Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I am crazy tired tonight. As a result, I'm not sure that I can put together much of a coherent post. And if I'm totally honest, I'm too lazy to get up and get my camera to upload the new photos I've taken over the past few days. So, here are a few random comments on some photos I enjoy.

Miss love to play with her Daddy. Seriously, he's like an amusement park ride to her. He eats it up too.

Miss has learned to say, "What's that?" She actually says something like, "Ta" and points and/or looks at something, but we know what she means. She does this a lot. I love her curiosity! Sometimes she does this more than once for the same object, as illustrated by the pictures below. Or else, and this is probably more likely, she's asking about one thing and I'm telling her about something else, so she keeps asking until I get it right!

This past weekend my husband rendered lard. Seriously. He took pork fat, cut it into pieces, and cooked it over very low heat for the entire day on Saturday. The picture below is the result. Lots of liquid fat and some "cracklins" to boot (those things are actually yummy). Strain off the liquid and voila! Lard. Note: also in the photo my gorgeous copper saute pan that he got me for Christmas and the knife set he got me for Christmas several years ago. The man is no dummy. He took the fact that I love to cook and ran with it, and gets himself some pretty tasty eats from time to time too!
You may be wondering what one does with lard once it is rendered. I was. Well, you can use it for many purposes when cooking, and apparently using it for baking results in fantastic treats. But my hubby rendered this lard expressly for the purpose of making pork confit. In other words, he marinated the pork on the day he made the lard. The next day (Sunday) he cooked the pork submerged in the lard in the oven on very low heat all day. It's a bummer I don't have a photo of this, as he used my other gorgeous Christmas present for this, which is a copper dutch oven to match the saute pan! Anyway, cooking the meat this way not only makes some seriously delicious pork, it is also a preservation method and with the cooked pork stored in an airtight container in the lard in the fridge, it will keep for months. Who knew?? P.S. to eat it later we will extract it from the lard and saute it. Yum. And - BONUS - the lard can be used again. Thrifty.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sidewalk Chalk and a Big Belly

Miss got some sidewalk chalk in her Easter basket. A few days ago we tried it out. After I showed her what to do, she had no trouble trying it out herself. She colored a little on the bricks in front of our house, and tried to color in a few other places.

In all honesty, she seemed to much prefer just walking around looking at and picking up things in the yard to coloring. The entire experience lasted about 30 seconds. But it was cute to see her coloring, especially trying to do it in the grass.

In other news, Baby is getting quite big, and so is my belly. I had forgotten all about the conveniences of having a big belly. Of course the handy shelf to prop a drink on came back to me easily. But one that I didn't know about until recently is that the belly makes a great toddler shelf! Miss just sits right up on there content as can be. Today we were dancing and singing and Miss was just rockin' out on her perch.

An update on my Baby-related projects: I selected, ordered, and am pre-washing (as I type) the fabric to make some crib sheets for her room; I picked out a crib that was a fabulous floor-model deal, and since it was a floor model it has been delivered already; I picked a paint color and the painters will be coming Monday to strip the current wallpaper and paint her room; today I bought a light fixture for her room to replace the ugly generic one that is there currently; I ordered what I think will be enough extra cloth diapers; and the biggest accomplishment??? I think we have a name! We are almost 100% settled on a name for this little girl. So those things are all a relief. I still have quite a lot to do: sew the crib sheets, find fabric for and make a crib skirt, decide on a window treatment and probably sew it, get a dresser/changing table (and possibly refinish it if I don't buy a new one), organize Baby's clothes in her closet, etc. etc. But I think I've gotten a good start. And I've made good progress on my other projects, so I'll update on those once I get some pictures taken.

Friday, April 16, 2010


I intended to make lasagna for dinner Wednesday. We have lots of Italian sausage made with venison, and this sounded like a good way to use some of it up. So I got out the sausage to thaw on Wednesday. Except I didn't get it out until Miss went down for her afternoon nap. Oops. No lasagna Wednesday. It was a very warm day though, so it was kind of nice to just whip up some delicious tuna salad and have fresh tuna wraps for dinner that night instead. I put the sausage in the fridge.

