Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Vacation, by the numbers

So we finally made it home after our whirlwind trip of the east coast for 2 weeks. Here is how our trip broke down:

Total miles covered (by air and car): 6757
Total states visited (including layovers): 4
Total number of jet planes: 4 smooth Southwest flights
Total number of sleepless nights: 14*
Total number of diapers: 84 plus 3 packs of diaper wipes
Amount spent at the kennel boarding Lucy and Katie: $320.**
Total number of times travel stress Molly appeared: 1 time (at the Tampa airport). This may be a record.

*We have finally come to the realization that Michael does not sleep well outside of his own nursery and crib. So we just have to deal with tough nights on the road. Thankfully, he always wakes up rested and happy and playful for the day! He is such a great baby! We are blessed.

**This is the hardest part of the trip for us. We hate having to leave the girls at the kennel!

The trip, obviously, cannot be captured in numbers. We had a wonderful time with family and friends. One of the best visits in years, even though there were many family members that we were not able to see: Mom, Jack, Greg, Uncle Garry, Uncle Robert.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Home Sweet Truckee!

One of the best things about living in Fallon is its proximity to Lake Tahoe and the surrounding ski areas. I LOVE skiing. I could go out and ski all day long. So this winter, being as it is the last winter we will be in Fallon, we decided to spend as much time skiing as we can. Chris is heading to Homewood tomorrow to ski and I will probably go to Squaw on Jan 1st. I cannot wait! Pics will be forthcoming, for sure! It is God's Country out here. The scenery is breathtaking.

Friday, December 25, 2009

11 days down, 4 to go!

Traveling with an infant = no fun! Truthfully, Michael has really been a champ. So far we have been on the go for 11 days. 3 different sleeping locations, thousands of miles, and many great memories. We still have one more leg of this trip until we head back home, and this next leg of the trip I am so excited for! Michael gets to be with Baby E and Chris and I get to catch up with friends who are like family to us.

To my few, loyal readers: sorry for the delay in posings, I don't have my own compter. I will be back online again next week!

Monday, December 14, 2009

My Jackie Boy - Happy 90th!

Today would have been Jack (my step-father's) 90th birthday! I miss him terribly. Christmas just wont be the same without a visit to see Jack. Over the years since Mom passed away, we would always go out to lunch at Waterway Cafe when we were there for a visit. We both loved sitting by the water drinking sweet tea and eating yummy fish. The last time we did this was last Christmas. I was still pregnant with Michael and while we were having lunch, there was a birthday party going on near where we were sitting. It was this man's 90th birthday and I told Jack, "We are looking forward to having a party for you in December!" He then said, as he did every time you talked about his age, that he never expected to live this long. Mom always said, "Jack is going to out live us all!"

Well, now he is celebrating in heaven being pampered, I am sure by his lovely ladies, Grace and Emily. Miss you Jack, Happy Birthday!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

I am at a stand still. For those of you who know me well enough, you know this is unusual for me. I like to be on the go, checking things off of the things to do list. Michael went down for his morning nap at 10 am. Chris was tired too so he climbed back into bed as well. I have a list of things to do a mile long before we head out for the holidays and I am having to tiptoe around the house right now. No fun. But the things on my list are not so much fun either. Cleaning, packing, organizing our ski gear.

Soon it will all be done or I will sitting on the plane and I'll have no control over getting anything more done anyway. I'm ready to get out of the snow and wear my flip flops again! Warm weather - here we come!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Another baking adventure

I had another baking disaster this past week. I attempted to make these cookies from the December edition of the Food Network Magazine. They looked awesome! Movie Munchers was the name of the cookie. Disaster, disaster, disaster. Most of the cookies got thrown away.

So yesterday, I decided to try again and instead I pulled out my recipe book The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. The first recipe under the "Cookies" section was "Big and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies." I have a tendency to read recipes like I read novels so I immediately read through this one. There were a couple of differences from the standard chocolate chip cookie recipe that I noticed immediately: more flour, 2 extra egg yolks, and melted (not softened) butter. Other differences were rack position in the oven and timing of leaving the cookies on the cookie sheet before transferring.

