Monday, September 24, 2012

Party Time: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

We had Liam's Birthday party on Saturday! 

The weather was amazing & we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day-- we were lucky, because the party was outside at the pavilion & playground at the church where the boys go to Mother's Day Out. The timing (11am-1pm) was just long enough for the kids to play on the playground, eat lunch, open presents and eat some cake. We are so lucky to have family & friends who love Liam so much and want to help us celebrate!

Here are some pics of our fun day!

The (mini) cake:

We served the fruit from the book that the caterpillar ate:

And made up our own treats for what he ate on Saturday:

The chocolate cake push pops were great for the park (minimal mess!):

The food table with Liam's Birthday banner:

 The Pavilion:

The party favors (reusable VHC bags, bubbles, color-your-own-caterpillar cups, leaf crayons, sprees and tubes of gum):

Liam's Birthday Outfit-- a personalized VHC shirt with red & white seersucker shorts:

 Jack had his own VHC shirt, with the same shorts (Unfortunately, he was wearing a bib in most shots so I didn't get a good pic! Better shot here.):

 The gang all ate:

The babies played:

 Jack & Daddy read some of Liam's new books:

And Mommy & Liam mowed the lawn:

We had a fantastic day!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Liam!


Friday, September 21, 2012


How is it possible that two years ago today, I gave birth to Liam?

The first birthday was a big milestone...

 Yet, I'm far more emotional about this one-- TWO YEARS OLD? He's no longer a baby.

 He's really growing up.

And there's nothing I can do to stop it. This makes me so sad & so excited at the same time...I'd keep him this age forever, if I could.

I just feel so lucky to be his mom, there are no words.
 I love you, my little Liam-- these have been the best two years of my life.

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Got (Honey Lime) Shrimp?

Trying a new recipe is a pretty grand event at our house.

It's not that I don't like to cook-- I do, but when I'm cooking a meal for my family, it always seems like a gamble to try something new. What if it's awful and I've wasted a bunch of money on ingredients that I won't use again & what will we eat for dinner if I toss what I've made down the drain?

This has happened before.

Pinterest has so many beautiful recipes, most claiming to be *SO EASY* -- I get sucked into pinning so many things, but when the time comes to give it a shot, I'm a little gun-shy.

We eat a lot of the same things over & over... spaghetti, turkey burgers, fajitas, pasta salad, chicken tortilla soup, chili & when I get on one of my casserole kicks, broccoli chicken casserole, chicken spaghetti or poppyseed chicken. Can you tell how much chicken we eat? I don't eat beef or pork, so I don't cook it. Rob enjoys a steak now & then, but he's not going to find me making it.

I love seafood & often order it when we eat out, but I've been  hesitant to make it home. I think it's just because I know that grilling fish can be a little tricky (seems to fall apart) & I've never tried cooking it any other way. Rob has always thought that he didn't like shrimp, but has recently discovered that he just doesn't like *cold* shrimp. So last week, when I stumbled across a new recipe, I REALLY wanted to try it-- I was desperate to add something new to our rotation. I bit the bullet & I'm glad I did because not only did Rob and I LOVE it, but Liam LOVED it too!! It's rare that I find something that everyone will eat.

While I loved the idea of this recipe, I felt like the marinade tasted too much like straight olive oil, so I tweaked  it a bit, but I certainly want to give this blog credit!

Honey Lime Shrimp

3/4 lb medium Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup Olive Oil
4 Tbsp Honey
Juice of a Medium Lime (2-3 Tbsp)
2 tsp minced Garlic
1/4 tsp each of Salt, Pepper & Red Pepper Flakes

Mix together all ingredients, pour marinade into a ziplock bag & add shrimp. Refrigerate & let marinate anywhere from 30 min to several hours. Take out of the fridge approximately 10 minutes before cooking & preheat a large skillet over medium heat. (I turned my gas stove up to 6.) Place shrimp in a single layer in the skillet (no need to add oil since the marinade contains olive oil) and let cook approximately 90 seconds (you'll see them starting to turn opaque & pink) before flipping them over to cook for another 90 seconds. After I flip the shrimp, I take a spoon and drizzle some of the marinade over the shrimp. Once cooked through, stir the shrimp in the marinade around the pan for another 30 seconds or so to coat all of the shrimp. The marinade will turn into a yummy glaze. (It may smoke a bit because of the sugar in the honey.)

