Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cousins! Definitely NOT Identical Cousins!


That was the theme to the Patty Duke Show, right? (Only it was about identical cousins.)


Anyway, we had dinner at my in-laws last night (thanks again, Chris and Paula!) and we got to see my niece and nephew in the process. My niece is 32 months old (2.5 years) and my nephew is one month younger than my son (which would put him at almost seven months old).


While they definitely look like siblings (fair skin, reddish tint to the hair, etc.), they don't look a whole lot like my son. I guess you can kinda see the family resemblance, but they sure do look different from one another!



It'll be interesting to see the boys as they grow up; I really hope they end up being friends! I always wanted a cousin closer to me in age, but I had my sister so I can't complain too much.

This was one of my least favorite moments captured last night. My son smushing his cousin's face. Before he fell asleep, I had a talk with him about how we don't shove, hurt, etc. other people, especially those that are smaller than us. I want him to grow up to be a kind-hearted person, not a bully.

Sister Date!

My sister and I went on a date the other night. I just love it when she and I can go out for a little girl time. And as it turns out, we have a similar love of movie trailers which worked out perfectly in this case because ...

we saw an hour and twenty minutes of previews at our local movie theater! It was AWESOME! Thirty trailers for movies coming out this summer were compiled for our viewing pleasure (there were lots of other people there too ... we weren't the only lucky ones). Then the theater asked us to rate them according to whether or not we thought they would do well at the box office. They also asked us which three we were most looking forward to seeing.

My three ...

Away We Go

Funny People

and

The Hangover

(See the rest of The Hangover trailer here ... I don't know why the first one wasn't whole.)

I also added Up as a fourth fave.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Beloved Lola

I sold my beloved first car, Lola, today. I posted a listing on Craigslist at 9:38 p.m. last night and by about 11:30 a.m. today she was headed off to a new home. Crazy, right?




I know it's sappy, but I feel like a little part of me drove away today, never to return. Yes, she was a 1999 Plymouth Neon with tons of "quirks" - my sister has called her "jank" on many occasions - but she was there for me. Lola was with me when I started dating my now-husband, when I went off to college, when I broke up with my boyfriend (all eight times), when we drove home after our wedding, when we drove home from the hospital with our son. I have cried, screamed, laughed, and lived in her. And it was sad to see her go.



But now I have Wanda, and she is lovely. She represents a new chapter of my life and I am glad for that.

Still ... I will probably always miss Lola.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table

My son got this LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table from his Great-Aunt Cynthia (and her family) for Christmas and he LOVES it! It comes with legs (you can see them piled up in the background on the hearth) but I took them off because he can't stand on his own yet and it gets a little tiresome holding my little wiggle worm there for long stretches.



We are currently keeping it on the musical setting because he seems to prefer it, but once he starts learning numbers and letters a bit more I think we'll switch it to the learning setting more often. The musical setting also has a bit more variety, so even though this is a bit of a noisy toy it doesn't really wear on my nerves at all. Bonus!

He will crawl across the table just to get to one feature or another. Sometimes that means he ends up playing the piano with his belly, which is just too cute!

In the last couple days, he has not wanted the little green door to be open. (When you open the door, a lady starts singing ... if you shut it, she stops.) He doesn't mind hearing the lady sing, but he will crawl over to the table even if he's playing with something else just to shut this door. Funny little man.


Lately he has been pulling himself up into a standing position all over the house (ottoman, window sill, etc.) and the table is no exception.
Anyhow, this is a toy I highly recommend. It is durable, fun, educational, and will keep your kids busy!

A Quiet Moment



Yeah, he was just chilling by the window, checking out the faux drawstring on his sweatpants.
After seeing him like this, I can now envision him standing by the window watching kids arrive home from school on the bus, waiting for Daddy to come home, or seeing if the mail has arrived yet ala Aunt Christine.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Score One for Me! (Cute Photo Included)

Yeah, I figured out how to get pictures from my phone onto my computer ... here comes trouble!

I tried to put my son down for a nap today while he was completely awake and had not been nursed or other wise soothed. That didn't work so well. But he desperately needed a nap anyways, so I nursed him a bit (turns out he was thirsty anyways) and put him down. A shower later and he was awake.

I snuck into his room in the hopes that he was just making noise in his sleep, but - alas - this is how I found him instead.

