Monday, December 31, 2007

10, 9, 8, 7...

It's 8:00!  Time for bed!  Happy New Year tomorrow.  I never thought my life would come to this.  

BTW, I made one of Melanie's recipes tonight and it was delicious.   Really, Abram and I couldn't stop eating it.  Thanks Mel.  

Friday, December 28, 2007

Another Reason to Love Abram

We were in charge of Sharing Time last Sunday.  Abram had prepared the lesson, but got sick and couldn't make it.  The photo to the left is Abram, despite his infirmities, painstakingly cutting and pasting these little ornaments for me to use for our lesson.  I watched him do this Saturday night and it just brought a big smile to my face so I had to take a photo to remember.     

Incidentally, Abram promised our class an end of the year party with whatever treat they most desired.  I asked the two kids who were there this week what we should bring.  Here were the answers:

Gracie:  Gaterade
Ryan: Does it have to be food?
Kristin:  Why, what do you want?
Ryan: A goodie bag.

So there you have it.  The only preparation our special year end party will require is a visit to Party Depot followed by a stop at 7-11.  

Happy Birthday Mommy

Yesterday, we celebrated Kristin's birthday. And I think it's telling that the thing she really wanted for her 30th birthday was a panini-maker. As you all know food (and the passion, of course) brought us together. But we've stayed together for more reasons than just the food. Below, the top 10 reasons I love KQ:
  1. Other than Delsa, no one laughs better at my jokes
  2. Max and V are extremely happy people, true reflections of their mother
  3. Kristin experiments in the kitchen like a young Marie Curie, with similar results
  4. She lives her beliefs so naturally and fully
  5. Have you seen her wicked cross-over? Yeah, I needed that gene to match the "hustle" gene I provide.
  6. Have you seen our kids? Not bragging, but they are SOOOO CUTE. She is, and don't read this the wrong way, a fine-tuned baby-making machine.
  7. She is my angel
  8. When she's gone, I'm sad and can't sleep
  9. She loves me for who I am
  10. She's absolutely without a doubt, the most perfect BFF for me in whole wide world (sorry Garrett).

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas

We spent Christmas with Dan and Misty's family and Mimi and Grandpa in their new house in Maryland.  They were wonderful hosts, especially since they just barely moved in.  I can't imagine how hard they worked to get everything ready in time.  
Unfortunately, our family were not equally good guests.  Considering all the new sleep issues, Max was a disaster, and Abram was sick as a dog.  Here is a picture of Max halfway through the nativity story when he has apparently decided to stop the senseless charade.
And here he is Christmas morning when he refused to open any presents for the first 45 minutes.  He didn't moved from this position on his dad's lap.
I guess he finally figured his cousins might just keep opening presents and there wouldn't be any left for him so he joined in.  
On Christmas Eve we opened one Christmas present each - Mickey Mouse pajamas!  I've since realized that the problem with getting a child an article of clothing that they love is that they won't take it off.  

There were some highlights however.  Namely, watching Walt kick everyone's butt at 80's, 90's & Pop Culture Trivial Pursuit, seeing Dan overcome his ham aversion and prepare a delicious dinner with Claire, watching Max follow some random girl around the playground saying "Hi Katie" and looking confused as to why she wasn't responding, and seeing the cousins sit right next to each other despite the fact that they were sitting on the biggest couch I have ever seen in  my life.  

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Recipe Blog

All right people.  Sorry I got a little ahead of myself posting the list without the links to the recipes, but I'm all caught up.  You can find the recipes here.  Let me know which ones you try.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Chicken and a Grape

A few posts ago KA requested a list of my meal rotation.  I should say however, that since Abram doesn't get home until 9:00, I only make about 3 meals a week.  The other nights are dinners I know I don't have to fight Max on - pasta with red sauce, turkey and cheese sandwiches, frozen pizza, mac-n-cheese, and hot dogs.  Don't judge me.  

Compiling this list made me think about one of my favorites gifts Shauri gave me.  She had a graphic designer at work put together a cookbook called Delsa's Delights.  At the beginning of each chapter she put a funny family story involving food.  One that was cracking me up today is about Kerry Ebert (Shawn's friend) and Jeneral Bruce (Travis's friend), both of whom spent an inordinate amount of time at our house.  I suppose that is why their story made it to the family stories.  

