Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Day

I've been having issues with video, so that will have to wait. But enjoy some photos! Christmas day was fairly calm around here. It was just Rendon, Carolina, Zucker and I. Zucker (or Adam) is Rendon's good friend from work who wasn't going home for the holidays, so he brought the gifts from his family over here, and spent Christmas with us. Carolina loves Zucker. If the dogs start barking, and Rendon and I are both here, she gets really excited and goes "Zucka Zucka?!". So she was thrilled he spent all day here. And he gave her Mickey and Minnie plushes, you can't go wrong with that! We all loved our present from everyone, thank you! And Carolina is loving playing with all her new toys, puzzles, and of course books. Towards the end of the presents we practically had to make her open them, and she could hardly walk around. Throughout the day we snacked on bacon wrapped water chesnuts dipped in BBQ sauce and snowball cookies. For those not enlighted on the bacon wrapped water chesnut's greatness, you have to try them! They sound weird, I know, but they're AMAZING! For dinner we had ham(store bought, I was sick, and store bought is so easy!), sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, baked mac and cheese, watergate salad, deviled eggs, and 'Lori's bread' (Rendon's mom makes this amazing bread from a whole stick of butter and grands biscuits, I don't have another name for it). For dessert, I went the easy route and did homemade pumpkin pie with homemade whip cream! I'm including my version of the recipe I found online for green bean casserole. I didn't want to do the whole cream of mushroom soup deal, so I found an alternate, and altered it a little bit. Never going back to cream of mushroom now! Even Zucker, who is not a green bean casserole guy, raved about it!

Green Bean Casserole

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
(1 tsp of salt if using fresh or frozen greenbeans, none if using canned)
1/4 c diced onion
1/2 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
little less than 1 c sour cream (I used light)
2 28 oz cans french cut green beans, drained
2 c shredded sharp cheddar
1/3 c crumbled ritz crackers
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 sm. can fried onions

Preheat oven to 350. Melt 2 tbsp butter in large skillet over medium heat. Saute diced onions until they start to soften. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds or so. Stir in flour and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in salt (if using), sugar, and sourcream. Then stir in the greenbeans till coated. Mix in 3/4 c of cheddar and about 1/2 the can of fried onions. Pour into a casserole dish. Top with remaining cheddar cheese. In sm. bowl, toss together the 1 Tbsp melted butter and crumbled ritz, and sprinkle over the cheese. Bake for 30 min or until top is golden. With about 10 minutes remaining in the baking time sprinkle with remaining fried onions.

Checking out her new kitchen from Santa

Her stocking had lots of books and some candy. I looked away at one point and when I looked back she had already figured out how to open the Chocolate Santas and was eating one.

Opening a shirt from Aunt Angela and Aunt Erin. Her favorite part of this present was the paper. As she unwrapped it she named all the characters.

Multi-tasker. Eating candy and opening her jacket from Grandma and Grandpa.

Lounging on Roxy.

Riding the Wheeley Bug

Waiting for Daddy to put on her new fancy boots from Grandmother!

Cabbage Patch Snugglies

One of her faves! TWELVE Mickey books from Aunt Angela and Aunt Erin. Since Christmas, at least one of these books has been included in every naptime and bedtime reading selection!

Cabbage Patch 25th anniversary baby. She found this present a few weeks ago, so she knew that she came with an ice cream cone. Surprisingly, she remembered this, and as she opened the doll she exclaimed "I-KEME!" and immediately found it in the box.

Her nursery for her baby dolls from Uncle Evan, Aunt Christy, Emmy, and Abigail. This is in constant use as well! One baby or another is always sleeping (Shhhh!, as Carolina tells us) and another is eating.

Oswald plushes--here you see Daisy. Many of you know what I went through to get them, but it all worked out and Carolina LOVES them! Every night she asks for each one (as well as Mickey and Minnie) to be on the couch with her as she does her medicine.

One of her many puzzles (this one from Grandpa and Grandma). As she opened each one she would name what each piece was, then go on to the next present.

Kitchen accessories from Uncle Charlie, Aunt Nancy, Ashleigh and Lacie.

