Monday, July 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Gabe

Gabe has made it through his first year of life with flying colors! I can't believe it really has been a year already.

Schweet, they gave me stuff with frosting on it.

What, What? You have place something strange in my frosting!

Why the heck are you setting the thingy on fire, are you sure this is safe?

Pretty fire.

Baby burn protection service interrupts this grab to bring you smoke.

Well since it is no longer burning I guess I'll try and eat it.

Well they took it away so back to the cake.

Here daddy! Stop taking pictures and try this stuff its great!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Early Birthday Gift

Dear Great Gramma and Grampa Sullivan,
Thank you for the cardboard box. It's big enough for Daddy to climb inside with me. Mama says thank you for the rocking chair.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A New Dinner Strategy

I used to cook meals with piles of fresh vegetables cooked just to the point of maximum flavor, interesting meats seasoned just so; curries and soups and sauces, oh my! I even, gasp, baked, at least for that one winter when the idea of the alchemic conversion of wet and dry ingredients into puffed deliciousness got me off of my lazy bum. Before Baby, cooking could begin whenever and end whenever, and dirty dishes could be abandoned until we got around to doing them.

Now, when I need those healthful meals the most, we’re all too often eating McFood, or mac-and-cheese-and-peas, again. I’m bored with it, and Gabe is getting the same lackluster meals both at his highchair and through breastmilk, which just isn’t fair to him.

The challenge is that we get home at seven, and Gabe needs to be headed for bed by eight. Food, diaper change, bath, clothes change, bedtime story, and nursing all need to fit into that hour.

Somewhere along the lines, we ended up with a subscription to a parenting magazine. I roll my eyes at such a thing. But in one half-page article, there was a blurb about preparing meals for a week in advance by pre-washing, chopping, and cooking ingrediants.

The snob in me says, “but that’s too easy!” But the snob is really sick of pizza, even if the pizza is made by an authentic Italian lady who invites us into her shop even with our baby-laden little-red-wagon, and who once gave us some frozen venison, free of charge.

We are on our second week of this new meal plan. There is a list on the fridge of the meals that can be thrown together from the contents of the plastic boxes in the refridgerator. Here is what is in the fridge:

Grape tomatoes, halved
Broccoli, cut up into bite-sized pieces
Carrot, sliced
A large chopped onion
One box of mushrooms, chopped
One pound of ground beef, cooked with a small chopped onion
Chopped green beans, from the garden.
Ham, cubed
Grated cheddar cheese
Grated parmesan cheese
One jar of any sort of stir-fry sauce
Worcestershire sauce
One can of white beans
Sour cream
chicken stock

And here are this week’s meals:

Beef and bean burritos with tomato, cheddar cheese, and sour cream. Some of the beef and half the can of beans are heated with various Mexican spices.

Beef stroganoff. While the pasta boils, I saute the mushrooms and some onion in some oil, then toss in some of the beef, sour cream, and Worcestershire sauce. Steamed broccoli was served as a side.

Mostly-veggi stir-fry. While the rice cooks, various veggies and some ground beef are stir-fried in sauce from a jar. With everything pre-cut, and with a rice cooker, this is a very fast meal to make.

Ham soup. Soup is an ideal end-of-week meal, because whatever is left over can go into the soup. Last night was soup night, and this batch was particularly good. I started with a frozen box of home-made chicken stock*. To that I added ham, various veggies, milk, cream, and grated parmesan cheese.

Pasta with cream sauce and ham. I still have a lot of veggies left over, which may go into this dish tonight.

After most of a week of home-cooked dinners, we can have an indulgence of fast food or sushi on Friday, and - hooray! - not feel guilty about it.

*With a slow-cooker and deep freeze on hand, every baked chicken becomes a pot of soup!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

First Swim

During Chris' family's visit, we took our little fish for his first swim. Gabe really wasn't sure about all that water, but he was a good sport, and a good time was had by all.

Gabe's Garden

Gabe's garden waits patiently for the little boy to grow out of his mulch-eating tendencies. In the mean time, his daddy takes him for rides around the circle in a little red wagon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

More Family Photos!

Taking pictures of animals in the zoo. . .

Look at the happy little monkey! He even likes bananas.

Smiling for Gabe!

Everyone looks so good in orange.

Photographing, you guessed it, Gabe!

May we present your highness with a monkey?

Prince Gabe holding court.


So I made you laugh, did I?

Mmm, kisses from Opa.

Two handsome men.


This End Up

No wonder children have nightmares: it's because their parents sneak into their room late at night with a camera and tripod, quietly rearranging the furniture and stepping softly among in the minefield of toys to photograph them sleeping in funny poses.

Friday, July 3, 2009