Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Children's Museum

Tuesday my friend had the day off so we went to the Children's Museum. I can see us spending many days there over the winter, especially when William gets a little bit bigger. He enjoyed playing with the musical instruments and having Sadie drive him around town.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I made a casserole the other day. It sure is casserole, crock pot, dutch oven weather around here. The leaves are starting to cover the ground. We turned on our heat and took our fleece jackets out of the closet. My nose and feet are cold when I go to bed.

This casserole surprised me. Honestly, I chose it because of the name and the fact I could use my food processor to slice everything up. It's easy to make and can be a really healthy dinner if you use brown rice and lean turkey. There are a bunch of versions online but this one is from the book Hot dish heaven : classic casseroles from Midwest Kitchens by Ann L. Burckhardt. I found it while browsing the library shelves after story time. (btw, why is story time only 6 weeks long? As soon as the parents and babies start to recognize each other, it's over. Don't worry...the next session starts in January! Really, does it take that much work for the children's librarian to get together a 20 minute program for babies once a week? If it does, someone please tell me why!)

Back to the food. I prepared all the ingredients and brought out my round 2.5 quart casserole dish. I started the layers and decided there was was way too many fillings to stuff into this dish. The recipe calls for one 2 quart dish. I ended up using two round dishes - a 2.5 and a 1.5. Another option might be using an 8 1/2 x 11 glass dish. I am pretty happy though because now I have a casserole in the freezer for another night.

Shipwreck Casserole

1 medium onion, chopped or sliced thin
2-3 medium potatoes, diced, grated or thin sliced
2 carrots, grated or thin sliced
1 lb regular or lean ground meat or turkey, raw, crumbled
1/3 c. uncooked white or brown rice
1-2 ribs celery, sliced
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
1 can tomato soup
1 c. water

Heat oven to 350 degrees. (325 for glass casserole)
Layer the vegetables, meat, rice and beans in the order given in a 2 quart casserole, seasoning each layer lightly with salt and pepper. Stir soup and water together and pour over the layered ingredients. Cover and bake for 1.5 hours. Use a fork to test vegetables for doneness.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

my baby eats!

Over the past week we have had some big milestones. Not only did William start eating solids he also got his first tooth! So far he's eaten rice cereal and pumpkin. You're supposed to wait four days before introducing a new food so that if the baby has an allergic reaction you'll know what it's from. Tommorow he gets to try something new...apples? bananas? avacado? It's so much fun watching him taste things for the first time. So far he's taken to it like a champ. Below are the frozen pumpkin cubes he's been eating.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


I ordered My So-Called Life from the library weeks ago and it finally came in! I know what I will be doing for awhile - reliving junior year in high school.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Tybee 2008


We went on vacation over Labor Day to Savannah, Georgia and stayed at probably the greatest, biggest beach house on Tybee Island. We have been planning this trip since before William was born and the anticipation was starting to get ridiculous.

The trip consisted of 5 couples from...Tampa, Charleston, St. Louis, Chicago & Cleveland. Each had a baby in the past 6 months and St. Louis also has a 2 year old. Add a Savannah couple and their 9 month and 2 year olds. That's a lot of babies!!!


We flew in Thursday night. We got our car, put the car seat in and drove to the Savannah couples' house and then downtown to check into the hotel. We hung out at the pool there and then went out to dinner. That first night it was only 3 couples. The Dads went to The Rail to re-live some SCAD days while the moms (and sleeping babies in strollers) sat in the hotel bar/lobby area and chatted.

The next day we got some food and drove around looking at the dads' old college apartments and talked about much the city has changed over the years. We then headed out to the beach house and picked our rooms. The rest of the weekend we swam in the pool, ate, drank, talked loud, floated on noodles and laughed a ton. That was pretty much it! We didn't even make it to the beach. All the babies were gorgeous and sweet and perfect. We are all such lucky parents.

