Friday, December 31, 2010

Chloe Jo's new dress

Since we didn't have anywhere to be tonight, I continued my sewing extravaganza! I made this little dress for Chloe Jo.
I have seen this style of dress several times and thought it would be easy to make. And it was for the most part! Since this was the first time I did this style there were a few kinks I had to work out. I think it turned out way cute! I have some more fabric that I want to make another dress like this out of. That's my project for tomorrow then I'm going to have to put away the sewing machine since I'm going to be out of town for the next 2 weeks.

Stayed tuned! Tomorrow is resolution posting day!

First Project Completed

I finished up my first project with my new sewing machine. I think it turned out so cute! I am surprised at how much I actually remembered about sewing since it was at least 10 years ago when my Mom gave me lessons and I made a wrap skirt.

I wanted to start with something easy since it had been so long. I chose an apron and I am so happy with it. It's definitely not perfect, but I am really happy with how it turned out!
Here I am in my new apron. Ignore the bad quality of this picture. I used the timer on my camera and took this picture 5 times. Never did get it to not be a little blurry.
I love my machine. The possibilities? Endless.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Lisa/Jessica Project: Pita Pizzas

This afternoon was filled with cooking and pureeing spinach, butternut squash and sweet potatoes to prepare for the next several recipes in Deceptively Delicious. I decided to start with Pita Pizzas.
Okay, so I need to work on concealing a little more....okay, a lot more. These pizzas were made with pureed spinach. I am not going to post the recipes on here because of copyright laws, but if you want them, you can buy your own copy of Deceptively Delicious on Amazon for $5.99.

Russ and I thought these pizzas were a hit! I could taste the spinach, but it was actually really yummy with it on there. Russ said he couldn't taste the spinach. Next time I will use less spinach puree and I would put a few other toppings on it. I thought these were a little lacking since they were just cheese pizzas, though for children they would be great. Our households littlest critic, unfortunately, wouldn't touch her pizza. She loves pizza so this was a big disappointment. I plan to try this recipe again and make it more Chloe Jo-friendly.
My. New. Hobby.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Lisa/Jessica Project

Have any of you seen the movie Julie and Julia? Russ and I rented it a couple of weeks ago and I thought it was really cute. It's about two of my favorite things: blogging and cooking! Not only did I enjoy it (though it was a little slow in some parts), but it also inspired me. I love cooking and I love trying new recipes. One of the things on my Christmas list that I was gifted was the cookbook Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld.
I am so excited about this cookbook! It is geared toward making recipes that children like such as macaroni and cheese or pizza, but in a healthier way. So one of my goals for 2011 is to do a spin on the Julie/Julia project. In the movie Julie and Julia, Julie went through a Julia Child cookbook in a year. She made every recipe in the book and blogged about the results. I am going to do the same thing. I'm not going to put a time limit on mine like Julie did, but I am going to try to do 2 recipes a week. I will take a picture of the finished project and blog about them. I think this is going to be a super fun project for me and I hope you guys enjoy reading about my cooking endeavors!

Plus, Jessica Seinfeld (who is Jerry Seinfeld's wife) also has a sequel so if this goes well, maybe I'll do it with the second one, too.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Festive Festivities

I don't know about all of you, but we have had a great Christmas season!

Thursday evening our little family went to Charleston, SC to go to a Christmas Light Festival at a park there. It was a three mile drive through, but you could also park and get out during some of it. They had large bonfires that you could roast marshmallows at and several booths and stores set up in the park. We had a blast and Chloe Jo loved the lights. She especially went crazy over the light show that had the music.

This was one of my favorite displays.
Chloe Jo was so cute all bundled up when we were walking around the park. The little stinker wouldn't keep her hat on, though. It was freezing so she had two blankets, a scarf, a hat and her coat on. Maybe it was overkill, but I wanted to make sure she was warm.
Friday was our Christmas dinner. This was the first time that we haven't been with one of our families for Christmas so I was on my own as the Christmas chef. The meal turned out so good and we still have tons of leftovers! I fixed ham as our meat because Russ and I are pretty blah about turkey. We could take it or leave it, but we both really like ham. The casseroles are green bean casserole, corn casserole and dressing. I didn't make the rolls. They were frozen. I made pumpkin pies for desert. Mmmmm. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. It was a ton of food for 2 1/2 people!
This year, we actually waited until Christmas to open presents! That is virtually unheard of in our house. This may have been the first year we were able to do that. Most of the time Russ begs and begs to open presents early. I told him a couple of weeks ago that we were going to wait and I made him stick to it!

