HOLIDAY WEEKEND

Friday, May 28, 2010

I snapped this yesterday. Lia hung out in her bumbo while I loaded the dishwasher.

A few days ago, I brought out Lia's 6-12 month box out of her closest and went through it. She's starting to outgrow her clothes really quickly. Half of the clothes in it fit her now or will fit very, very soon! She's wearing a pink sundress from Old Navy in this picture. I remember coming home from work most nights with a new outfit for Lia. All of which I found on clearance, sometimes an extra 50% off, because we still didn't know if she was a girl or a boy. In fact, we weren't 100% sure until I was about 36 weeks or so. I remember picking up this dress and falling in love with it. I could just imagine our daughter wearing it. And now she is wearing it. I can't believe how fast time is going by.

Ignore the mess in the background, we are moving next weekend!

It's a very happy holiday weekend! What's everyone's Memorial Day plans? I'm kicking it off by working tonight. It's only for 4 hours, so it's not bad. And, I found some ca-uttte clothes for Lia that I put on hold. Tomorrow we are going to BBQ with some good friends. I love BBQs. I love cooking for BBQs too! On Sunday, we're thinking about going to a few museums in the city. A lot of them are doing an awesome kind of "salute the troops" thing and giving military free tickets for the holiday weekend. And of course, its Fleet Week in the city. Then on Monday, no set plans yet. I'm just happy to have an extra day with M.

Next weekend is moving weekend! So, if i'm not around the blog much it's because not a single thing is actually packed yet! Procrastinating has left me a big ole to-do list and only a few days to do it in because who does work during a fun extra long weekend?!

On a BIG sidenote, remember what this holiday is about when you are relaxing at BBQs, beaches, parks, museums...wherever you are celebrating at. Remember our men and women who have given their lives for our freedom and country. And remember the ones still fighting for us. Memorial day is all for them.

IMPROMPTU PHOTO SHOOT

Monday, May 24, 2010





This smiley, chubby girl makes me deliriously happy.

MY LONG AWAITED RETURN BRINGS A WALK-IN AND SOME BLOWOUTS AND A ZOO TRIP!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's been far too long, my dear blog. I'm not really sure where the time has gone, but it went. It went really fast. Like it was running away from me.

Oh well, maybe I can bring my head out of the clouds and back to earth and remember I do write a blog.

So, the latest in the V household has been very..uh, smelly?! L has taken pretty well to solids. Her attention span doesn't allot much time for solids. Sometimes she's in a hurry and she grabs my hand holding the spoon and shoves it into her mouth. The busy lives of 4 month olds...they should really stop and smell the flowers sometime. Or in her case, stop and eat her peas. But she hates peas, so really it's stop and eat her apple + banana mush. On a side note, is it sad that I had to sing the banana part of Hollaback Girl to remember how to spell banana. Thanks Gwen, your spelling lessons rock! But back to the smelly part, her diapers are blowouts. The nasty, stinky, poop-everywhere kind. From a little pack of mush?! It's crazy. At least we know her digestive system is good. Sadly, the onesie + changing pad cover weren't so thrilled about that last night - they took quite the beating from the poopie diaper. They are in critically-stained condition, at the moment.


BUT, I'll digress from that subject..it gets a little icky.

We checked out our new home today. I am thrilled! I've always dreamed of a walk-in closest and now I get one. I even get a walk-in pantry. And a room for L twice the size of her current room. They even threw in an extra room. And, the new-er stove. For those who live in military housing, you know we don't get those lovely name-brand appliances. In this particular housing, there are 2 stove types. The old crap one that burns everything. Or the newer ones. They aren't amazing, but they don't burn. I had nightmares that we'd get stuck with the crap stove. I'm a baker, sort of. I don't want a crap, burning stove. But, I did want 3 bedrooms and a pantry and a walk-in and a lot more sq footage. Lucky for me, I get it all. And, I am pretty sure I can even squeeze a nice, new grill + our patio set in the backyard. I think it's my good karma...

Wanna know what else my good karma got me?