Monday we stopped at River Street for some oysters and shrimp before we got on the plane home. It was a great trip and it was so wonderful to see our friends and their babies. It was a little sad to say goodbye but now we know we can still keep the vacation tradition alive - even with an army of kids! We will just need to rent a small town or something.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Calico Beans

I made these beans for William's Baptism and a few people have asked me for the recipe. My mother-in-law cut it out of the Plain Dealer a few years ago. The only thing that we do differently is cook the bacon seperately from the ground meat. If you don't, you just end up with some chunks of bacon fat in the beans.

Calico Beans
1 pound ground beef
1 pound bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
2 cans Bush's baked beans , 28 ounce/any flavor/undrained
16-ounce can lima beans , drained
16-ounce can butter beans , drained
16-ounce can kidney beans , drained and rinsed
16-ounce can black beans , drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup water
1 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons dry mustard

Cook's notes: The recipe calls for simmering in a crockpot and overnight refrigeration. If time is limited, skip the overnight step and simply serve hot the day it's prepared.

Brown the meat: In a large skillet, cook beef, bacon and onion until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain off fat. Set aside.

Combine, simmer ingredients: In a large crockpot, combine all ingredients. Start on high until ingredients are hot, then reduce heat to low, and cook for 6-7 hours. Refrigerate overnight.

Reheat: When chilled, remove any fat from the surface. Reheat on low setting for 3-4 hours.

Presentation: Leftovers freeze nicely.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

pork loin

"Rick the Butcher" talked us into buying a 10lb pork loin. That's a lot of pork. I hacked it into 8 pork chops and 2 roasts. The chops were grilled and a roast was put in the crock pot last Sunday. The roast came out DRY but was turned into pulled pork sandwiches on Monday and tacos on Tuesday. One roast left in the freezer. More pork dishes to come.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


William was Baptized last Sunday. We had lunch for our family and friends afterwards at our house. The skies were grey that morning and looked like it was going to storm. Luckily it cleared up and all our guests were able to sit in the very sunny backyard. I have no idea what we would have done if it rained. There's no way 40 people would have fit in our apartment.
We ordered chicken and rigatoni from Carmino's. The menu also included brats, potato salad, fruit salad, pasta salad, coleslaw, watermelon, deviled eggs, calico beans, a huge veggie tray, kolachki and cake. Lots of drinks but not enough bottled water!
My friend Jodie was William's Godmother. She came over early to get him dressed and did a fantastic job helping us all day.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Peninsula Farmers Market

Erin, William and I drove down to the Peninsula Farmers Market on Saturday. We didn't get there till 11am so there wasn't much left to buy. I did get a bar of ginger & grapefruit soap from Lazy Bee and a peach apple pie from another vendor. Unfortunately, the pie crust wasn't baked all the way through and the middle was raw :( Next time we have to get there when it opens, bring a cooler and not forget the baby's hat. That way I can put him in the carrier instead of lugging him around in his car seat.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

3 months later


During the last 3 months I have...

  • changed many, many diapers
  • ordered lots of take out
  • read "A Walk in the Woods" by night light
  • been spit, peed and pooped on
  • stopped using an alarm clock
  • realized that a trip to Target is now considered going "out"
  • felt very lucky to be married to my husband (if you're reading this...I love you!)
  • started wearing a glow in the dark watch
  • wanted to pull all my hair out in the car
  • rocked, swayed and bounced in all possible directions
  • shed tears of frustration and joy
  • lost 40 pounds and got back into my Luckys
  • watched seasons 1-6 of Sex and the City (and the movie)
  • used an entire bottle of Shout
  • been amazed by our baby every single day

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The new man in my life

William Francis
Monday, April 7, 2008
9lbs 6oz 21.5in

Monday, March 24, 2008

foodie babies

Very cute onsies for food lovers at Fig Leaf Baby

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

bad condiments?

How often do you go through your fridge and throw away condiments? I came across this today. Off the top of my head, I see that I need to throw away a bottle of fish sauce that I bought when I tried to make pad thai. The smarter me now goes to Siam Cafe when I have a craving.

Aren't you supposed to replace dry spices after 6 months? I feel like I need to pitch them all and start from scratch.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Nancy Pearl

Nancy Pearl is coming to Cuyahoga County Public Library next week. Details can be found here. Yes, I do have her action figure - it was a gift!