Yes, he looks like an amputee because his right leg is tucked all the way behind him. Thank goodness he's flexible!

Mmm ... Monday: Company Chicken

This recipe comes from the cookbook my in-law's Gourmet group put together, and the recipe itself was added by my mother-in-law, Paula Jacques. It is wonderfully simple and uber-tasty.

Company Chicken

2 cups bread crumbs (we use Italian bread crumbs)
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic (minced)
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Mix in bowl. Melt 1 stick margarine. Roll chicken pieces (we use whole chicken breasts, but this could easily be used for chicken tenders) in margarine then in Parmesan mixture. Place in baking dish. Don't overlap. Dot with margarine. Bake 350 degrees Farenheit for 1 hour. Do not turn.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Adventures Into the Kitchen

My son decided it was finally time, now that his crawling skills are up to par, to take a trip into the kitchen to do a little explorin'. Though he was initially a bit hesitant, mainly because he had to cross the threshold from the comfy living room carpet to the hard kitchen tile, but once he saw me go in there to put some dishes away he knew it was kosher. Here are some pictures from his travels.

He was immediately drawn to the guy on the Quaker Oats box in the pantry (yes, that is a box big enough for over 100 servings ... thank you, Costco).

On the way to the pantry, he stopped to inspect the curious wood strip at the corner by the stairway. I believe he will try to pry these off of the wall someday, and I'm not sure I will stop him.


After we closed the pantry (too much he could get into), he found the door stopper. He made it *broing* a few times, but he wasn't overly sure he liked it. A couple times he looked at me with his bottom lip poked out like he was going to cry. Then he would *broing* it again. Funny guy.


Yes, I am sure you have noticed by now that he is wearing nothing but socks and his diaper. We had a bit of a poop accident that left him without clothes about fifteen minutes before bedtime. At the risk of making more laundry for me to do, we just let him roam around in the buff. And yes, he enjoyed it immensely.


He finally realized I was taking pictures of his adventures and decided to come say hi. Isn't he adorable?! I just love his little drool-soaked chin!


I'm sure there are more kitchen adventures to be had, but before those can occur we have to make a trip of another sort ... time to make a trip to Babies R Us for some accessories to babyproof the WHOLE house. Little man is curious beyond belief ... and boy do I love him for it!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Letter to My Sister (Happy Birthday, Christine! Pt. 2)

Dear Christine,

Twenty five years ago today my life changed dramatically ... I became your big sister. Though I have no actual recollection of it, it was - hands down - one of the best days of my life (right up there with becoming "wife" and "mother").

From the minute you entered the world, you have been a strong force in my life. There has never been even a second that I wished I didn't have you as a sister; even those trying moments when our relationship wasn't perfect, I have always been glad to call you mine.

You make me proud of you for all your strength, humor, smarts, and grace. Yes, I have often been jealous of you for all your natural gifts, but I am proud of you just the same.

Christine, you are the reason I want my son to have a sibling someday. I can't imagine my life without you in it, and I want him to know the same kind of friendship and love I have with you. I want him to know what it is like to have a person in your life that is like you (knows all your inside jokes, understands how you work, has the same sense of humor, etc.) but is different enough from you to keep things exciting.

Alright, enough waxing rhapsodic.

I hope you have the happiest of birthdays!

With love,

Your big sister,

N

Friday, April 24, 2009

Why I Hate My Sister (Happy Birthday, Christine! Pt. 1)

Full Disclosure: I do NOT hate my sister. In fact, I love and adore her; always have, always will. That said, she's not hip to the sappy thing.

Yeah, my sister Christine is perfect. Reason enough to hate her, right? She has perfect hair, perfect pinky-undertoned skin, perfectly blue eyes (just like MY son ... bah!), perfect tiny little feet to fit into perfect little shoes, ... and those are just the surface reasons why she's perfect.



To go along with that, she dresses impeccably. Gawh! Sleepwear, swimwear, workout wear, everyday wear, fancy wear, the girl looks good ALL THE TIME. It is soooo irritating. Whatever the season, whatever the event, she looks perfect. AND she knows how to dress other people, too! She has fantastic taste, knows when to ignore trends and when to scoop them up. She lived in the same house as me growing up ... how does she know this?! It must be innate in her.

