Tuesday Nights

It was the first Tuesday night small group with Eli and Eliza! She was glad to have a buddy there to hang out with even though he slept most of the time.

Ready to go home to bed!
Thanks to Alex for taking the pictures.


Eli and Eliza

They are bound to be friends! We met Eli last Friday and he is SO cute! It will be exciting to see them grow up together. I think Eli will pass Eliza in size in a few months! Tuesday nights with our house church will not be the same again with multiple kids hamming it up. Eliza will have to share the spotlight and the arms.


Start the Week off Running!

Monday was a long day with Preston and Eliza. Both babies had fun and got naps (at the same time which was wonderful), so I would call it a success! This weekend I cleaned off all the toys that we had found this summer at garage sales and got them out for Preston to play with. I did not realize how much TOYS = SANITY! I would have searched much harder for toys if I had known what it takes to occupy two kids under one year old! I was worried at the time of trying to keep the clutter down. Now I have changed my focus: I will ignore the clutter and instead can't wait for Kirk to finish the basement! (Kirk says this Spring!)
The toy that kept them busy all day was the Playskool Busy Ball Popper (the name fits, huh?!). It is fun for all ages and dogs, too!




Eliza liked playing the piano.












She's playing with her new teeth now!

How Did We Miss Them!

I caught a quick glimpse today. Off in the corner of my eye I saw something glimmer. After closer inspection...could it be?! Yes, Eliza has FOUR teeth! She has been in such a great mood lately that I hadn't been looking in her mouth to check. They must have come in over the past two weeks. Just the other day a stranger met Eliza and asked if those were teeth she saw in there! As a very observant mother, I said, "No, not yet" (I would know if there were any chompers in my baby's mouth)! Oh, how very wrong I was, and I am now so glad that the woman was a stranger and someone I will not be seeing again...so that I don't have to look like a terrible mother!

image from flickr.com


Welcome Fall

This week was a fast one! We went to Preston's first birthday party on Wednesday!







Eliza has been pulling herself up onto her side (starting from her back), so a new season has begun in our household as well!

On Friday, Preston came over to play for a while, and it's getting a little bit easier every time I have both of them together!

The cookie jar is Preston's favorite toy and on our list for Eliza down the road. It works on numbers as well as shapes (Preston really likes the circle).





He also has a puzzle that makes animal sounds when you put the pieces in. I don't think they had that when I was little! The puzzle is by Melissa and Doug.

Preston was helping Otis make sure nobody came into the yard! Look out squirrels!


Our Favorites

We have a few favorite baby items in the house right now. The first has been a must since the day we brought Eliza home, and that's her fleece kiddopotamus (fleece stays in place better then the cotton ones). She sleeps in one every night and we are now using the large size. We are going to have to start sewing our own extra-large ones soon since the company doesn't make them that big!

The next is her favorite book, titled B is for Bear. It is a great touch-and-feel book that always keeps her attention! Find it here on Amazon.

We have just started letting her play in her jumper. It is called Jumpster in Jungle Jubilations by Graco. She doesn't have the strength to do it for too long but she had great fun this weekend trying it out!

It was hard to get pictures since she didn't want to stay still...which is the point! She was very focused the whole time and that reminds me so much of her daddy!

She enjoyed the great new angle that this toy gives her to watch her puppy play!

Once we think or find more must haves we will let you know!


Little Flower

Eliza was a model in the Pottery Barn Kids Halloween fashion show today. About 10 kids participated, and they were all very cute. All the kids walked around the store and out into the mall while the babies were carried by their mothers. Eliza had no idea that anything different was going on, but she still had fun.
She loved the Anywhere Chair that they have in the store. We may have to add that to our list of future buys!

I'm Making Myself Hungry Again

Just a couple food updates...

The other week we had some great lamb from Kincaid's, so we grilled it up with a nice dry rub, along with some corn from the farmers' market, and homemade pesto sauce with some whole wheat spaghetti (we have a freezer full of "pesto cubes" thanks to a bountiful amount of basil). It was all incredibly delicious, hence a post about it! Lamb is definitely one of my favorite meats; I can't get enough of it.

This weekend, needing to use up the heavy cream and whole milk leftover from our feast with the Overhisers, I made another new ice cream, this time with an even better ingredient from our garden (I should have made this for the garden feast last weekend). Since we have lots of mint growing, I threw together a mint frozen custard, and it was really great! Definitely very minty, and a lot fresher tasting than the overly-sweetened mint ice cream you get at the store (and not fake green!).

