Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ain't misbehavin'...


Isn't that what you are supposed to do at the grandparents' house?
Hania has developed an aversion to clothing this week. So Poohma indulged her and unsnapped her onesies.

Then she ended up convincing them to take off her top, which doubled as a hat.

Hmm, it is a slippery slope to the nudist colony.

And eventually a diaper is just too confining! It is too nice and warm down here in the South to worry about clothes! Doesn't she look like she pulled a fast one and she knows it?

Apparently Hania isn't the only one misbehaving. Mommy is eating straight out of the pan. They are rice crispy treats with milk chocolate chips and coconut, a real blast from my childhood past. Sorry Johnny, we don't make these at our house because I can't control myself. But all rules are out the window on vacation!

Over the river and through the woods...



to the Byerly Grandparents' house we go! Poohma doesn't look happy to see us, does she?
She is looking for IttyBit, her little bunny that rode in the front pocket of the baby carrier. I can't say enough good things about this Ergo baby carrier.



Hania was a fabulous traveler on the 2 flights from Louisville to Little Rock. She was a little fussy in the terminal in Louisville, and I kept promising my fellow waiting passengers around me that I would try not to be "that lady" with the screaming baby! Thankfully most of them were parents and grandparents themselves, and one nice guy from Connecticut helped me mix a bottle up. Happy to report that she didn't even cry for a second on the plane! Her bottle and pacifier helped her to pressurize her ears during the flight. However she did assault a 75 yr old lady sitting next to us by flailing her arms and beating her with IttyBit. The lady then informed me that she was a retired teacher and she chose not to have children because they were "intolerable". We might have been her worst nightmare, but she made a valiant effort to be nice to us.



The Byerly Grandparents were waiting in Little Rock with a HUGE bunny balloon attached to the travel system that they bought for her. Seriously, it had to take a lot of effort for them to get everything all set up for us and we appreciate it! They had no clue what a hit the balloon was going to be. Hania was completely obsessed with it, and it is probably the first item that she has reached out for (well, other then a bottle).



Shiny, happy Pooh Bear!



Poohpa was literally skipping with the stroller to the car. Poor neglected child with no one to love her.

And this is only the first hour in Arkansas...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Palm Sunday and the Ides of March



Well, we've dressed Hania up for a bit chilly Palm Sunday. She looked so lovely in the Springtime outfit that Grandma Schmonsees gave her. We took some pictures as soon as we got home from church, as Hania seemed to still have some good smiles left in her before nap time.

This was a big week for Hania for another reason, as well: she started eating vegetables! We started her on peas this past Wednesday, and she actually really liked them! What a relief. Here are some great shots of her enjoying this delightful new dish.

This is all a great lead-in for her big adventure that starts tomorrow (Monday). She'll get on the big plane and head south for a visit with Grandma and Grandpa Byerly in Texarkana. They've got loads of wonderful things planned for the little one on her first Spring Break! What a great time she'll have. Mommy has been working on everything necessary to make it a smooth trip down there. There is a lot of planning involved when you take a young infant on a big trip like that, especially when you haven't done it before. Just getting through the airport system is the biggest hurdle, I think.

Yesterday was the 15th of March. This was the 227th anniversary of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. I grew up in Greensboro, NC, and spent a lot of time learning about that battle. When I was in high school, I learned what it meant to the overall situation in the Revolutionary War and North Carolina. Greensboro, for instance, is one of several cities named after the American commander in the battle, Nathaniel Greene (a new statue of him will be unveiled on March 26th!).

Later at West Point, I learned about the importance of the leaders on both sides, and the decisions that they made. I also learned about how important some of the tactics were, and what the impact was to the rest of the conflict. I think that we forget about how important the people and the conflict were to what we are as a country today. I heard a Civil War historian say recently that the Revolutionary War generation was considered the "Greatest Generation" by those that fought in the War Between the States. If you want to learn more about the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in a short, easy-to-read book that will, if you have any interest in this subject matter whatsoever, inspire you learn more about that war and the period it was fought in, click on this link: Another Such Victory.

