Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I've been slacking with my blog for the past week...I guess life got a little busy. I was pretty stressed about getting a new tenant in our rental, and I'm happy to report that we have a very nice family of three moving in on March 1st. I really did not want to have to pay both mortgages next month, and now, thank goodness, we won't have to! Yippee! I have a good feeling about our new tenants, too. I'm learning quickly that having a rental property involves a lot of "taking chances", and although it is a bit stressful, I think it is teaching me to look at life a little differently (in a good way).

We woke up this morning to a good deal of snow, so Camden is about beside himself. He was out 8:00 a.m., bundled to the hilt, and was back in at 9:00 for some hot chocolate. He's very concerned that the snow will melt before lunchtime, although I've tried repeatedly to tell him otherwise.
Now, some recent photos:

Sweet Griffin Peter

Griffin, Banzer, and Camden this past Saturday

The boys, bundled up for a walk last week

I now have a sleeping boy in my lap, so lets see if I can still type! I thought I would mention a few random items that I love right now...sort of a mini consumer report.

  • I love, love, love my new stemless wine glasses (given to me by my sister-in-law, Kasey). Love them. I had been wanting some for a while now...thanks, Kas!
  • Munchkin Bottle Warmer - why didn't I have one of these with Camden? I was visiting my friend Darby a few weeks ago and used hers, then had to go directly to Target and buy one.
  • All-Bran crackers and granola bars. Yum. Steve and I have been trying to get more fiber in the family diet, and cut way back on any products that have high fructose corn syrup. I have to admit, I don't know about HFCS in the All-Bran products, but they are high in fiber, and they taste great.
  • The show, "Las Vegas". I think I accidentally watched it a few weeks ago while washing dishes, and now I am hooked. I love that show.
  • The jeans I recently purchased at Old Navy. Don't really know how to describe them other than they are NOT maternity. It is soooo nice to be wearing normal pants again. Still can't fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes, but had hesitated at buying a bunch of larger clothes, post-pregnancy. I'm glad I bought the jeans...huge morale booster, as silly as that may sound.

That's all for now!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fat Tuesday

Here's Camden with the King Cake we made today, for Mardi Gras. We found some great masks and decorations at the dollar store, and had a great time today, decorating and having a little surprise Mardi Gras celebration waiting for Daddy when he got home from work. We even made chicken jambalaya for dinner! Give Camden any excuse to decorate, wear a costume, and consume sugar, and he is happy. We made sure Camden got the piece of cake with the baby hidden inside, and he was tickled (if you don't know what I'm talking about, just Google "mardi gras king cake" and you can read all about it).
Unfortunately, the warm weather didn't last, and it was cold and dreary again today. The spring-like weather over the weekend was such a tease!
Everyone is asleep, and I'm thinking I'd better get to bed, too.
All partied out

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Relaxing Sunday

These past two days have gone by much too quickly. Yesterday reached 58 degrees and it was just beautiful. This led to quite a case of spring fever for me, but I was quickly slapped back into reality today, as it was cold and dreary for most of the day. After some initial chores this morning, the four of us headed into Boise and went to the playground at Camel's Back Park. Camden had a great time. Our visit was cut short by some rain, so we proceeded to go for a nice drive after that. When we got home, I made my mother's chop suey for dinner. It is soooo good. Here is the recipe:
Roberta's Chop Suey
1 lb. ground beef
1 med. onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

Saute above ingredients together until veggies are tender and meat is browned. To this, add 1 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. oregano, salt and pepper to taste, 1 can diced Italian stewed tomatoes, 1 can tomato soup, and a bay leaf. Simmer for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, cook 1 1/2 cups dry macaroni. When done, discard bay leaf from sauce, and stir in the cooked pasta.

So easy to make, and so good. It tastes even better the next day. My mom made this a lot when I was growing up, and the smell of it cooking reminds me of home.

Right after Griffin was born, our good friends Chuck and Debi were cleaning their garage and asked us if we wanted a double jogging stroller. As it turns out, it was an actual Baby Jogger, and it had never been used. Steve put it together for me yesterday and I am so excited I can't even stand it. It handles so nicely and is so easy to push (I love my Sit and Stand stroller, but it is so difficult to push if I want to go for a brisk walk). So, I feel like my life has suddenly taken on new meaning!
Mind you, we had to tweak Griffin's side a bit, so that the straps fit him, but I think it will be just fine. I'm so happy to have this thing!

Steve has tomorrow off and plans to do some painting over at the rental. I'll be taking the boys into town for Camden's gymnastics class, and then off to do some errands. I'm itching to start doing some yard work, but the forecast doesn't look too promising for this week. Soon enough, though!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Step Away From the Peanut Butter

Yes, that is our jar of "Great Value" brand peanut butter. Yes, it is from the now infamous batch number "2111" as stated on the national news for the past two days. The story caught my attention yesterday morning, as I had just purchased a jar the previous Friday. I didn't freak out too much, because I feed Camden natural peanut butter, but I use this kind for baking, and I knew hadn't yet opened this particular jar. At least I thought I hadn't. Just the same, I quickly took a black marker and wrote "DO NOT EAT!" on the lid. When I showed it to Steve, he promptly unscrewed the top to reveal where he had removed and consumed a large blob earlier in the week. It is Friday now, and he's still alive, so I'm guessing he's been spared from a vicious case of salmonella poisoning. Please tell me, how does manufactured peanut butter become contaminated with salmonella? Seriously. I don't think I really want to know - - it is too gross to even think about. I mean, I can sort of understand when outbreaks occur with vegetables, but, peanut butter??? Yuck. Just yuck.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Love is in the air...