This one is good. Really, all you non-karma believin' people, you really should start. M + I went to the Taylor Swift concert this past weekend. Ohmygosh. She's amazing. I screamed all night. I stood on chairs. I took lots of pictures. I had an AMAZING time. Taylor is so darn cute. You really can't help but love us southern girls. Really, we are some awesome creatures. Oh yeah, the karma. Tickets for the show were pricey, if you wanted that nice floor section. We couldn't afford those, but even if we could they were sold out. We had the last row. I mean, literally, the highest, last row in the arena. It was a little crappy. But hey, I was at a Taylor Swift concert. Kellie Pickler was there too. And Gloriana. This girl wasn't complaining. I didn't have to anyways, because I have good karma remember?. We scored, for free, upgraded tickets. On. The. Floor. I was so close to Taylor. Especially when she came into the audience. M got to touch her. Don't take that the weird way it sounds. I'm just saying, we were close.

Amazing!

See how much fun we're having?!

L had a big weekend too. It was her first trip to the zoo and her first carousel ride. Grandma + poppa were visiting, as well. I think she liked the zoo better than the carousel. Then again, the carousel came after a 5 minute nap that should have been much longer so we'll have to try again to really know the truth. She did amazing with the long, sunny day and the smelly animals, though. M + I bought a season pass so we'll be hitting up the zoo's and aquariums of the city this year quite a bit.



Now, I'm off to pick up the house and prep dinner. I'm making PW's macaroni + cheese. Ree, you've had my mouth watering ALL week over this stuff.

Who's going to be watching Flash Forward and Grey's Anatomy tonight? I'm beyond impatient about  finding out who's getting the ax on tonight's Greys finale. Although, I still can't figure out why every network exec decided to let everyone get shot in all the finales...

Anyways, happy Thursday. It's almost the weekend!

GRANDMA + POPPAS DAILY PHOTO

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It's the long-awaited return of the daily photo. I really will try to snap more pictures! It's just...somedays, I don't know where my head is or where the time goes.

My monkey was trying to escape her bumbo seat!
Probably because I was trying to feed her oatmeal...

This one isn't easy...

I have loved dolphins ever since I was a little girl. I was obsessed with them. To me, they were magical creatures. I remember on my birthday (maybe the 15th), my parents took me on a boat ride on the coast of North Carolina that looked for dolphins. It wasn't the best day, weather-wise, and I think maybe we saw one. But, the excitement I felt at the possibility of seeing a dolphin in its' natural home was overwhelming. Then, there were the trips to aquariums in Florida and Hawaii. I dreamt about being those trainers that got to be so up close and personal with these beautiful, happy animals. I was convinced I would become a marine biologist or an animal trainer. Of course, I am happy as a mother + wife now and I wouldn't change that for the world, but there is still a special place in my heart for dolphins.

Then, today. Today I wanted to blog. I haven't blogged in awhile, even M is reminding me I haven't blogged. That probably means it's time to blog again. But I didn't really have anything to say. I mean, I could push out a blog about the same ole' saying we're all doing good and stuff (which I'll be doing later) but then I came across this video while reading Mrs. Muffins. This is heartbreaking. Sad + depressing. It's not for everyone to watch. And I know, she has a much bigger reader list than my blog but still, if it got to just one different person, maybe something could change.

Maybe these dolphins could be helped...

Warning: This is heartbreaking. And scary. Please, don't think it's easy to watch at all. However, I agree with Mrs. Muffins when she said "Sometimes it’s very hard for me but the way I see it is that if the animals have to endure it, the least I can do is watch it and become informed."




If you'd like to learn more or learn how you can help, you can visit:

The post I kept putting off...

Friday, May 7, 2010

For reasons none other than I got busy doing other things. Or, when I did get a few extra minutes to post I chose to shower instead (I don't think M wants to hear me stay I stink too many more days in a row!) or I simply didn't feel like sitting down and trying to get the words in my head onto the screen. But, as always, I eventually get around to it.

So, Cinco de Mayo was a couple days ago and can I just say, yummy?! Since I married M (my handsome mexican!), every Cinco de Mayo I make mexican food + margaritas. It's not exactly authentic (although the beans recipe is on the back of a goya can), it's more "white girl style" as I call it, but it's always delicious. This year I made chicken tacos + black beans on white rice. Strawberry margaritas! And, sopapillas for dessert. Doesn't this look so good? It was even really tasty as leftovers last night...and thats saying something, because I don't eat leftovers.

