Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 138 - Playdate

Our AC has been out since Sunday (it's fixed now) so we were thrilled that our church playgroup met at a local splash park today.  Sam didn't waste any time getting in the water. That kid loves the water.  When we got home he told me he wanted to go to the pool.  Then tonight he told Ben he wanted a bath.  Someone is going to be taking swimming lessons very soon.

Day 138

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 137 - Lemon Meringue

Note to self: Cooking a pie on the day that your AC goes out is a 
bad plan.

Day 137

At least it's pretty . . . 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 136 - Favorite Exhibit

As part of our Dallas trip we took Sam to the Dallas Aquarium.  Other than all of the birds flying freely through the indoor zoo (YIKES!) it was a great experience.  

They have a tunnel in the aqaurium that you can walk through.  Like most tunnel aquariums, you are surrounded by sharks, turtles and other various sea creatures.  Sam fell in love with a special little creature.  A blonde creature wearing a green shirt that looked a lot like the shirt he was wearing.  He loved it so much that he tried to kiss it through the glass.


Such a funny dude.  

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 135 - Dallas

It has been a long fun day in Dallas but my boys are ready to go to sleep so more on our day later.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 134 - Anniversary

Ben and I have been married for 5 awesome years today. I'm so lucky that I found my perfect match.  He's a wonderful husband and a great dad.  

This morning at 6:00 am he left me this cute little message in the shower. I didn't notice it until noon when I showered after the pool.
  He knows that I would much rather have this than a mushy card.  

day 134

For our romantic evening we went to my favorite Italian restaurant . . . with Sam.
Tomorrow morning we leave for our weekend getaway to Dallas . . . with Sam.
Fortunately we really dig our kid so this won't be a hardship.

Happy Anniversary Ben!  Thanks for sticking around until I "warmed up to you".

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 133 - Shoe Envy

Sam had a case of shoe envy over my spiffy new slippers.
Luckily his feet are tiny so it didn't take long to make him his own slippers.  I opted for a star instead of a flower.  Cause crocheted slippers are SOOOOO manly anyway.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 132 - Sliders

So today Pionneer Woman (Ree Drummond) posted a recipe for Big Bacon Sliders.  Ben immediately got an IM telling him to bring home ground beef.


They were supa' tasty!  The best part though may have been the homemade buns! 
Yup.  I made my own hamburger buns.  
Aren't my tiny burgers so cute?!

day 132

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 131 - Homemade Footwear

Yup, you read correctly.  I made shoes today. Well, just one. I ran out of yarn.  Not to worry, I'll be gracing JoAnn's with my presence tomorrow.

day 131

I found the pattern on one of my blogs.  A blog that I found through Pinterest. Love love love me some Pinterest.  Here's my page. It's just starting to fill out.  

Any who.  Here's a link to the cutie blog.  

In the meantime you can feast your eyes on Sam's shoe envy.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 130 - JUMP!

I don't know if I've mentioned it lately, but I have the best life ever.  
I have a wonderful husband, a delightful child and access to a swimming pool whenever I want. 
What more could a girl want?

Day 130

Yes, Ben is wearing a hat in the swimming pool.  He joined us after running and didn't plan on getting his hair wet.  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 129 - Cake Bites

At church today we celebrated a couple of birthdays for the Young Women.  I asked them last week what they wanted and the resounding answer was, "CAKE POPS!"

I didn't want to mess with sticks so they got cake bites instead.  If I were smart, I would have taken a picture before they were devoured by women but I just can't seem to get my act together on Sunday mornings.  Instead you are getting a picture of the leftovers.


I made lemon (big hit with the adults), strawberry and chocolate.  

If you've never made cake bites or cake pops I highly recommend them.  People are always super impressed and they really aren't that hard. You can find a great tutorial here.

I like little square bites so I used my favorite pan EVER to make them.  

Wilton 2105-4923 24-Cavity Silicone Brownie-Squares Baking Mold
You can get it on Amazon here. 
The funny thing is, I don't really like this pan for making brownies as it was originally intended.  I love using it to make my Grandma's caramels though.  I just pour the caramels in and when they're done I cut them in half.  Saves sooooooo much work.  

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 128 - Cool Rider

Sam has been itching to ride his bike so today Ben took him for a little ride.  He was in HEAVEN.  


Every time I look at this picture I start singing Michelle Pfeiffer's song from Grease 2, "He's a co-oo-oo-ol rider."

I'm not sure who should be more embarrassed.  Michell Pfeiffer for singing it or me for knowing the song.   

Since my 4 yr old niece Kate enjoyed the Motownphilly video so much this week, I'm attaching the song for you.  Enjoy!  

