Friday, November 21, 2014

Vanessa’s Baby Shower: The People

This post won’t interest everyone, but I can’t not do it.  I need to be able to look back and see all the people who celebrated Coco (that’s our nickname for Vanessa’s baby) at the shower.

Vanessa’s sister-in-law and mother-in-law.


Speaking of moms, here’s mine.


Two more mother-daughter combos.  First up: Laura, my co-hostess, with her daughter, Gia.


And Jennifer with her daughter Savannah.


Laura, Vanessa, and me.


Vickie and Vanessa.


Vanessa with the grandmas-to-be.


The boys spent the day at the track and joined us when they got home and the shower was over so we got a picture with Shawn and his dad.


My girls.






A couple outtakes.


More posin’.


And more playin’ with the belly.


TGIF!  This is the first weekend since at least mid-October that we haven’t had something to do both Friday and Saturday nights and I am very much looking forward to the respite, especially with Thanksgiving and all its craziness looming.

Hope you guys have good weekends!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Vanessa’s Baby Shower: The Decorations

First of all, I have to thank Heather for the majority of these pictures.  I had asked her to show up a few minutes before the shower started because she is a great last-minute helper.  Luckily she had a few minutes after assisting with kitchen clean-up to snap some photos.

I did just a little bit at the front door to help get people in the fiesta mood as they entered the house.  The pillow that refused to cooperate says “Bien Venido.”  My idea, but my mom’s handiwork.


Just inside the front door was the favor station with my sign and little bags of Chicago Mix popcorn.



On to the main event!  I taped store-bought fans to three of the back windows and placed my oversized flower arrangements in front of the fan-less windows. 


I had the idea to do the flower arrangements but once again my mom was the sweat.  She made all the paper flowers, but I did arrange them on the sticks (with some input from her).  She’s also behind the papel picado (that’s the banner thingie) on the table.  We saw the doilies on our way out of Michael’s and I knew we had to use them.  So we cut them in half, strung them together, and then I pinned them to the tablecloth.


So that’s the food table.  The drink table itself wasn’t too interesting, but the background was fun.


Another mom-and-me project.  I asked her if she could sew plastic tablecloths together and she said yes.  She had to play with the material a little but she figured it out and voila!  I had a very cool backdrop.



Vanessa opened gifts in the den against a wall that has two built-ins and a fireplace.  I had to dress those areas up so I spray painted wine bottles and dug into my stash of paper lanterns.  I also used lots of paper flowers thanks to guess who?  Yep, my mom!


(We’ll get back to that pinata in a minute.)




I asked people to fill out little cards with either advice for Shawn and Vanessa or well wishes for their baby girl.


Then Shawn and Vanessa opened it later together and read everyone’s messages.

We’ll talk about food and people soon!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Baby shower weekend

We had Vanessa’s baby shower this weekend.  It feels like it was a three-day event because, well, it was.  I took Friday off so I could bake, do party prep, clean a little, and even have just a little bit of downtime.  Then Saturday was the baby shower, which I left for a little after 9:00 in the morning and got home from a little after 9:00 at night.  Sunday was more dismantling and putting stuff away. 

It was a lot of work but it was totally worth it.


Lots more on the shower to come.  It turned out even better than I expected, and I can’t wait to share.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The great escape

I arrived home to a welcome committee of one last night: Monte was waiting for me in the driveway. 


No, he didn’t escape his crate and figure out how to turn doorknobs then push the garage door button. 

When the weather’s nice, we try to leave Monte outside.  For one, that means he’s not stuck in his crate for 10 hours.  Two, it helps him have less energy in the evenings when, frankly, we’re tired and cranky and don’t have the energy to deal with his.  We can take him on a long walk and it’s still not enough.

So Monte spends some days in the backyard stretching his legs while the fresh air wears him out.  We all win.

