Best friends sharing boots (and none of them are on the right foot).
Month: November 2011
It is serious business to decorate a gumdrop tree (with Dots).
(Alex saw the tree when I was decorating the kitchen and obviously remembered it from last year. He immediately wanted to decorate it. I told him we would have to get some Dots. He responded with “I have Dots” and ran to my office. It took me a few minutes to realize he was talking about his Do-a-Dot markers.)
We started the morning with arts and crafts, or as arts and crafty as I get. We decorated the gumdrop tree (with Dots).
Alex spent the day at MDO and I marked a ton off my to-do list. We had a quick playdate with Abram and then rushed out to meet Asher and Abby for dinner (Note that all of Alex’s friends also have “A” names.) The kids were crazy, as usual, but had a great time. They obviously didn’t sit still enough for a clear shot, but blurry is okay too.
Saying good-by to Daddy out the window.
Alex doesn’t even wait for Wade to get out the door before running to the window and yelling for him.
Alex hadn’t been awake long when the doorbell suddenly sounded. On the front porch he found the book “Elf on a Shelf“. He and Mom sat down to read.
I’m not sure how much he understood, but he recognized the Elf when he saw him. We still don’t have a name for him. (Alex has never named anything so this will be a first – if he ever does.)
My Mom is content to let Alex be Alex. This is what her living room looked like when we got ready to leave. (Now at our house he would have been picking up some toys….)
Alex talks, a lot. Wade and I were both pretty happy with the two hour nap he took during our eight hour drive.
After a quick drive (3.5 hours) we arrived at my Dad’s house for a visit. Alex was all over the place and really excited to ride his pony. (He never has named it so my Dad calls him “Little Bit”). Dad always rounds up the big horses and puts them in their stalls while we ride the ponies. He also feeds the ponies before riding and Alex spends the time talking to them.
Madison always enjoys Dad’s house. She spends the entire time running and running. She also proves exactly how much a “city” dog she is. She followed us to the barn and repeatedly rolled around in horse poop. Yuck! Then she was confused why we didn’t let her inside for lunch.
We had dinner (Chick-fil-a nuggets and El Chico cheese and chips) with Mom. Alex had a lot of fun “cleaning” all of my old toys.
No trip to B’s house is complete without a pony ride!
With nothing pressing on our agenda, we all lazed around a little this morning. Aunt Emmy tried to teach Alex how to play “Hi Ho Cherry-O“, but Alex just wanted to move the cherries from bucket to bucket.
Today’s big adventure was putting up the Christmas Tree. Alex and Pop took a toy break while we got everything ready. Then it was time to decorate!
Granny and Pop let Alex have his “own” Christmas tree in the sunroom.
He was really excited to have a star on top.
Wade and I made it to Memphis in time for dinner last night. (What a difference it is to drive with just Madison in the backseat!) That gave us all day today to have fun and get ready for our Turkey dinner at 4 pm. The weather was wonderful so we explored the outdoors. Alex still loves the tree house and jumping in leaves.
Alex also showed us “his” desk (complete with markers and scissors) and all of the books at Granny’s house. I was surprised at how attached Alex was to Wade and me. He obviously realized we weren’t around the last week. (And it sure made a mom feel good!)
Then the extended family got together for Thanksgiving. Tina and Marie were quite happy to entertain Alex (and laugh at his antics). We spent quite a bit of time exploring Wade’s room and his mementos from childhood. Imagine my surprise when I discovered my husband can perform yoyo tricks. How has this never come up?
Alex did fine being away from us for a week, but he is definitely all about Mom and Dad now!
Dancing Santa doesn’t dance, but he plays music!
Wade and I have been buying fresh Christmas trees since before we were married (maybe 10 years?). This is the first year we’ve made a really bad mistake (not counting the tree we had to cut the back out of to fit in our corner). We got the tree home and realized it had an unusual amount of sap. In fact, we’ve named this tree “Old Sappy”. We’ve also decided to forgo our heirloom ornaments and stick with colored balls and lights (all of which will be thrown away at the end of the season). It’s a new look for us, but I kind of like our little, sappy tree. (Popcorn to be added later.)
No trip to Granny’s is complete without making cookies!
I spent the day painting. Wade is a trustee at the church, which means he is in charge of fixing the building. He had mentioned that the girls’ bathroom need to be painted. I had a free day today so I offered up my services. It took all day, but the bathroom is now purple! (I’ll get a picture at some point.)