Oh, and have I mentioned that she is super smart? Salutatorian of her high school class (should have been valedictorian), double major in communication and German with a minor in econ at a swanky liberal arts college where she was president of her sorority, blah ... blah ... blah. She seems to know and/or understand everything - what is up with that?!

Could be because she has an INSANE memory. The girl can remember anything and everything, especially numbers. You will NEVER be right when she is around, because she is. She just is. Her memory is just that good. Grrrrr!

Oh yeah, and she's naturally good at just about everything she does. It is maddening! Sports, knitting, looking things up online, finding deals, planning amazing vacations, baking, ... the list goes on and on and on.



All these things could be overlooked if she wasn't such an AWESOME person. Gawh!

She is hilarious. Have I said that? Sarcastic and witty, she can make you laugh even when you are feeling your worst. From pulling out a line from Friends or The Office (perennial favorites of ours) to making a quick-witted observation, she knows just what to say. Jealous?!

Um, and she is an amazing aunt. My son just adores her, lights up whenever he sees her, yadda, yadda, yadda. Kid is lucky to have her. That's all I have to say about that.



To top it all off, she's an awesome sister. She's my oldest friend and other mushy stuff like that.

All I can say positive about her is that I am thankful she is shorter than me. That's all I can lord over her. She's just that cool.
So happy birthday tomorrow ... or whatever.
I love you, Christine!

Wanda the Honda

In the span of two days, we found, test drove, pondered, inspected, and purchased a car! Whew and whoa. It has been an exhausting two days. My mom and sister found our new-to-us car Wanda in the parking lot of our local Target. Knowing we were in the market for a bigger car (my son's new car seat just barely fit in Lola, my trusty Plymouth Neon), they copied down the number and called me with the scoop.

It snow-balled from there, and now we have Wanda. She is a 2003 Honda Odyssey minivan, fully loaded with a grey leather interior. Ooh la la! I negotiated the price with the previous owner and everything ... and, yes, I was nauseous the whole time, but I still did it.


The previous owners had some sort of dog and two kids (16 and 10), so the car needed a bit of cleaning up. Luckily, my parents have a wal-vac and tons of cleaning supplies they were willing to share, so I was able to clean her up a bit. Anybody have any advice on getting dog hair out of carpet?

My son was super tired but wanted to watch Mommy and figure out what the heck was going on. Here he is with his Oma!

He also wanted to take Wanda out for a spin. Too bad his little feet don't reach the pedals!


There she is! Wanda the Honda, in all her glory! A little more cleaning up to do, and hopefully she'll feel more like mine soon.
Incidentally, we will be selling Lola, so if you or anyone you know might be interested, please contact me! I'll try to post pictures soon!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Not Much Time to Write ...

Okay, I don't have much time to write right now, but I thought I'd leave a little tease ...

Looking at a new-to-us car.

New sleeping position for my son!!!

Talk to you later!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Constantly Questioning

When he was first born, my son - like most babies - was perpetually sleepy. From what I recall, he slept all the time. Yes, his nights were a bit interrupted, but he was a newborn and that was expected.

Now, my little man is on the go all the time. When he is awake, he is AWAKE. Having perfected his crawling skills, he is getting into everything. Yesterday, he even started following me ... it was so cute! I love it that he is more mobile now and is exploring the world around him.

That said, he is no longer the drowsy little guy I first met. Gone are the days where I could easily lay him in bed awake and know that he would eventually get to sleep. Now, if he is awake, consider him a cross between Columbus and Sherlock Holmes; everything must be explored and inspected.

So I will confess: I have been doing the bad mommy thing and putting him down already asleep. I know better, but at the same time I don't know what else to do. If I let him explore, he bonks his head on the crib slats and gets onto his tummy and forgets how to get back (and pretty much refuses to sleep on his stomach). If I put him down asleep, there is at least a chance he will stay that way. I haven't tried letting him cry it out, but I'm not sure that would work with him; we tried it once and his screams just got louder and louder until he was absolutely beside himself.

Our ped told me not to "anything him to sleep". Which means I'm not supposed to feed, shush, rock, etc. him to sleep; he's supposed to do it on his own. But it seems like he can't; he's just too on the go.

