Friday, August 31, 2012

Salsa Chicken

I pulled out the crock pot again  yesterday to try another dinner out....and it was a winner! 

Super easy too, which adds bonus points to any recipe!

Salsa Chicken
3 chicken breasts (I cut them in half)
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 can black beans-drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn

1. Put all ingredients into crockpot and cook on low 6-9hrs or high 4-6hrs

(Notes: the only thing I changed was I put in an extra cup of corn, making it 2 cups. I cooked mine on low for 6hrs and the chicken was done perfectly....any longer and I think it would have been too long!)

This was very tasty and we served it with some spanish rice on the side. It would also be good served over plain rice as well.

We'll definitely be making this again!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


She insisted on "holding her like a baby" and Cassandra wanted nothing to do with it!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Seven Months Old

Yesterday Cassandra turned 7 months old!

Cassandra is still in size 2 diapers for the day and size 3 for overnight. She's  wearing mostly 3 or 6 month clothing at this point, depending on the brand.  Some 3 month stuff got put away and some 6 month stuff she's swimming in!

Cassandra is still a good sleeper. Now she's up usually once a night, but the time varies quite a bit. She had a few nights of being up several times and she had 1-2 nights of being wide awake for an hour (or longer) for no reason!  For the most part she takes 2 naps, rarely now will she take a third one.

She nurses every 2.5-3 hours during the day and is still incredibly nosy! Her best "meals" are at bedtime and overnight when it's dark and there's nothing to see!

It took awhile for Cassandra to catch on to the whole eating thing. Avery caught on after a day or two and with Cassandra it took about 2 weeks before she got the whole open-your-mouth thing.  She has one meal a day (dinner) and she's had rice cereal, carrots, green beans, avocado, sweet potatoes, peas, and banana.  The only one she wasn't crazy about were the green beans. She really liked peas (Avery HATED them!) and avocado the best so far!

As for new things....she has started to sleep on her side a lot and really sucks her thumb quite a bit to put herself to sleep. She had a few nights of getting stuck on her tummy! She knows how to roll over, but she had a few nights of flipping onto her belly and waking up. She loves shaking her head "no" which is so cute and funny! And if you nod "yes" to her, she laughs! She had her first trip to the zoo as well this month. She has figured out how to move around a little bit-she can rotate 90 degrees or so and has also moved towards the foot of her crib. She loves if we hold her and jump/bounce-that gets her laughing! We've started some sign language with her and I really think she understands "milk" and "eat" so far!

Here's Cassandra:


My favorites:


And for fun, here is Avery's 7 month pics!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mommy and Avery Day

Avery's daycare was closed for their summer break this week so I took vacation days to have the week off so that I could stay home with the kids.

I decided to send Cassandra to my in-law's house for a day so that Avery and I could have some quality time together.

Let's face it...when kid #2 comes along, kid #1 gets neglected sometimes (and vice versa). It's even worse when you breastfeed  because the baby is attached to you every time she/he is hungry, which is every 2-3 hours. And factor in putting #2 down for naps and #2 going to bed earlier than #1 and well, most of my day is consumed by baby #2 being glued to me.  I do feel awful for Avery some days. I know she doesn't get my attention as much as we'd both like. I hate to say it, but I almost can't wait for Cassandra to be a little bit older just so that I'm freed up a little more. I think it'll be easier when they're both able to do the same things and be at similar stages, but right now it's just tough. Not that I'm wishing time away, because holy cow my baby is 7 months old already, but I'm just hoping things will get easier as time goes on.

We both needed a "big" girl day-just Mommy and Avery. From the time we woke up until dinner time it was just her and I.

We got up, I got ready, we got her dressed. She wanted to play with some toys in the basement so we did that for at least an hour. 

Before we left the house, we took a quick pic:
Is she my little clone or what?!
Then we had lunch at Panera, which was her choice. She downed her food which I was happy with-sometimes when we go there she doesn't care for it.

After lunch, we went to the Strong Museum. I had been asking her for about a week what she wanted to do with me and she kept telling me the museum.  Honestly, it was a good choice because we've only gone once in the 7months Cassandra's been with us-it's hard taking the 2 of them myself!  We met Molly, Owen, and Bianca there-which was a surprise to Avery! Everyone had a blast! We rode the carousel and train of course and did lots of playing! I think we were there about 3 hours and I really think Avery enjoyed it!