Chloe Jo and I Christmas morning. Yes, we are still a little sleepy.
Chloe Jo didn't even want to eat breakfast before getting into her stocking! They were all laid out on the couch and she was so excited when she saw them!
Santa put a toothbrush, toothpaste, several books and a pair of pajamas in her stocking. Santa sure knows the importance of dental hygiene.
When Chloe Jo realized that she was going to get to open the presents under the tree she was soooo excited. Too bad Mommy bought the kind of wrapping paper that doesn't tear. I'll have to make sure that doesn't happen again so she can actually get in the presents.
We all ended up with a pretty good stack of gifts to open. Since we didn't go anywhere, our families sent us our gifts so we had those along with our own.
Russ especially loved the new watch Chloe Jo gave him.
I especially loved watching Chloe Jo open all of her gifts. She was so fun this year!
Chloe was so excited about every toy she opened (notice the clothing items were thrown on the couch as soon as she realized they weren't toys). This is her new Cabbage Patch Doll, Opal Melody. She loves her.
And this is her new Elmo doll. When she opened him up, she made a surprised face and yelled "MELMO!!!" It was adorable!
This is the stack of presents she still had after she got tired of opening and tried to run off to play with the toys she had already opened. Hee hee. We had to drag her back to the living room to open the rest of her presents!
Grampy and G-Jo bought her a new Bible. I'm so glad because this one had the Old Testament and the New Testament in it. This is the 3rd Bible she has had. Hopefully, she will take good care of this one and we won't have to replace it any time soon.
This is the blanket I crocheted for her. She immediately covered up with it. She is so sweet.
After we opened presents we went to eat at the home of some of our friends. We had such a good time and Chloe Jo was able to play with her friends, too. Our Christmas turned out great even though we didn't get to see our families.

Chloe Jo and I are going to be going to Missouri to see my parents next week. We are so excited and I am already preparing lists of what I need to pack for our 2 week stay! Can't wait!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We hope your Christmas was as festive and fun as ours!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays

From our little family,
Russell, Lisa and Chloe Jo
I didn't take a picture of our Christmas card, but these are the pictures that were sent out with them.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bag o' Change Time!

Every year my Granny Tiger and Grand Pappy save their change up to give to their grandkids and great grandkids. We each get to get 1 handful of change from the bag. While this doesn't sound so hard, it is! My Granny loves to wiggle the bag around and do everything she can to make it hard to get a good handful of change! It's hilarious. Since we aren't able to be home for Christmas this year, my Granny sent Chloe Jo her own bag of change!

And just for fun, here is another video that I took of Chloe Jo recently.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Resolutions from 2010

I'm very happy with the way my 2010 goals came out. I didn't get 100%, but I still did get most of them done! Here is the update for 2010. I will do a separate post on my new goals for 2011.

1. Be a better mother to Chloe Jo. CHECK! Always room for improvement, though. I think this goal and the next goal are going to be taken off of my list for next year because these are things that are continuous through my life.
2. Be a better wife to Russ. CHECK! or so he says.
3. Read the Bible through out loud to Chloe Jo. Almost CHECK! I have a few more days left to read to her, but I am so close that I am going to get it done.
4. Lose the 10 pounds I gained during the holidays and keep the weight off during the year. Um, not a CHECK at all. I have actually gained about 10 more pounds. Sigh. It's an ongoing battle for me.
5. Work out a few times a week and eat right to be healthier overall. CHECK! Okay...half-CHECK. I am healthier overall, but I am not good at working out every week. I'm pretty hit and miss with that.
6. Pay off the car and credit card. Half-CHECK! We paid off the car, but we didn't get the credit card. That is going to take us a little longer than a year, I'm afraid.
7. Be better with our money. CHECK! Even though I didn't get the credit card paid off, I have done really good with budgeting and sticking to it this year.
8. Have a better attitude about moving and about being part of a preacher's family. CHECK! I am loving South Carolina so much!
9. Be a better support to my husband. CHECK! I do get down about not living around my family, but I love being a preacher's wife and I love most things that are associated with being a preacher's wife.

I'm excited to have started my list of resolutions for 2011! I will share those with you after the New Year.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

In the end, the party was a success.