Am I not giving my son enough credit? Can he do it himself? Do I need to teach him drowsiness? (I am drowsy by nature, so I am familiar with the feeling; I could almost always use a nap.) Will letting him cry it out breed a sense of distrust within him? How can I avoid scarring him for life?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mad Skills

This morning my gorgeous son decided to show off some of his skills. You will find them all in this wonderful little video he let me take.

Enjoy!

video

Mmm ... Monday: Mom's Tasty Marinade AND Nicole's Summer Applesauce

Yup, today it's a two-fer! Two recipes in one posting ... can you stand it?!

Sorry, feeling a little excited about these two.

The first is a marinade recipe my mom apparently concocted and it is WONDERFUL! She's been using it for years, mainly on chicken, and it is truly delicious. You can serve it as is, or use the chicken (or other meat, whatever) for fajitas or stir fry. The sky is the limit!

Mom's Tasty Marinade

1/2 cup soy sauce (I use low sodium La Choy)
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. oil (you can use olive or vegetable oil, though I usually use the latter)
pepper
garlic powder

Combine ingredients and marinate the poultry/meat for no more than 4 hours (though this is really an arbitrary number ... nothing horrible will happen if you do it for more than 4 hours). This will marinate about four normal-sized chicken breasts.


So that's recipe number one. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Recipe number two is actually something simple I cooked up last week when we had some friends over for dinner. I needed an extra side dish to go with my fave recipe (Country Chicken Casserole) and felt like it should be a fruit since there are so many veggies in the casserole. I had applesauce on hand, but I felt like that was too easy and too bland for company. So I decided to spruce it up a bit! Here's the recipe for what I ended up with ... hope you enjoy it!

Nicole's Summer Applesauce

1/2 of a 23 oz. jar of Mott's Natural Applesauce (that's the brand I prefer ... no added sugar)
19 medium-sized strawberries (I thawed some frozen ones I had on hand)
15 oz. can of lite sliced pears (drained)

Puree the strawberries and pears and mix with applesauce. Refrigerate until well-chilled. Serve. Voila! Serves about four adults and one toddler.

It was seriously awesome and soooo easy! Refreshing and full of vitamins, this applesauce is a great way to get some extra color in your dinner, especially during the winter months when it is difficult to find fresh berries.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My Uncle Craig

As I mentioned previously, I am walking in the Relay for Life this May, in the memory of my Uncle Craig who passed away last year after a long battle with melanoma. In the aforementioned post, I asked for donations, but I feel like you should know a little more about the man for whom we are walking. So here it is.

Uncle Craig was a truly unique individual. Honest, warm, and funny, he was someone you looked forward to seeing at family gatherings, knowing he would greet you with a smile and a hug.


Sometimes when I was little he would give me a big, wet kiss. Then I'd rub it in. He was a great uncle.


I remember when I was pregnant, worrying about how much weight I had gained (at that point I was only up to thirty or so pounds), he looked at me and said, "Nicole, you look great! Don't worry about how much weight you've gained." Then his voice dropped to more of a whisper, he looked about the room and said, "Your aunt gained eighty pounds when she was pregnant with Mindy, so you're doing just fine!" Then he smiled.

In the operating room, when they told me my baby was a boy, tears filled my eyes and I thought of Uncle Craig; he had just died the day before and, amazingly enough, he had guessed correctly in the baby pool we had going. A baby boy, born September 7th. He missed by a mile on the weight, but then so did everyone else (who could have guessed I would have had a 10 lbs. 10 oz. chunker?). He would have loved my son so much; Uncle Craig was a man's man and had six nieces and no nephews.


This was the last time I saw him - not this exact moment, but this trip to Grand Rapids. He was in town for my baby shower, and it was so good to see him. I didn't know it was going to be the last time, but if I think hard enough I can still feel the hug he gave me when he, my aunt, and cousin were leaving.


He was an avid hunter and fisherman, and while that often meant he missed my childhood birthday parties (November 7th), he remembered them anyways and gave me a gift, often wrapped in a Meijer shopping bag. I don't think I got a gift from him wrapped in actual wrapping paper until he married my Aunt Peggy when I was in second grade.


A painter by trade, I once called him up in a panic; I was painting our new living room and the paint wasn't sticking to the walls! He talked me through the problem, gave me suggestions on how to fix it, and told me to call him if I had any more issues. He knew what he was talking about and the rest of the living room came out beautifully.




