Friday, December 31, 2010


Like I've seen on many other blogs, I planned on doing a 2010 recap today. But, with trying to prep for or New Year's Eve party and Braysen not cooperating, I just won't have time to do it today. Maybe tomorrow. :)

Stay tuned for pictures from tonight's party, they're bound to look a lot different from pictures from our usual New Year's bash!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

TRYING to Eat Better?

Lots of new posts today! I shouldn't be on the computer, because I have a ton of projects and assignments to grade that I've been putting off. I did do a little grading tonight, so maybe I'll just consider this a break :)

I want to start out by saying that I am not a healthy eater and am actually quite picky. Mainly vegetables. I know I sound like a little kid when I say this, but I hate vegetables! When Tony and I decided we were going to start trying for a baby, I decided to revamp my diet. I wanted to be eating really healthy foods when I was pregnant, so I decided the best time to start would be before I was actually pregnant. I stocked up on veggies and stocked my recipe box with lots of yummy-looking recipes for veggies. It lasted about a week. I found myself literally gagging down the food while plugging my nose. And Tony? Well, he's actually pickier than I am with most food, so he never even touched it.

I'm very sad to say that I wasn't able to continue with the veggies. Braysen, however, will pretty much eat anything you put in front of him!

Now that he's eating our food, I know we need to start eating healthier and include veggies, but Braysen will be the only one eating them, which is OK with me.

But, I got a recipe for a "healthy" mac & cheese. It's considered "healthy" because it's made with whole wheat pasta and there's butternut squash in it. An advisor that I work with at my school (her daughter is actually in one of my classes) was going on and on about this recipe and how good it was and how all her kids loved it. So one day in class, I asked her daughter and she raved on and on about it. So tonight was the tester.

It was actually pretty good! Tony actually went back for a HUGE second helping, but when I tried to sap a picture of it he got mad and tried to toss a chunk of chicken in the way of the shot.

I obviously did not tell him that the butternut squash was in the dish or he never would have even tried it. Much like when I puree onion to add to recipes because he refuses to eat anything with onion in it, only to have him tell me how good it was...

Finger Foods and Falling...

Braysen has been eating finger foods for a while now. It's actually quite nice, because I can sit him in his high chair and let him snack a little while I'm cooking our dinner. I say "our" because he is basically eating what we are eating, with a few exceptions. He is still working on that 4th tooth on the top, so he woke up early from his afternoon nap. He was obviously ready to go back to sleep, because he fell asleep while eating his snack!

Organization is Key

Let's face it: I THRIVE with organization. I like to be organized. Sometimes things get so hectic around here that organization and order goes out the window. AND I CAN'T STAND IT! I've always thought that I may be borderline Obsessive Compulsive. I really like things to be neat and tidy and get super stressed out when they are not. Tony knows that I am much happier and much easier to live with when I have a clean and organized house. :) Sometimes that just doesn't happen, and when it does, I am a mess and you don't want to be anywhere near me because I become very stressed and cranky until I am able to fix it.

Tony, on the other hand, is completely the opposite. If you have ever seen the stacks and stacks of things in his truck and in the garage that he is completely OK with, you know exactly what I mean. He would be completely content living in a house with stacks of things everywhere. He's the type of guy that lets laundry pile up for weeks and weeks, then when we have somewhere to go, is rushing to wash a couple of shirts an hour before we need to leave (which is only one of the many reasons we are most often running late), yet he won't allow me to do his laundry. When we first got married, he couldn't seem to understand why I had a day designated for cleaning house every week. Not just picking up, but CLEANING.

Anyways, onto the real purpose for this post. I have organized his sock drawers many many times, but he likes his socks folded a particular way. When he takes socks out of the drawer, he mixes them up and they become unorganized. Once they become mixed up, he has a very hard time finding matching socks, so he continues to pull socks out one by one until he finds a matching pair. These socks that he pulls out end up on top of the dresser. Once he finds matching socks, he walks away, leaving the socks on the dresser and the drawers wide open.

This may sound like I am being very petty, but this is just ONE example of something becoming unorganized that drives me nuts, but he doesn't understand because it doesn't bother him one bit. So goes our day, it's almost like he leaves a trail through the house and you can see exactly where he's been.

This bothered me before, but drives me BONKERS now, because with Braysen around and a full time job, I don't really have as much time to pick up after him.

Enter: mission organization. I took step one today to getting him organized!! I created a sock organizer for his drawer.  TA-DA!

