Monday, November 30, 2009

Not So Picture Perfect

A couple of weeks ago, J & I took the kids to the Arboretum to try to get some pictures with the pumpkins before they were gone. I had intended to go earlier in the season, but rainy weather & J's travel schedule kept us from getting there. Better late than never, right?

Perhaps I was a bit too idealistic about this process, but I had hoped to get some cute posed shots of the kids together. After all, professional photographers somehow convince their subjects to sit still. Why shouldn't we be able to do it? Apparently there's a reason those photographers are professionals! Despite an exhausting photo shoot & two rather wiggly kids, there are still some cute ones. Not quite the perfectly posed shots I had envisioned, but super cute, if only because of who's in them. Enjoy!
Mal was fascinated with the leaves & mulch.

We had some camera setting issues during this pose, so it's focused more on Jake than Mal, but we caught some classic Mal expressions, so I had to include them.





Double trouble!

In case you didn't know, this is the correct way to "smell with your nose."

The end of our adventure was urgently signaled by Jake falling down in the mud & covering his cute outfit in muck.
"Can we please leave?!"
Good thing Mommy loves OxiClean!
Stay tuned for Thanksgiving with the Chamblees!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tupperware Party

Life is good when you've got an open cabinet & some tupperware.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Master Bedroom Redo: Phase 1

After five & a half years of sleeping in a double bed, J & I are finally updating our bedroom with furniture that fits our space in the new house. It really hasn't bothered us to sleep in a small bed since neither of us are very big, but after only a few nights in our new digs, let me tell you, space is nice!

Here are the before shots of our room. Please ignore the terrible lighting & the random bedding items peeking out in the right corner of this pic. It was the night before the new bed was delivered, & I just wanted to capture everything before we changed it.

Phase 1 of our update is just the bed. We decided that we wanted to piece together this room, rather than buying a set, so it will be a work in progress for a while. We found this headboard & our mattresses at The Dump for a steal! Have I mentioned how much I loved that place? We had really planned on getting a queen bed, but I fell in love with this headboard, which was a one of a kind piece & is a king.

The bedding is Michael Kors & was also on sale, at Macy's. The giraffe print sheets are my favorite part!
Our old bed was relocated to the guest room, & we'll slowly be transitioning pieces up there as we replace them in our room. I love re-decorating!

15 Month Stats

As of Sunday, Jake & Mallory are 15 months old. Time flies with two busy toddlers!

Jake now weighs 21 lb 2 oz (8%) & is 29.75 inches tall (11%). As always, his head is his highest percentage at 77%.
Jake is looking more & more like a little boy instead of a baby each day. He is constantly on the move & loves to run. He is our shy child when in new places or situations, but he's a big talker at home. He says Da-da, Ma-ma, Mal Mal, Jake (usually Jake Jake, for some reason), done-done (all done), hi, shh (shoe) & bye-bye. His "hi" is hilarious because it's become this big, Southern sounding "Haaaaaii," which has multiple syllables. He just got his seventh tooth this week. Jake loves to read & be read to, & he is the best hug-giver. He gives them over & over throughout the day & says "Ohhh" every time he hugs you. But watch out for his kisses - they're usually open-mouthed! My dainty little Mallory now weighs 18 lb 4 oz (<5%) & is 29.25 inches tall (15%). Her head is holding strong at 76%.
Mal has become such a funny, spirited little girl. She giggles constantly & loves to do just about anything that will get a laugh. She is our social butterfly & loves to talk to anyone who will listen. Mal says Da-da, Ma-Ma, Jake, uh-oh, up, go & shh (shoe) most often, but she also picks up all kids of words that we say & repeats them. One night during bath time, Justin asked if they were ready to get clean & Mal responded, "All right!" Yesterday, when looking out the window at Ms. Amy's apartment, she exclaimed, "Woo-wee!" She literally keeps us laughing all day long & is well aware of the fact that she's funny. Mallory's new favorite game is Ring Around the Rosie, & she thinks it's hysterical each time Mommy falls down.
I could go on about each of them, of course, but I'll leave you with that. We love our two angels so much & are so blessed to have them!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ouch

The kids were pretty much horrible this weekend. Jake especially was just rather whiny & clingy, but they are one-year-olds, so occasional whining & misbehavior comes with the territory. Well, apparently there was more reason for it than that. We went to the pediatrician this morning for their 15-month well visit & were told that they both had double ear infections. Out of four little ears, we have four ouchy ones. Makes a little more sense now!
They have one dose of antibiotics in them, as well as some Tylenol, & seem to be improving already. Long naps are helping, too! Mallory's morning was particularly traumatic since she had to have lab work to check her iron levels, in addition to the four shots they both received. If you were anywhere in DFW today & heard a child screaming, it was most likely Mal. That girl does not do well with being poked & prodded!
We are especially grateful for Grammy today, who endured the super long & always adventurous trip to the pediatrician with us. Thank you!

Here's to happy babies on the horizon!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Lately, the twins' names seem to be Pete & Repeat, but which name belongs to which twin changes constantly. They love to be where the other one is, doing what the other one is doing most of the time.
If Mal chooses to read books under the high chairs, Jake decides he might need some reading time, too.
If Mal climbs on the table, Jake is soon to follow (although I don't have a picture of him). For this reason, the table has been relocated to the other side of the playroom, away from the gate to the stairs, so they don't figure out how to climb up & over!
If Jake wants to watch Elmo, Mal just might want to watch with him.
And of course, anyone sitting at the table needs company!
Even if the activity seems a little odd like, say, wearing a fleece turban that Daddy made from Halloween scraps...

