Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pearl Lake is officially open!

We spent Memorial day weekend up north at the cottage. We did some projects with Mom and Dad, and also had a lot of fun too, even though the weather was not great.

Patrick got his fishing license for the year and was pumped to catch us dinner!

He did catch a few big ones, though tossed them all back - one while using his Leinie's hook!
Can you say " join us out here!?!?"

James took to his new life jacket pretty fast!

I am sure he will like it even more when he is wearing fewer layers!

Driving the boat with Buppa - I think one of the best parts of the weekend for both of them!

We took turns watching Patrick ski - no one else in our family wanted to get wet!

Bath time at the lake... when I was a kid, that meant baby shampoo in the lake on Saturday night... now, the grand kids get their own personal sink!
Grammy was itching to get James in there this spring, and he was plenty dirty!

In case you can't tell, James loves the tub and doesn't mind getting water dumped on his head... hopefully this will transfer over to the lake this summer!

This one cracks me up!

One of the projects from the weekend was helping with the Kid Kave... this is something my Dad has dreamt up and the kids (and let's be honest, the big kids too) are going to love it ! It is basically the coolest hole in the wall (literately!) you will ever see. He is building it in the crawl space under the family room through a hole in the basement. 
More photos as it grows - but for now, here are Patrick and Corey helping to sledge hammer through the cement block from the crawl space.

And here are Patrick and James on the basement side - post sledging! 
 A job well done guys!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

James is 8 months!

New excitement this month - Food, food and more food! We have really started to give James what we eat - and for the most part he is really loving it.
This past weekend he ate his regular dinner and then snacked on some pickle spears and sweet potato fries while we were out for fish on Friday and then had more sweet potato fries on Saturday at Jorgie's. It is a good thing people are way more into sweet potato fries these days - they seem healthier!

James also loves to stand and walk (with help). His new favorite spot is standing next to a foot stool or cooler. He will be completely content for 10-15 minutes just kind of wobbling back and forth next to the stool. Though last night he decided he should attempt to shuffle his feet a few steps while holding on and also decided he no longer needed to "hold on" and just let go.  He is getting very brave!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Ham and Broccoli Orzo

Last night for dinner I made one of our favorite meals - Ham and Broccoli Orzo. 
I normally make this meal to take to friends and family after the birth of a new baby, but we eat it a lot too. It is a great hot dish that is easy and tasty.
Originated in a Quick Cooking magazine and has been adapted over the years by me. 

As James continues to try more people food I thought I might be able to give him this chopped up in the blender. (picture below - not sure why it is distorted - but you get the idea!) He loved it!

I thought I would share the recipe for anyone that is looking for a quick dinner some evening.
And for those of you that read my blog specifically for James photos/ videos - here is one of him enjoying the dinner.  He has taken to doing this little head shake/ dance when he is happy while eating...

I think he is saying, "oh yeah... oh yeah!... oh yeah!" while he is shaking it!

Ham and Broccoli Orzo

1 turkey ham (Jennie-o) cubed
1 bag of chopped frozen broccoli (or you can use fresh)
1 medium onion chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic (optional)
1-2 cups of orzo (cook per directions on box )
2 T butter
½ C parmesan cheese (shredded)
1 (8oz) carton of whipping cream

For a creamier sauce – I sometimes add 1 or 2 laughing cow cheese wedges

Sauté onion and broccoli in butter in a large frying pan until cooked.  Add ham and cook for a few minutes more. Cook orzo in a separate pot/ drain.  Amount depends on the ratio of noodles to ham/broccoli you want – really can’t go wrong!
Add whipping cream to ham/broccoli and simmer to thicken. Add laughing cow cheese if using.  Toss orzo in ham/broccoli and add cheese until just mixed.
Sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. 
I often make this ahead of time and then just re-heat for eating in the oven (350 for maybe 20-30 minutes) – though it is best fresh.  Makes great leftovers too.

Original recipe (Springtime Penne Pasta) started with penne pasta and asparagus (recommended to use this recipe with leftover Easter ham). Ham and any green vegetable with a creamy sauce --- yummmm!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Garage Sale Weekend!

Every May we get together with Patrick's college buddies and their families for Garage Sale weekend.  This tradition started 6 or 7 years ago and maybe did include a garage sale of some kind those first couple years - but now it is just an opportunity to hang out at the Meiller's house and eat, drink and be merry!

This year there were four kiddos in the group --- next year - at least 6 if not more :)

James and Callie have a big house with a beautiful back yard - so we spent most of the day outside in the lawn or on the deck.