Friday, May 20, 2011

Day 127 - Choices

We have found that giving Sam choices really encourages his verbal communication.  
It also encourages interesting fashion choices.  

Day 127

Shorts for uber-humid Texas weather.  Check.
Cowboy boots for Texas authenticity.  Check.
Beverage to stay hydrated.  Check.
Toothbrush for . . . Whatever.  Check. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 126 - 3x's

Day 125

Dear Sam,

Every day I feel a little sad about how fast you are growing up.  That being said, I really can't wait for the day that I don't have to pick up your Legos three times a day.  


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 125 - I got nothin'

No good picture today folks.  It's 9:30 and I just want to go eat the chips and queso that has been waiting for me for 3 hours.

day 125

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 124 - Surprise

For Mother's Day, Ben bought me a Bluetooth speaker for my car.  I love it. I love that I can answer the phone without ever touching my phone. I've had a Bluetooth ear piece for awhile but this is so much more convenient because I don't have to fumble for my ear piece while driving.  It also has an FM transmitter that lets me hear the call through my car speakers and it plays music that I have on my phone.  So great.

Today, Sam and I took a little jaunt down to San Antonio to see my aunt and pick up some stuff from the Distribution Center (Church bookstore) for Young Women.  We decided to try out the new music feature on the drive home.  Imagine my excitement when I heard this:

Day 124

I love that my husband puts random music on my iTunes and these little gems pop up.  You may be impressed to find out that Ben knows ALL of the words to this song.  He's a catch people.

In celebration of this fact, I'm going to add a little video for you.  This is one of the few times you will hear music on our blog so enjoy it. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 123 - Priorities


Hey Mom?  Can you hold this milkshake so I won't have to put my iPod down?  Thanks.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 122 - Chicken and Dumplings

When we lived in Utah we spent every Sunday with our parents.  Usually we saw both sets.  I really miss Sunday dinners with our families.  Since we don't have this luxury anymore, I've been trying to cook traditional Sunday comfort meals for our little family.  Tonight I hit the jackpot.  

Chicken and Dumplings.  

Day 122

I know that it was good because Ben told me it was, "soooo good" every 30 seconds.
That's always a good sign.

I think this may have actually been the first time I have ever cooked a chicken (pre-cut) on the bone.  It was also the first time I've ever made dumplings from scratch instead of Bisquick. Don't get me wrong I LOVE Bisquick dumplings but there is something to be said for making them from scratch.  DELICIOUS.

The only drawback was this is definitely a winter comfort meal.  It ain't winter so much around these parts.  Luckily, half of our readership lives in Utah where they can't seem to get over winter so maybe y'all can make it next Sunday.  Here's the recipe:


  • large broiler-fryer chicken, cut up
  • celery ribs, sliced
  • carrots, peeled and sliced
  • medium onion, diced
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
  • tablespoons dried parsley
  • teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon pepper
  • water


  • cups flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • tablespoons oil

  • 1. Combine chicken, celery, carrots, onion, chicken broth, parsley, chicken bouillon granules, salt and pepper in a large pan or dutch oven; add enough water to cover chicken.
  • 2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours or until chicken is done.
  • 3. Remove chicken and let stand until cool enough to handle.
  • 4. Remove skin from chicken and tear meat away from bone.
  • 5. Return meat to soup; discard skin and bones.
  • 6. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
  • 7. Return soup to a simmer.
  • 8. In a mixing bowl, combine dumpling ingredients and mix well to form a stiff dough.
  • 9. Drop by tablespoonfuls into simmering soup.
  • 10. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • 11. Serve immediately.
  • 12. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day 121 - Dad

Ben says I can't use this photo since it was technically taken late last night but I say that since we had all gone to bed it counts for today.

About 11:30 last night, someone decided he was done sleeping.  I walked into his room and he was WIDE awake so I brought him into our room for a little snuggle time (by snuggle time I mean relax with the iPod time).  Ben downloaded a new Chuggington app  for him and he was in heaven! He loves the girl train on the show named Coco. He was so cute snuggled up next to Ben so I had to get the camera out.

Day 121

This morning Ben went to get him out of bed.  Through the monitor I heard the first thing he said.

"Coco. iPod"


Friday, May 13, 2011

Day 120 - Thanks Grandpa

I worked in the Target toy department for years and saw the worn down parents who were slaves to Thomas the Tank Engine.  I vowed that I would never put myself in that position.  Despite the fact that I have been standing my ground and digging in my heels, Thomas the Tank Engine has invaded our home.