I made these last night and they turned out GREAT! Maybe I can bake after all. I am going to have to pull out this cookbook more often, it makes me look like a genius in the kitchen!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Book to Movie disappointment

I watched the Julie and Julia movie last night and I was disappointed. I thought the book was SO much better. I should have expected it to be that way but I had heard of so many people who liked the movie that I was super excited to see it!

The best part about the movie was Meryl Streep playing Julia Child. I thought she did a fabulous job! And I also liked that in the movie they showed more of Julia Child's life in France vs. what was discussed/written in the Julie/Julia book. A few years back I read My Life in France by Julia Child, so many of the scenes in J/J were familiar as it seemed they were pulled from that book.

I was not excited about Amy Adams performance as Julie. I did not picture Julie being so dopey as Amy portrayed her in the movie.

You win some you lose some, I guess.

Chris and I have a couple more rentals to catch up on this weekend: Four Christmases with Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon and the sequel to Night at the Museum with Ben Stiller. Hopefully they will be more entertaining!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Deals on Twitter

So in the interest of fiscal responsibility, in these economic times, I have let a couple of my magazine subscriptions lapse. You know 3 months into a 12 month subscription they begin sending you renewal notices. Those things drive me crazy! But I have been missing my Rachael Ray magazine and Real Simple magazine for the past couple of months. And I confess that I have been buying them on the news stands anyway.

Well, today I was checking my Twitter account and up pops a Tweet from the Rachael Ray people. They were offering Twitter followers the employee pricing for the magazine subscriptions. $10/year. I thought it was a sign. So I signed up. And gave one as a gift too. I figure I just saved myself $30 a year. Plus it is mindless reading that I enjoy.

Off to put away the laundry and catch up on a Blockbuster rental that I have been anxiously waiting to watch! An exciting evening over here, for sure!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It is -5 degrees F outside

I don't think I have ever experienced this kind of cold weather for so long. Usually when we get cold snaps or a couple inches of snow, the next day it warms right up and everything melts away. Not this week.

It literally is negative 5 degrees outside. My toes are little, solid, frozen rocks.

A couple of us girls went out to dinner tonight to celebrate the birthday of "C.R." We had a great time telling stories over tortilla chips and guacamole at La Fiesta. As we get in the car to leave we see this very large dog sniffing around a dumpster down the street. So I pull over closer to the dog. Turns out there were two of them looking for food. We tried to offer them our leftovers, but they ran the other way, too scared of us. Or maybe they just were not interested in chicken quesadillas. Anyway, this is a pretty common occurrence out here. We see stray dogs all the time. But it is especially sad when it is so cold outside. I hope they can find some food and a warm place to sleep. My Lucy and Katie will be snuggled up with us tonight!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Coin Jar

For my loyal and devoted readers who have been so concerned for the state of my nose from this morning, I just want to let you know that I am OK. When I told Chris the story, he absolutely did not believe me that I have never had a bloody nose in my life. Earth to Chris: Girls don't get bloody noses. We are not as rough and tumble as you boys! At least this girl is not. Although, I do still claim "Best Athlete in the Family" after running The Marine Corps Marathon and 3 or 4 half-marathons.

Again, sorry to digress, back to the Coin Jar story...

Every year, sometimes twice a year, we pull out the coin jar. I know you all have one sitting in your house somewhere. Mostly it collects coins, dust, and an occasional nicknack will end up in there from time to time too. Chris and I have this thing that we have done over the years with our coin jar that I thought I would share. We pull all of the coins out of the coin jar and put all the coins in a bag and look at it. We stare for a few minutes and then have to make a decision.

Today, we studied the coin jar and made our decisions.
Molly $65.
Chris $75.