I'm going to try to cover some of the Revolutionary War history that I find very interesting and relevant as we go through the year. I'll include pictures and links as I can find good ones.

Missy will be posting more this week as she and Hania start their Crosby/Hope-style road trip. We are really looking forward to seeing it all.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Winter Weekend Escapades



This is what we saw on our deck Saturday morning. That's what we do instead of cleaning off our messy desk...we just wait for it to snow and cover it up!
It snowed all day for a grand total of 12 inches.

Look closely at the window on the far left. Do you see how the indoor blinds/shutters are out of whack? Our designer recommended that look. She is very exclusive and a bit of a trailblazer, so please don't hate on our customized look. Oh, you want her business card? Her name is Keira le'Dawg, and she can be reached at 1-800-DESTROY EVERYTHING OF VALUE IN THE HOME! (: All joking aside, we had plantation shutters installed in the dining room and Keira immediately tore them apart trying to "protect" the home from other dogs who had the audacity to walk by the house. That might have been on day 5 after they were installed. Lesson learned!



Hania was bundled up in a "vintage" snow suit (yes, mine from 1977!). This will make you feel old: this is the first time we've put this one on her because it doesn't have legs, it is just a big, warm sack. Why, you ask? Because children weren't required to be strapped into car seats in the 70's. She says that polyester is surprisingly warm!



Just hanging out in the street in front of the house. This is pretty much what it looks like all summer. Without the snow, that is. Our neighborhood is incredible, just in case I haven't written about that yet. There are a lot of young families on our section of the street and we tend to congregate for impromptu parties in the street. I'm not trying to get all Norman Rockwell on ya'll, but it is really amazing and it has made our time here in Kentucky much more fun. It truly is like a movie, and I doubt we would ever be this lucky again to find this many warm and caring people in one relatively small space. Funny this is, most of them aren't even from Louisville, which is probably why we've come to depend on each other so often. There is a little turnaround loop next to our home, so it is not unheard of during nice weather to pull into your driveway after work and find 5-10 neighbors and their kids congregated there! I'm sure there will be plenty more to write about these good folks once the snow melts, because we all feel a little isolated in the winter when we can't just meet up anytime we choose!



Hania is starting to become annoyed because the snow flakes are sticking to her eyebrows.



Big Tony, the little kitty mob boss.
Some of us enjoyed playing outside more than others.



Miss Delilah is one of those "others". We also call her Gurr because she growls like a dog. Doesn't she look so warm and luxurious here? If she were a Starbucks drink she'c be a "mocha-Gurrchino".



Daddy, when is it going to stop snowing?



Don't all three of them have a similar expression here?



Warming up and doing tummy time!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Chicken Cordon Bleu-me-away!

Yep, I'm a dork. That title took me far to long to think up!

The little clock on my blog is wrong, it is actually 3am and I'm staying up to pump. (Sorry for the mental image, but I'm trying desperately to maintain my "supply", if ya get my drift! If you aren't a mama, then you aren't grossed out b/c you don't really know what I'm referring to. A year ago I would have though someone staying up to pump was lifting weights!)

Anyway...

Another fabulous recipe that I've been making frequently this winter:

Chicken Cordon Bleu
Also from Cooking Light, my favorite!
I'll just guess on amounts b/c you really cannot mess this one up.

4 thin chicken breasts (you can flatten yourself, but most stores sell them already flattened)
4 slices thin ham
4 slices cheese (swiss, provolone, mozzarella...they're all good)
Herbs (I use oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme)
Mixture of mayo and water
Bread crumbs
Toothpicks