Anyway, Kerry had this stupid joke he would sometimes tell that went like this:
"What do a chicken and a grape have in common?" When the person finally gave up he'd say, "They're both purple except for the chicken." 

One day he asked Jeneral, "What do a chicken and a grape have in common?"  Jeneral paused and replied in all seriousness, "They bof juicy."

Now there's a genius who slipped through the cracks if I ever did see one. 

I put these in approximate order of how often I make them (a combination of easiness and tastiness).
  • Stacked Enchiladas
  • Fiesta Salad
  • Taco Soup
  • Lemon Alfredo Pasta w/ Asparagus
  • California Chicken marinade
  • Brown Sugar Pork Loin
  • Roast (I use leftovers for beef tacos)
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu
  • Paula Dean's Spaghetti Sauce
  • Chicken Cashew
  • Crock Pot Chicken Continental
  • Buschetta Chicken
  • Sundried Tomato Artichoke Pasta
  • Barbeque Spareribs
  • Flank Steak Marinade
  • Chicken Florentine (or as Abram lovingly refers to it, Amy's Delight)
  • Southwestern Chicken Pockets and Black Bean Salsa
  • BBQ Chicken Salad
  • Chinese Chicken Salad
  • Peanut Chicken Kabobs
  • BBQ Beef Brisket
  • Goat Cheese Chicken Breasts
  • Chicken Pot Pie
  • Honey Chicken
  • Beef Brocolli
  • Chili
  • Butternut Squash Soup
  • Beef Stroganoff

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Good Morning Mary Sunshine

I was awakened this morning by Max handing me his dirty diaper.  I won't go into the details that go along with this lovely story, but just so you know, I reserve the right not to post anything today.  We'll see how the rest of the day goes. 

Monday, December 17, 2007

Aunt Shauri

If there is one thing Shauri takes seriously it is Aunthood.  All of her nieces and nephews adore her because they know when she's around there's going to be a party.  Lots of teasing, chasing, kissing, and hugging.  Max had a ball with her this weekend and so did we.  She took me to get a massage as an early birthday present and it was fantastic.  I haven't been that relaxed in at least a year.  So here's to Shauri - the best aunt and sister you could want. 


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ellis Family Goals Update

1.  Max - to go to go to sleep by himself in a "big boy bed"
  • Progress - We've had limited success over the last five days, but tonight we hit the jackpot.  Abram told him he would leave the door open, but if he got out of his bed he would close it for the rest of the night.  Max stayed put and fell asleep.  Hallelujah! 
2.  Kristin - to learn to like seafood.
  • Progress - I tried Halibut last weekend and while I didn't like it enough to have a second bite, it was the first thing I've tried that I thought, "if I tried that enough times I could see myself eventually liking it. 
3.  Abram - for our home to rival Chevy Chase's in Christmas     Vacation
  • Progress - There are 3 strands of lights up, one of which only has 5 bulbs that work.
4.  Aviva - to look like her mother
  • Progress - She is failing miserably.  Much to her mother's chagrin, Abram's genes have dominated again. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sleep Training

Max learned how to climb out of his crib last week.  

We went back and forth on whether or not to move him to a toddler bed and finally decided not to when we read this response to the worry that a child might hurt himself climbing out of his crib: "This is a common worry and often used as an excuse to go to your child or buy a "big kid's" bed.  But the truth is that serious injuries rarely occur when the child bumps on the floor as he lets himself down."  

I beg to differ Dr. Weissbluth.  Not when your kid's MO is his head.  Most kids don't climb out of the crib until they can figure out how to get their legs over the side.  Not Max.  He throws the top half of his body over, counting on his massive head to pull the rest of his body out along with it.  After hurling himself out of the crib more than a few times and looking  up at me with big sad eyes, pointing to his head and saying, "Mama, hurt" we decided to go with the toddler bed.  

So last night began sleep training.  I put him to bed and every time he came out I didn't look at him, I didn't talk to him, I just picked him up and put him back in his bed.  I actually didn't have to do very much heavy lifting since every time he heard me coming he'd jump up yelling a terrified "uh oh!" through his tears, run back to his room and barrel roll onto his bed.  Anyway, who knows how many times we had to do it before he fell asleep, but he finally did.   At about 2:30 am he woke up and every half hour after that Abram had to get up and put him back in bed.  Should be an interesting couple of days, I'll keep you posted. 