That's it-- talk about easy! The marinade takes 5 minutes to make & the shrimp takes about 3 minutes to cook! I served it with teriyaki rice & pineapple slices. The night I made it, I fed Liam dinner, then made it for myself and Rob afterwards. Liam asked for some, so I gave it to him. (He's tried grilled shrimp before, but spit it out!) He kept asking for "More shrimp? More shrimp?"

We've made it twice this week.Yummy!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Beach 2012


That was the final count on the number of pictures we shot at the beach this year. It has taken me a while to sort through them and pick out my favorites.

It rained Sat, Sun & Mon so we were stuck inside-- the boys passed the time by "swimming" in the jacuzzi tub. Shark Attack!

On Tuesday, it finally cleared up & we got outside! Liam absolutely loved the ocean & the sand. Jack was a little less excited.

I spent all week trying to get a good pic of the three of us, but with 2u2, I didn't have high expectations. We got a few decent ones like this:

More often that not, we got shots like this:

I have one (older) brother, and it's amazing how much the boys look like him, especially Liam. When I saw a 20 week ultrasound profile shot of Liam, I said then that I thought he looked like Eric & when he was born, we all said that they looked alike. Right before this picture was shot, Eric was walking Liam down the beach. When he passed by a family, the dad jokingly said, "Wow, can't tell he's your son!" Eric replied, "Uhh, he's actually my nephew!"

When we weren't at the beach, we were swimming in the (private!) pool at the beach house.

The last night we were there, we took the kids down to the beach at sunset to play.

We had a fantastic week. Although Rob was unable to go because of his new job, my mom & sister-in-law were a HUGE help with the boys-- I definitely couldn't have done it without them. We are so lucky that my parents gave us this gift-- a wonderful trip, a chance for my boys to see the beach & an opportunity to spend some much needed time together. These summer trips are the highlight of my year & I treasure the memories we make.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Back to School: Jack's First Day!

I meant to post these pics on Friday afternoon, but we came down with the plague something nasty this weekend! 

Jack had a great first day, but when I picked him up from school, he felt warm. I brushed it off & thought that maybe he was just a little flushed from the snuggles of his sweet teachers. He came home and took a nap & woke up FLAMING hot. When I took his temp around 4:30pm it was almost 104. I undressed him, gave him a lukewarm bath and some ibuprofen & his temp went down to 102. I checked on him a million times throughout the night and I think his fever broke around 4am-- by Saturday morning, he was fever free! He slept much later than usual yesterday and today, so I think he's still fighting a little something, but he's definitely on the mend. I think he'd probably been sick for a few days and I just caught the end of it. He's cutting his top molars & we've been chalking up everything to teething.

About the time we took Jack's temp, I decided it might be a good idea to take my own. I'd felt pretty lethargic the past few days and had some pain in my back and stiffness in my muscles. I had a 101 degree fever! It hovered between 100.5-101.5 on Fri & Sat & it was awful! Fever, body aches, sore throat, headache, sore/swollen glands. My parents came and got Liam, Rob took care of Jack and I barely left the bed all day. I can't remember the last time I've been down for the count like that-- This time last year? Right before I delivered Jack & it was one thing after another? These days I'm relatively well, other than my (too) frequent migraines.

Sunday morning I woke up to a normal temp (it went up later in the day), but my throat felt horrible and it looked even worse, so I decided to pay a visit to the walk in clinic, just to see what was up. They did a strep test and some blood work-- Strep rapid culture was negative. Blood work was positive for a bacterial infection, either Staph or H. Flu. I got a shot in each butt cheek (steroid & antibiotic) and a prescription for an oral antibiotic. I'm glad I went and didn't just wait it out.

I was at about 80% today-- ran some errands, watched the kids while Rob worked, made dinner. In a few more days, I should be as good as new!

So, that was a long explanation for why these pics weren't up sooner. But here they are, pics of my littlest little's first day of school:

He had a great day & as long as we're all well, he'll go back on Friday. Fingers crossed that Liam doesn't get anything-- he goes back Wednesday!