  • Lightly season one side of flattened chicken breasts w/ any herbs you like, salt and pepper.
  • Place 1 slice of ham, 1 slice of cheese on the chicken breast.
  • Roll it up tightly, starting with one end. It is going to be imperfect, don't freak. Use a toothpick in each end to hold the roll together. (Or if you're me...attempt to roll chicken breast, push cat away so she doesn't lick chicken, pick up teething baby's pacifier w/ chicken juice fingers then realize you are going to contaminate the poor child, wash hands, push cat away again, make barricade of canisters so cat cannot pass through, play peek-a-boo behind the canisters so the baby doesn't cry, give her a teething ring using my elbows so as not to give her food poisoning, trip over dog, attempt to re-roll chicken, receive phone call from foster parent claiming that belligerent foster child must be picked up immediately, decide that I'll make double the amount so I don't have to do this again for at least 2 days, successfully re-roll chicken...ta da!!! Only 3 more to go.)
  • Brush each chicken roll with a mix of mayo and water.
  • Dredge each roll in breadcrumbs seasoned with herbs.
  • Place rolls in baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  • Bake 20 minutes at 325.
ENJOY! It looks really gourmet and is so delicious. You can stuff it with anything, I suppose. Next I'm going to stuff it with spinach, feta and sun dried tomatoes!



Tiramisu anyone?

I know, a blog without photos is rather depressing. You can blame Blogger. I've been trying to post pics for over 24 hrs and still no luck. We have tons of fun pics in the snow, too. They're on the way...

In the meantime, I feel obligated to share this recipe with you.... White Russian Tiramisu.
Oh yeah, it is every bit as good as it sounds.
Warning #1: Your butt is going to hate me for sharing this with you. My butt wants your butt to share in it's misery! (: Actually it is from Cooking Light, so it could be worse.
Warning #2: Ingredients include coffee and Kahlua...BUT I'm happy to report that it is just as good if you make it using substitutions if you are avoiding those substances. I had to try it out to make sure, because literally every, single, dang recipe that is my favorite has liquor or wine in it. I'm not sure what that says about me, but moving on... And every time our LDS friends were coming over I was freaking the heck out trying to figure out how to substitute ingredients for the alcohol. Some turned out good and others....well, I'll just say that Miss K-Dog had a nice dinner that night! I'll list the substitutions beside the ingredients.

WHITE RUSSIAN TIRAMISU

1 1/2 cups strong brewed coffee (or decaf, or hot water w/ artificial coffee flavoring)
1/4 cup Kahlua (or use the same substitution liquid above, sweetened w/ several tsp of sugar)
8 oz fat free cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 oz regular cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 3oz packages of ladyfingers (they come split in half, found in the bakery)
3 tsp unsweetened cocoa

  • Make coffee and mix with 2 tsp Kahlua in a shallow dish. Cool. (yep, it IS cool, but I literally mean allow it to cool.)
  • Combine all cream cheese in a lg bowl. Beat w/ a mixer at high speed until smooth. Add sugars and 2 tbsp Kahlua, and beat until well blended.
  • Split ladyfingers in half lengthwise (they usually come already split)
  • Quickly dip 24 ladyfinger halves, flat sides down, into coffee mixture; placed dipped sides down in bottom of a deep baking dish, slightly overlapping the halves. Spread cheese mixture on top, and sprinkle with cocoa.
  • You can do as many layers as you'd like, depending on how big your dish is. (I prefer to do 3+ layers b/c it looks really pretty and fancy served up when it is cut into squares.)
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The recipe says for 2 hrs but they are underachievers. It is waaaaay better chilled overnight because the coffee gets all cozy and lovey with the ladyfingers and it is crazy-good!

Warning #3: You are going to want to eat it right away. Really, I'm not joking. But don't. Please don't. Get a hold of yourself woman! (or man!) Say it with me: "I will not touch said tiramisu until it has time to fully chill." You know I'm telling this to myself right now, right? (:
It's not about you, it's ME.

Let me know how it turns out if you make it!
More recipes to come, I've been cooking up a storm this weekend.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Now THIS is winter!

We should have known it was going to be a big snow storm when we already had 6 inches by Friday night... But this morning we awoke to a grand total of 12 inches, which is more snow that I've seen in a very long time! I'd forgotten how bright everything is when it's covered in a blanket of white, powdery, snowy goodness. This is the only time we've had more than 3 inches since moving to KY 3 yrs ago.

(I'm waiting on pictures to download... in the meantime, please enjoy this video of Keira attacking Johnny. Just kidding!)

