Monday, September 28, 2009

Lili Big Cousin

We've been in MA for the past few days, visiting my new beautiful niece. Lili finally got to hold a newborn and she couldn't have been more thrilled. Alexa has been sleeping a lot whenever we are there, but apparently is awake most of the night :(

We had a good trip visiting, but this will be my last before the baby is born! I'm definitely feeling that last month... really physically ready to get the baby out, but also not so sure I'm ready to deal with a newborn again! Lili is starting to understand more about life with a baby, and I'm so grateful that she got to "practice" being a big girl around Alexa.

We'll be sad to kiss the babe goodbye tomorrow, but looking forward to when she can meet her new cousin, too!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Welcome Autumn!

We are pleased that the leaves are turning colors, and the air is crisp with Fall in the mornings. Welcome to the new season, with Shan's Pumpkin Pie in the oven and a little fall Fairy:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cars, Bikes, and Ferries

This weekend, we finally had the time (and the beautiful weather) for Keith to accomplish one of his summer goals: Biking (at least) 100 miles. Since the distance from our house to my parents' house is 120 miles, Keith got to surpass his goal and rode the distance in 10 hours and 10 minutes.

Lili and I drove to my parents' on Friday, and Keith spent the day Saturday biking across northern New York, through hay fields and wind farms. Unfortunately for him, it was a little windy that day, but that only made the challenge more worthwhile (right?). We're all very proud and impressed by his trip, and surprised at the fact that he was more tired than sore by the whole thing. The next big biking goal in the family? My mom wants to bike around Lake Champlain!

We took the ferry home (as usual), and I was able to capture Lili's joy at being on the ferry on a beautiful day, with her daddy:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Making the most of it

This pregnancy, that is... It's been a hard road since the beginning of this gestation, from being so sick I could barely function to now being so big I can barely function... But one thing that I have made the most of is my ability to read! I've read more books in the past 8 months than I have probably in the past 8 years. I started with familiar re-reads and branched out with the help of my local librarians and friends to a random assortment of fiction. I wish I had kept better track of everything I read, but as in the term better late than never, I'm going to attempt to list them out here, in no particular order...

The Twilight Series
The Time Traveler's Wife
Harry Potter books 6 & 7
The House at Riverton
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
The Dog Walker: a novel*
Never Let Me Go
The Undomestic Goddess
Love the One You're With
To Have and to Hold: a novel
The Secret Life of Bees

currently on: The History of Love
wanting to read: The Help

* Loved this book!

Obviously, I'm a fan of fiction. And as you can see, a mix of real writing and bad chicklit. I love the chicklit stories, but some of them had such bad writing that I could hardly get through them. I'm hoping to get through about 4 more during this pregnancy, so any suggestions would be great!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm an AUNTIE!!!

A Big Huge Welcome to my new baby niece Alexa!

She's gorgeous, no? Born 9/12 in the evening after giving her mama a hard labor!

My brother is now a proud papa:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mini Martha

We're a far cry from the perfectionism of Martha Stewart around here, but still... These pink cupcakes are a thing of beauty.

Lili was inspired by the book Pinkalicious to bake pink cupcakes for a potluck we went to last night. Whenever we go to the library, it's inevitable that if the book is pink, about princesses, mermaids, or anything fancy, we end up reading it multiple times per day. She can currently practically recite Fancy Nancy back to us. Is it just a phase? We'll see...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pasta Bake

A few (several?) years ago, Prego (Campbells) came out with a product called "Prego Pasta Bake". It was only available a short while, because people realized it was kind of a redundant product. I'm making it for a potluck tomorrow, and I was searching the 'net for the "recipe" to discover that no one has listed it right out. Luckily, I saved a label from one of the jars, and so here it is, in its original form(ish).

