Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Raleigh Birthday Lunch :)

A week after my actual birthday and the celebration continued!  Sunday afternoon Michael, Kellan, and I met some of my friends that live in Raleigh at The Pit, a fantastic barbeque restaurant in downtown.  This lunch was originally supposed to be a surprise but I don't know if I have mentioned before how bad of a secret keeper Michael is.  When he got home from work Friday afternoon he told me that he had a surprise for me on Sunday and we had to leave home at 12:00.  I never asked him what the surprise was, I didn't even try to guess.  Later on in conversation I mentioned that I needed to plan a day to visit my friends in Raleigh and Michael immediately tells me that that is where we are going on Sunday to have lunch with them!  It doesn't take much to get him to spill the beans!

This little one has to eat before anyone else can enjoy their meal.

Decisions, decisions...

Melissa and Andy, proud mom and dad to cute little Baby Quinn

Rachel and Quinn trying to decide what to order...

This picture cracks me up! :)

Kimberlee with my little screamer...I'm hoping the squeals are a phase!

Turkey barbeque, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and a biscuit...sooooooo good!

Michael got turkey barbeque and pulled pork with greens and fried okra (I didn't make everyone take a picture of their food)

I love this picture!

Mommy and Quinn :)

We wanted a picture of the babies together and Jenni says, "Uhh...how did I get to be in this photo?"

Look at that smile!!

So cute!

And then...Jenni brought out the good stuff!  Cupcakes from Sugarland.  They did the cupcakes for her and Clay's wedding and they are amazing!  Michael and I definitely have a new cupcake shop to visit while we are in Raleigh.  They are so good, they prompted a cupcake photo shoot :)

Hot fudge sundae cupcake....just fabulous!  It won't be my last one of these!

Clay showing me how to look genuinely EXCITED about his cupcake!

Take 1!

Take 2!  Getting a little closer :)

This was such a fun afternoon but its never enough time with these girls.  I will have to plan another visit soon!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Kellan's Favorite Things

Of course Kellan has favorite toys.  I have mentioned those in several posts before.  He loves tags, toys that light up or sing and he adores books.  But when it comes down to it, what are Kellan's favorite things to get into and examine?  Everything that he's NOT supposed to have!  Chasing this little one around is a full time job and just because he's not walking doesn't mean that he isn't FAST!  If there is a speck of lint, a rock, a bag, a shoe...ANYTHING on the floor, this little one is going to find it, check it out from all angles, and put it in his mouth.

Bless his little heart, he exerts so much time and energy into getting household objects in his grasp only for mommy to come along and take them away or move them out of reach.  He hears a whole lot of "no, no, no" and although I'm convinced he knows what it means...he ignores me and keeps on going.  There are several things that he makes attempts to get into everyday like the trash can in his nursery, the magazine basket, the kitchen cabinets, and the dishwasher.  There have been a couple of times that he has been happily digging away in the trash can or the cabinets, I come around the corner quietly, and he jumps a mile when he notices me watching him.  He KNOWS what he is not supposed to get into but it doesn't keep him from seizing the opportunity when it is presented!

Dish towels are never safe and do not stay hanging on the oven door for long

When he drops one, it gets stuck under his wheels and he drags it around the house, so of course that means he has to get another one...

This child LOVES the vacuum whether it is turned on or not!  I have to barricade him from whatever room I'm vacuuming because he chases it and I have to keep stopping in order to avoid running him over!  Aren't babies supposed to be afraid of the vacuum?!

This happens on a daily basis (sometimes several times a day)...what is so appealing about a trash can and dirty diapers?

He loves to crawl on top of the scale...that tile floor is cold and hard...he doesn't seem to notice.

There used to be other things on this shelf...no more!  Now he just crawls up to this platter and pats it...
These next few pictures show Kellan navigating over my barricade that was supposed to keep him out of the magazine basket...

Here he is WITH his magazine sliding back down the pillow...

He does not look one bit remorseful!
Maybe he was ripping out a recipe that he wants me to try...

He loves cords of all kinds...of course he does...electricity...shock...how much fun are those?

Does he crawl BESIDE the stool to get to his brush?  Oh no, no...what fun would that be?  He goes UNDER the stool!...

I dropped this bag while putting up groceries...it had barely hit the floor before Kellan had his hands on it!

He knows the sound the dishwasher door makes when I open it...as soon as the door makes that squeak he comes flying from wherever he is...at first I didn't think he could reach anything from his walker...until I turned around one day to see him waving a dirty fork around...

This is his favorite cabinet.  And let's give credit where credit is due...this is not an easy door to open when the front of your walker gets in the way.  Some talented maneuvering has to happen in order to work this door open.  He always pulls the Bubba Keg out first, drops it under his walker, and then moves on to the breast pump parts and tea pitchers...everyone has priorities...
And last but not least, our little 4th generation carpenter is taking matters into his own hands and "fixing" the loose trim board that daddy hasn't fixed yet!

I know this is just the beginning...he isn't even walking yet and he is into everything that he is not supposed to be!  We can't wait for the new adventures that he will bring.  Michael and I love this little boy so much and there is never a boring day with him around. He definitely keeps us on our toes!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Food Friday: Mexican Rice

Michael and I make tacos for dinner fairly often and our usual meal includes tacos, black beans, and a packaged Mexican Rice mix.  When we cook at home we try to make healthier food choices.  We only use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef, we have switched to brown rice instead of white, and eat whole wheat bread and whole wheat pasta. 

Our taco meal is pretty healthy as it is but we have been trying to get away from using packaged foods.  They are really high in sodium and just not really good for you.  I searched for a good Mexican rice recipe online and found several (Paula Deen's, the Pioneer Woman's, and a few from allrecipes.com) that I combined to make rice to go along with our taco dinner this week.  I will have to say it turned out really well although there may be a few little things that I will change the next time I make it. 

First I rinsed 1 cup of long grain brown rice (this supposedly makes the rice fluffy and not sticky)
Next, I chopped 1/2 cup of onion
I melted 2 tablespoons of butter *Next time I'm going to use olive oil
Add rice, onion, and 1 teaspoon of minced garlic or 1 clove to melted butter
Cook on medium high heat until rice starts to get toasted slightly and onions are soft
Add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, 2 cups of water *Next time I am going to try 2 cups of chicken broth instead of water, one can of diced tomatoes with garlic, basil, and oregano *Next time I'm going to try either diced tomatoes with mild green chilies or Rotel with green chilies (there is also Rotel with lime and cilantro but I prefer to use fresh)
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until rice is done *Several other recipes included cumin, I might add some next time
Sprinkle 1 cup of cheddar cheese over the top (the cheese probably didn't add to my healthy goal but it was still better for us than packaged rice and seasonings)

Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into your rice and chop cilantro to add before serving

Pretty good meal if I do say so myself!  See, we DO eat at home sometimes! :)
One more healthy substitution:  Use plain unflavored yogurt in place of sour cream.  I swear I cannot tell the difference.  I put it on tacos, baked potatoes, and I even used it in a chicken casserole recipe.  So much better for you!  This is one substitution I haven't sold Michael on...he still needs his sour cream.  Try it and let me know what you think!