After the museum, I took Avery to a new ice cream place that we hadn't tried yet. She loved it because it was self-serve so she could do everything herself!  And with all of the toppings they had, she surprisingly only had rainbow sprinkles on hers! It was very good and I'm sure we'll be going back again!

Once we got home, Gabe and Cassandra came home shortly after and it was back to our usual routine-dinner and bedtime.

It really was a fun day and like I said, one that we needed.  I think my big girl had fun on her special day with Mommy!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Brown Sugar Chicken

I can't remember the last time I used  my crock pot...I know, I know-sue me!  Seriously I think it was when I lived in my apartment which was just a mere 8 YEARS ago! Yeah...that long.

I decided it was time to bust it out and dust it off!

See, the crock pot is a good idea....throw stuff in it and a few hours later-boom! Dinner is done. However most recipes only need to cook around 6 hours which just doesn't jive when you work/are gone from the house for 10+ hours. Unless you have one you can program (do they even make those?), which of course I don't.  And of course who the hell wants to get all of the stuff ready at 6am before work and have it sitting out for hours even if you could program it?!  So unfortunately I don't think this will work on my working days (which would be the most beneficial days to do it)...bummer.

Yesterday I didn't work and was going to be home most of the day (I'm sort of paranoid about leaving the thing running for 6+ hours with no one home!) so I decided to try out a new recipe I found.

Brown Sugar Chicken
6 chicken breast halves (boneless/skinless)
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup 7up

1. Put all ingredients into crock pot and cook on low for 6-9hrs or high for 4-6hrs

Can it get any easier? 

Yes, yes it can!

The chicken? Yep, put it in frozen! That my friends is e.a.s.y!

I cooked up some Arborio rice and for the last hour in the crock pot I threw in some fresh (not frozen) broccoli with the chicken.  Served the chicken and broccoli over the rice and it was delish!

I will say that I did mine on low for 6hrs and I would not have cooked it any longer. It was very tender, but I could tell it was starting to dry out a little bit. I might even cook it a little less next time. But it was good....very good!

Try this one for sure!  And I apologize that I didn't get a photo of it!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fun Day With Friends

Yesterday our friends Megan, Todd, Noah and Leigha came in from Buffalo to visit for the day!

They arrived around 1pm and stayed until around was a lot of fun spending the day with them since we don't get to do it very often!  Usually it's an hour here, an hour there...we haven't done a whole day visit in ages! 

We had some snacks and the kids played outside. First with the water/sand table:
Then we busted out the bounce house! We didn't put water in it, but they still had a ball!



We had a nice dinner-just did some hamburgers and hot dogs, pasta salad and roasted brussels spouts. Megan brought a very yummy dessert for us.  Then we spent some time relaxing outside to enjoy the nice day!
Me, Leigha, Megan and Cassandra
We had a really nice visit-it was great catching up and having the kids play together for awhile. They had a lot of fun!

And before bed, Cassandra modeled Avery's shades for us...too cute!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Zoo Party!

Yesterday was our nephew's birthday and today was his kid party at the zoo!

I was excited to go because we hadn't been to the zoo yet this summer and I knew Avery would have a blast!  Plus our zoo recently remodeled an area so I was anxious to see that as well.

They had this sign up for him which was really cute:
When we got there, each kid got a cute animal cup for their drink. Then they did a craft-a cute magnetic photo frame that they got to color.
Bianca and Avery coloring
Once crafts were done, the party captain brought in three animals for the kids to see and touch.

Animal #1: African Millipede (gross!)

Owen touching the millipede

Avery couldn't wait to get her hands on it!
Animal #2: was really cute!
Animal #3: A snake

Avery touching the snake
Avery was quite brave and touched all 3 animals-most kids there (who were all significantly older than her) didn't touch all of them so I was proud of her!

Then it was time for pizza, then cake!

Owen blowing out the candles!
After cake came gifts, then we were set free to see the zoo!
Avery and Bianca
The new lion and elephant exhibit:

They had this safari bus set up that you could go in to get a closer look at the lions....well, the girls loved playing in it!
And miss Cassandra barely slept at all! Gabe's Mom took her on a walk around her morning nap time and she slept a whopping 20 minutes!  Then she was all smiles again!

Butterfly Gabe
Avery is obsessed with snakes (it's a joke between her and Gabe) and couldn't wait to see them!!
The kids played on a playground they have there for at least an hour so I strolled around with Cassandra for a bit, hoping she'd take an afternoon snooze.  Finally, this happened:
Can I just say that I LOVE how she wraps her little fingers around her nose while sucking her thumb?! Cutest.thing.ever!