The way I like 'em

Chicken tacos
Boil whatever amount of chicken breast you need (it'll take about 45 minutes to cook through) in salted water.
Pull them out of the water and set on a plate so they can cool. Then shred them. I just pull them apart with my fingers.
The good thing about this is you can make it ahead of time. The shredded chicken will last in the fridge a couple days so if you boil enough, you can make several meals. And, it makes the actual making dinner time faster.
Put the chicken in a skillet and top with packet of Ole El Paso taco mix, the water it calls for, and follow packet directions. (The Ole El Paso part is why I call it white girl style, in case you were wondering!)
Once it's done, add to taco shells or tortillas and top with whatever you like. I'm a hard shell with lettuce, tomatoes + cheese kind of gal. Simple + classic, as classic as tacos go, you know.

The way M likes 'em

Black Beans
What you need
1 can of black beans, undrained (I use Goya but you can use whatever you have around)
2 tbsp of olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped (I like smaller pieces, it's your preference)
2 cloves garlic, minced (I never have any on hand so I use garlic powder. The container has the chart that tells you how much powder equals a clove)
1/4 green pepper, chopped
3/4 cup water
1 tsp oregano
1 packet Sazon Goya without annatto
1 tbsp cider vinegar

What to do
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions + peppers + garlic, cook until tender (about 8 minutes). Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer about 10 minutes. Serve over rice!

Margarita mix + tequila. I like 'em frozen. Need I say more?


But these, these were the best.
Back home in NC, there's a yummy little mexican restaurant named Arturo's. I LOVE them. I mean, I would eat there every day. With my friends. Or M, of course. This was our place. We were always there. Ever since I moved, I haven't found mexican food I like as good as theirs. Nothing ever matches up. I was feeling festive and knew I wanted a festive dessert. So, I thought back to my favorite restaurant and back to the memories of sharing a sopapilla with my friend. Hey, I can probably make that, it's just fried tortillas + toppings.
So, I (mostly M, because hot grease + me don't get along) did. And ohmygosh, they were so good. I went a little crazy. And ate alot. And ate alot yesterday too. And, I'm very sad there isn't any for me to eat alot of today.

Sopapillas
Tortillas (we used 12 inches and cut them into triangles)
Vanilla icecream (it has to be vanilla, you want the taste of the honey + cinnamon to come out and have their glory; this dessert isn't about the icecream, for once)
Honey
Cinnamon

Fry tortillas up in a skillet of hot oil.
Place them on a paper towel once they are done to soak up the extra grease.
Arrange on a plate, top with a scoop or two of ice cream and drizzle with honey and cinnamon.
Seriously, it's amazing.

And yes mom, I will be making them for you when you visit us next weekend. Yep, that's right. My parents are visiting and I am very excited about it!

Now, since my mouth is watering and my breakast of boiled eggs + wheat toast seems unsatisfying now, I'll move on.

In L news (because you know I always have news about her), she's a butterball. Seriously, she weighs as much as a Thanksgiving turkey does! She's 14 lbs 13 oz. So, she gained 1 lb and 12 oz, give or take, in a month. And, she grew half an inch...our little shorty. Her 4 month checkup went well yesterday. She showed the doctor how well she stands and how good she holds up that head of hers. She even gave the doctor some big smiles! That's probably because she didn't get any shots. We're having issues with insurance, though what's new. We skipped this round and she's going to get them as soon as she's fully covered by insurance which is basically the time of her 5 month appointment. But, we did get the a-okay clearance from her doctor before skipping them. We talked about her feedings and we were actually told it's okay for her to be on solids. We've been giving them to her once a day but she can actually have them twice a day. So she'll get her regular bottles but also a breakfast + a dinner. My babes is getting so big...

L with her new hat + shades. Thank you bubba, we love the sunglasses! And of course, thanks aunt shell for the big ole box of stuff! We love it!

Now, I remember saying something about that good news for M + I! We are moving into a 3 bedroom house! Okay, so maybe most of you aren't as thrilled but we are. My mom says that it means one more toilet to clean. That's okay, it's worth all the extra room! We'll still be in the same complex, so I think only the house number in our address will change. We have to wait for the people currently living in it to move (in like 2 weeks) and then housing has to get it cleaned or painted or whatever it needs to be living-ready again and it's all ours. The amazing thing is since the complex needs our 2 bedroom, they are letting us move before our lease is up and isn't making up pay the extra 1800! Let's just hope they keep their word...