Of course, we had it plain, but then also decided to jazz it up with our favorite topping...chocolate! The best mint-chocolate chip ice cream I've ever had!


The Office is Back

Eliza is ready for The Office premier tonight by dressing in her Office gear. She feel asleep too early to see it, but was practicing her laughing anyway.

Spit Bubbles

Eliza has figured out how to blow spit bubbles this week, which means we have a mess on our hands! She can do motor boat lips for a bit and then just ends up shooting slobber all down her front. The bib is going to be our friend that is for sure!

Here she is blowing some.


Good Eats from the Garden

On Saturday, we hosted Alex and Sonja for dinner (as part of our alternating-month culinary adventures) and cooked up a feast inspired by a) our garden and b) Alex and Sonja's preference to eat vegetarian and local. Each dish was completely veg-friendly and contained key ingredients from our garden. It has been such a joy having a bountiful garden this summer, as well as sharing it with our friends!

For a little amuse-bouche to start the evening, we proudly presented Eliza. She may not be edible, but she is from our garden and is quite amusing! Alex and Sonja enjoyed it!
Our real first course was a delicious cold gazpacho that featured jalapenos, yellow bell pepper, basil, cilantro, parsley, and garlic from our garden. It would have featured tomatoes too, but something ate all of ours when we were on vacation. Instead we got some great orange tomatoes from the farmers' market.

The next course featured okra. We have grown so much okra in the garden this year (it's so easy!) that we had to work it into the meal. We also wanted to do something different than our standard sauteed okra or fried okra. Instead, we sauteed okra, tomato, corn, and onion and served it over toasted bread. Kind of like a bruschetta in that way, it was very good, and the flavors of okra, corn, and tomatoes go together well.
For the main course, we tried something new. After making a delicious lamb loaf the other week, we decided to try our hand at a meatless meatloaf. We found this great recipe online, and I must admit I was skeptical at first. A loaf containing nuts, cheese, mushrooms, and brown rice didn't sound bad, but it also didn't make my mouth water. Well, I was quite wrong! This dish was spectacular, and I would eat it again anytime. The garden items featured were parsley, thyme, marjoram, sage, and garlic. These definitely weren't the main ingredients, but the herbs really packed a lot of punch! I wish I had grown my own shiitakes to include, since they are quite tasty (and I certainly enjoyed sauteing up the leftovers for a snack). We also served the loaf with Swiss chard, which we have growing abundantly in our garden, too.
We learned from Alex and Sonja that some culinarians (yep, made up a new word!) serve a cheese course before dessert, so we did as well. Really, it was just an excuse to share an amazing cheese we found at the farmers' market. The cheese, from local goat cheese creamery Capriole Farm, was called Mount St. Francis. Of course, if you're really hip, you can make your own cheese like Alex and Sonja!
For dessert, I toiled over the limitless options. Having not used my ice cream maker as much as I should have this summer, I decided to try my hand at a new sort of ice cream...gelato and frozen custard. So I found this recipe and though it is more frozen custard than gelato (it's go eggs), it was simple and delicious. Since our garden doesn't contain cows or sugar cane, I worked in our harvest by garnishing the custard with a couple raspberries from the backyard (our one bush almost died, had a transplant, and then eventually produced a little bit of fruit in its first year).

Overall, this was our most balanced meal we've prepared in a while, and definitely the most "under control." This means a lot since it was our first meal made for Alex and Sonja with Eliza distracting us :). It also helped that the gazpacho and frozen custard could be made earlier in the morning.


My Babies

Thanks to Alex and Sonja coming over this weekend (which you will see a post soon of what we made) we got some great shots of our two kiddos! Eliza is 22 weeks old now and Otis is 2!


Give Until It Hurts

Greek InterVarsity Golf Marathon Recap:

-100 holes of golf
-far too many swings
-3 gatorades, 1 powerade, 4 bottles of water
-a little bit of sunburn
-30 lost balls
-sore toes, sore feet, sore back, sore torso, sore ankles
-9 blisters on hands and feet
-2 incredibly painful acl/mcl's (I'm walking around like a 99 year-old!)
-1 prize award
-tons of fun
-a lot of quality golf practice
-1 legitimate par the entire day (this is a big deal for me, my last par was in 2005!)
-most importantly, over $32,000 raised for Greek InterVarsity!!

Wait 'til next year?!?!
image from flickr.com


Onto the Tummy

We are really working on tummy time since Eliza hasn't rolled over yet. It is tricky to find a safe time to do it. If it is right after she eats then we have a wet mess. If it is when she is tired then she just lays her head down to sleep. Timing is everything.