Chris had some time off work today so he came home to hang out with Michael and me. I have been going stir crazy in this house since it had snowed Sunday and Monday and the roads are a beast, so I took the opportunity to run some errands. First stop: the Coin Star machine at Safeway. I know, I know. They charge a 8.9% fee for using the machine. But after rolling $300 worth of coins back in 2005, I said I would never do it again.

So I dumped all the coins in the Coin Star machine, got back the random foreign coins we have somehow acquired, and pressed print. $79.15.

Chris won.

The winner gets to keep the cash. So I handed the cash over to Chris when I got home. The following conversation ensued:
Molly: I under bet. I knew that the jar holds about $80 worth of coins and I wanted you to win.
Chris: Yeah, right. You are one of the most competitive people I know, you would not have under bet.
Molly: Well, if I won, I was going to go buy $80 worth of dog food and donate it to the local SPCA. Puppies need to eat during the holidays too.
Chris: Well, now that donation is going to the "Chris Rattigan fund." Thank you very much.

Well, there is always next year that I can win. Maybe I will pad it with a bunch of pennies.

This morning's playtime!

Michael and I were going about our morning playtime routine, playing in the living room with his toys. I picked him up to wipe his nose and when I did, he jammed his thumb right up my nose! It felt like it went all the way up to my brain! Ohhh, it hurt!

Next thing you know, my nose is bleeding like crazy! Great. I guess that is what I get for trying to wipe his nose off!

I made it all the way through my childhood without a bloody nose, and here my 9 month old son gives me one!

Monday, December 7, 2009

I love my jumper!

video

Here is a video we took over the weekend of Michael in his jumper. He loves this thing! Watch it till the end (it is only 47 seconds), he will do his version of waving at the camera.
Enjoy!

Today, I wish I still lived in Florida



I am missing the warm dry Florida winters right about now. It is 16 degrees F outside with a low of 2 degrees F. Cabin fever, here we come!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Convo. this afternoon

Chris was playing with Michael and I was hauling the laundry into the bedroom to fold. I see Katie (our 3 year old Yorkie) sitting on the duvet comforter with what appears to be a dark colored, unfamiliar toy.

Molly: (frantic voice) Chris, you need to pick up Michael and come in here now!
Chris: (with Michael in tow) What now.
Molly: Look...Katie brought in a dead bird!
Chris: Sweet. I will consider this a confirmed kill. I think we are up to 3 now.
Molly: Great. Just get that nasty thing out of here so I can Clorox the duvet!

Ugh. See what I mean. Dogs are more work than babies.

The reason why the Safeway shopping carts stink!

For my loyal readers, you will know my beef with the Safeway shopping carts. If you have no idea what I am talking about, read the post from 11/29/09.

This week, Michael and I were on our morning jog and going north on Venturacci when all of a sudden this fellow pulled in front of us. He was on a bike, towing a shopping cart down the road. DUDE: This cart is not meant for you to steal and take on the roads of Fallon!

I am convinced this is the reason why all of the carts are in horrible shape and (almost) unusable!

There is my rant for the day...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

So much for our road trip

Well, I guess we won't be heading down to Pasadena for the BCS game. Tough game tonight, but "in all kinds of weather, we all stick together, F.L.O.R.I.D.A!"

Go Gators!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Hug tight the ones you love

I got word this week of the passing of an old co-worker of mine. It is beyond heartbreaking as he was only 42 years old with three young children and a beautiful wife.

P.C. was instrumental in helping me get adjusted to working at Merck when I started back in 2001 in the Gainesville/Jacksonville, FL territory. We spoke on the phone a lot as co-workers. We peddled the same products and he had a lot of knowledge of the market that was so helpful. He was always willing to lend a hand and offer advice.

He was also one of the most devoted Christian's I have ever met. He and his family were very involved with their church. I remember him asking me questions like: "Do you believe in the theory of evolution or the theory of creation?"