It's the friday before Mother's Day! That means that it's military spouse appreciation day! I'm so proud to be the wife of my very sexy marine. I'm also proud of all you other military spouses, you ladies are amazingly strong!



I'm off to shower + get ready for my lunch with M this afternoon before L wakes up.
Hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

MY OH MY

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I have not blogged in like, 5 days. That is silly. And sad!

Life here is just cruising along and we're just taking the ride.

We had a great past weekend. Friday night we went to dinner then headed out to the batting cages. In case you are wondering, I suck. Saturday morning and early afternoon couldn't have been prettier. I got up and made some cheddar black pepper biscuits from scratch. They made a yum-o breakfast with a fried egg sandwiched between them. 


Then, it was just cleaning the kitchen and having a lazy morning. Followed by a great lunch at Panera Bread and a walk with M + L + Toby. M had his G. Lo (George Lopez) show Saturday night in the city. Thankfully, the crazy terror threat car bomb didn't affect him or his fun! I baked these ah-mazing chocolate brownie cookies while he was out. Seriously, go bake them. Right now. It's bliss in your mouth! Then it was a very late night (or very early morning!) of us hanging out at the house of some good friends. Sunday we ran one (okay, maybe two, but really, it's an improvement!) errand and just relaxed and hung out as a family and made some chicken pizza for dinner.

Now, we're officially into the week and so far, it's good. L is resisting naps. Not really unsual. But for the moment, she's content in her swing. Of course, Yo Gabba Gabba is on. If only she gives in and closes those pretty brown eyes for just a moment, I'm sure she'll fall fast asleep. Shh...I think she's taking my advice.

In L's feeding news, we nixed the rice cereal the past 2 days and have been giving her sweet potatos after her bottle in the evening. I believe she is a fan. She makes a couple faces at them, but she goes back for more so they can't be too terribly untasty. She's really getting the hang of opening her mouth for the spoon and swallowing more than she spits out. It seems early to start but poor baby is hungry.

In all other L news...she's doing great. Making mommy + daddy swoon and fall more and more in love with her. She's pretty good at making us laugh too. And,  just like mommy + her poppa, she's a fan of Train. Every night, I rock her to sleep singing "Hey, Soul Sister".

In news about me + M, something exciting is coming up! Well, a few things. The taylor swift concert is on the 14th and ohmygoshimsoexcited!!! What to wear? What to wear!  My parents are supposed to be visiting that same weekend! And, we're planning a trip to North Carolina early June. I. Can't. Wait. I'll see my sisters + brothers + nephews! Plus, my sister + her family get to meet L for the FIRST TIME! This is HUGE. GIGANDO huge. It's Ican'tsitstillimsoexcited HUGE. It's slurallmywordstogether HUGE. I'm excited. Can you tell?

There's also a tiny, little extra piece of good news for us that I'll be sharing soon. And, no. I'm not pregnant. Or moving back to North Carolina. Yeah, I know how some of ya'lls minds work.

Also, this Friday is military spouse appreciation day. It happens every year on the Friday before Mother's Day (thanks to Mr. Ronald Reagan). I'm been a super-lucky military spouse for 3 years now and I've grown to love the life that comes with it. Military spouses are beautiful, strong, amazing people. My beautiful sister is a military spouse. It's a joy to see how amazing she is. Being a military spouse entails strength and courage. Nothing is ever a sure-thing in the military. It means moving away from family + friends. And starting over in a new place every 3 years. The military isn't just a job or a career. It's a lifestyle. The military comes first and then family (although M always makes us feel like we're first.) Sometimes, you get lucky (like me + L) and get to see your other half alot. Sometimes, you don't. We make sacrifices but we do it because we love our spouses and we support them 100 percent. I'd go anywhere M went, not a second of thought needed. To my sister + close friends and all military spouses, thank you! I'm so proud to be one!

It's been a great day here and I'm ready to settle down with some chicken salad sandwiches, maybe a pickle spear + some sweet tea and watch The Biggest Loser tonight.

Enjoy your Tuesday!