Patrick and James walked around the deck.
James is good at walking with help, but the thin banister was a little tough!

Enjoying some pineapple with Daddy!

Johnny was loving the chill atmosphere of the day!

So much that he even fell asleep in the middle of the blankets
while others were playing and talking around him!

John and Andy looking for direction from Beth on what to do next!

Not quite sure what was going on here -
but James, John and Robin seemed to enjoy being held in the air together :)

Robin learned how to drive the 4 wheeler this weekend and graciously took James for a ride!

These two pictures crack me up - James looks so proud and excited in the first and then appears to be saying, "whoa, wait a minute... this thing moves? Do you know what you are doing Robin?"

Robin is about 6 months older than John and James and so far the only girl in the group (her older brother Tyson is almost 4) I am sure she will be running the show with these boys in no time!

Monday, May 20, 2013

New tricks and other random pics

Yesterday James and I went to Kenosha for my friend Alison's baby shower. It was a beautiful day and the present opening part of the party was outside. They had lined up chairs for everyone but we opted for a blanket in the back!

New trick here... sticking the nuk in his mouth sideways and in as far as possible until he gags :)
Here are James and Andrew hanging out enjoying the warm weather - completely oblivious to the presents being opened a few feet away!
Side note: Baby Winters is also a boy - that makes 5 boys in my college group - 0 girls!
I am sure they will be more interested in him and his toys once he arrives in July!

James was entertaining himself with Julie's skirt - peek-a-boo!

And here is a wide angle shot of our play area vs. the shower festivities :)

Look momma - NO HANDS!

We are now fully into "real food" cut into really small pieces. James is still a really good eater - happy to eat whatever is in front of him - hopefully that doesn't change! He scoops the small bites by the handful and gets most of them into his mouth on the first or second try!
This weekend I let him suck on a pasta salad noodle covered in Italian dressing - HUGE hit! He tried to suck it right out of my fingers - good thing it had a hole in the middle!  

And this is the best trick this weekend ---

Hope you are enjoying the lovely sunshine :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

And we are back to the spitting... :)

So James seems to go in cycles - tricks he can do, noises he makes, fake coughing, etc. 
And we are now back to the spitting phase!

This was after the March for Babies - I don't normally brand our kid in Dear gear, though purple seems to work for him :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day Video

When you click on the link - once it opens go to the bottom right corner and there is a little stopwatch icon --- click on that and choose the 4 sec option. 
It then should start (in 4 seconds) and play along with the music.

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Weekends are so great!

So in addition to the mother's day festivities last weekend, we did a lot of other fun stuff too.
Jeff and Jenny came over and we had a "seafood bonanza" dinner --- spicy shrimp, beer battered blue gill, sweat potato fries and a big salad. It was delicious!

Saturday we had the March of Dimes walk here in Madison. Dean was a big sponsor of the event so I was working, but Patrick brought James down so we could show our support and help raise awareness and funds so that one day, all babies are born healthy!

This is my partner in crime at St. Mary's - Stephanie. 

This year the walkers all were given a lei to represent the baby/babies they were walking for. 
Purple = walking in honor of a premature baby
Green = walking in honor of a healthy baby
Yellow = walking in honor of a baby born with a birth defect
White = walking in memory of a baby

We all proudly wore our green leis --- James especailly liked his lei!

Despite the cloudy/chilly weather --- we had a good time!

And back at home, we even found ways for James to help with some chores around the house...

Helping Daddy in his work shop

Helping mommy clean the closet!

Monday, May 13, 2013

My first Mother's Day

Yesterday was a perfect day with my boys!
Patrick (and James) made me a delicious breakfast of strawberry pancakes and sausages and then we watched an adorable video Patrick made for me. (I am working to get it uploaded here soon!) 


We then took a family trip to Menards and spent some time working in the yard --- it was cool but sunny so all three of us were happy to be outside. Patrick is ripping up the edging on our flower beds and replacing it with brick --- it is gonna look really nice :)

I worked on weeding (thanks again for the new garden gloves Mom
- a Mother's day tradition in honor of Grandma Millie!) and then tackled the mail box bricks.

Look at those green plants! -- it is about time!

In the afternoon we took a break and went to the park.  I have been itching to take James for a test run on the swings and boy did he love it! 

He could be skydiving in this picture!

Despite the fact he looks a little Christmasy - it was a great afternoon and the sun was warm on his little face :)

And a couple shots of James and his momma -

 Happy Mother's Day to everyone :)