Today was such a great day - I so enjoyed my boys. I was feeling rather "Martha-Stewart-y", with it being Valentine's Day and all. Last night I made some chocolate chip scones for today's breakfast, and here's how I set Camden's place at the table, for when he woke up this morning:Once we got ourselves up and at 'em this morning, we headed out to Gowen Field to surprise Daddy with a soy chai from Starbucks, and a jar of candy and a valentine from Camden. Much to our dismay, Steve wasn't there when we got there! So, we left his treats and headed back for home. Luckily, right before we were about to get back on the highway, he called, so we turned around and went back, and had a nice visit.

When we got home this afternoon, we baked a big chocolate chip cookie in a heart-shaped pan for dessert, and made a heart-shaped pizza for dinner. Camden and I decorated the table (more hearts) and he was just tickled about the whole thing. Here's our pizza:After dinner, my big boy Griffin decided it was time to roll over from back to front for the first time. He was quite impressed with himself. After he did it once, he wouldn't stop!
Other big news for Griffin this week - - he started rice cereal yesterday, and last night, HE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT. Went to sleep at 9:00 p.m. and woke up at 4:00 a.m.. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! We'll see how tonight goes...
I also wanted to post the picture below...this is what I found when I went to bed last night - - I absolutely love this picture of Steve and Griffin.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Technical Difficulties

I've been having some blog troubles the past few days...Blogger forced me to upgrade my account to their new version when I logged in last week, and I haven't been able to log into my blog or post anything since. I finally figured a round-about way to do it this afternoon. I'm hoping the problem is just a heavy traffic issue with Blogger...we shall see!

Where to begin? Steve was out of town for part of last week, and then had drill over the weekend. I'm quite happy that he doesn't have any upcoming travel in the near future! This past Saturday evening, we, along with Steve's brother Rex, and his wife Kasey, attended the Armor Ball at the Officer's Club. It was so much fun to get all dressed up and enjoy a night out. Kasey's wonderful mother, Candy, watched all three boys. I'd never left Griffin before, so I was a little worried that I'd be tense all night, but I had a great time!
Here I am with my lovely sister-in-law, Kasey. You would have thought we were going to the Academy Awards, the way we shopped, discussed, and agonized over our attire for the evening. I think since we have both recently given birth, the thought of getting gussied up and mingling with adults for an evening just put us right over the edge. Luckily it wasn't anything that a couple of gin and tonics couldn't cure!

Camden is on a major costume kick again. One day last week, he decided to wear his Batman jammies, complete with cape and mask, when we went to town to do some errands. The next day, he decided to wear his skunk costume all day. On Friday, he appeared out of nowhere, clad only in his undies. I asked him what he was up to, and he said, "I'm Tarzan. Tarzan only wears undies!" So, he spent the entire day that way. At one point we had to leave the house and some tears were shed, because he did NOT want to put clothes on. Last night, he even wore his undies into the bath tub, because "that's what Tarzan does," according to Camden. Today, I took him to JoAnn Fabrics to pick out some fake fur so that we could make a loincloth, or "Tarzan Pants", as Camden calls them:
The boy has quite the vivid imagination. He really is such a character - - I can't get over it sometimes.

Griffin has been very busy, as well. He's getting so he likes to be in the exersaucer, probably because he likes to be upright most of the time. He is also enjoying putting weight on his legs, blowing raspberries, and screaming at the top of his lungs. Not crying, but screeching, just because he can. I think he is enthralled with the fact that he can make so many noises now. I'm just starting to notice traces of "big boy hair" coming in, which is great, because he is quickly losing all of his newborn hair.
That's a cupcake liner on top of his head, compliments of his older brother.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Object of My Anxiety (for this week, anyway)

I have to wear these shoes this coming Saturday, when I accompany my dear husband to the Cavalry Ball. Aren't they cute? My sister-in-law Kasey helped me pick them out last weekend, after I bought my gown. Now, my problem. I don't think I can walk in them. I've practiced a couple of times and I just look like an idiot. I really wish I could wear my Ugg slippers under my gown, but alas, the hem is higher in the front of my dress, so you can see my feet. Drats. Halfway through my wedding six years ago, I ditched my heels and changed into sneakers - - what a relief that was.