Chef Lina Belle

We found a bag of pink balloons from a baby shower a while back, and blew some up for Carolina. She kept trying to sit on them. I almost caught her balancing on this one, but she started to fall--which could have only been funnier had I caught it on video.

One of Carolina's quirky quirks. She's been doing this foooooorrrrr, well I can't even remember when it started. Anytime she takes off socks, or shoes, or just randomly throughout the day, she plops down to check her toes. She spreads apart each one on each foot, and if she sees the tiniest speck, she HAS to wipe it out. She's pretty efficient now, but she used to get really frustrated because she couldn't get the specks out, and we'd have to for her. If you ask her if your toes are dirty, she will inspect them for you...we don't encourage this though, for one, feet aren't the cleanest, and two--well, it tickles....

Carolina and her new medicine buddies!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

I'm just waiting for the last batch of Snowballs to finish, dusting them with a little 'snow'. And it's off to bed! I have almost everything prepped for tomorrow, so fixing dinner should be fairly easy, and I'll be able to spend most of the day with Rendon and Carolina. She's very excited about Santa, she knows he brings toys. Although I don't think she really grasps the whole concept of it yet. We can't wait to see her lil face just light least we hope so. Well, the timer is about to ring! We miss everyone at home, in VA, in WA, and all our friends and family all over!! Love you all, hope everyone is having a merry day! Here's Slinky sending some holiday cheer your way too!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Go Panthers!!

Well, we lost on Sunday. But barely. If not for the bitter wind in NY, Casey would have made the fieldgoal. We still have next Sunday. Grandmother got Carolina a super cute cheerleader outfit, so of course Carolina wore it ALL day! Even though the game was a night game, and she went to bed shortly after the game started. Thank you Grandmother!!

Notice the shelf Rendon built behind her!! But ignore the cords, we're putting doors on the middle lower part, just haven't done so yet.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

'Bout time for an update, right?

Wow. We have been busy around here. I feel like I haven't had a moment to sit down and relax in hmmm...a month...two? If I've had a night off, we've had people over for one thing or another. It's fun, but it's almost nice to be home 'early' (midnight) tonight, with no other obligations so I can lounge on the couch. Although, I've been saying I'm going to update the blog-so that could be considered an obligation.

I think we've finally found the magic combination of asthma meds. After about a month of being on the new combo, she had yet to catch any sort of cold. Well, you'd think that's great right? But we had no other way of really testing the effectiveness of the meds, other than her getting a cold, since it seems her asthma attacks are brought on mostly by a cold. So when Tanner came down with the sniffles a couple weeks ago, I wasn't trying to avoid Haley and him AT ALL. Usually, a kid with a cold means Carolina cannot play with them. It always ends up in an asthma attack within a couple days. So this time, to see if we were really on the right tract, we let Carolina and Tanner play normally. Sure enough 2-3 days later, Carolina's nose is just a runnin'! We cut out milk, since it helps the body's production of 'snot'. Other than that, we stuck to her normal routine, but with the rescue meds close by. To our relief, she weathered through the whole cold with absolutely no HINT of the asthma!!!!!! We were so happy and proud of her! Now I can let her be normal, catch those things that go around, and allow her immune system to bulk up before it gets bombarded in preschool and kindergarten....

by the way...GO PANTHERS!!! Panthers had their Monday night game against the Bucs this week, and was it ever an exciting game-till the end where, in the words of ESPN, we 'schooled the bucs'. Oh yeah! We were a little reserved during the game, as we had friends over, one was a Buc fan. We thought it was nice of us to be considerate of her hurt pride. Carolina had lots of opportunities to show off her touchdown pose and yell 'touch dew', and give everyone high five and knuckles. Now on to the last 3 games, they're not easy ones--but hopefully we'll stick through it and go into the playoffs on top of our division. Nerrrrrrvous!