I'm sad for his wife who is now raising 3 beautiful children without him. And I am sad that he will not have the opportunity to walk his daughter down the aisle for her wedding one day or see any of his kids graduate from high school or college. But I am taught to believe that he will see these things from a different view. From up above. It is still not the same for us down here though.

There is that saying that "only the good die young." I am thinking there may be some truth to that.

Last night's dinner convo

Molly: Michael told me he wants a sibling.
Chris: And how exactly did he tell you this?
Molly: We were at Target and he told me by the way he looks at other kids. He wants a pal to play with.
Chris: Hmmm, well. You know Michael looks at the dogs that same way.
Molly: Oh, you're right. Well, maybe we should get another dog?*

*No, for the record, we are not getting another dog. We already have two and we don't want to be known as that crazy couple with a million dogs. Plus, dogs are more work than babies. My Mother warned me of this, and of course, she was right.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Happy 20th Anniversary to Mom and Jack

Today would have been their 20th Wedding Anniversary. I will never forget the day they married. My sister, brother, and I were all in the wedding. I was 11 years old.

I remember standing out in front of the condo that Mom owned in Georgian Park. We took pictures in our dresses, we were all fancied up. (Read: hair had LOTS of hairspray). My sister and I got to pick out our own dresses for the wedding. Mine was all white, bright white. Lace covering over a white dress down until the knee, then satin below that. Where the satin began there was a big, thick, red bow. I was into bows back then. I would wear them any chance I got. Just ask my cousin, G-dogg. She used to call me Gumby because of all the bows I wore. I don't remember Gumby wearing bows, but oh well.

My sister found a dress she liked from Laura Ashley. Her's was very sophisticated, long and dark red. But she had the big hair too!

I'll never forget my dear God Parents showing up and surprising us all! That was a wonderful treat, for sure.

It was a fun day. After the ceremony, we had a little reception in the parlor of the church then my brother and I took shaving cream and we got to decorate Jack's Lincoln Town Car. What fun that was! We threw the rice and off they went!

It was a beautiful day! I hope they are celebrating in heaven like they would here on earth!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bittersweet


So today, Michael is 9 months old! We just got back from his check up at the Pediatrician's office. He was smiling for all the nurses there! I know it sounds cliche to say "time flies" but it really does. I can't believe it has been 9 months! I have LOVED every minute of being home with him. (I am so grateful to be employed by a company that allows for extended maternity leave). I would not trade this time for all the money in the world.

Last night, I spent a good part of the evening packing up his newborn gear. I made a trip to U-Haul and bought a wardrobe box, figuring it should be big enough. Chris disassembled the swing for me and I began to pack away all the gear that we used after we brought him home from the hospital. It was sad to be packing it all away, but happy because this means he is growing and developing as he should be! And I know one day, down the road, I will be unpacking all of it again for the next baby.

The box is super full: the swing, the Bumbo, the floor activity mat, the Baby Bjorn's, the papasan, the crib mobile. All of these items were priceless to us in the first few months. I've attached a picture of Michael in his papasan seat. He was about 3 months old here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Who ever invented the Crock Pot is a genius

I tend to use this kitchen appliance more in the winter because of the recipes that I have for it. But every time I use it, I love it!

It makes the house smell great all day and come dinner time, it is a snap to put dinner on the table.

We started our routine of putting Michael in his high chair and feeding him solid foods at around 6 1/2 months old. Prior to that he was just not interested. I found that he ate better when we were sitting down to eat at the same time. So dinner, every night is at 6:00 pm. Sharp.

Tonight's dinner: My Mom's Pot Roast. I can smell it stewing in the Crock Pot right now. It is just so yummy! Come 6:00 pm, I will pair it with some dinner rolls and voila! Dinner is served.

Here is the recipe:

Emily's Pot Roast
4-5 lb. rump or shoulder roast
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 C. water
1 medium onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
2 baking potatoes, cut into 2" pieces

Combine all ingredients, except potatoes, into crock pot and set on low for 8 hours. 2 hours prior to serving, add potatoes.
Serve with warm, crusty bread.