I caught. So adorable! I know he isn't calling his father "dada", but it's cute nonetheless!



Grocery Challenge

Just this past week, Justin & I challenged ourselves to try and only spend $25 a week on food for ourselves. A lot of people are probably laughing at me at the moment -- like my mother. I think that it can be done, but it will be a challenge. My personal challenge would be lunch on the days I'm at work. It's so easy for me to just run out with my friends and grab an $8 sandwich and $4 soup from the deli on the corner. That really adds up!

No more!

In an effort to eat more healthful foods, I'm going to try and eliminate pre-cooked or frozen food, like my beloved taquitos (so bad for me!). I think that minimizing the frozen foods will cut down on my weekly food allowance as well as helping me works towards my goal of eating better.

The boys helping mommy shop at Sam's Club

This was their first time riding in the cart! They're usually in a stroller.

This is a recipe from Cooking Light that I made for dinner one night this week. It was very flavorful, quick and budget-friendly!

Ingredients
2 cups uncooked egg noodles
Cooking spray
1 pound top sirloin steak, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 (8-ounce) package presliced baby bella mushrooms
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (optional)

Preparation
1. Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

2. While noodles cook, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steak; sauté 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan; cover.

3. Melt butter in pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in soy sauce. Sprinkle flour over mushroom mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Add pepper, salt, and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Return beef to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Discard thyme sprigs. Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired.

Friday, January 22, 2010

7 Months Old


Happy 7 Month-Day, Luke & Nolan!!!

Things are progressing so nicely with my little men! They continue to make me giggle & smile more and more every day. From Nolan's high-pitched happy squeal to Luke's infamous "Va Va Voo," there is rarely a dull moment around our house. In fact, I feel like I am on hyper-drive half of the time trying to keep up with them or make them laugh!


Nights have been so much better around here. Since we've been home from our vacation, we've kept the boys in separate bedrooms at night and *knock on wood* they've both been sleeping through the night! We may have to wake up once to pat Nolan back to sleep for a few minutes, but he's been going back down without any problems. Last night they both slept from 7:15 p.m. until 7:30 a.m.!!! Nolan woke once around 4, but he only required a little pat and Luke woke around 6, but he just needed his paci. I consider that a successful night!

Our days are filled with trying to keep Nolan from getting into any trouble. He's been feeling a little more adventurous with this crawling. I like to sit both boys together and let them share toys and get to know one another a little better. They're both really responding to each other! The smiles and babble that they share with each other just melts my heart.


Both boys are very happy & active. They will begin to whine when they grow bored with something, which is sometimes quite often. Usually they just like to stand or bounce! If I hold their hands and let them stand, they become very excited!! I don't think they're ready to start pulling themselves up onto anything yet, but Nolan may reach that milestone before Luke simply because he's crawling over to our furniture.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nolan's crawling...now what?

Two weeks ago I stopped by Grammy's house to pick the boys up after I was done work. My mom informed me that Nolan was trying to crawl earlier that day. Really?! I got onto the floor and tried my hardest to get him to come over to me...nothing. He just laid there and smiled at me. It actually took a good 3 or 4 days before I witnessed him trying to crawl.

Now, we can't keep the little guy still! He's not fully crawling -- it's more like an army crawl where he uses his upper body to pull himself along and he'll sometimes use his legs for a good push.

I have toys strewn throughout the living room for the boys to play with, but Nolan really only likes two things: cords & Tank's toys.

I'm debating on whether or not to use baby gates to keep him a little confined or a play yard. His obsession with the dog's ball isn't so bad, but I really don't want him chewing on cords!

On Monday, Aunt Melissa came over for a visit and we were playing with the boys and then Nolan started trying to get Tank's ball. You'll get a good idea of what's been going on around our house! Luke isn't rolling both ways, let alone trying to crawl yet, so he's just sitting there with a look of wonder on his sweet little face while his brother is moving around. He'll catch up soon!



Monday, January 18, 2010

Vermont Trip

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it before, but I absolutely love to ski. I've been skiing since I was a little girl and once I met Justin, it was an activity that we loved to do together. When my parents told us last February that they booked a week at Smugglers Notch, Vermont for January 2010, I told them that we'd definitely go. Nevermind that I was 4 months pregnant at the time and had twins on the way, I just knew that nothing would have held me back! I never got to ski last winter because I was pregnant. No complaints here though! Of course I'll miss a ski season or ten just to have a family!

Because of work and school schedules, we left on Wednesday and headed north to meet my dad, uncle and cousin at the resort. The car ride was long, but the boys were extremely and surprisingly very well behaved.

Here are the boys playing nicely on the living room floor! We bought along a few of their favorite toys.

I love mommy's hat!
I can't tell you how bad I was stressed out the week prior to our vacation. Nolan has been waking up at night so we were on like day 5(!) of using the cry-it-out method and it was actually working. I knew that there was NO WAY we'd be able to continue the sleep training while we were on vacation and that we'd need to start from scratch when we returned back home. I felt like we had started this whole process and it was all for nothing. So, sure enough, during the nights at the resort, we didn't want to let him cry and wake everyone, so we woke with him and patted his back when he would allow, and we gave a bottle when he was very upset. It worked okay, but we're back to CIO now that we're home. I know that some people don't agree with the CIO method, but every family has to do what works for them. This is what we've decided to do.


On our first full day of vaca, I kissed the boys goodbye, left them with Grammy and did something I hadn't done in almost 2 years...ski!! My goodness it felt great to be out with my family on the slopes. Justin & I were on the lift when we saw a mom & dad teaching their son how to ski. Justin shouted down to them and asked them how old their son was. He was 2! I've only got two more winters before I can get my boys out there!!

Justin & my cousin, Stephen about to ski through the glades. They're far more adventurous than I, but I did go through...slowly!

Me, Stephen & my Uncle Ed

Justin, Stephen & Uncle Ed


After a few days of skiing, my mom wanted to go on a horse drawn carriage ride, which none of us had ever done before.
Luke & Mommy with Bob the horse!
Mommy & Nolan on the ride

Handsome Daddy documenting our day!



My amazing family!

Thanks Mom & Dad for such a great week!