Uncle Craig lived his life to the fullest, making time for both his family and for the more solitary amusements he loved so dearly. Cancer took him away far too soon, and there are so many days I think of him, miss him, and wish he were here.

We, Craig's Crusaders, are walking this May in efforts to raise money for cancer research in the hopes that other families won't have to endure what we have.

Please visit my personal page on the Relay for Life website and donate as much as you can ... every little bit counts!

http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLFY09National?px=9873464&pg=personal&fr_id=14395

Thank you for reading! Have a wonderful day!

The Many Talents of Mr. Jacques

Dodging the Mommy-ratzi. Enough with the pictures already, Ma!


Holding two balls at once. Jealous?

Playing the piano whilst sitting on a popcorn bucket. Just call me mini-Mozart!

Sitting AND looking absolutely adorable. I know, I know ... it's all too much.

And crawling. Here, I am staring down the hallway at Oma. Isn't she awesome? P.S. Hardwood floors are REALLY difficult to crawl on!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Etsy Bitsy Problem: Robbie Jenkins

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. I can see Etsy turning into a problem for me.

Nonetheless, I thought I'd share another awesome store with you. RobbieJenkins DreamStar Creations is an awesome little Etsy store, filled with collage-art jewelry. My favorite, though, are the custom vintage dictionary necklaces you can get. Wonderfully inexpensive at $10 a pop (and only $1.50 shipping), you get to choose the word you want on your pendant!

Um, hello?! How cute would this be as a gift? The dictionaries the artist uses come from the 1930s to 1950s, so you probably couldn't have the word "ginormous" on your pendant, but I can see the possibilities being nearly endless. So cute!

Etsy Bitsy Problem: Hazelnut Cottage

Yeah, I'm desperately trying NOT to get into Etsy. For those of you unfamiliar, it is a wonderful site filled with handmade/vintage goodies. Just about anyone can open an Etsy store, so some things are less than perfect, but some ... sigh ... are just lovely.

The first time I went on the site I was less than impressed. I don't know why, but I found it difficult to navigate and thought the things I found were unpolished and amateurish.

Not so now.

My current favorite store is Hazelnut Cottage. (swoon) If I had extra money to burn on jewelry, this would probably be my first stop.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Around the Living Room

Crawling around ... much easier to do now that Mommy and Daddy have removed the coffee table! Good thinking, you two!

Chewing on Dom's tail while practicing my sitting skills.

Inspecting the quality of the plaid swivel gliders. They seem up to par.



Mmm ... Monday: Paula's Meatballs

This recipe comes from my mother-in-law Paula; these are the best meatballs you will ever have. Period.

(By the way, they are Italian meatballs ... not to be confused with the appetizer variety meatballs.)

Paula's Meatballs

2 well-beaten eggs
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. parsley
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Mix above ingredients. Form into balls.* Brown in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drain fat. Stir in your favorite spaghetti sauce (works well with traditional Ragu). Serve over spaghetti.

Obviously you could also use these for meatball subs or the like. I just copied down the recipe verbatim because that's how I roll.

In my opinion, you cannot go wrong with these meatballs. They are super easy to make and I haven't met a person yet who has tried them and doesn't like them. Plus, they freeze really well; I recommend freezing them in freezer bags and then thawing them in the fridge the day you plan on using them. Then just warm them up with the sauce and you are good to go!

Enjoy!

* I usually make the balls between ping pong and golf ball sized.

Blog Addiction (Pt. 3) - Operation NICE

One of the blogs I follow is Operation NICE. Its goal is simple: encouraging people to be proactively nice. We need more of this in our world today.

The blogger, Melissa, gives assignments as hints on how to be nice to other people. You can download notes, signs, tips, and more to assist you on your quest for niceness. You can even nominate a nice person of the week!

All in all, it is a refreshing site that reminds us it is important to just be nice.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Funny Crawling


This is how my son likes to crawl. He prefers getting up on all fours like this, instead of his hands and knees. It really is an awkward crawl, adorable to say the least, and I tried to get a video of it yesterday but he saw me taping and just chased me around the room (slowly) instead.
I may post the video at some point. I think it's cute, but maybe it would be boring for other people. I don't know.
I digress.
This is my son's "downward facing dog" crawling position. Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Beautiful Website

I found this website through one of the blogs I follow, Cup of Jo. It consists of about 40 slides and tells the tale of a man's days with his elderly father. It is so beautiful.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

http://www.dayswithmyfather.com/


Here is a picture of MY dad and my son napping together on the couch after my dad had an endoscopy. I just love it.