When we moved in, the glass-paneled door between the sunroom and the living room had a broken pane and we had it repaired. The man informed us the door was in rough shape and next time he would probably have to redo the entire panel. Then Alex and an incident with a hammer and the door (see here) and we never got around to taking the door back in. During the Fantasy Football draft, Alex and Abram got on either side of the door and both pushed. Now the cracked glass shattered and the door had to go to the shop. It was an expensive repair, but I have a gorgeous new door. And the glass doesn’t even rattle when you shut the door!
A new collection of puzzles!!
Wade and I made the trip to get a Christmas tree without Alex (sadness). It’s amazing how much faster the process goes without a toddler (or a baby in a backpack). I don’t think I have blogged about this past years, but Wade always brings a powered saw (of some kind) to make the cutting go faster. Every year something goes wrong such as low battery or faulty EB build (meaning a new tool that isn’t quite right). This year everything was perfect and Wade was able to use his Milwaukee saw with no problems!
Alex found Pop’s piggy bank
(Anybody know what it actually is?)
Granny’s house has the best toys.
(It’s probably bad that a phone with a cord is an unusual thing to Alex.)
Pop came for a quick visit
(just a few hours before he and Alex both got on the plane for Memphis)
Best friend hugs.
Alex and I were complete bums this morning (yay!) and then we finally got our day started. We went to storytime at Yo Mama and Alex had a blast. He made a turkey, heard a Curious George Thanksgiving, and got chocolate yogurt (with lots of toppings). When the reading glasses were handed out, my very manly boy asked for pink.
After an awesome nap (for Alex, Madison, Tabit, and myself) we headed off to play with Abby and Asher. They only sat still long enough to eat their suckers with a few minutes of TV. They are full of energy – especially mine!
My favorite part of the day was when Alex brought his toys into the kitchen to play while I cooked dinner. He kept up a running dialog between the police car and the taxi.
(The second picture is a flashback to last March. Tabit still loves to chase the cars.)
And no day is complete without books!
A Curious George book, pink “reading” glasses, and the promise of ice cream. What more could he want?
Alex’s favorite activity the last few days has been coloring. Today I took a look at his coloring book and noticed a difference (that only a mom would see). Instead of randomly coloring all over the entire page, he is trying to color specific things. Granted he is nowhere in the lines, but baby steps. Definitely baby steps.
Today’s outing was to the Jelly Belly Factory! This had been on my list for a long time and I was excited when Amber suggested the outing. My opinion – probably not worth a trip back. On the plus side you get to ride a train. On the negative side you ride the train around a warehouse and stop every few feet to watch a video. The biggest plus is the tour ends with a free bag of jelly beans and an awesome gift store!
I woke up at 1:30 AM to Alex crying in his room. I rushed in and asked what was wrong. He responded, “I need the blanket to cover my toes”. I covered him up and back to sleep he went.
Yesterday at MDO, Alex saw a lady with a vase of flowers. The rest of the day and all of this morning he kept asking for flowers. I had to run into Stein’s anyway, so Alex picked out a flower. It’s been the “toy” of choice all day.
Legos pretty much make Alex’s world go round….
Within the last year, I have found two awesome recipes using apple cider. I’ll admit that apple cider seems like a fall ingredient, but I have been making both recipes at least once a month all summer. I have previously posted about the chicken recipe – Cider-Glazed Chicken with Browned Butter-Pecan Rice. Below is the recipe for Spiced Pork with Sauteed Apples from Cooking Light.
3/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 12 pieces*
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups thinly sliced unpeeled Gala apple
1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup apple cider**
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Combine first 5 ingredients; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over pork. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.
2. Melt butter in pan; swirl to coat. Add apple slices, 1/3 cup shallots, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; sauté 4 minutes or until apple starts to brown. Add apple cider to pan, and cook for 2 minutes or until apple is crisp-tender. Stir in thyme leaves. Serve apple mixture with the pork.
* I substituted pork chops for pork tenderloin (which I always do)
** I have only been able to buy apple cider in 1/2 gallon containers. I use my old baby food freezer containers (similar to ice cube trays) and freeze the remaining apple cider. Then I put the frozen cubes in a ziploc bag and simply thaw as needed.
Ready to play!
(Alex doesn’t just say “Packers”. He says, “Football Packers”)
Alex tried to convince Wade that nap should take place on the couch.
(Wade didn’t fall for it.)
Melissa and I both left our cameras at home with the Dads. We managed one picture together.
We spent the entire weekend at the mall and had a great time walking and shopping. We stopped long enough for a movie last night (The Footloose remake. We agreed it was good, but not as good as the original.)
One of my roommates from Semester At Sea lives in Minneapolis. Liz took us out for breakfast this morning and then showed us the cool sculpture garden at the art museum. She even had us on our way and back to the mall by the time it opened!