But back to last night.  Monte was wet and muddy and very ready to get inside for some dinner.  I checked all four gates and didn’t see any open, and I did a quick look-around for any holes big enough for a 120-lb dog but didn’t find any.  We were wondering if maybe a meter reader or the lawn guy came and accidentally let Monte out and maybe didn’t realize it when they left and closed the gate behind them.

Well, I missed seeing that one of the side gates wasn’t secured.  The McHusband found that out when he went to get Monte once Connor was down, and Monte was nowhere in the backyard.  Luckily, he hadn’t ventured far and came straight to the McHusband, much to his chagrin when he found out why the McHusband wanted him.

It was bathtime.  Not Monte’s favorite.

Anyway, all the gates are closed up tight, Monte is safe and clean, and we are very thankful that he stayed close to home and waited for us to come home.

And he’s in the crate for the rest of the week mostly to preserve his cleanliness but also for our peace of mind knowing that when we get home from work, he’s going to be where we left him that morning.

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, November 10, 2014

{Recipe Recap} Twix Caramel Cookie Bars

We had Chelle and Jeremy’s Chicken Stew on Saturday and of course I had to make the oatmeal cream pies that I’ve made for the past several Stews.  I also had some mini Twix bars from Halloween so I decided to make some cookie bars.  I didn’t take any pictures so I’m going to borrow one of Maria’s:

Twix Caramel Cookie Bars Recipe on Chocolate chip cookie bars with Twix candy bars and caramel! AMAZING! 

I loved the texture of these bars – they were dense with a thin slightly crispy crust that gave way to a chewy middle.  I used the chopped Twix bars and a semi-sweet chocolate chips, which were a good combo.

I was a little underwhelmed by these, to be honest with you.  The McHusband, however, put them toward the top of his favorites list.  The flavor was fine, it just wasn’t great.  I wish I knew what I could do differently to make them better.  I’d be willing to put some money on browning the butter and using dark brown sugar.

I still have a lot of those little mini Twixes left so I just might gamble on my improvements and see how they work out.

So there you go, a little something for your sweet tooth on this Monday morning.  And speaking of the pearly whites, guess who finally has one if not two?

I decided to check Connor’s lower gums with my finger last night and sure enough, there was a little roughness there.  I looked in his mouth but he wasn’t too keen on that so that’s why my math skills seem less than stellar.

I can’t say that Connor seemed overly bothered by the tooth/teeth coming in and he has continued to be a great sleeper so I have high hopes for the rest of his teeth not being a big deal.

I don’t know how often I’ll be checking in this week.  I am hosting Vanessa’s baby shower on Saturday and I have a few projects to work on for that plus I want to get to the Y at least a couple of times.  Oh, and my mom and the McMom will be up here this weekend so I’m going to have to stop writing my name in the dust in my house and get rid of it.

Hope your week’s off to a great start!

{Recipe very slightly adapted from here}

Friday, November 7, 2014

Halloween: One week later

So last Friday was Halloween.  Connor wore his costume with the sitter, but not with us.  I didn’t decorate for Halloween, but I did pull out a few things (black fence, crows, spiders, talking head, and my fog machine) at the last minute so we could hand out candy in the driveway and not be total spoilsports.

I’m not a total mommy fail.  I did take some pictures of my kid’s first Halloween.



I love this picture.  It’s like someone just told him he’s going to start getting food for dinner.


Looks like we might have a future conductor on our hands.





Happy Halloween, my sweet baby boy!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

All boy

Last night when I was getting Connor ready for bed, he did something that proved he’s advanced beyond his months.

Connor was laying on his back while I tried to get his feet into his jammies.  He of course preferred to have his feet up by his face and no sooner did he have a toe in his mouth than he let out a little toot.

He immediately looked up at me and laughed!  Like, a full-out giggle fest.  I don’t think I responded in such a way that would’ve elicited that kind of reaction from him so it honestly seemed like he knew he was dishing out some potty humor.  Once he was giggling, of course I couldn’t help but get into it with him, which kept him going for a few more seconds.

I’m in trouble now, rewarding his fart with laughter.  There’s no going back now!