Monday, February 28, 2011

Adios February!

At Homegoods.  She passed out... but didn't dare let go of either ball.  Future athlete?  Perhaps.

I stole more than a handful of kisses.  She can't fight back when she's sleeping!  
Little darling
So sleepy, snuggling with Dad
At Page's Diner in Hinsdale- getting ready to meet Quinn for breakfast
Someone has spotted Quinn outside the window of the restaurant!!!
That little, certain someone is just a WEE bit excited to see our friend!
...and the squealing begins!!

Thanks Quinn for snapping a quick pic of us in our matching hats!
::Don't ask me what is going on with the chunk of hair shooting out the side of my head::

I think Ava sort of looks like a little train conductor. Boyish? Yes! .. and it's just like her! 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My very own mixologist

Little did I know that I had such a creative drink-maker on my hands.  Just this morning, I watched her make one of her "Original Smoothies".   Here'a a play-by-play of her in action.  
First, gather all ingredients: bottled water, goldfish & sippy cup of apple juice.

Next, break up goldfish in tiny pieces

Add goldfish to bottled water

Add apple juice to mixture

... and some more apple juice

Time to sample the recipe

Whoa... a bigger gulp than she could handle

Debating on whether or not it needs more goldfish

Definitely needs the goldfish

She appears to be disappointed in herself.  I told her "chin up"... just try again. 

She's over it.  Onto Toy Story.

She loves to say "Buzzzzzz"

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fed Up

To call it "annoying" doesn't even do it justice.  Why must the Fed Ex guy always come at 2:00?  That is smack-dab in the middle of Ava-Loo-Hoo's nap time.  Every time he comes for "the drop", he rings that _____ bell.  Why?!?!  I NEVER have to sign for anything.  And when the bell rings, you can only imagine how the dogs react. Dumb & Dumber (the dogs) go completely berserk-- resulting in a crying baby, who is up for the remainder of the day. Maybe it's time I intervene to let him know how much he and his doorbell-ringing-happy-finger are pissing me off. 

I'm thinking of getting a little sign to hang on the doorknob that says something to the effect of:
"Ring this bell and you'll get your twig and berries chopped off and handed to you in a paper bag."
 Think that would get the point across?  

Thursday, February 24, 2011

It's a leopard thing. You wouldn't understand.

Maddie: "Mom- I'm afraid."
Ava: "It's all good Maddie. Just watch Tinkerbell with me."
Maddie: "Ava, I think this would like nice on you.  It's definitely your color."
Ava: "Dawg, I dunno. I don't think this is authentic. I smell a knock-off. Let me get a closer look."
Ava: "Yep, definitely a knock off! It says Prado, Dawg."
Maddie: "Stop being so picky. And stop calling me, Dawg!"

Calling all Moms!

I know a lot of you had great suggestions for me yesterday (about how to keep Ava still long enough to change her diaper)! Please tell other Patch readers your thoughts & suggestions by going to the site and leaving a comment below in the section where it says "Leave Comment". Easy enough, right?

Thanks for all of your helpful suggestions! Other Moms in the area would LOVE your feedback as I'm not the only one that has this daily struggle!

Thanks in advance for your participation!

Click here:

Hinsdale-Clarendon Hils Patch: Moms Talk!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

One year ago TODAY

Since all my friends are pregnant, I got a little sappy this evening and began looking at baby pics of Ava.  I went to the February 2010 album... and found pics of her that are exactly 1 year old.  I cannot believe she is the same girl.

Needless to say, my ovaries are weeping a little.  What a sweet angel we have been blessed with.

Another yummy one for ya!

Many of you have commented on the recipes I've shared in the past-- letting me know you tried them, loved them and that I should share any other great ones I come across. Well, today is the day folks! Have I ever steered you wrong? I hope you're shaking your head "no"--because, boy have I got a doozie for ya!

Penne with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes by Giada de Laurentis (aka The Big Cheese) 

A couple things. I rarely change up recipes because I tend to completely screw things up. Today however, I was brave and made a few subs/ additions.  And I am happy to say it turned out wonderfully.  Here's what I did:
  • I boiled the pasta in chicken broth. In fact, I always do boil pasta in chicken broth! Try it sometime with your Mac n' Cheese-- it will change your life. Well, maybe not--but you will definitely taste the difference! Especially with whole wheat pasta which is even more bland.  It really does help.
  • I subbed edamame for the peas (GREAT source of protein-- which is good considering this dish has no meat).
  • I added more tomatoes than what it called for (probably around 2 1/2 cups vs the 2 cups she recommended). Make sure to follow the recipe and "let them burst"... it makes all the difference in the sauce.
  • Also make sure to use thin asparagus (like it calls for).  
  • I also added sliced portabella mushrooms during the cooking process (I had them in the fridge, so I thought "What the hey?!). Turns out, they are wonderful with this dish.
My finished version of the recipe!

Ava had a picnic while watching Toy Story 3 (for the 2nd time today). Based on the smile, I am thinking she also likes the pasta (I removed the asparagus and mushrooms from hers to avoid any necessary Heimlich maneuvers)
Notice the unwanted cheese stick on the floor. She chose MY pasta over cheese! That is a definite FIRST!

I'm happy to report that she didn't leave a single noodle on her plate. This was super easy, full of fresh yummy veggies and will be a new staple in my recipe book! Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ava & Maddie: Best Buds

We had the BEST play-date with Jenny & Maddie today!! We decided to meet at Monkey Bizness after the girls finished their naps (around 3:30 pm). They were adorable!  They were laughing and giggling, jumping around in the bounce house.  Maddie even inspired Ava to go down the slide, all by herself!  We spent almost two hours there.  The girls were EXHAUSTED! Mission accomplished!

Afterwards, we went to Cafe Salsa to have dinner.  I'd heard about this place before... and being the Mexican connoisseur I am, I just HAD to check it out. Not to mention, Jen had a $25 gift certificate from a client that she was dying to use.  Talk about a perfect combo. The food was out of control.  DO NOT be fooled by the facade of the building; brilliant chefs/ cooks are inside just waiting to serve you the REAL DEAL!  And it's SO reasonable.

The girls behaved like ANGELS!  They were adorable.  They split a grilled cheese & fries. Ava chose to dip the chips (from the chips and salsa) into the ketchup mostly (what a wholesome dinner.)  And Jenny & I had AWESOME food... and Margareeeeeeetas (It IS National Margarita Day people.. and I'm very patriotic).  I will definitely be hitting them up again soon!

 Little lambs.  So happy.
 Both girls insisted on having the chips WITH salsa!
They're rethinking the salsa right about now.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Filling up space

For the last month or so, I've been searching for furniture to complete some of the spaces left unoccupied throughout the house. Lucky for us, I finally pulled the trigger yesterday and bought 3 key items. Here's what we've got on the way!
This picture is for the center-panel-wall in the "man cave" (below)

This bookshelf will go to the right of the TV in the basement (see photo below)

This will fill up the empty wall in the foyer 

That's it as far as new furniture/ decor coming. Can I just say I love World Market?!

Here are some recent pics of the house since some of you had requested to see the progress we've made since moving in. Come and visit us anytime!

My office

Still searching for the perfect piece of artwork for above the couch

Ava's Playroom
I decided that plum will be the accent color in the bedroom...
it' slowly growing on me... like a fungus   
White chair & ottoman will go in the corner (that will be the next purchase)