Prego Pasta Bake
1 jar Prego pasta sauce
1 jar water
1 lb box dry pasta (penne, ziti, or rotini)
8 oz mozzerella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 425F. In a 9x13 baking dish, stir to combine the pasta sauce and the water. Stir in the dry pasta, cover the pan tightly with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover, stir, and sprinkle the shredded cheese over top. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly.

Easy Peasy. And really quite delicious. You can stir in other stuff, like sauteed veggies or crumbled cooked italian sausage in to the pasta before sprinkling the cheese in. Way easier than regular baked ziti, and it's a one pan wonder...

Cloth Diapering

Okay, so I broke down and decided to enter this contest. It's a contest for some Fuzzi Bunz cloth diapers. The reason I've been waffling about entering is that we've actually tried Fuzzi Bunz before and I didn't know if it would be fair for me to enter. I didn't have a fantastic experience with them, and so I decided to enter the contest to try them again with baby #2. Maybe we'll have better luck this time.

So, the pros first: they're an all in one cloth diaper. That makes them super easy to use. They come in cute colors, and they use snaps (as opposed to velcro, which can be a pain to wash). They are very soft, very absorbent, and very easy to wash. Poop stains come out with a stint in the sun (amazing!). Since they're all microfiber, they are very trim, which is rare for cloth.

Now the cons, and the reason I stopped using FB's: they're pretty expensive, compared to using cotton pre-folds and covers. The snaps make them slightly harder to get on the baby. They didn't have a one-size when I started using them (they do now). And the big kicker for me: they became water repellent after a couple months of usage. Not so great for a diaper... It turns out that the method in which I wash my clothes causes almost all my fleece to become water repellent. Even when I switched to non-petroleum detergent, and no fabric softener. Even when we switched STATES to a different water system. I don't know what it is! It could be our washing machine? I know plenty of people who use regular Tide detergent and fabric softeners who have no trouble with fleece becoming hydrophobic. But, that's why I had to stop using FB's. It was maddening after spending all that money on them.

Eventually we switched Lili to cotton diapers in covers, which worked fine. We've tried many styles: Bummis, Prowraps, Gdiapers... But here's one of my fave pics of Lili, when the Fuzzi Bunz were working well for us:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

3 day playdate

We had a visit from some far-away friends over the holiday weekend, and for once the weather cooperated! It wasn't too hot or too rainy, it was juuuust right. It's been a long time since we've seen these friends and it's always so cool to have our two girls playing together. Maia is one week younger than Lili (but maybe a foot taller :), and they had fun times playing pretend. I thought the cutest thing was that Maia called Lili "Tiger Lily" before she got here. I don't know why I think that's so endearing but I really do.

Two girls with their daddies...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

And so it begins!

Today was Lili's very first day of preschool. She started the day off right by sleeping in a little bit, and then having a nice full breakfast. She was very excited about going to school, and had no trouble when we dropped her off. Lucky for me, Keith stayed home from work today (to paint the basement) and so was able to come with us for the big pre-school drop off and pick up.

We had a productive morning painting, and Lili was as smiley as can be when we picked her up. She was excited to tell us about her day and she was sad that she doesn't have school every day. I'm sure that will change, eventually.

Meanwhile, we've made great progress painting the basement. One more coat with the rollers and we'll be ready to go buy some trim! Hurrah! Most of the credit must go to Keith because he is the more thorough and meticulous one when it comes to home-improvement projects.

Oh! Why are we painting the basement? Yeah... because there were some fixes to be made to the walls, and we had to rip out the cat-stink carpet, and the walls were this soul sucking shade of light gray. Gray. Who lives like that? The goal is to have the room done (painted walls, new window, door, and floor trim, and new laminate flooring) by October 1. We're in pretty good shape for that to happen.

Eight more weeks until the baby is due!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fun with computers

Someone said "why pay double for a mac?".

what's the answer?

So that you can do fun, relatively useless things like spend half an hour in front of the photobooth feature to make pictures like this:

she's an angel! (most of the time)

and here I thought she had a big head from too many people telling her she's cute...