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

Emily Scarborough recently gathered a bunch of friends' recipes and sent them back out to everyone. She didn't put people's names with the recipes, so I don't know to whom I should give this credit, but the other day I may Bruschetta Chicken Bake and people, I am telling you, this recipe is for you. And by people I mean you Kristen. It is very rare that I find a recipe that is both easy enough and tasty enough to make it into my weekday meals rotation, but this baby is a winner. No complicated ingredients, no marinating ahead of time, lots of cheese... it's got everything. So here it is. Make it tonight.
P.S. Abram told me that this recipe should be called Baked Chicken Bruschetta because Bruschetta Chicken Bake sounds like it should be wrapped in a bread pouch and sold at Costco.

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1/2 cup water or chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ lb. chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Place tomatoes in medium bowl. Add stuffing mix, water and garlic; stir just until stuffing mix is moistened. Set aside.
PLACE chicken (I brown my chicken first) in 13x9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with the basil and cheese. Top with stuffing mixture.
BAKE 30 min. or until chicken is cooked through.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

My Conversion

We finally bought a laptop and, drum roll please......... it's a MacBook. There were 3 special people in my life that were good examples for me and who played key roles in my conversion.
  1. Alyson Oldham. Well, the whole Oldham family really. While I don't remember any ranting or raving (or blogs dedicated to other's conversion - Larissa), she was the first purest I knew. And I feel like I should mention here how one time I walked into Don's office to chat and asked what he was doing. His reply: "Emailing Steve Jobs." So there you go.
  2. Kristen Allen nee Razy. Now here is a girl who never partially commits to anything. We're talking email, blogs, christmas letters, everything. And since I have never been disappointed with a recommendation from KA, it only seems right to follow in her footsteps.
  3. Larissa Kindred. I mentioned Larissa's blog, but this particular post really got me. And let's be honest, I am a sucker for funny advertising and Larissa had a link on her blog to the Mac commercials.
So good work girls. It took awhile, but you got me.

Friday, December 7, 2007

For Shauri

Max and I are having relationship problems stemming from our lack of communication. He has been sick for about three days. Fever, throwing up, stuffed up nose, you name it. Luckily we seem to be over the fever and throwing up stage. However, the snot remains. I challenge any of you to understand a toddler just learning to speak with a stuffy nose, a scratchy throat from a screaming tantrum after I offered him a glass of water (yup, that's it, just offered him water and he proceeded to scream for the next 40 minutes), while he is crying. Oh man, talk about frustration. But it's okay, I've come up with a plan. I'm going to teach him how to text.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Early Christmas

I asked Santa for an iPod classic this year. We were putting up Christmas decorations on Saturday and "Santa" decided we needed some Christmas music, so to make a long story short: I'm the proud owner of an iPod with approximately 50 Christmas carols on it. That's right, this is my first mp3 player ever. I have no music. I suppose I could upload my CDs, but since I haven't bought a new one in about 7 years, I doubt it will be very fruitful. Which brings me to my latest request: What are your favorite songs to work out to? That is going to be my next play list - I'm trying to prioritize here.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Here are a couple of Maxisms I wanted to document so I don't forget about them.
  1. Max has some sort of mental block about his ability to climb stairs. When he is playing with his friends he will go up and down a hundred times squealing with laughter. However, when it is just him and me, you would swear I was the most neglectful mom alive to see his reaction when I won't carrying him up the stairs. A couple times when I have just left him at the bottom of the stairs screaming, it will finally get quiet 15 minutes later and when I come to check on him, he is laying spread eagle on the floor at the base of the stairs, like he has given up on life.
  2. Max calls Aviva B for baby. The cutest thing in the world is when Aviva sneezes and he says in his cute little voice, "Bless you B." Sometimes when I sneeze he says, "Bless you B, Mama."
  3. Max has gotten really good at playing by himself. At times he realizes I'm not around and we yell the following conversation across the house:
Max: Mama?
Kristin: Yes Max?
Max: Wha you do-ing?
Kristin: Cleaning. What are you doing?
Max: Paying wif toys.

And then we both go back to our business.