So yesterday had a bit of a rough start, but, at the end, Russ and I successfully pulled off a great party.

When we got up, the first thing we did was clean the house. Chloe Jo loves to help clean. She did a great job dusting the doors, her bed and the couch. Ha! After she got bored with that, she decided to get into everything and bug me to the point of me wanting to scream. Silly thing. She knew something was up.
Since I was cleaning, I went ahead and started the washing machine. 20 minutes later, I realized that I didn't put the pile of clothes in it. It had been washing with nothing in it! That was strike #1 for me.

Strike #2 came when I was making puppy chow for the desert table. Puppy chow is Crispex covered with melted chocolate and peanut butter, covered with powdered sugar. It is yummy! I had put the powdered sugar in a ziploc with the Crispex and started shaking it up to make the powdered sugar coat the Crispex. While I was shaking my bag burst open and made an enormous mess in the kitchen that I had just finished cleaning! It's pretty funny now that I'm typing about it, but it was so frustrating at the time.

Strike #3 was the fact that I completely burned the bottom of the pigs in a blanket. Russ said they were just a little burnt. He's too kind. They were completely black on the bottoms.

Even though I got 3 strikes during the day, the party was tons of fun. We had lots of good food, fellowship and fun!
Yummy. I love finger foods.
I ended up making pigs in a blanket, puppy chow, chocolate covered pretzels, cheesecake cupcakes, sausage balls, homemade apple cider and homemade hot chocolate. The apple cider turned out awesome! It was a new recipe and I loved it. The hot chocolate was also a new recipe, but I didn't like it at all. It was way too chocolatey...if that is even possible!

The ornament exchange was hilariously fun. I had everyone write down a fact about themselves that the others might not know. I handed out the note cards to write on before we ate so they would have time to think about what they wanted to write down. I picked up the cards and read each one out loud one at a time. The person who guessed who the note card was written by got to choose an ornament from the pile. Since I had made the game completely up, it went really well and I think everyone else had a good time playing.

All in all, the party turned out great...even if I did coat the kitchen with powdered sugar beforehand.

Friday, December 10, 2010

20 Months!!!

Chloe Jo is 20 months old today. There is something about seeing a 2 there that is a little surreal. Could it really have been 20 months ago that I our beautiful daughter? In 4 short months she will be turning 2. Oh my. I'm going to have a 2 year old.

So what has Chloe Jo been up to lately?

She is wearing size 18 months and 24 months clothes. She can get away with 24 months in dresses and shirts and is just starting to fit into a few pairs of the pants.

She is completely day time potty trained which has been awesome. Yes, she still has accidents now and then, but it is not very often at all. She is still wearing a pull-up for nap time and night time. She usually wakes up from nap time dry, but she has only woken up in the morning dry once. Hey, for her only being 20 months old, I think that is awesome!

She is still not interested in talking much. She does say a few things here and there, but for the most part she refuses to repeat after me or learn new words. Although, I think she is learning them, she just doesn't want me to know about it. She loves to say "thank you" after I give her something or help her with something. It comes out more like "danka" for her. This is not something that I have really worked on with her. She started doing this on her own. She babbles a lot, but I can't understand her most of the time.

She is really great about helping to pick up her toys and she loves to help me clean. Her favorite thing is to help put the pillows on the bed in the morning when we make it and to dust. She should be the face of Swiffer Dusters. She loves them!

She still will cry when we put her down for nap or bedtime. Luckily, it's not for 30 minutes like she used to. She will cry for a minute or 2 and then go right to sleep. This has been a very welcome change. Some nights I had to leave so I didn't have to listen to her cry for so long. She always wakes up cranky from nap, though. I don't understand it. She takes great naps - usually at least 1 hour, sometimes close to 3. It doesn't matter how long it is, she has to cry and boo hoo for at least 30 minutes after. Some days I make her get back in bed until she can calm down enough to come back out. If I do that, she is usually fine afterwards.

Her favorite toys are a set of dishes I had put in her toybox in the closet. She found them about a week ago and has loved playing with them ever since. She also loves dolls and can't get enough of pushing them around in her kiddie stroller. Her favorite dolls to play with are 2 of mine from when I was little. They are hard plastic and I think they are a bit ugly. She has much more snuggly dolls, but she wants my ugly, hard ones. She has finally started playing with her puzzles. I have been trying to get her to like puzzles for a long time and she just never cared about them. The other day she got one down and put it together almost by herself. I had to help a very little bit. Now she loves to do them with me and she is pretty good at them.

