Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Snack

Colin's preschool asked parents to send Halloween snacks in for school today. I saw this idea last year but didn't have time to pull it off. Not sure how I even managed to remember it but I did and TA DA Candy Corn jello! SO cute! (and only about 6g of sugar each! Not bad for Halloween!

Thanks Jelly Shot Test Kitchen

Coming Soon: Pictures of the kids in costume!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Perfecting my Pizza Dough

I am taking a quick side trip from posts with pictures of the kids (sorry mom) to share my current food obsession. Making the perfect pizza dough at home! After having some delicious homemade pizza at my Aunt Sue's house (thank you Heather for the inspiration), I wanted to have a make your own pizza night at our house, figuring Colin would get a kick out of it. Turns out our grocery delivery service doesn't carry pizza dough. So I went hunting for a recipe. I made it and it was pretty good, but I knew it could be better so I've been tweaking it ever since and I think I have it just right, although I have some more ideas for further tweaking later. Here is my recipe:

1pkg (.25 oz) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees, or as hot as your tap goes)

2.5 cups bread flour
2 T olive oil
1.5 t salt
2 t white sugar
2 t oregano (I love oregano! This addition and the next are optional, use what you like)

.5t garlic powder

mix yeast and water, set aside for ten minutes.
mix together remaining ingredients then add yeast mixture. Mix until well combined. Cover and let sit for at least an hour (longer is fine too)

Roll out to the desired shape (mine isn't always a circle), place on a baking sheet (I spray with oil and then sprinkle corn meal and it always slides right off) and cover with your favorite toppings. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. (To feed the three of us I only have to use half the dough)

OK one picture for my mom.
I'm going to experiment with whole wheat flour but haven't wanted to change too many things at once. I'll let you know how it comes out.

I've been really enjoying Ragu's Pizza Sauce but will likely experiment with my own sauce at some point.
Oh and I should note this freezes really well before cooking and can be thawed overnight in the fridge. I was sure it would never thaw in time after removing the block of dough from the freezer the night before but it did, no problem. I like to divide the recipe in half and freeze half for later or make cheesey breadsticks (although I have yet to make one that doesn't explode and ooze out the cheese)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Picking 2011

Fall is my favorite season in NYC, and it is my favorite time to take pictures of Colin. For some reason, I always get really great photos in the fall (see here and here and here for a walk down memory lane). This year so far we are keeping with that trend. Poor Meghan once again slept through the whole thing, only waking up right at the end so she missed most of the photo ops. Here are some of my favorite photos of our trip.
 My big boy! I keep reminding myself that I will look at these pictures and see how little he was someday. For now I just see him looking so OLD! He is wearing the sweater GiGi made for him last year. I think there is a chance he will get in it next year too.
 This kid knows how to be photographed I didn't even have to ask him to do this, he just does it. I guess that is what happens when you are the child of the 'mama-ratzi'.
 I couldn't pick between these last two so I just uploaded both!

 Aunt Katie and Cousin Jaylee.
 Colin is very enthusiastic about his sister. She is wearing the fall outfit that he also wore as an ity bity (although I can't find a picture of him in it).
 Meghan was pretty hungry at this point and was not really in the mood for pictures!
 I like the light in this one.
All laughing at the little cousins. The large pumpkin behind them is actually a bounce house and the highlight of the trip for me was watching Colin bounce in there with all his young cousins: Brenna, Mia, Keegan, Danny, Haylee and Jaylee (Ellis and Meghan were too little this year for the bounce house)
1st Cousins with the 2nd Cousins (who just so happened to almost match on this particular occasion) We actually have matching outfits for them so stay tuned for that... Ellis is a year (and two weeks) older than Meghan, so...Meghan is to Ellis as Colin is to Lukas =)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Apple Picking Again.

Before I can get to the photos of this past weekends pumpkin picking adventure, I have to post the previous weekends apple picking adventure! Due to a series of cancellations we found ourselves with a free weekend. Since the week days seem a little like 'groundhog's day' around here right now I was really hoping to get away and do something fun. So I got in touch with some colleges friends who live in Massachusetts and they also had a free weekend so we drove up. The drive was only a bit over 3 hrs so we were able to get all the way there without stopping which was nice. On Saturday we joined another college friend and went apple picking (yes, that would make it two weekends in a row for us but Colin loved it and we didn't get nearly enough apples the first time so we were psyched to go again!)
Here are the pictures from apple picking. The pictures came into the post in a very strange order but I'm too lazy to rearrange them and frankly blogger doesn't make that part very easy to do so they will just have to be in a strange order.

Colin and Syler. Syler is our friend Sarah's son, and he is a year younger than Colin. Sean and I met Sarah our freshman year of college. She lived on the same floor as us...we sometimes pretend argue over who would get Sarah in a 'divorce' because we are both equally close to her and met her at the same time...
There were a few goats in a petting area of the farm. Colin had a particular affection for this guy.
Colin posing on the ladder used to get apples from the higher branches. This orchard was much different than the one we visited the previous weekend. Here the trees were almost like grape vines, where the trees at the first orchard were traditional looking trees (albeit low to the ground trees).

Bad boys bad boys, whatcha gonna do...
Meghan was here too, although she doesn't make much of an appearance in the photos! We had to take a picture with the pumpkin tree, which completely threw me for a loop. I kept looking at it thinking "am I crazy? Pumpkins don't grow on trees... do they?"  They don't! They were all zip tied to the tree, someone went to a lot of trouble to do that!

 2 of our 3 hosts for the weekend, Brandon and Nolan. Missing is Elaine, my college suitemate for both freshman and sophomore year. Elaine is another friend we argue over possession of. I think I have the stronger claim since we lived together for two years. Sean disagrees.