Don't know if anyone has caught the weather for San Antonio lately, but it's been "cold" here. By cold, I mean it's almost reached freezing. And by that I mean only at night. During the day it's still into the 70's. Today (Wednesday) was a little chilly, due to the fact that a cold front blew through Tuesday night, bringing sleet and SNOW to San Antonio. Of course it didn't stick (it was at least 78 Tuesday, sunny and hot), and of course it's been all the talk around here. I took some pictures, figured since I live here, might as well get all excited about it too. It stuck slightly to the mulch in our yard. Luckily, it was all overnight, so there weren't enough drivers on the road to cause mass hysteria. Last time there was the threat of sleet here (again, not freezing temps, and the roads were no more slick than when it rains) the total at the end of the day was around 250 major wrecks and 500 minor. It's scary on the roads here when it gets below 40 with any type of precipitation-because of the drivers. But, don't worry, we're back to normal soon--Saturday's high is 72, moving on up to Monday's high of 80. Lovely.

Drop your jaws folks. Here's the sleet/snow in San Antonio.

Hmmm...well I guess there isn't any other news left. So time for some pics! These are mostly from my attempt to take Christmas photos of Carolina. She wasn't too into it. But they're cute.

One night Carolina was watching Oswald, waiting for me to get her medicine ready, and while I was out of the room both dogs jumped up into her lap. Now they're not generally allowed on the couch, but it was just too cute to pass up. You see Slinky off to the left, he moved before I could snap the pic.

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Pouting because she didn't want to sit and have her pic taken
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So I took pics of "puppy" instead. I hoped this would lure her into the frame, but she was too smart for that. She did like that I was taking photos of "puppy" though, and cheered up
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Tossing leaves, then getting upset when they landed in her hair. She's very sensitive about the state of her hair. The wind blowing in it is the worst. She can't stand it.

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I love this.

Mini Collector


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Oh no. She has grass on her tights. Well, that's just unacceptable...
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Thursday, November 13, 2008


So my logic for how Carolina started referring to DumDum suckers as 'bicycles' goes like this....She doesn't eat candy very much, but she does eat icy pops (POPsicle) from time to time; She sucks on those to eat them; So when she had her first DumDum on Halloween she associated the sucking on it the same as sucking on a Popsicle...Therefore it's a 'Bicycle'. Now, as to why she subsituted 'Bi' for 'Pop', I have no idea. But it makes me laugh.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bounce n Slide

This past weekend we went to the Airshow on base and saw the Blue Angels. We thought Carolina would be really into it, she really loves to see planes. But I think maybe they were flying too fast through the air to captivate her. She enjoyed a couple of the slow flights, the planes they had on the flight line for everyone to see up close, and especially the area for kids to do moonwalks. I finally got through all the video. Here are some highlights.

This is a long video. But there are great parts throughout so I had to include it. Especially good at about the 2:50 mark. Tanner and Carolina had a collision! However, a kid ran right in front of them so you kinda miss the actual hit. Any high pitched squealing is Carolina.


She went down once with Rendon and once with me. We weren't sure how she would do but she loved it!

This was a C-130 Hercules named 'Fat Albert'. It's one from the Marine Fleet that they just use for shows. Here they demonstrate a combat landing and takeoff. It's how they have to land or take off in Balad for example, where Rendon was earlier this year, and it's the type of plane that they took into and out of Balad. If you haven't seen a C-130 before, they're HUGE. It's crazy to think of being in one when they dive like this.....SCARY....Rendon said it even hurt his ears, and he's flown small prop planes that aren't pressurized.

Here are the 5 Blue Angels performing a 'Fleur-De-Lis'. If you are familiar with them, you know there should be 6. Unfortunately #4 was not there. From what we heard the pilot got caught 'having relations' with someone of lower rank....

The things they could do were crazy. I didn't catch the name of this maneuver.

This one was so pretty!

An upside down pass (don't know if that's what it's called, but it's what I'm calling it!)

Here is Carolina saying 'Goldfish' which we weren't aware she knew how to say untill she asked for them on the way home from the airshow. We were in Rendon's truck, and it's no where near a smooth ride, so excuse the rough video

Sunday, November 2, 2008

It was good while it lasted...

