Thursday, June 23, 2011

Portrait Innovations pictures

My baby girl is turning 2
So sweet

Nathan and Norah really love each other
Silly Nathan

Make-ahead meals

In an effort to spend less money eating out and eat healthier, we are eating a lot more meals at home. I am trying to make meals ahead so it is easier to prepare a meal in the evening, especially after a long day at work and school.
I got the idea here on Money Saving Mom to spend about an hour a week preparing a few freezer-meals. She posts on her blog her weekly endeavors and includes recipes as well.
This week I actually did this twice (Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon) because I am starting with nothing and wanted to stock the freezer a little more thoroughly. I plan on cutting back next week to only once and limiting it to about one hour.

Day 1:
Green chili rice casserole (made 2 pans out of one recipe)
Easy marinated chicken (1/2 Garlic Herb, 1/2 Sesame Garlic)

Burrito assembly line
I cheated and used store-bought marinades.
Still yummy when made on the grill.

Day 2:
Corn Dog muffins (double batch)
Stove Top chicken bake (made 2 pans out of one recipe)
Caramel Corn Puffs (see recipe below)
Edible Sand (I added ocean-themed fruit chewies)

Caramel Corn Puffs (a.k.a "Crack" because it is soooooo addicting)

1 bag Mike Sells Original puffs
2 sticks butter (not margarine)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda

Combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a very large saucepan (much larger than you think you need). Stir over medium to high heat until boiling and boil without stirring for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir in baking soda (mixture will lighten in color and expand in size quickly). Stir in corn puffs until completely coated with syrup mixture.
Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour coated puffs onto covered baking sheet. Bake at 250 degrees x 45 minutes total, stirring/mixing every 15 minutes.
When cool, break apart and store in airtight container.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Instead of soccer this season, we decided to try tee-ball. Nathan wasn't overly excited about soccer so we gave him a choice to do it again or try tee-ball. He made the decision to go with tee-ball and it looks like a good one.

We signed him up at the YMCA. One good thing right off the bat (pun intended) that I like about tee-ball over soccer is that there is much more male parent involvement. His soccer coaches last year were mothers of team-mates, which is fine, but Nathan tends to respond better to male instruction. His tee-ball coach is a man (father of a team-mate) and at the first game there were several fathers helping base-coach and direct the action on the field.
After a horrible experience at tee-ball orientation and team pictures ($30 for pictures of Nathan crying and wailing), he did a great job at his first practice and game.
Me and Norah watching Nathan's first game

Friday, June 10, 2011


Allergy testing

Nathan has been plagued with severe allergies ever since he was little. He has one food allergy: eggs, which is pretty mild (we avoid eggs in most things, but don't deny him foods baked with eggs such as cookies and cakes). He is also allergic to cat and dog dander; which I just learned is the highest allergenic material. Even knowing those things, he suffers with allergy eyes making his eyes swell shut and water excessively.
At his last allergist appointment in March the doctor could tell he was really suffering and asked if he was getting allergy shots. He was suprised to hear we weren't getting the shots. Because of Nathan's food allergy and seasonal allergies, he is on course to develop asthma (although right now he has no respiratory symptoms). I was very wary of allergy shots and wasn't sure I wanted to subject Nathan to weekly shots for years. What tipped me over the edge was going to the pharmacy to pick up 4 medications to treat his allergy symptoms and the ear infection which was a direct result of the allergies. I also talked to a number of friends who either had allergy shots as a kid or knew someone who did. Another friend has a son about a year older than Nathan who has just started the shots. He has multiple food allergies and respiratory symptome related to allergies.
This week was his appointment for allergy testing. He was a trooper and only mildly complained when they poked him with all those scratches in the back. He was quite distracted by the movies on his iPod.
The results:
Molds High
Pollen High (especially oak trees)
Cat & Dog dander High
Dust Mites Moderate
Egg Mod-High
In the next 1-3 weeks they will be making his allergy serum and then we will start getting regular shots. There is an initiation phase which takes 1-3 months (50 shots), then he will get a shot once a week (full dose) for about 1 year. At that time, they should be able to start decreasing his meds and decreasing the frequency of the shots. The overall goal is asthma prevention and halting the progression of his allergies.

Watching Veggie Tales after the scratches were administered

Check out the grid on his back

You can see some of the red spots (positive reactions)

A3 = oak tree pollen

C1 = penicillium mold

E1 = cat dander

E2 = dog dander

It doesn't seem to bother him
Happy Boy

Monday, June 6, 2011


Now that Norah is finally getting some hair (very curly hair), we can decorate that hair with cute bows. She thinks bows are pretty and likes wearing them on occasion. Now she is exerting some control and won't let me or Jeff put the bows in her hair. She won't put them in herself either. Who can make Norah pretty in bows...Nathan (our budding hair-stylist):

(4 bows: white, pink, black and purple)

Meal time

The girl loves her cupcake

A boy after his Papaw's own heart:

eating corn on the cob


Nathan got a scooter last year for Christmas and he likes to scoot around the driveway and up & down the sidewalks in the neighborhood. Of course, everything that Nathan does, Norah has to do too. She wanted a scooter. She would get on Nathan's scooter and stand there so he couldn't have it...he would scream...she would scream...good times.
For Norah's 2nd birthday (next month), my parents got her a scooter of her own. It is a Fisher Price convertible scooter: it converts from a riding toy for smaller kids to a scooter for bigger preschoolers. Norah saw the box and wanted the scooter...she wanted nothing to do with the riding toy.

Now Norah has her very own scooter.

Look how happy she is to ride it.