Film Fest update - films I have actually seen:
Return of the Cuyahoga
The Planet (I napped a bit during this one)
Ben X
Gone with the Woman
And I will see American Teen on Sunday

Baby update - I am 37.5 wks today. My doctor said I could have this baby any day now. She actually thinks the sooner the better because he/she is getting BIGGER by the day :)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Film Festival

The Cleveland International Film Fest has started! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to volunteer for the opening night festivities. Last night was also my last day of work at one of my jobs. I'm going on maternity leave till fall. How crazy is that? People were asking me if I was sad. Heck no..I am thrilled! I will continue working at my other job till the baby comes - but that means I'll only be working every other day till then. Lots of time to lounge on the couch (dr's orders) and "nest".

Since the film fest falls during Spring Break I have the entire week off! I will be volunteering for the FilmSlam program and then seeing as many movies as I can handle.

Tickets purchased so far...
Return of the Cuyahoga
One Bad Cat
The Pixar Story
Kidz in da Hood

Friday, February 29, 2008

Market Cafe & Wine Bar

Douglas Trattner describes your first experience at the Market Cafe perfectly in his Free Times article..."Where do we start? What do we do? Help!" That's exactly how my friend E and I felt when we walked in yesterday at about 11:50am. It was already very crowded and a bit overwhelming.

We decided to both get our lunch from the same station so we wouldn't lose each other. The burger/grill station was our pick! All the burgers, meat and kabobs were in a cooler, like at the grocery store, and then made fresh to order. E was being healthy and ordered a rosemary chicken breast, baked potato and green beans. I (not being so healthy) ordered a cheeseburger and side of pesto pasta that had chunks of cheese tossed in. We also each had a chocolate chip cookie.

Really, everything in the place looked delicious. The longest line was at the soup/salad station so that's where I want to head to next time. There are booths and long tables for seating - we sat in the middle of a long table with a bunch of other people because it was quite busy by the time we got ourselves and our food together. You can also very easily get anything to go.

We really liked it and I'm sure will be back for lunch again soon!

Monday, February 25, 2008

100 and 1 birthdays

My dr's appointment was good on Friday. I felt the baby's skull with my fingers by pushing down really low on my abdoment. Sutherland said that's how they used to figure out if the baby was head down, before u/s. Very odd! She aslo went over when to go to the hosp: 1. water breaks 2. heavy bleeding 3. intense contractions. Stay home for as long as possible! I need to pack some things in a bag to take with me. Baby's hb was good and so was my blood pressure. She did comment on my swelling, but what is there to do? I had the Strep B test and she did an internal exam and nothing was going on. I'm supposed to do kick counts which are kinda freaking me out. I have heard all these stories about babies just dying in there and mothers just not noticing that they haven't moved in quite some time. She said I should do it 2 times a day. In the morning and at night for an hour each. Count till you reach 8 and then you can stop. This just makes me nervous, more nervous than anything so far this pregnancy.

Saturday we went to WV. Kevin rode with us. Adam was sick so he stayed home. Mom was sick but went anyways and stayed in the room the whole time and was miserable. I felt really bad for her. Mamaw looked good. She was pretty quiet though. I guess she can't see really well anymore. I gave her a hug before we left and she said good luck with the baby. We drove home on Sunday and stopped to see this Big Bucket for an adventure. Then dad ran out of gas and we luckily saw them on the side of the road. Ian got to be the hero of the day :)

We got home and then went directly over Cec & Chris' for Addison's b-day party. It was fun. She was super cute. We stayed over till about 10 and watched some of the Oscars with them. We haven't just hung out with them for so long and it was nice to visit.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

it's been over 2 months?!?!

Wow, time has been going by quickly. I have been so busy lately and haven't updated this blog at all! I feel like I have just been running on auto for the past few months. Between work, baby classes, doctor's appointments, celebrations, social events, eating and trying to sleep I've barely had time to breath. Here's a few of the big highlights of the past few months....

My birthday party at Malley's .

Shower cake - yum!

Weekend away at Honey Run Inn (my Christmas present).