Now he can't mix up his matching socks. I'll probably still find the drawers wide open, but the socks on the dresser that I am constantly reorganizing into the drawer will no longer be a problem. Foam board from Target, a tape measure, a utility knife, and 30 minutes of my Christmas vacation were sacrificed to save me a daily chore... sounds worth it to me!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Baby Talk

I forgot to mention one more thing - Braysen is officially calling me mama. He's been saying "mama" and other consonant-vowel combinations and syllables for a long time, but there was never any indication that he actually knew what they meant.

A couple of weeks ago he was fussing and wanted out of his walker. He rammed me in the legs with it, put his arms up to me, and said "mama". I thought it was just a fluke because it hadn't happened since.

But today when I went in his room to get him when he woke up in the morning and when he woke up from his nap, he said "mama" when I walked into his room. I think that's a pretty good indication that "mama" is his first word!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Sugar Cookies

I posted our my Christmas cookies on my other blog. They just didn't seem to fit here on my cake blog.

Christmas Cookies

I couldn't decide where to put these pictures. I decided that they definitely don't belong on my cake blog, so they ended up here. First off, I have to say that I am completely emparassed at the fact that I do not have any Christmas cookie cutters. I usually do all my Christmas baking at my Mom's, so this has never been an issue. She convinced me to do my baking at home this year, and I didn't realize that I was cookie cutter-less until the night I was going to bake my cookies. I have 2 cutters - a Christmas tree and a star. The rest of the cookies I cut out with a knife. I'm not completely happy with the way they turned out, but hey, it's better than having just trees and stars, right?

This was my first time using royal icing for color flow. It wasn't as easy as it looks, I totally give props to Becky and the work she does! I'm not really a class-taking type gal, I like to do online research to get tips and tricks, then try it out for myself and figure out what works for me and what doesn't. I like the trial and error way of doing things. As you can see with the cookies, I learned exactly what works for color flow and what doesn't!

P.S. - I also forgot to mention on my Christmas blog that I made my friend Shannon's yummy cheese ball that she blogged about. It was deelish and everybody LOVED it!

Snowmen Cake Pops

Bobby's Birthday Cake Pops

Christmas Cake Pops

Christmas Cupcakes

Red velvet cupcakes with homemade italian buttercream icing.

I know that red velvet is traditionally iced with cream cheese icing, but my family LOVES italian buttercream. It is the only icing that is ever used on any homemade birthday cake that has come out of any of our kitchens!

Our Christmas

Every year since Tony and I have been married, on Christmas Eve morning, I always buy frozen from the store and then bake Monkey Bread. This year I stayed true to tradition, but I decided to actually make it myself. It was really good, but I'm not sure if it was so much better than the store-bought kind that I will continue to make it myself. This year was a little different, because I had one of Santa's helpers at home to assist me.

Here he is checking on the Monkey Bread as it bakes. You notice he needed to move my hand towels in order to see better.

I have another blog I will be working on about his new obsession, but here are a few pictures to show that I am not crazy. Since figuring out how to crawl under my coffee table, he now is crawling under everything! I catch him under my dining room table or under my barstools at least 15 times a day.

In this next picture, you can see that at this point, he was taking my hand towels everywhere with him.

He loves his Tiffany...

...and feeding her doggie treats!

Every year on Christmas Eve, we go to my Grandma's house. She and my Papa used to always have a huge Christmas Eve party. Papa always said that even after he was gone, he wanted his family and friends to still come over on Christmas Eve. Every year since he passed, the crowd has dwindled more and more, and Christmas Eve will never be the same without Papa there.

Under tables again!

Christmas morning we got up and started our day. No lollygagging here, we had LOTS to do today!

From there, we went to my parents' house to have breakfast and open gifst. His new Cars chair from Grammie and Papa, which he absolutely LOVES!

We then packed up the car (literally loaded from top to bottom) and headed home because Tony's parents  and brother came over for dinner. 

This horse dog is not ours. JC came over to visit and brought his buddy along with him. Braysen was of course obsessessed.

So now everything is cleaned up and Braysen conked out early. It started raining. What else is there to do?? We decided to play Scrabble, which is the game that Santa brought for our family this year. Yes, here we are playing Scrabble and drinking hot chocolate. Man, when did we become so old?! I am typing this blog in between my turns, because Tony spends hours agonizing over his word choice. I timed him tonight and one of his turns actually took 40 minutes. If you know Tony, you know exactly what I'm talking about!

And for the record, I have no idea what that white spot is next to my chair. I originally thought it was from the camera flash, but it isn't. Definitely weird.