Sunday, July 19, 2009

a lesson learned that was taught by my 5 year-old brother

Hey Everyone! Special Guest Blogger Ryan here. Just to entertain you with a story from this afternoon...

So, me and Emily were in charge of Jack & Ainsley for a while this afternoon. Unfortunately they aren't old enough for me to crack that whip and make them clean my room, so we actually had to entertain them. A couple minutes into playing "let's trash Jackson's bed," Jack turned to me and asked a simple question: " Hey! Ryan! Can we do Au-Plex?" Au-Plex is JackandAinsley-ese for: "let's run down to the end of the upstairs hall and then run at lightning speed (well, almost ) back to Jack's bedroom and jump onto his bed" And wise brother Ryan said something like "Oh, what the heck, sure."

At first I was like Aw, little kids and their odd little quirks... but when it was my turn to Au-Plex, I loved it. When you're running as fast as you can, the air whips around your head. When you jump, you feel like you're flying and you land for a soft landing. It was quite addictive.

Lesson: Do your younger sibling's odd little physical activities. They may turn out to be very enjoyable!

summer fun in indiana

And here are the pictures from the Indiana portion of our trip! This time I managed to pull the camera out twice...once for a pool party at Rachael & Jeff's house and the other for our day at Dad & Kay's house.

The Southern California pictures are coming...there are quite a few more of those!

summer fun in kansas

Here are the pictures from the first part of our vacation in Kansas! Unfortunately, I only pulled out my camera for one day, but I still managed to get some great shots of the kids (and adults!) having a blast!

Friday, July 17, 2009

and just in case you haven't had your fill of jackson stories this week...

We were eating corn on the cob for dinner tonight. Emily took a bite and I could see juice flying across the table. She and I looked at each other and we both started to giggle a little. And then Jackson said, "Um, I just felt a raindrop on my face!"

another miscommunication

At the grocery store this afternoon...

Jackson: Hey Mom, do you think you can get me those lockers?

Me: Lockers?

Jackson: Yeah, those locker things...

Me: Like you put things in?

Jackson: No, like the police officers use to take the bad guys away!

Me: You want handcuffs??

Jackson: Yeah, handcuffs!

Later I asked him what he would do with the handcuffs.

Jackson: (giggling) I want to lock Ryan with them!

Which was kind of what I was afraid of...

quite possibly the yummiest thing i've ever made with leftover grilled chicken

Personally, I love leftovers. Most of the time, there is just a serving or so of the previous night's dinner. Sometimes I make something like enchiladas or lasagna and that will be lunch for a couple of days. But most of the time I have to try to come up with a new way to serve the leftovers because, unfortunately, no one else in the house shares my enthusiasm for them. Taco meat becomes taco salad, a tray of veggies becomes stir-fry, and so on. We grilled chicken the other night and I made too much, as usual. Instead of just slicing it for salad or quesadillas like I sometimes do, I thought I'd try a pasta salad.

Here's what I had to work with**:

2 grilled chicken breasts
1/2 box penne pasta
fresh roma tomatoes from my neighbor's garden (Thanks Wini!)
a tub of pesto

Here's what I did:

Cooked the pasta, saved about 1/4 cup of the pasta water and then drained it.

Sliced the chicken breasts.

Seeded and diced the tomatoes.

Combined the reserved pasta water with 1/2 cup of pesto. Then added the zest of the lemon, the juice from 1/2 the lemon, about a tablespoon of olive oil, and a little salt and pepper.

Tossed the pasta with the pesto mixture and then folded in the chicken and tomatoes.

YUM! It was great for dinner that night. Even better for lunch the next day. And still even better for lunch today! Normally, I would be annoyed that no one else even wanted to try it, but in this case I'm glad...more for me!

**Know what else would have been good? If I had added some roasted red peppers. Or maybe some mozzarella cheese. Or take out the chicken and add tuna instead.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

the post that starts with my heart melting and ends with me unplugging the tv

Jackson and I were walking through the library yesterday, looking at books when he turned to me and said, "Mom, would you like a snuggle?" I smiled and said, "That would be nice! You mean when we get home, just me and you?" And he said, "Yeah! Well, you can hold your other children too. And the telephone. Or even read a book."