Yesterday I was really going to make lasagna. I had it all planned out that I would cook the sausage and put the lasagna together while Miss napped in the afternoon, and then just put it in the oven at the proper time so it would be ready for dinner. Except when Miss napped in the afternoon, er, so did I. Again, no lasagna. We went out for dinner last night. And the sausage still sits in my fridge.

Today, I have to make lasagna!!! Now that the sausage is thawed, there is no going back. It will go bad if I don't use it. I don't like to waste food, so the lasagna is definitely on the dinner menu for tonight. Miss is napping, so this is the perfect time to go brown that sausage and layer up a tasty Italian treat. Yes, right now while I'm instead playing on my computer. Motivator - thinking of the funny photos I will be able to take of Miss as she dives into her first meal with marinara sauce (we don't eat much pasta around here). I promise to share the photos. Off to the kitchen. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I think baby feet are the cutest thing ever. Just wanted to share these adorable piggies with you.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Wonder Woman

For the past two days I've been singing the same little jingle in my head. "Wonder Womaaaan. . . More than meets the eye!" I'm pretty sure the second part of that is from the old Transformers show, so I don't know how it got into my Wonder Woman song. But it keeps popping in there. The first part of my little song is all I can remember of the theme song to what was my favorite TV show when I was little, "Wonder Woman," with Lynda Carter. I loved Wonder Woman as a kid. I had a Wonder Woman sleeping bag (okay, I still have it) that I thought was the coolest thing ever. When I was little, the WW picture on the bag was pretty close to my size. I used to lie on top of the bag and position my body as best I could in the same way that WW was positioned. That made me feel cool. Of course I twirled around like her on a regular basis, even though I never did manage to magically change clothes in the process. I wished so badly for magic bracelets and a lasso, and I'm pretty sure I once (at least) made a replica of her tiara out of paper and wore it around until is disintegrated. Oh, how I wanted the WW Underoos!!! *sigh*

Well, a few weeks ago, I found the most fantastic thing that almost makes up for never getting the Underoos. I found the most adorable Miss-sized Wonder Woman tee shirt at Old Navy!!! I snapped that baby up and Miss has already worn it more than once. It is so utterly adorable on her. She wore it yesterday in fact, which is what prompted the jingle in my head and this random post about Wonder Woman.

Instead of a magic lasso, Mini Wonder Woman carries a magic silver purse that she found in her Mommy's closet and she is very proud of.

Yesterday Miss also discovered a love for chasing her Daddy around the circle in our house made up of our family room, office, entry, and kitchen. She thought it was the most exciting thing ever to turn and run the other direction to "surprise" him.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's a Girl!!!

We found out on Monday that our Baby #2 is another girl. We're so excited and thrilled for Miss to have a sister. Sorry I haven't posted the news before now, but I have been obsessed with spending every spare moment searching for the perfect fabric to make some bedding out of and coordinate a room around, finding a crib, and picking a name. I have found the fabric, but the crib and the name we're still working on. I'll let you know how we're progressing. And speaking of progressing, I'll update soon also about the progress I've made on my projects mentioned last month. Things are coming along nicely! But it's late and that will have to wait for another day.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter Quack Quack!

Remember those commercials, for Cadbury Eggs I think, where the slogan was "Thanks Easter Bunny, Bawk, Bawk!"? Because of those commercials, in my family on Easter we always say, "Happy Easter, Bawk Bawk!" (We also say this for every other holiday and special occasion, but that's another story - "Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, Happy President's Day, Bawk Bawk!") Anyway, at least for this year, I have officially changed our saying to "Happy Easter Quack Quack!" This is because Miss says "Quack Quack!" a lot. She says it every time she sees a picture of or a toy duck. She says it every time she sees a picture of a chicken or a goose. She now says it every time she sees a bird in our yard (we're working on "Tweet Tweet"). Sometimes she says it when she sees the dogs (though she also says "Woof Woof" most of the time, which sounds kind of like "Bwooo"). She says it when she sees many things, including the rocking horse toy at the park! And it is completely adorable the way she says it, so I am dedicating this Easter post to the "Quack Quack!"

