Tuesday, April 28, 2009

One year ago: 3 months!

Eileigh just passed the 15 mo. mark and I enjoyed reading some of my journal entries from a year ago. She was doing quite a bit of smiling, cooing and melting my heart back then- pretty much the same as now only with occasional gusts of stubbornness and independence. Here are a few pictures circa the 3 month era!!

Baked Ziti with Sausage

Tonight we enjoyed this delicious skillet dish! I actually prepared it in my big skillet but when it came time to throw it in the oven I wasn't keen on putting my skillet in the oven so I transferred everything to a greased 9x13-in. pan and baked it in that! Delicious!

Baked Ziti with Sausage

1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed (I used our last pack of pork sausage)
6 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed (I pressed)
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. salt (which I will omit when I make this again- it didn't need it in my opinion)
3 c. water
12 ounces dry ziti or penne pasta
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil leaves
Ground black pepper
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 475 degrees. Pulse tomatoes with their juice in food processor until coarsely ground and no large pieces remain, about 12 pulses.
In a 12-in. ovensafe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook sausage, breaking apart meat, until lightly browned and no longer pink, 3-5 minutes.
Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in processed tomatoes and 1/2 tsp. salt (if using).
Reduce heat to med-low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes no longer taste raw, about 10 minutes. Be sure to simmer gently or sauce will become too thick.
Stir in water, then add pasta. Cover, increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often and adjusting heat to maintain vigorous simmer, until pasta is tender, about 15-18 minutes.
Stir in cream, parmesan and basil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with mozzarella evenly over top. Place skillet (or 9x13) in oven and bake until cheese melts and browns, 10-15 minutes. Serves 4-6

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fun in the Sun

Today Eileigh and I were thrilled to enjoy the sunshine and spent most of the day outside, including a long walk (to the park with swings and a slide Eileigh went down all by herself), meandering around in the front of the house and playing in the backyard. The last few days have been extremely rough for Eileigh and therefore for us and so having the sunshine to play in was literally a breath of fresh air!! Hopefully we've figured her allergies out a little more to avoid any further issues but my biggest hope is that she will soon outgrow them- what a pain!! (The allergies, not Eileigh.... most of the time) :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The First Cut (is not the deepest, apparently)

Sheryl Crow got it wrong. At least as far as haircuts are concerned!!! Mike and I took Eileigh to get her very first haircut today- just a little trimming to even it up since the back was growing a little faster than the rest and some areas were thicker than others. (Luckily it was not all business in the front, party in the back- it was a little party all over). Eileigh did great! She sat on my lap the whole time and enjoyed watching herself in the mirror, playing with (and dropping) all of Kendra's combs, and marveling at Kendra's dangly silver earrings. (Side note: Eileigh has recently shown a HUGE fascination with arranging my shoes (and will spend literally half an hour doing so), carrying purses and bags on her shoulder and now my necklace and Kendra's earrings- I have birthed a girly girl!!!) :)
Kendra did an incredible job and Eileigh now has a nicely trimmed up little head o' hair. I was next in the chair for the first haircut I've had in way too long. And it was worth the wait- seriously I think this is the best haircut I have ever had. I am totally hooked. I think I might be seriously tempted to actually start doing something with my hair- put some product in it, actually "do" it in the mornings (as opposed to letting it dry overnight while I sleep and then putting it up in a ponytail for the day). Hmmm, tempting!!! :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Desk

Eileigh discovered her desk today! It is one of my favorite, most treasured items from childhood. I remember spending so much time there, playing, coloring, reading and repeatedly opening and closing the lid to store all kinds of treasures I deemed prize-worthy at whatever point in time. I have always hoped my kids would enjoy some of the special things I enjoyed as a child and if today is any indication, Eileigh is going to LOVE this desk. She occupied herself for a full 20 minutes just climbing on and off and swiveling in the chair. I also have high hopes for her stashing all of her treasures like I did, since she already rifled through various office drawers for objects of interest and carried them over to observe and enjoy while seated at her desk. The item she is appreciating is an old sermon tape. Now I just need to get her a Sony Walkman with headphones for it and she can practically LIVE my childhood!!! :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fire Engineer

Eileigh decided to drive her fire truck today and made me realize we definitely need to get something a little more her size for her to cruise around on!!

1 Corinthians for Mothers

I received this from MOPS awhile back but stumbled across it recently and wanted to share it (based on 1 Corinthians 13)

If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place, but have not love, I am a housekeeper, not a homemaker.

If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements, but have not love, my children learn cleanliness- not godliness.

If I scream at my children for every infraction, and fault them for every mess they make, but have not love, my children become people-pleasers, not obedient children.

Love leaves the dust in search of a child's laugh. Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window. Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk. Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.

Love accepts the fact that I am the ever-present "mommy", the taxi-driver to every childhood event, the counselor when my children fail or are hurt.

Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, and runs with the child, then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.

Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection. Now I glory in God's perfection of my child. (Jenae's edition addition: and His work in me!)

All the projects I had for my house and my children have faded away into insignificance, and what remain are the memories of my kids.

Now there abides in my home scratches on most of the furniture, dishes with missing place settings, and bedroom walls full of stickers, poster and markings, but the greatest of all is the Love that permeates my relationships with my children.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Eileigh's New Cup

She loves her new sippy cups, one pink and one yellow.

Adopt One, Get One Free!

Well you know how much I love a good deal! So this was one we apparently couldn't pass up. The Willamette Humane Society (willamettehumane.org) was having a special where if you adopt one cat, you can adopt another one for free! We'd toyed with the idea of adopting two cats anyways so it worked out pretty well. So Monday we came home with Sterling and Tuesday we brought Colby Jack home to live with us. In keeping with the tradition of naming our cats by color (i.e., Blackie, Graybie) we decided to keep Sterling's original name since it suited us all just fine. Colby Jack is (obviously) orange and white and just a little bit soft like his namesake. He was originally named Timothy but that definitely did not fit the milieu we have going on over here. So far Sterling is the epitomy of the perfect cat (for our family) and doesn't bat a whisker when Eileigh smacks him, pulls at his whiskers, pokes at his "eye, eye" or grabs his tail and is dragged along by him. Colby Jack (aka Colby, C.J., and CoJack) is a bit less forgiving and so I'm keeping a close eye on him for the next few days and we'll see if this relationship is going to work out for all of us. Colby does really well with Mike and I and last night we actually (gasp! I know!) let the cats sleep with us. After almost four years of marriage my resistance to any feline bedmates has been worn down and last night the cats reaped the benefits. They mostly slept on Mike (thankfully) and didn't bother me too much except at some point when Colby landed on my head and walked along my pillow with a very loud Purrrrr. Mike grabbed him before I did and set him down at the (much safer) foot of the bed. Now I'm just trying to decide if this is a new leaf I want remaining flipped over or if I should stick by my well-worn guns and kick the cats out into the bitter cold. (Bitter cold meaning the absence of my presence and my big soft bed). I'm also curious to see if these cats can possibly sleep even more than they have already today. I'm guessing that it's just being around Eileigh that is wearing them out- it can be pretty exhausting- I speak from experience!! :)