A Dinosaur ATE My Son!

Oh, no! What should I do?! A dinosaur ate my son!







Whew! It's okay! It was just his dinosaur ball pit ... he just pulled it on top of himself. Whew. I feel much better. Don't you?


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Seven Months!

My little man is seven months old! Can you believe it?! It seems like just yesterday we were wearily driving home from the hospital, but at the same time it's hard to remember what life was like without him. He is amazing and a true joy to be around.

Enjoy a few pictures from his seven month birthday!




Teething Bites!

Ha ha. I know, I am corny.

But it does! Teething bites! My poor baby was up moaning last night at around 2:30/3:00 a.m. and again at about 6:30 a.m. His two bottom front teeth have already broken through and this morning I thought I saw a "bud" of a new top front tooth.

Here's a question for all you veteran moms out there ...

How many teeth do kids usually get at a time? I thought they came in one at a time, but it seems to be an onslaught!

We'll be keeping up with the Oragel (thanks, Sharon!) and the baby Tylenol today!

Treading Water

No one ever tells you how hard marriage is before you get married. Before you get married, it's all the wedding planning and wonderful times and, "Gee, isn't life grand?" All you are worried about is that one day, your wedding day; will you pull it off without a hitch? When really, you should be more concerned with treading water.

Marriage is like treading water; it takes constant work. You will NEVER become buoyant, and marriage will never be without effort. Yes, some days are easier than others; a flotation device will pass you by and offer your weary body a bit of a break. Other days, the waves will batter you like a small boat out at sea. It will take every ounce of effor to keep things afloat. But no matter what, as long as you value what you have, you have to keep treading, keep trying. The effort, the exhaustion is worth it.

*Sorry, I know this is a heavy post lodged in with the adorable pictures of my son, but I had an ephiphany and I had to get it out before I forgot it.

** This post is not directed at anyone in particular or because of anyone (i.e., hubby). I just had an ephiphany and needed to get it out.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Boy and His Bucket





Sometimes the simplest toys are the most fun.

Mmm ... Monday: "Best Ever" Chocolate Graham Cookies

Since I missed putting up a recipe for the last couple weeks, I thought I would post a couple of my favorite desserts to make up for it.

These are called "Best Ever" by my sister and I because they simply are ... they come out awesome every time and taste fantastic! I think it has something to do with the graham crackers, but who knows?

"Best Ever" Chocolate Graham Cookies

3/4 cup Crisco (shortening)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (crushed very finely)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 (12 oz.) pkg. M&M's mini bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. In a large bowl with electric mixer, cream Crisco and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla, blending well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, graham crackers, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add to Crisco mixture; blend well until creamed.* By hand, stir in M&M's.

Drop by cookie scoop onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until set. DO NOT OVERBAKE!! Cool one minute and remove to cooking rack.

These cookies freeze very well, so it's great to keep a few out and pop the rest in the freezer and take them out as needed.

*A tip I have learned from my mom and sister: do not overbeat the flour. Mix it in only until it is well blended, then stop. If you overbeat it, your cookies will end up tough.

Mmm ... Monday: Key Lime Pie

This is one of the easiest and most yummy dessert recipes I have. I make it multiple times during the summer, and it delights the taste buds every time.

Key Lime Pie

1 graham cracker pie shell *
3 egg yolks
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand
1/2 cup lime juice
whipped cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit. In large mixing bowl, beat yolks with Eagle Brand and lime juice. Pour into pie shell and bake 30 minutes. Cool. Once cool, chill in the refridgerator. Top with whipped cream either before the fridge or when serving (I do it when serving because some people don't like whipped cream).

* You can make your own graham cracker crust or you can buy one from the store. I tend to buy organic ones from Meijer because they stay together better than any ones I can make. And I buy the organic ones because they don't have trans fats and seem to be a little better for you.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Cuteness on a Sunday Night

Wanna see my vibrating teether? Here it is!

Oh, you want me to smile? Okay!

I'm coming to get you, Daddy!