I thought about that for a minute and asked, "Jack, do you mean a Snuggie? The blanket with the arm holes?"

He laughed and replied, "Yeah! They are so cool! You can even operate a remote control AND it's good for cold-weather camp-outs!"


Saturday, July 11, 2009

all by herself

It's getting harder and harder to pretend she's still a baby...This morning, she refused all help getting dressed, including putting on her own Pull-Up. (We are easing into the potty training thing while we have company, but are kicking it up a notch next week. That should make for some fantastic blog material! Stay tuned!) Anyway, this is Ainsley after she got her own cup of water...

And a view from behind...

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I woke up at 4:00 am to the sound of Ainsley crying. I walked into her room and she was lying on her back, an actual tear falling down her sweet cheek.

Me: What's the matter, sweetie?

Ainsley: Blanket!

I look in her crib and notice that her blanket is right next to her. It looks like it just slipped off to the side because it's not bunched up or in a ball at her feet or anything.

Me: (confused) You want your blanket?

Ainsley: Yeah...

So I pull her blanket up over her and she snuggles in and is back asleep before I even leave the room.

Wonder how that little maneuver will work for me the next time I sit down to watch TV and realize I've left my water in the kitchen...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

lunch at our house - a one act play

Me: What does everyone want for lunch?

Ainsley: Mac cheese!

Me: Okay...anyone else want mac and cheese?

Ryan: I'll eat some.

Emily: Me too.

Me: Jackson? Do you want mac and cheese?

Jackson: Ugh. Is it leftover?

Me: No, I'm making it fresh right now.

Jackson: Okay...I'll have some.

Ryan: I'm really hungry, so I think I'm going to make a turkey sandwich too.

Emily: I'm really hungry too...can I have a yogurt?

Me: Sure.

Ryan starts making his sandwich and Emily gets her yogurt.

Ainsley: I yogurt!

Jackson: Is my mac and cheese ready yet?

Me: Almost!

Ryan finishes his sandwich as I make a salad with leftover grilled chicken and honey mustard dressing.

Ryan: Mmm...that salad looks really good. Can I have that too?

Me: Well, there isn't anymore grilled chicken, but you can have this one.

Ryan: Are you sure?

Ainsley: I salad!

Me: Yeah...I'll just make a taco salad.

Emily: Ooohh...taco salad! Can I have one of those?

Me: Sure.

So I give Ryan the grilled chicken salad, steal a piece of the chicken to make a smaller version for Ainsley, warm up the leftover taco meat and put most of it on Emily's salad and save a bit for mine. And now the mac & cheese is ready.

Jackson: Can I have a taco too?

Me: Sure.

Ainsley: I taco!

I look at Ainsley's half eaten yogurt, half eaten salad and half eaten bowl of mac & cheese.

Me: Sorry Ainsley, no taco.

I use the rest of the taco meat for Jack's taco and then remember we have some leftover shredded chicken so I can still have my taco salad. I make my salad and sit down with the kids and take a bite.

Jackson: Can I have some apple juice?

Ainsley: I appa booce!

Me: Sure.

I get the juices and sit back down.

Jackson: Cheers everybody!

So we all do cheers and finish eating.

The end. Until dinner.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

my one celebrity sighting

Yes, I realize there is a glare, but we were both in cars! I would definitely never make it as a member of the paparazzi with shots like this...but still, if you look closely, you can totally make out the prominent chin of Quentin Tarantino! (Driving a black Cadillac, in case you were wondering...)

funny the things you miss

Last night's taco dinner looked something like this:

Ground turkey taco meat
Spicy shredded chicken
Grilled peppers and onions
Black beans
Mexican rice
Sour cream
Taco sauce
Flour taco buns (or tortillas for all the new readers)
Multigrain taco buns

Doug said, "Wow! You really missed cooking, didn't you?"

But I certainly didn't miss cleaning the kitchen...