I blame my parents. 
Mostly my dad.  
My dad who works for the railroad.  My dad who started the train obsession for Sam.  My dad who every time we talk about trains, asks if Sam watches Thomas. My dad, who in cahoots with my mom, bought Sam his first two Thomas trains for Christmas.  

Yeah, guess which trains Sam likes the most.  


The generic Imaginarium trains just aren't quite good enough now.  We need FACES on our trains.  

Guess what Paul and LeAnn, from now on when we are at the store with you, we are going down the Thomas aisle. You are going to be the one's forkin' out $10-$15 for a little train.


In 5 weeks the two of you have a date with Sam and Toys R Us.

Day 119 - Buttermilk Pie

For some reason Blogger was down all night and this morning so I'm a little late on the post.  So instead of posting last night, I spent my time eating Buttermilk Pie.

We had never even hear of Buttermilk Pie until we moved to TX.  Let me tell you, we won't be forgetting about it.

Apparently it's a Southern thing. I guess they are really similar to a chess pie.  Anway, it's a custard pie made with buttermilk.   Don't scoff, you can't even tell there is buttermilk in it.  I was skeptical at first but Ben was an immediate fan.  Ben first tried it at a cute little food trailer called "Cutie Pies"  here in town.  I didn't even try it the first time.  It sounded too weird.  I didn't give in until this week when I had extra buttermilk in my fridge and decided to be a nice wife and make it for Ben.

I didn't try the first one I made either.  It looked like this:


Ben said the flavor was good but obviously the texture was an epic fail.  I blame the store-bought frozen pie crust.

So I put my apron back on and tried a different recipe.  The second pie was PERFECTION!


Ben said it was even better than Cutie Pie's  (Sorry Jaynie) and Ben isn't one to lie about pie. I cannot tell you how delicious this thing is. The slightly caramelized top, the rich custardy (I think I just made that word up) middle, the delicious flaky crust all come together as perfection on a plate.  Apparently some people add toasted coconut.  I can tell you that we will be trying that for sure in the very near future.

I'm never leaving Texas.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 118 - Try Again

Prepare yourself.  We are going to talk about Sam's speech today.  Again.

When your child is speech delayed you get REALLY excited when he finally starts to talk.  One of his favorite phrases is, "No, try again!"

I love it.  It is so much better than screaming and temper tantrums.  Here is his face in the middle of saying no.  

Day 118

For an extra special grandparent treat, I got a cute little video of saying his new favorite phrase. I knew all along what movie he wanted to watch but I was trying really hard to get him to talk.

Please ignore my dumb voice in the background.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 117 - 10 things

day 117

10 things that I love in this photo:

  1. The toddler.
  2. Rudy's BBQ!
  3. Diet Dr. Pepper inside the Rudy's BBQ cup that I left on the end table last night. 
  4. The funny toddler drinking the warm Diet Dr Pepper at 9:30 am.
  5. Chubby toddler feet.
  6. The relaxed stance that I hope will follow this child throughout his life.
  7. Banged up boy legs.
  8. The most comfortable chair in the world purchased by my husband while he was still a bachelor.
  9. The chin dimple.
  10. The glazed over look that means he must be watching the Disney Channel.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 116 - Choo choo

We are train CRAZY at our house right now.  Sam constantly wants to play in his room with his trains.  Unfortunately, he has decided someone has to be in there with him at all times.  Today I needed to catch up on some emails so that meant that I was sitting on the floor working on my laptop while Sam played.  

Ben got the honor of train time tonight.  The best part is that Sam decreed that Ben also needed to sit on a train.  

day 116

Such a good sport.

And yes, Sam is still sleeping in a crib.  He hasn't successfully climbed out since Ben put it on the bottom setting.  I'm keeping him in there as long as I possibly can.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 115 - Mother's Day

Sam got me some flowers for Mother's Day.  I'm not sure how he knew that I love tulips.  For that matter, I'm not sure how he picked them up.
I'll just be grateful and not think about it too hard.  

day 115

Sam, thanks for letting me be your mom.  
Ben, thanks for helping me be someone's mom.  
Love you both!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day 114 - Projects

I'm starting to think that I have a problem.  A project problem.  As in I always need to have a project.

day 114

Current project:  Granny quilt.

I would like to point out that the girly colors are because I'm a girl in a house full of boys. 
I'm not pregnant.
Just thought I'd clear that up before someone asked.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 113 - Big Boy

Yesterday, Sam had his yearly evaluation by the speech therapist and his early childhood specialist.  It went great!!!  All but 2 of his stats were in normal range and his speech was up to 24 months (Sam is 32 months).  He is talking more and more everyday and we couldn't be happier!  It is so fun to watch him develop the ability to communicate verbally.  He seems to really get a kick out of people understanding him.  We have been encouraging him to use his words and a lot of times our conversations start out with "What do you say?"  Now,  our conversations go like this.