Another sweet shot of cutie pie Nolan. I should mention that Nolan is a year younger than Syler and Meghan is a year younger than Nolan. We had every age represented that day from 0-3.

Syler posing on the ladder as well. Don't worry Sarah was right behind him.

Toddlin' around with his apple. Too cute.
The closest thing I got to a shot of all three boys. Three boys ages 1 2 and 3 are not easy to tack down in the same position.
Colin and Nolan with their apples.
This picture cracks me up. It just exemplifies what the first child experience is like. Both parents doting on the one toddler, I can't wait to compare this in a few years to what Elaine and Brandon's say 3rd child's experience is like. =) I remember Sean and I being exactly the same with with Colin at a year old.
Syler and Colin apple picking.
See! He loves the ones with leaves on them.
Syler and Sarah.

Nolan and Elaine.

Thanks for such a great weekend guys! Can't wait to do it again soon!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Meghan is 2 Months Old

Meghan is celebrating her two monthiversary with her first head cold. I knew it was only a matter of time since Colin was beginning to show symptoms of something last Friday. All of our hand washing and shirt changing (Sean and I would change our shirts after dealing with Colin before holding Meghan) was in vain, she still got sick. So far she just has a runny/stuffy nose, hopefully it doesn't turn into something worse than that. I'll probably take her to the doctor tomorrow just to be safe, she is due for her 2 month visit anyway (although she will not be getting any vaccines while sick!)  Anyway, on to her 2 month stats!
BIG Smile!

Weight: (check back)
Height: (check back)
Head to toe.

Sleep: Overall, this month has not been too different from last month, however in the last week or so she has started skipping her normal first feeding. Even if she still wakes up, she will accept the pacifier and go back to sleep until around 5. So we are inching toward 1 nightly wake up around 5 am. I obviously expect that to get worse while she isn't feeling well. She generally is asleep by 10 every night and rarely falls asleep while nursing which is great, no bad habits to break yet.

  • The bath! No matter how cranky and tired Meghan gets she always is completely content and smiley during bath time. She loves kicking her feet in the water and even enjoys having water poured over her head (although we don't pour it in her face).  
  • The pacifier. Thank goodness! Even when we thought we found one she liked it was still triky to get her to take it every time. On a whim I picked up a package of the ones Colin liked best and she took to that one (avent) even better than the first. Which is good because the avent ones have a real handle and a hygienic cover, which makes them easier to strap to her and keep clean while in the diaper bag.
  • Being put down. I'm not sure if this is just a typical 2nd child thing or her personality, but she does not need to be held constantly and sometimes she just wants to be put down and left alone to fall asleep rather than be held.
  • Snuggling. Odd that I can say that she is both a snuggler and likes to be put down, but it is true. When she wakes up from a nap or when Sean first picks her up when he gets home, she just loves to snuggle right into our necks. It is like she is saying "Oh you're here! I missed you!"
more tutu pics for aunt sue.

  • Being removed from the bath. Oh how she can howl when you take her out of the bath! If she really gets going there is no talking her off the ledge until I can feed her! Wow, we are often nervous she will wake Colin up, but if she has he hasn't complained yet.
  • Being scratched. Oops! The other day as I put her in the swing I must have bumped into Colin's easel because the felt board started to fall and would have landed on her head if I hadn't caught it. However, on my way to catch it I grazed the top of her head with my finger nail and left a small gash. Yikes was she upset! Sorry dear!
  • The snot sucker. This is kind of obvious, what baby enjoys this? It helps her breathe so it must be done but she is definitely not a fan.
  • Bottles. I'm not giving up on her yet but so far she hasn't figured out the bottle thing yet. I've tried a good half dozen types of bottles and nipples and one combination if held in the exact right position she has latched on to, but not for very long. We are still working on it.
New and Notable:
Blue eyes.
  • Smiles. They are much more consistent now and easy to elicit
  • Cooing. Nothing cuter than a baby cooing!! I'm hoping to get it on video soon. 
  • I don't know if I've mentioned it yet, but Meghan's 'book' was retired before she was 4 wks old. I kept a log for Colin's entire first three months hoping to find some logic in his sleeping behavior (there wasn't any), but after a rather difficult day where I felt ill and Colin was overtired and cranky I just had to let something go, and the log keeping was that thing. I tried using the baby timer after that but Sean wasn't really on board with it so I let that go after a few days too.  We are running blind with her but honestly, she is so easy going it doesn't really matter. 
cooing for the camera. Can you hear it?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Apple (and Pear) picking

Last weekend we took a trip up to Marist to visit Aunt Nin at school, and while we were there we took the kids apple picking. Colin had a great time, and they even had my childhood favorite available to pick (Cortland apples). We came home with a ton a fruit that I am looking forward to creating some wonderful treats out of. Colin prefers his straight up and in the living room! Here are some photos of the event. By happy coincidence Katie was also visiting Lauren that weekend so she joined us too. Fun times!

Reaching for the perfect pear!

He loved it when the leaves stayed on the stem!

The apples required two hands to pull off the tree!

Sean gets Meghan in on the action. She slept through most of the picking.

We pulled her out to let her cool off. Her and Daddy were pretty hot in the 80 degree heat!

Overlooking the Hudson dropping Nin back off at school.

Group Photo! Bathed in the afternoon sunlight.

Daddy's little girl.

Goodbye Aunt Nin!

Goodbye Aunt Katie.

Grandma Jo's Camera

The kids and I were up visiting my parents while Sean was at a conference last week, so I took a second to pull some photos from my moms camera from her visit right after Meghan was born. Here are those pictures.

mother and daughter

brother and sister

such a sweet baby girl


the middle grandchild.
Fresh from the bath.

Leo visits Colin and Meghan

Colin picked this hat from the stack for her to wear.