Today we had a fun Easter. My hubby had to work today, so we only did the Easter basket hunt before he left for work and saved the egg hunt until after he got home. Daddy helped Miss to find her "hidden" basket, but initially she was so excited to see a cup that he drank water out of last night and forgot on the hearth that she did not even notice the basket. See the post before last for an accounting of her love of big-girl cups.

Not until my husband moved to the other side of the basket did she even notice it! Then she thoroughly enjoyed rummaging through it and playing with her new things.

One of the items in her Easter basket was a new baby doll. I got this for her in part to start teaching her the concept of "Be gentle with the baby. . ." Though she did give the babydoll some nice hugs and kisses, we're still working on the gentle part.

I dyed Easter eggs for the first time today in many many years. I have never done it by myself, and haven't done it at all since I was a kid. The smell of vinegar always brings back memories of dying eggs when I was a kid. Today, I had fun mixing the vinegar and the dye and trying to come up with some acceptable colors using brown eggs. Most of them came out pretty well, though sme of the purple and blue ones look pretty yucky.

After my hubby got home we did the Easter egg "hunt." You can see Miss enjoying the small finger puppet she got from one of the eggs. The last egg is on the floor in the background. I actually had hidden it by the side of a bookcase, but it rolled out the the middle of the floor. I made it easy, but not that easy! Miss didn't fully understand the hunting part and needed some help, but she had fun when she did find the eggs and get the treasures from the middle.

It was a very fun Easter, Quack Quack!!

Tomorrow is the big day we get to see Baby and find out if we have a Girl Baby or a Boy Baby!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010


I am going to apologize right off the bat with this post. See, we have had such a fantastic week here. Spring has truly arrived, at least for a little while. And I have gone crazy with my camera. And I took so many great photos that show just how wonderful this week has been. They show how my little Miss just lights up when she goes outside. I've managed to capture just a little bit of the joy that bubbles forth from her and the wonderment that lights up her face as she experiences grass and sticks and leaves as if they are the most precious treasures in the world. So I'll warn you. There are a lot of photos in this post! But man, spring is fun! My Miss is an outdoor girl for sure. We have spent as much time as possible outside this week. We started out with a light jacket outside, then midweek it was warm enough to ditch the jacket and play outside in just a long-sleeved shirt. Then yesterday and today were short-sleeves-and-bare-feet-in-the-stroller kinds of days. We went for walks. We played in the back yard, in the front yard, and today we went to the park. For starters, look what I found poking its little self up through the dead leaves in our backyard early this week:

Oh yes, the crocus. I love the crocus. What a brave and determined little flower to push up through the barely thawed ground and bring some brightness to the world before any other flower is courageous enough to do so. The daffodils are working their way up now too, but the crocus is always first. And after the long winter here, that little flower is such a welcome sight. Of course, the most welcome sight is the joy on my little one's face when she gets her tiny self outside. She lights up like a Christmas tree and dances around. She wanders and explores. She picks up anything and everything that she finds interesting and carries it around like its really something special. I love to look at the world through her eyes. Early this week she played outside while my hubby grilled our dinner.

Midweek we played in the front yard for a good long time. Miss loved the warmth and the sun. She found sticks of all shapes and sizes. She talked on a leaf-phone. She thoroughly explored the grass. And then? Oh boy, she found dirt. She followed her Daddy over to a bed of shrubs and other plants and knelt down at the edge of the dirt and went. to. town. She dug her little fingers in the dirt and discovered the joy of lifting it over her head and letting it rain down over her. She ended up with dirt in her hair, dirt under her fingernails, and a ton of dirt down the back of her onesie. Bath time was an adventure that night! But I absolutely love that she isn't afraid to explore and get dirty!!!

Today we went to the park. We have a terrific park nearby and Miss was in awe when we first got there. She quickly began toddling around and checking out all the park equipment. She tried out several different things, including the swing, the little rocking animal thing, the slide, and a bouncing, pseudo-teeter-totter-like thing. She loved the slide and the bouncing thing. She didn't really care for the swing. Honestly probably her favorite thing was wandering around and checking out the wood shavings on the ground and playing in a pile of leaves against one fence. Unfortunately I forgot my camera today (I was kicking myself!!) so I only have a few photos I took with my phone, but you can get the idea.

I am definitely looking forward to the rest of this spring and summer and enjoying every moment with my new outdoor tour guide!