We ended up at the zoo for like 6 hours! The party started at 10:30 and we left at 4:30! We had a lot of fun and it was the perfect day to be there-a little on the cooler side, but nice and sunny! We were all pretty beat by the time we got home!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012


I'm not a huge fan of boats.


One-I get seasick sometimes. I've had a few bad experiences of feeling nauseous on a boat so I always get nervous when I go on one. I've never puked over the side or anything, but still-being nauseous is no fun!

Two-I get nervous.  Motorboats-fine. Sailboats-scary. Yes I can swim but for some reason the great expanse of water scares me to death at times. I'm always thinking of my exit plan in case we capsize. Yep, I'm a dork!

For some occasion last year, my Dad bought us a sailing trip. We were supposed to go one day last summer and it got cancelled on our way there....the captain's relative was in a car accident so he cancelled our excursion. So we had to make it up this summer. Yesterday was the day.

Our excursion was at 3pm and we got into Buffalo around noon.

Avery chilled on the couch watching some TV for a bit....
We all ate some lunch and relaxed for awhile. Gabe and I headed out a little after 2 to meet up with my Dad for our trip.

It couldn't have been a worse day.  For the summer we've had it was pretty crappy. Everyday it's been hot and sunny. Yesterday?  Grey, chilly, windy and looking like a  storm at any second.

You can imagine how this played into my fears right?!

Within 5 minutes of getting on board, I was white-knuckle-death-gripping the metal bar behind me. I had NO idea that the sailboat would be tipping to such extremes-to the point of being able to touch the water!  You literally felt like you were going to go overboard at any second. It was not fun. In fact, I'd say it was very stressful for me!

The trip was supposed to be 2 hours long and I swear I was looking at my watch every 10 minutes hoping it was time to end the thing. So when the captain asked (after an hour and a half) if we wanted to make another lap, I very quickly said "No thanks, I'm good!" and we called it a day.

Because of the death grip on the boat, I didn't take very many photos....I planned to, but things changed.
This is what I got:
Downtown Buffalo


This is Gabe after the trip when we were docked-looking like everything is A-OK!  I'll admit that I think everyone on that boat was a little nervous at least once during the excursion!

Once we were kissing the ground back on land, we went back to my Mom's.  Avery had a blast playing outside:

And Megan and Leigha (9mos) stopped by:

Cassandra wore this cute onesie with her initials on it so I had to get some pics of it!

We had a quick bite to eat for dinner, then hit the road to home. Another successful visit!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Family Photo Sneak Peek

We haven't had family photos done since 2006.

Gabe and I weren't even engaged yet! 

Our nephew had just turned 2 (he'll be 8 next week!). 

There was only 1 grandchild. Now, there are 4!

We were way overdue for an update!

I got us hooked up with Tessa from Tessa Connelly Photography + Design. (She's out of Buffalo, so if you're there or in the surrounding areas, check her out!).  She just happened to be doing some mini sessions in Rochester for a day, so I jumped on the opportunity! 

We had them done on Saturday at Highland Park.  I will say it was the hottest freakin' day of the summer so far!  Gabe, the girls, and I had our session at 5:30 and it was easily in the 90's still. Thank God there was a slight breeze, otherwise it would have been really brutal.  The rest of the family showed up at 6pm for our group photos.

We were told it would be about 2wks for her to get the photos edited, etc. which I expected since she did several sessions that day.

But....Monday morning I was surprised with some "teasers" on Facebook!


Take a look for yourself:
My in-laws with all of the grandkids

Avery-3yrs old

Cassandra-6mos old
I have to say that the photo of Avery is stunning! I swear it looks like something you would see in a magazine!  I absolutely LOVE IT! 

And I'll tell you a little secret-Avery was in quite a funk that day. She was up way too late the night before (like 1am late!) and was up early Saturday morning. We had to wake her up from her nap for photos and she was not a happy girl. Between photos, she was whining and crying, but as soon as the camera was on her, she posed away which I am thankful for!

Cassandra on the other hand....this kid smiles/laughs  The camera came out and nothing-sister wouldn't crack a smile the entire time!  I think it was the heat because as soon as we got back in the car, she was belly laughing the entire ride home. Little stinker!!

Anyways, I'm dying to see the rest of our photos! The teasers are so great that I can't wait to see what else she got!!

Like I said, if you're in/around Buffalo, check Tessa out-she is very talented!!