Sam (holding our hand):  What do you say?
Ben/Tracey:  What do you say?
Sam:  Up please!  (Giant smile)

It is so funny that he thinks he is supposed to say "What do you say" .

The only other area that he scored a little low on was "Self-help".  Apparently, this is because when the evaluation was written people were potty training at 24 months.  Not the case at our house.  Also included in the assessment was the ability to use utensils.  Just in the last couple of weeks (specifically today) Sam has decided that he will use a spoon.  He's had the motor skills forever but now he thinks it is worth his time. It only took giving him a root-beer float.  Such a stinker.

Finally the last thing in the self-help portion of the assessment was the child's ability to dress them self.  As you can see, we need to work on this a little bit.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 112 - Cinco De Mayo

I'm going to start off this post by saying I am NOT a food photographer.  I really struggle with it.

That being said, here is a picture of tonight's Cinco De Mayo feast.
day 112

I love love love Mexican food in all forms.  I  kinda wanted to just go get Torchy's Tacos tonight but we have had LOTS of restaurant food over the last week so I decided to cook.  Everything was made from scratch.  The menu consisted of the following (click for recipe links):

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
Spanish Rice
Quick and Easy Black Beans
Lime-Mint Spritzers (aka Virgin Mojitos)
Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing (aka Cafe Rio dressing baby!)
And a Tres Leches Cake.  From a Betty Crocker Box.

Everything was FABULOUS.  The taquitos were awesome and the black beans were amazing.  The Lime-Mint Spritzers were kind of a fail. Only because I used Tonic Water instead of Sparkling Water. Oops.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 111 - Happy Birthday Grandma!

Sam wanted to wish my mom a happy birthday today.

Day 111

Ok, I wanted Sam to wish my mom a happy birthday.  He wanted to pull the letters off of the sign.


Day 110 - Ayowpane

day 110

I'm lucky that Sam is such a great traveler.  He does so well on airplanes (or as he calls them ayopanes)  Last night was no exception.  On the first leg. we used crackers to make letters, numbers and shapes.  In between eating a giant bag of Reeces Pieces we worked on new words (he is in the middle of a language EXPLOSION!  HOORAY!) and identifying body parts. On the second leg, he sat quietly in his seat and watched Special Agent Oso .  Even though I usually stress most of the flight about him behaving and staying quiet, I realized that it is a great time for the two of us to have quality uninterrupted time to sit and play together.  

Day 109 - Shampoo

I'm so grateful that Sam has lots of cousins around his age.  This morning when we got up in Texasx Sam walked around the house calling, "Alli!  Aaaaallllliiiii!"  Apparently he misses her.

Each night while we were at Karen's the kids took a bubble bath. I discovered early on that Alli likes to help "wash hair".   

day 109

Such a good little helper.  

Day 108 - Woody

Disneyland is so fun.  It is even more fun when your kid takes a nap and has the energy to keep going.  Sunday we tried and tried to get Sam to take a nap.  Finally we found a quiet little corner by the back door to Fantasyland (Sam Earl, that reference is just for you) near Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  Sam got a good hour nap while Ben went and road Space Mountain.  Unfortunately/Fortunately, near the end Woody decided to show up for a meet and greet.  This would have been great if Sam had been awake.  Being the good mom that I am, I made sure he had a photo with Woody despite his nap.

day 108

Day 107 - Lightning McQueen

As you know, we love Cars at our house.  As soon as we saw Lightning and Mater at California Adventure we knew we had to take advantage of the photo opp.   

day 107

The funny thing is, Sam didn't really realize what was going on until they were done and we were buckling him into the stroller.  THEN he started yelling, "Lightning!  Lightning!"

Day 106 - Letters

Friday night we picked Ben up at the Ontario airport for a little weekend at Disneyland.  His flight didn't get in until late so I was busy trying to keep the dude awake.  While we were waiting he decided to do a little organizing for my sister.  

day 106

He alphabetized the letters on her fridge all by himself.  I only helped him start a new row when he ran out of space.  Such a little smartie pants.  

Monday, May 2, 2011

Be right back . . .

Our little family spent the weekend at Disneyland and had a GREAT time. The trip really made me realize that life has kicked me in the butt over the last 6 months and I need a little bit of a break. 

My aunt pointed out that I'm behind this morning (thanks Nicole :p ) but I want you to know that pictures have been taken everyday over that last couple of days and I fully intend to post them. . .

When I get home on Wednesday.  :) 

See ya then!