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.

'snow' 001

Pouting because she didn't want to sit and have her pic taken
xmas1 028 resize
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
"Puppy" resize
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.

xmas attempt 076

xmas attempt 078

xmas attempt 080

I love this.

Mini Collector


xmas attempt 037

xmas attempt 040
xmas attempt 046 resize
Oh no. She has grass on her tights. Well, that's just unacceptable...
xmas attempt 211 resize
xmas attempt 215 resize