Cheater Chicken

I’ve had an epiphany.

Every week I buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts with the intention of tenderizing them, seasoning and then grilling them so that we have fresh and cooked chicken ready to eat.

And more weeks than I care to admit, it goes bad before I can do all of the above.

What happens is it gets to be 5pm and things start to get nuts around our house. It’s too soon to eat dinner, yet people are hungry. Peter’s not due home for at least an hour and kids need baths and the house needs to be cleaned up and Auggie is insisting that his little 25lbs self be held so that he gets a closer look at whatever I’m doing. So my choice is to either have a screaming, crying baby cling to my leg while I pound on some chicken and then sweat to death putting it on the grill….or I let it go. You can see why I waste so much money on raw chicken.

Last week I picked up a rotisserie chicken for dinner at Peter’s request. To my utter delight, both kids dug in and devoured half the chicken. And that’s when it hit me; rotisserie. chicken. It’s cheap ($5 for a whole chicken!), it’s delicious, everyone eats it AND IT’S ALREADY COOKED. I could buy the chicken, tear it apart and have chicken ready to go for lunches and dinners with no effort. And a third of the price.

Cheaper. Easier. Healthy. And everyone eats it. A. Ma. Zing.

WINNER WINNER CHEATER CHICKEN FOR DINNER!!

Say Cheese

What do you do when your very favorite family pictures don’t include your newest addition? Why you recreate the exact same pictures. Down to the same clothes. Well, I wore the same thing anyway. Crazy? Maybe. But I’m so thrilled with the result, sign me up for a padded room and straight jacket.

Our good friends and sorority sister Gina and her husband Rene took the family pictures that have hung in our kitchen for the last 4 years. They were taken on our front patio and the colors of the teal bench and yellow flowers just so happened to coordinate with all of our decor.

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Since those pictures were taken, Gina and Rene have moved to Seattle. And in addition to missing their presence, we missed their photographic skills! Thankfully I have several talented friends so I asked Natalie, another sorority sister and my little sis from our Alpha Phi days to snap some new pics for us.  When she asked what I was wanted to do, I pointed to the wall and said “that. I want that. Exactly”. And so that’s what she did.

Now that I have finally gotten the right color frame, our new family photos are up! By the way – thank you Pottery Barn for changing the shade of white of your standard white frames and then not telling anyone. I bought it. Framed it. And then realized that once the sun goes down, it’s totally obvious that it’s a different color of white. Thankfully Pottery Barn knows they are nuts and happily found me the right shade of frame and exchanged the wrong color despite my lack of receipt and packaging.

So what do you think? photo 3 (20) photo 4 (16)

I couldn’t fit all of my favorites on the wall

So perfectly captures her funny 4 year old self

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Natalie’s website will be up and running in the next few weeks – I’ll be sure to post a link just as soon as it’s live. If you just can’t wait to book your session, comment below and I’ll make sure to get you in touch! Thank you Natalie for capturing such great memories for us!

Auggie 10 Months

The big man is once again off the charts for height and weight at 31 inches and 25 pounds.  He is getting very skilled at “hands up stand up!!” and has even taken a few unassisted steps – yeah for my aching back! Can’t believe it’s almost time to start planning this little stinker’s birthday party.

So long!

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Standing! Walking!

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First Day

Last week marked the first day of prekindergarten for Ms.B.  PRE. KINDERGARTEN. I actually didn’t realize that her preschool considered her room pre-k until I read the classroom notes and about had a heart attack. Where did the last 4 years go?! When did she get so big?! Thankfully we are going to wait until she is 6 to pack her off to real kindergarten. Thank goodness. I don’t think my heart could take it yet.

Braided pigtails are her new favorite because that’s how Cinderella wears her hair to bed.

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I Love a Parade

PW does not, however, which is why he’s not in any of these pictures. He claims that he doesn’t enjoy it, but I think the fact that he has a heart attack every time Baylor runs into the street to get candy has something to do with it. Which is why he goes fishing when we go the Livingston Parade.

I, on the other hand, LOVE the parade. I love the rodeo queens. I love the Costco “float” where they throw out rolls of toilet paper. I love the totally random groups of people that roll down the street and call themselves a float. I love the man who drives his truck through with a sign saying that he’s been in the parade for the last 65 consecutive years. I love that you can sit on the sidewalk outside of a bar and legally drink. It’s all around good fun.

The Noni with Ms.B and me with Augg.