She loves to run around the yard like a maniac in the snow. At the end of the video he tries to touch her face and she thinks he's playing with her, which results in much growling and jumping. I promise, no dog-daddies were harmed in the making of this video! It looks like a film made for a wildlife documentary...you know, the ones where the once-calm and accepting wild animals suddenly turn on the filmmaker. Johnny drops the camera down so K-dogger won't bite it, so it looks even MORE as if he was attacked!



Fierce! She's just a wolf-wannabe.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Byerly Grandparents Visit - the last installment!

We like to take pictures. I'm not sure if you caught onto that.

A SMILE! A REAL SMILE! Pretty soon she might have some teeth to show off with that smile!


Another thing that should go on my review. Hanna Andersson clothing. LOVE IT. My folks got her some outfits for Christmas and they are very high quality, and wash up extremely well. Plus the onesies come with 2 sets of snaps in the crotch, and bands on the pants that can roll down or up to extend the time they can fit into them. Plus, they look like clothing a little baby should wear, not like some miniature Bratz doll. That is a big-time pet peeve of mine. But that's another blog post!

Oh yes, and her Uggs. Baby Uggs. I'm not kidding. Chalk that one up to the Byerly grandparents as well. They are quite possibly the cutest things I've ever seen, and so warm and cozy on a cold day.


I have some faux Uggs from Payless. Does that make them "Puggs"? ha!



She is finally able to sit up in her chair!



Hania can't wait to see her Poohma and Poohpa in March! 12 days and counting! Guess I'd better make my flight, huh?

Byerly Grandparents Visit - Birthday dinner


To celebrate my 31st birthday, we all went for great Italian food at Ferd Grisante.

Family photo! Who do you think she looks like? We go back and forth on this one.

Poohma, Poohpa, Pooh-mama & Pooh. I wonder if Hania will think it's funny that she has grandparents that go by these names? (:

So stinkin' cute!!!!! This might be one of the first shots we got of her smiling for real!

Apparently Hania didn't get enough to eat. Poohpa doesn't seem to mind being a human teething ring.

Byerly Grandparents Visit - Play time!

I don't know who played harder, Pooh or her grandparents!





The green guy is her Laughing Gator. Of course it a grandparent's obligation to bring loud toys! Being the brilliant little Pooh that she is, she's already learned how to make him laugh by grabbing his foot. Or do gators have paws? No, I don't think things with scales can have paws, right? Anyway, the gator doesn't just laugh...it guffaws! My coworkers are going to kill me...

Speaking of gators...my parents informed me that when Hania is visiting their house for Easter that the "Easter Gator" is going to bring her basket, so as not to compete with the Easter Bunny. I think this is too funny. And when she's old enough she can go to the pond at Poohpa's work and try to spot the 12 foot gator that dwells there. Don't mess with Texas - or their gators!







She adores this mobile! This should actually go with the product review (no, I didn't forget! just delayed by life!). It is made by Tiny Love and the animals look scary....reeeealllly scary! As in, "no way I'm buying that for her because it's going to give her nightmares" scary! But it had rave reviews on various sites and sure enough, it makes her so happy to lie down and talk with her friends on the mobile.

Byerly Grandparents Visit - Adventures with rice cereal

Hania had her 1st rice cereal on 2/16/08. I was trying to wait until her grandparents arrived, but she was just too hungry!

Poohma attempts to feed the excited baby.



Obviously her mother didn't teach her to chew with her mouth closed!



Mommy and Daddy attempt to use a baby spoon.

Now I understand why parents say that you'll wish your children still used a bottle...it is EVERYWHERE!





Sorry Delilah! I don't think you'll like rice cereal, and you can't expect to kick the baby out of her seat every single day! (Actually the little kittens try to sneak a taste of the rice cereal because it looks and smells like kitten formula. They were bottle fed for several months and they tried to regress...I hear that sometimes happens with older "siblings"!)


Missy

For the moment, my blog has turned into a gratitude journal!

Clickety-click over here to find out the Secret! This fabulous site features new blogs every day!