This morning Rendon was outside in the yard for 2 minutes while I was in the shower, leaving Carolina and the dogs inside. No big deal, right? Wrong. Remember the cake from an earlier post? Well, we had only eaten maybe 1/3 of it, and this morning Roxy had the rest. She jumped the gate into the kitchen and had herself a snack right off the counter. Rendon came back inside to Carolina peering over the gate, and she told him "Roxy eat da cake!". Then, knowing she was not allowed on the counter, Roxy ran out of the kitchen and hid. So Rendon pushes it back further on the counter, and comes to tell me, and go change Lina's diaper. While he's doing so, he hears a crash! Roxy went BACK, got the plate OFF the counter, and almost finished the cake! There were crumbs left. So far she hasn't gotton sick *knock on wood*. As always, Carolina was very animated and excited about the whole thing. We went to the Airshow this afternoon, and she was still telling people what had happened this morning.

And yes, even though the Panthers did not play today, as every Saturday night, Carolina wore a Panthers onsie to bed! Gotta keep the stride going! In the words of Lina "Go Panthies!"

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Last night Rendon brought home a pumpkin from work, saying "I have to carve this for a contest at work". I have to admit, I was excited! I haven't carved many pumpkins (maybe 2?), it just wasn't something we did when I was younger...So we brainstormed, trying to think of something really cool to do, but easy. We didn't have any of the necessary tools or fun patterns. We hadn't bought any pumpkins to do ourselves, I had just been too busy with Carolina's costume, her halloween party, a last minute ladybug tutu order, and work. Carolina stayed with Haley Wednesday afternoon for a hour or so, and they were doing their pumpkins and from what they said, she couldn't have been less interested. So overall I wasn't too bothered by not doing one. But still excited about this contest at Rendon's work. Afterall, it's a competition, and I'm all for winning something (turns out it's a Starbucks card, I'm more a Caribou Coffee girl, and Rendon is trying to like coffee, but it'll do!). Rendon absolutely loves The Nightmare Before Christmas, so we did the easiest character--Oogie Boogie. Sally and Jack are just too skinny for our novice carving skills! I drew him on, Rendon did the main carving, and I did the fine tuning. So here he is!

005 Oogie Boogie Pumpkin

Couple videos. Carolina was cracking me up yesterday at lunch. Saying "mmmmm mmm" like the sandwich was the best darn thing she'd ever eaten. It was just turkey and provolone, so easy to please! Excuse the shirtless-ness, she was having an ice pop afterwards, and that's just a shirt ruining activity no matter how hard you try for it not to be...

If you've been to SeaWorld, then you know what she's doing with her hand here. If not; At the Shamu show they have you put your hands together and move them up and down saying 'Shamu Shamu', to have a whale come to your side of the arena and splash his tail, soaking the 'Splash Zone'. We have season passes, and we just went Sunday night, so Carolina knows who Shamu is. Usually if you ask her about shamu, she says "OH NO!!! Shamu!", or if she sees a poster (which are everywhere in San Antonio)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Photos Galore!!

.wow. On the way home from work tonight gas was $2.09...yes $2.09!! Almost makes me excited to fill up the tank....almost....

Today was the Halloween Party for Carolina's playgroup. Haley and I were the hostesses (pretty much meaning we did the goodie bags and sweet stuff) Everyone brought a dish of some sort. The kids had a lot of fun, although I'm not sure they ate a lot of food, but us moms enjoyed it! They all got their dose of sugar though! Unfortunately, we didn't get many pics of the kids during the party, we were at a different playground than usual so they were all about exploring. I had quite a few cupcakes left, and didn't want them tempting me at the house, so I dropped them by Rendon's work, and by then he was off, so we went back to the park to get some pictures. The horse stables are across from the park, and we thought they might be useful in getting some smiles out of Carolina--since she wasn't much in the mood, she was 'ALL DONE!' with her tutu at that point. She's never seen horses up close and personal, but she wasn't scared at all! The two horses in the corral closest to the road were very friendly, and didn't run away when we came up. Exactly the opposite! They kept leaning under the bars to get grass and Carolina quickly figured out to pick the grass and feed it to them!! She's like a little mini horse whisperer! We've never been around horses with her (seeing that I'm crazy allergic) so that impressed us that she almost immediately figured it out. We were a little worried that she might have a reaction to them as well, but she didn't seem to. Her eyes got a little red, but not sure if that was because she was so tired or what. But she didn't get any asthmatic symptoms. One of the handlers told us that this Saturday they're having a special day for kids to come and take rides on the horses etc. I obviously can't participate in that, but Rendon might take Carolina back since today she could only see them through the bars.

