Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The last few weeks...

We spent two weeks with my husband's family and it was crazy! They don't really have good internet access, just dial-up with an old computer. I tried to check my email one day and it took an hour to read four messages and reply to one. In the time it took for each page to load, I was able to play a few games of solitaire!

But, really, it was okay. I needed this break- to relax, enjoy family, and not worry so much about everything I wanted to accomplish while were here (shopping, dental/vision checks, visiting everyone...) We did accomplish one goal and that was visiting family.

My husband's two aunts and one uncle came to visit from Boston (where B's Dad is from) and they were so much fun. One aunt also had two of her sons fly in, from Boston and California. With the three of us, B's parents, B's brother and his girlfriend, plus the aunts and cousins... we had 12 people sleeping in the house. On Thanksgiving, B's other brother and cousin joined us for the day to make a total of 14 people around the table. It was so special to see everyone and have all of my father-in-law's family together. Living in Ohio since his mid-30s, he hasn't spent a lot of holidays with his family... mostly with my mother-in-law's family in the area. We didn't get to visit them in Boston, so I was so glad we could see them another way.

This is a picture of Love Bug in her Halloween costume. I know it's been a month, but I didn't have any internet access to do it!








This picture is of Love Bug and my Mom's dog, Magic. He was dressed as a hot dog for Halloween!



Thursday, November 15, 2007

The middle of nowhere...

We are visiting relatives in the middle of nowhere for the last week and will be here another two weeks. Sorry for the lack of posts- I miss you all. Don't forget to check by every few days to see if I've been posting.
I have to admit, we've been enjoying the "simple life", especially the lack of internet. I got a good, practical haircut, and we've been eating well and getting healthy again. Love Bug saw her first snow too... just flurries, but so worth it! Off to do some Christmas shopping today.
I'll be back anytime we get a hot spot, like today. Coffee shops are useful to me afterall... even though I don't like coffee!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I'm a big wimpy Mommy...

We've had an exciting week! Love Bug turned one on Tuesday and we got her pictures taken. They provided us a CD of the pictures and here are a few of my favorite shots. They were done at Se.ars and I was really happy with them, especially the fact that we get to keep the CD and print as many pictures from it as we want.

That night we did a few presents and had a little cake. She ate her piece pretty quickly and by the end, was leaning back in her high chair with a very content expression on her face. Every once in awhile she'd sit up and search for a substantial piece of cake to pick up and eat. The cute and crazy things she does seem to be never ending!
Wednesday things went downhill a little... we've both had colds the last week. She seemed fine by last weekend, but poor Mommy (me) was getting worse. We went to the Min.ute Clin.ic with C.VS... and it was great! The nurse saw me right away and said it looked like the cold had become bronchitis. She prescribed a mild antibiotic since I had a fever and sent me on my way. I only had to pay the usual co-pay and it was so much easier, especially since my prescription was ready in minutes just on the other side of the store!
Today was definitely a bad medical experience. Love Bug had her one year check-up. She's healthy and did fine with all her vaccines. But then they sent us over for some blood tests and this is where my personal nightmare started! Stop reading now if you are afraid of needles, or get sick at the sight of blood! They fished around in one arm and couldn't find a vein. They were finally successful in the other arm, but it hurt my heart to hear her cry so much. I breastfed her afterwards and she was calm and smiling again right away. Mommy was not so lucky. I was sweating, my back was completely drenched, and my heart was racing. I'm usually so calm, because I know it helps her stay calm, but so far we've only had vaccines and she never cries for those. Now I know to be much more prepared for a blood draw if we ever need one again. I met a Mom on the way out who commiserated and said for her son's one year appointment they ended up going to the feet since they couldn't find a vein in either arm. I should be thankful for small blessings, I guess!
I'm forming some interesting opinions about socialized health care, like in France, verses what we have here, with insurance companies. This will be a post for another day, but stay tuned, because I think you'll be interested in what I have to say.

Monday, November 5, 2007

White Chili Recipe

Do you ever feel like you have all these spices that you don't get to use enough? This is the recipe for you! I just love it and it's a perfect alternative to regular beef chili! I bet some of you more creative cooks out there could modify it for any vegetarians as well...

White Chili

1 1/2 cup diced onions
1 minced garlic clove
1 teaspoon ginger
1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped ( you can also use the canned version)
1 tablespoon flour
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts- cut into cubes
2- 15 ounce cans of any white beans- rinsed (we recommend Northern)
14 1/2 ounce fat free chicken broth
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Spray a large, heavy saucepan with vegetable oil spray and heat until hot. Add onions, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno and cook for five minutes over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for one minute.
Add chicken, beans, broth, and herbs, and heat to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer and cook covered until chicken and beans are cooked. Discard bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper. Note- if it's not "hot" enough, add a bit of hot pepper sauce. It can also be slow cooked in a slow cooker for about five hours.
Spoon into bowls and served with shredded cheese, sour cream, parsley or chopped cilantro- and corn bread.
Yields six servings.

Also, I have a Giveaway update... both of my Giveaway winners responded enthusiastically, so I will not be going to my alternates. Sorry, but thanks again for playing!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway: Winners!

The winners of the Christmas ornament and Fra.ngo mints are:

M.E.

&

Pastormac's Ann

I left a comment for ME and sent Ann an email, so hopefully I'll hear from them soon! I did pick alternates and will be notifying them if either winner declines or doesn't respond by Wednesday, November 7th. Thanks for playing!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Some pictures...

The last few weeks while I've been here in Chicago at my Mom's, B (my husband) has stayed behind in Washington, DC for work. We decided not to stay with him because staying in a hotel is too hard on all of us. He flies in on the weekends and brings our laptop. Finally last weekend, we got around to putting pictures from the camera to the laptop, and then he emailed them to me from there. My Mom's computer and our camera are not compatible in regards to camera memory cards. So, anyway... here are some shots of the last few weeks!

This is at a Fall Festival and Love Bug is in the middle of the pumpkins...






and at the petting zoo with me!







My Mom's birthday is at the end of October and we got her this amazing cake!






Love Bug's pumpkin outfit...







Cheering for one of her favorite teams. (For those who aren't football fans, she is doing the sign for "touchdown". We just couldn't resist teaching her and everyone thinks it's hilarious. I actually got 25% off at a sporting goods store yesterday when she did it on cue. She did it at a football luncheon today and had 50 people clapping for her, which the little ham just loved!)



We're so lucky that Nana has a swing set...






... and a slide!









The three of us together after the week apart!