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Ready to get started!
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Love the rodeo queens. Actually, I think was a queen wannabe…
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In my defense – it was empty and I didn’t know he was chewing on it…

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Baylor, Zoe and Siena trolling for candy

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The big man enjoying the wagon to himself

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It’s My Kinda Town…

When we saw friends Karen and Patrick in January, Patrick issued PW a put up or shut up on a visit to Chicago. Patrick has been living there for nearly the last decade and Peter is always saying we need to go. You can only make your wife cheer for the Cubs for so long before you actually have to take her to see a game. (side note: I’ve now been to two more major league baseball parks than Peter. Which kills him. )

So, we booked tickets, PMac and Karen’s guest room, and dropped the kiddos at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. The party started at the airport when we decided we had time for margaritas (plural) before our plane ride. Patrick and Karen had planned a full weekend of baseball, great meals, a little sight seeing and a lot of fun. It kind of went like this: arrive, drink, drink, eat, drink, sleep, eat, drink, drink, baseball, driiiiink, eat, drink, eaaaaaat, drink, drink, sleep, repeat. It was, in a word, fantastic.

Game #1, Cubs v Astros. Bleacher seats.

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photo 3 (13)We actually believed that it was going to miss us. We were wrong.

photo 4 (12)Three hour rain delay felt much shorter with the assistance of many many beer vendors. And a batting helmet full of nachos. No really. Like an actual sized batting helmet. With nachos.

 

photo 5 (6)How do I know our friends are professionals? They brought their own ponchos. $0.69 v $10.

 

photo 1 (14)Watching the mechanics of rolling back the tarp was so cool.

 

photo 2 (17)I love the ingenuity of the people that own the buildings across the street from Wrigley. They remodeled the rooftops with bleachers. Genius.

photo 4 (13)The ivy. Properly trimmed to keep jerks like me from picking it.

 

photo 3 (14)After the game, we headed home to change and then back out to The Loop for dinner at The Girl and the Goat. Reservations in June were booking for August…thank goodness Karen is a smart thinker and booked our reservations in February! It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Tapas with amazing ambiance, good wine, great servers, no time to take pictures because we were too busy eating a drinking. But I did manage to snap a picture of the Chicago River from the cab – so pretty.

 

photo 5 (7)Saturday brought sunny skies and game #2 – or as PW called them “the really good seats”. We were in the 6th row behind home plate. I’ve rarely seen Peter as excited and happy as he was for the pregame, game and post game.

photo 1 (15)Panorama of our view

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photo 5 (8)Post game bar crawl. Happy camper.

photo 1 (16)Our last stop of the night was Red Ivy – an all encompassing Chicago sports bar. We caught game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals and it was a blast. Everyone in the bar was electrified – it would have been hard not to cheer for the Blackhawks.

Duh duh du duh duh du da da da duh duh!!

(Chealsea Dagger. Look it up)

photo 3 (16)Check out that mullet.

photo 2 (19)We went home tired, a little hung over but oddly well rested. It was the break from parenting that we very much needed whether we knew it or not. Getting to laugh with old friends, swear, sleep in, drink at will and have conversations that were only inturupted by more food, drinks or funny comments was amazing. Big hugs and thanks to Patrick and Karen for being the most amazing hosts! Can’t wait to see you in the desert in July and for the big day in 2014!!

 

 

 

Here Fishy Fishy Fishy

Baylor has been in swim lessons year round since she was about 10 months old. Lately I have been getting the business from a few parents as to why I would do that. I questioned it a little myself until Baylor jumped into the club pool before PW was near her. If you’ve ever watched a kid panic in the water, seconds seem like hours. I saw the flash of panic on her face when she came up for air as the pool was deeper than she thought. As Peter made his way to her, I saw the panic quickly be taken over by muscle memory. Her head went back and her chest came up – she back floated for a second to catch her breath, get oriented and then calmly rolled herself over and kicked to the wall. I realized then and there that the last 156 swim lessons have been worth every penny.

Fast forward a few weeks and we’re in our lovely neighbor Melissa’s pool. Baylor was splashing on the steps and then decided she would swim to me – she swam half way across the pool with “scoops” (arms) and side breaths. I. Was. Amazed. I have been in the baby pool with Auggie during lessons for the last 6 weeks while Bay was in the big pool. I had no idea her strokes had gotten so good. When Peter joined us later, I thought his jaw was going to hit the cool deck as he watched her swim so well.

 

Want to go where we go? Check out Hubbard’s Family Swim School. Indoors (no sunscreen, no sun, no bugs, no chlorine), year round in a heated pool. What’s not to love?