Her favorite thing in the world is reading. She will bring me book after book after book to read to her. She loves to point at pictures and have me tell her what they are. She refuses to repeat the words, but I know she is learning because she understands when I tell her to bring me this or that. I do wish she would talk more, but that will come with time.

Her hair is finally starting to look better. Her bangs are growing back out and I'm happy about that. Shortly after I trimmed them I decided that I hated it. I think little girls with bangs and a bob are so cute, but I just don't care for it on Chloe Jo. I'm going to let them grow out and let her hair grow long. It still is a mullet, but I'm just going to let it grow until I can't stand it anymore. Her hair is looking cuter and cuter when I put it in pigtails since it is getting so long in the back.

October and November were big growth spurt months. All Chloe Jo wanted to do was eat. Now she is the opposite. I think the growth spurts are done for now and now she is not wanting to eat very much at all. She used to be such a good eater and now she's so not. If she doesn't like the way something looks, it's not going into her mouth. Silly thing. I hope she gets over that and starts eating everything again.

She weighs 24 pounds which put her closer to the 25th percentile again. She almost got to the 50th, but went back down. She is just skinny...

and tall. She is currently measuring 32 1/4 inches putting her on the higher side of the 50th percentile. She went down in percentile in weight and up in height. I hope she stays tall and skinny. I don't want her to have the weight problems her daddy and I have.

That's all the update I have right now. I still can't believe she is already 20 months old. I think I hear her playing with ornaments on the tree so I must run. See you guys around!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Let me run an idea by you.

On Saturday evening we are having a Christmas party. I have asked everyone to bring an ornament for a gift exchange. I hate the game where you can steal gifts so I'm not going to do that one. I've been trying to think of a game we could play and I came up with an idea that I wanted to run by you all. I think it might be fun, but let me know what you think. And don't be afraid to be honest about it!

My idea is this: The people that we have invited are from church and we are a pretty close knit group. Besides Russ and I, everyone knows everyone else very well. When they come in, the first thing I want to do is give them each a note card to write down one thing about themselves that the others might not know. I'm going to take the note cards and I won't let anyone else look at them. When it comes time for the game, I'm going to read a note card and everyone else can guess who the item goes with. If they guess right, they will get to pick a gift to open.

So what do you all think? Also, if you have a different idea, feel free to comment. I have also looked at doing a Yankee Swap and a Right or Left game.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My little Ramona Quimby

Last night Russ received a code for a free movie rental from Blockbuster Express. Since I was grocery shopping, he sent it to me to stop by on my way home. I chose the movie Ramona and Beezus. If you are unfamiliar with Ramona Geraldine Quimby, you are missing out! Beverly Cleary wrote several Ramona books and I read them when I was a child. Beverly Cleary is one of the best children's authors and I have always loved everything she has written.
Ramona and Beezus did not disappoint! It was the cutest movie and it was very close to the book. The actors were perfect. The script was perfect. Everything was perfect and I loved it. It made me reminisce about when I read the books when I was little.

The thing I love most about Ramona is that she has a heart of gold, but a mischievous streak that often gets her in trouble. She loves fairy tales and daydreaming. She hates spelling.
One of the biggest things that struck me while watching this movie is that I have a little Ramona Quimby. Chloe Jo's personality is already so much like Ramona's. She is such a little sweetie with a mischievous streak the size of the Mississippi. I can't wait to color the longest picture in the world with her like Ramona and her father did!
I had to add these last couple of pictures. Her little tights are so cute!
How cute are these!?!
Russ and I were in the mall on Friday and passed a store called Crazy 8. I had seen the store several times before, but it looked like a Gymboree so I never went it because I'm not willing to pay Gymboree prices. They had a sale sign in the window so we went in. The clothes were very much like Gymboree, but with great prices! I even commented to Russ that it was Gymboree, but cheaper. A few minutes later a sales clerk brought out a box of merchandise with the name Gymboree on it. I guess it is owned by Gymboree. They have super cute stuff at prices I am willing to pay and we bought Chloe Jo's whole outfit (except shoes) there.

Geesh, my blog has become an advertisement lately. I'll try to remedy that!