...surely it's worth imitating.
Although sometimes Jake loves Mal a little more than Mal loves Jake, they usually get along pretty well & prefer to be side by side.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Breath of Fresh Air

Last week, Michelle & I met at the Arboretum for a little play time & picnic with the kids. The weather has been gorgeous here lately, & I need to make sure I get the good out of that membership I bought!

It was actually a little hot that day, but the kids still had a blast. They loved the big open spaces to run.
Sweet Caroline
Running around makes you thirsty. Time for a juice break! I think this was the only time they sat still, & it didn't last long.

Jake enjoyed sniffing the flowers & playing in the dirt & mulch.
When you ask Jake & Mal to "smell with their noses," they scrunch up their faces & sniff. It's so cute!

The girls enjoyed the picnic, but Jake didn't want to stay in the gazebo.
He wasn't too keen on being in their picture, either. We headed home quickly after this!
J & I are heading back to the Arboretum with the kids tomorrow to try to get some pumpkin pictures before Thanksgiving. We'll see how they turn out!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Giggle Boxes

Daddies just seem to have an inherent talent for being hilarious!
video

Friday, November 6, 2009

Budding Scientists

I am continually amazed at how much fun Jake & Mal can have with the most random objects. Anything out of the ordinary is the best toy they've ever seen. For example, we received these Mad Science flasks as kids' meal toys from Chik-Fil-A a couple of weeks ago, & for some reason, they loved them. They just carried them around forever, blowing & talking into them & banging them on things. And even though it has absolutely no relevance to their future profession choices, it still makes this science nerd mommy proud!
video

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Little Longhorns

Since football season is once again upon us, we of course had to get the kids some new game gear to wear when they watch the Longhorns play with Daddy. I think burnt orange is a great color on them, don't you?

Jake has been practicing his Hook 'Em sign with Daddy. He doesn't quite get it right, but it's so cute when he tries!
I need to have J fix the coloring on this one, but check out those baby blues!
They both look suspiciously mischievous here!
Sweet kids!
Happy Thursday everyone!

Yummy to My Tummy: Apple Pork Tenderloins

I made this recipe Tuesday night, & it was a big hit with both the kids & the adults at our table. If you're not a fan of cooked apples, the pork is still amazing on its own. I couldn't find a small bottle of apple brandy & didn't want to pay for the big one, so I used apple juice in its place. Enjoy!

Apple Pork Tenderloins
4-6 servings

Pork Cutlets:
2 lbs pork tenderloins
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 T butter or margarine, divided
2 T olive oil
3 medium shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 C chicken broth
2 T apple brandy (or apple juice)
1 C heavy cream

Remove any excess fat from tenderloins, then cut each one crosswise into 4-5 medallions about 2 inches thick. Place cut side up between two sheets of plastic wrap & pound until cutlet is 1/4 inch thick. Season with salt & pepper.

Melt 1 T butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 T oil. When oil is hot, saute cutlets in batches until browned on each side, 2-4 minutes. Do not crowd the pan. Add more butter & oil as needed for additional batches. Transfer to a plate & cover with foil to keep warm.

Add shallots & garlic to skillet & stir 1 minute. Add broth & apple brandy to pan. Stir & scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook until mixture is reduced by half, about 6-8 minutes. Add cream & simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Taste & adjust seasonings, if necessary. Spoon sauce over cutlets & top with spiced apples.

Spiced Apples:
3 medium tart apples, cored & cut into rings
3 T butter or margarine
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp sugar
2 C apple juice or cider
2 T apple brandy (optional)

Heat butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Fry one layer of apple rings until golden on both sides. Remove from pan & keep warm while frying remaining rings (adding more butter as needed). Set apples aside. Mix sugar & cinnamon; sprinkle over apples.

Pour apple juice & brandy into the skillet & simmer until thick & syrupy. Return apples to the skillet & glaze with the apple syrup.

Recipe courtesy of Confessions of a Kitchen Diva

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Modern Stone-Age Family

I can't believe that Halloween has already come & gone! Saturday night, we hosted our annual small group costume party, which is always such fun. It was a small crowd this year, but we had a great time & also got to enjoy watching an exciting Texas football game during our evening!

Each year, I love coming up with our costume ideas, & we never want to spend much on our apparel, so it's always a fun, creative challenge! This year, we chose to go as The Flintstones! The wonderful Kathy Johnston (aka Grammy) sewed our costumes & helped me shop for supplies. I just had to add the finishing touches. Thanks Kathy!

A cute little Pebbles inspecting her bucket before trick-or-treating
An equally cute Bam Bam with his club
We only went to a few houses, but they loved trick-or-treating just because they got to run around outside. We went early, so there weren't any bigger kids to run them over.
What's better than one candy bucket? Two!
Our party food: little mummies....
spider breadsticks...
and longhorn cookies! (among other things) Hattie made these cute cookies, & they were very yummy!
Pebbles & Bam Bam - trying to get them to pose for me was next to impossible!
They weren't too keen on smiling for a family shot either. Even Pebbles & Bam Bam need a stern talking to every once in a while!
That's better! Bam Bam, Fred, Wilma & Pebbles
Mark was a baker, & Hattie has a bun in the oven!
Garrett & Amy were the couple from the Snuggie infomercials.


Hattie let the kids play with her oven after she was done wearing it, & it was a big hit! It took them about two minutes to tear it up. :)
I hope that everyone had a very happy Halloween!