On a different note, we saw the Pediatric Pulmanologist on Monday *finally*, and things went well. They gave us a rescue inhaler similar to ones older kids and adults use, almost like a cross between the nebulizer and regular inhaler. But it doesn't have to be plugged in or anything, so it's much easier to take with us rather than lugging the nebulizer everywhere and hoping there will be a plug available if we need it. Eventually we'll also be able to give her nightly treatment through it as well, but the doctor doesn't want to change too many things on her at once, so we go back in a month so he can see how she's doing, and then we can make the switch. We're also adding a powdered medication into her nightly pulmicort; It dissolves and she inhales it along with the pulmicort. We're really hoping to avoid any more courses of oral or injected steroids, seeing that she's had so many in the past year. In addition to stunted bone growth, they can also contribute to osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It seems to have affected Carolina's height, she has fallen off on her percentage curve quite a bit. She is now 32 inches tall, 24th percentile (in comparison to 70th to 85th percentile she was following up till feb. or so) and 21.5 to 22 lbs (it seems to depend on which scale she is weighed on), 4th percentile (same). The doctors say that is normal, and though current studies don't pan out into adulthood, they do show kids seem to catch back up to their curve and/or peers during their second year (as in second year of receiving steroids, not age). But I guess you never can really tell if it affects their 'ending' height since there's no real way to know how tall they *should* be....I'm rambling....

SO enjoy the MANY photos!! I couldn't help myself :-)

halloween cupcakes
Haley and I made the cupcakes-we're not professionals so no one is allowed to send these to Cake Wrecks ;-) haha Poor things, they started melting in the the 'lovely' San Antonio sun right away.
Haley did the spiders...
I did the ghosts...
My attempt at a bat....
And we both contributed to the bats...I take responsibility for the oddly cut outs...bats are a difficult thing to freehand in fondant with a knife....
We had quite a bit of fondant left over...and the guys were slightly annoyed we just made all the cupcakes, but wouldn't let them eat one. So we made a cake, and tried our hands at draping fondant over the entire thing. We also tried to make the fondant 'marbled'. This was the result...


Some of the bees that crashed the party. This cup got left unattended for a few minutes and about 10 bees decided to die happy in the punch. Here you see one contemplating whether it would be worth it or not...
Bee Punch
Little LadyBug! I made the Tutu, antenna hair bows, and the wings. Target made the shoes and shirt, Neiman's made the leggings. I say this because all day people were asking where her costume came from.
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A LadyBug and a Quarterback went up the hill....
Ladybug and Quarterback
One of my favorites!
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Off in her own lil world
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On the seesaw with Daddy
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First look at the horses! (Manual focus can be tricky with a fast toddler...)
First look at the horses
Checking to see if we see the 'Horrrrse, horrrse, horrrrse?!?!'
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This was taken three minutes after she first saw the horses (camera's clock doesn't lie!)
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They loved her....kept following her....and she loved that!

Hey there!
The one and only time she actually pet one. The white horse was close enough for her to pet a lot, but she wouldn't. This was the only time the brown one really got low enough, and she reached right out and pet his nose. I was amazed she seemed to know what to do!
Offering them some grass.
The brown horse took the grass...The white horse settled for an antennae.....She let go quickly though, no antennea were harmed in the making of this photo.
Thought this was cute.
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She wanted to go IN with them.
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The tutu doesn't stand up well to all the running around. It got more and more bunched as the afternoon went on. Luckily, I just have to brush my fingers through it to fix it before Friday.
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Curious Horse
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The horses needed some more grass.
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Time to go home!
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