If you looked into my closet, you would wonder what all the fuss was about, because I own a vast array of pumps, boots with heels, mules, wedge sandals, etc. In the past couple of years, my shoe rack has become more of a shoe museum, and I blame my father for that. Why, you ask? Well, most of you know full well that the man knows a thing or two about shoes. A couple of years ago, while on vacation in Maine, I let my father talk me into buying a pair of Dansko clogs, pictured below.
"They are a great shoe - - worth the investment - - so comfortable and good for your feet," he claimed. "But they are SO ugly!" though I. Ever the salesman, my father won, and I was the proud owner of the most expensive pair of shoes in my vast collection. It turns out my dad was onto something. Never before had my feet had the pleasure of being wrapped in such comfort. I love my Danskos. Soon, I had a black pair, too. The problem with all of this is that once you put your foot into a Dansko, it is virtually impossible to ever wear any other type of shoe, ever again. Thus, the problem with my brand-spankin' new, super-shiny-silver-high-heeled-sandals. If you think it couldn't get any worse, you are wrong. Here is what I have on my feet right now:
Yes, lime green Crocs. Ten times uglier than Danskos, and just as comfortable. I fear I may be in need of a Shoe Intervention.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Griffin has been a busy boy as of late, perfecting a technique that we like to refer to as "the pee blow-out". This phenomenon usually occurs in the middle of the night, although on occasion, it has happened in broad daylight. What am I talking about, you ask? Check out the jammies:

On average, we experience at least one pee blow-out per night, but sometimes two or three. As you can imagine, jammies need to be changed, Griffin wakes up completely, and then he thinks it is time to giggle and blow raspberries from that point on. Switch diaper brands, you say? Already tried that. Change his diaper more often, perhaps? Nope - - sometimes his diaper is only mildly damp, but, like the picture shows, he is soaked from waist to armpit. How does he do that? If you are questioning my diapering technique, I assure you, my attention to detail is impeccable. No matter how many times I check the leg elastic, make sure the velcro tapes are securely fastened, and *ahem* "tuck in" the boy parts, the kid pees on himself. I'm stumped. I'm beginning to think it is all simply a conspiracy on Griffin's part, to make sure I don't get any sleep, ever again.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Old Friends, Heavy-Duty Lycra, & Birthday Cake

This has been an action-packed weekend to say the least. On Friday, the boys and I went to visit our friends Darby and Hailey. I originally met Darby back in 2003, on the internet, of all places. We were both members on a pregnancy "due in June" website, and when we (along with two other women) realized we were all in Idaho, met for lunch one day, before we had our babies. Then, a few weeks after we'd had our babies, we got together again. Here's a picture from that meeting:

That's Hailey on the far left, and Camden, looking like he's about to explode, in the white onesie. Here is a picture of Camden and Hailey on Friday:

They had a great time playing together, and I really enjoyed visiting with Darby. She had her second child, a very sweet little boy named Cameron, about five weeks before I had Griffin, so we have plenty to talk about!

Steve returned from his trip to Maryland, late Friday night, and we sure were happy to have him home!

Saturday was my 35th birthday so Camden and Steve made me my annual "ghost cake". I do believe this will become a tradition. Many (MANY) years ago, my Aunt Jean gave me a Betty Crocker cookbook for kids, and I use to love to pour over the pages of that book. I recall in particular, a recipe for root beer cookies that I use to make quite often. I still have the book, and Camden loves to look at it now, just as much as I did back then. He has always been infatuated with a recipe for a Halloween ghost cake, and last year for my birthday, he wanted to make that cake. So of course, Camden's very patient and loving father helped him make it. When Steve told him it was my birthday again, of course the first thing he wanted to do was make a ghost cake. Here we are last night:

It is hard to tell by the picture, but the ghost's eyes are two eggshell halves, which each have a sugar cube soaked in lemon extract, sitting inside. Upon serving, you can light the sugar cubes and the eyeballs flame. As you can imagine, this was the piece de resistance as far as Camden was concerned.

Earlier in the day, my sister-in-law Kasey and I went shopping, in an attempt to find suitable evening gowns for an upcoming military ball we'll be attending with our husbands. Since having just given birth 4 months ago, I made sure to take along a heavy-duty lycra body shaper - - I want to look nice next weekend and figured I could use all the help I could get, since I'm still a good 10 lbs. heavier than I should be. Anyhow, as I'm standing in the 3-way mirror, admiring myself in a lovely gown, the sales clerk said to me, "You will probably want to wear a lycra body shaper under that," to which I replied, "I am wearing a body shaper." Somehow I managed to scrape together what little self-esteem I had left after that comment, and purchased the dress anyway. Okay so I am being a little dramatic, but I'm sure you get the picture!

Today was very relaxing - - the weather was lovely and we all got outside for some exercise and fresh air. Steve has tomorrow off, so we'll head into town for some appointments and to take Camden to gymnastics. Steve has some travel later in the week, and then drill this coming weekend.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Four Months Old

Griffin had his 4-month Well Baby check today, and he is doing just great. He's up to 14 pounds, 1 ounce, and is 25 inches tall. He took his immunizations like a trooper, but certainly didn't enjoy them. I can't get over what a little personality he has now - - loves to smile and laugh, and is SO ticklish. He's definitely lost that "newborn" feel - - it went by just a little too quickly. Here are a couple of pictures I took this afternoon.
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