Friday, July 31, 2009

4th of July - Finally

I've got 45 minutes to post 4th of July pictures under the month of July. So forgive me if I don't write a whole lot. But for some strange reason I feel the need to have it posted in July. Maybe I shouldn't wait three weeks to post then should I??

*We spent the first part of the holiday in Hagerstown with Scottie's parents. We bought some fireworks on our way through Indy and Grace wanted her cousin Dalton to come over. She really likes playing with him. He is Scottie's first cousin, so I guess that makes him her second cousin. They are only about a year and a half a part. The top pictures show them playing with sparklers. This is a big improvement since Grace was scared to use them last year. Avery stayed up to watch it all. Fireworks don't seem to bother her. She just likes to be with everyone. She is such a sweet baby.

My little patriotic cuties. I love having two girls because you get to coordinate outfits for them. I'm sure you still can if you have both genders, but it's a lot of fun with girls!

Our little family. Except Scottie and I don't look so little. This isn't the best picture of us, but we don't get a picture of all four of us very often. I need to remember to take more family pictures.

Grace and her cousin Chloe riding together to the carnival. It reminds me of all the times I rode in Amanda's mini-van when we were little. Except the girls weren't reenacting scenes from The Karate Kid. Wax on, wax off....

Ready to ride the rides that were put together by a group of carnies, who were probably smoking and trying to shake off the morning hangover while tightening all the nuts and bolts. I know I'm stereotyping carnival workers, but honestly, have you taken a good look at the men who run the rides?? I can't believe I don't hyperventilate when I let Grace get on those things.

The twirling bear, aka: nightmare for my mother. She rode on it last year with the kids and it made her a tad bit sick. Needless to say she did not ride it with them this year.

Miss Avery picking up ducks for the first time. I think she just wanted to play in the water. She is such a water baby!

This is her prize. She's looking at Nana like "what am I suppose to do with this thing?" Unfortunately it didn't even make it back home before it deflated. But that's the tradition when it comes to carnival prizes; balloons deflate and goldfish die within 24 hours. It just helps children learn the valuable lesson of disappointment. Thank you carnival industry!

Scottie was a brave soul and took Grace, Chloe, and Dylan on the Gravitron. I don't know how many times Amanda and I went on this ride when we were younger. We couldn't go this year because she's pregnant with baby Gabe and I'm pretty sure I would throw up or pass out. :)

Here they are coming out of the Gravitron. Oddly enough it looks like the same one we rode twenty years ago. Again, why do I trust these rides with my precious baby??

I was waiting for their reaction. I got a lot of jumping up and down and squeals of "that was awesome!!" Just look at the excitement from Chloe! ;)

After the carnival we had a family pool party at the park pool. It was fun but a bit chilly. Here is Avery with my cousin Meriel. Can you believe that I use to babysit Meriel when she was Avery's age? At the time I didn't think anything about it, I loved babysitting her. But now when I think about it makes me a nervous wreck. How did I know how to take care of a baby? I did a pretty good job... except for the time that I lost her in the mall. Luckily she was an extremely bright five year old and went to the security desk to let them know she was lost and then told them her phone number. I can only imagine what a horrible feeling her mom had when the mall called her to tell her that her daughter was there by herself. Thankfully we found her and it all turned out fine. I will never forget that day. Sorry Meriel!!! I'm glad that you are still nice to me. :)

Do I even need to say that Grace had a good time?

I love this picture of Mom and Avery. She looks like she wants to say something, but just can't get it out.

We came back home the night of the 4th. We were able to see the fireworks from our kitchen window. It was pretty neat.

Now you may be wondering why I don't have any pictures from my Dad's house, or why I look like total crap?? Well the answer to both of those questions is that I spent the entire day throwing up. To say that it was awful would be an understatement. I started feeling sick at the carnival, but I just chalked it up to the 20 pounds of smoke I was enforced to inhale from all the classy Brazilians who chain smoked throughout the carnival. But by the time we got out of the pool I knew something wasn't right. We got back to Mom's and the real fun began. Everyone felt bad for me and said that they hoped I would feel better. Little did we know that within the next couple of days half of the family would join the party in the bathroom. It is the worst feeling ever!!! I don't know how else to describe it. I felt really bad that so many of us got sick. It came on so fast that I didn't even know to stay away from anyone. The only positive thing that happened was that Grace and Avery didn't get sick. Scottie and I were so wore down it would have been hard to take care of them too.

Sickness aside, it was a fun holiday. I hope we get to make our annual trip to the carnival next year. We don't know where we will be, or if it will be close enough to come back for the 4th. I would hate to miss all of the fun. Hopefully we won't share a stomach bug next time!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Happy 29th!

Scottie turned 29 at the end of June. One more year and he can join me in the thirties club. (Yes, I am two years older than him. Blah, Blah, I've already heard all the cradle robbing jokes.) Anyway for his birthday dinner he decided to go to Outback. I don't do big birthday dinners, but I do bake cakes for each one!! This is a picture of Daddy and Avery at the restaurant. She is such a sweety.

Grace in her diva attire for the evening. I just keeping getting more and more nervous for the teen years. It's going to be wild ride with this nut ball.

I really like this picture of the two of us. She really is a sweet girl with a lot of personality!

Seriously, could she get any cuter??? I don't even know what else to write, she's just cute.

We were laughing because we thought Avery was looking under the table at our feet. But the laughter quickly died out when we realized that she was actually chewing on the strap of the highchair. Disgusting!! Can you see the little doll on the corner of the table? It's one of her favorite toys. It's a little Scotty from Star Trek. If you push the button it says "I'm givin' it all she's got captin." She gets really excited when she hears his voice. It looks like we have another sci-fi nerd on our hands. ;)

Scottie is blowing out the candles on one awesome cheesecake. In case your wondering, I made that awesome cheesecake. I was really proud of myself. I was nervous since it was my first time making a cheesecake, but it turned out great! I posted the recipe below. You should really try and make it, you won't be sorry.

Grace was so excited about Daddy's birthday. She set the table with leftover plates from her Strawberry Shortcake birthday party. We had a nice evening and then stuffed ourselves with cheesecake. Happy 29th honey! Enjoy the last year of your twenties! :)


This cheesecake recipe comes from another medical student's wife. Her name is Lisa and she is known for her cheesecake making skills. She's also really nice. I found her recipe in the SAA cookbook, so I hope she doesn't mind if I post it here. Like I said, she's really nice so I'm sure she won't mind. :)

Original Cheesecake:
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
6 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 T. sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To make the crust, combine the graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter until moistened. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. With your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Cheesecake Filling:
2 1/2 lb. (5 blocks) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 c. sour cream
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 T. grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees. To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater as necessary. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2 to 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove the cake from the springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cake on the bottom of the pan for serving.

**To make raspberry swirl: Take a pkg. of frozen raspberries and heat over medium heat with sugar to taste. Mix cornstarch and water until smooth (just eyeball it) and add to the raspberry mixture. This will allow the mixture to thicken. Once it boils the raspberry mixture has reached its thickest point. To swirl it, add half of the cream cheese mixture to the crust and then spoon in the raspberry mixture, saving some for the top as well. Add the rest of the cream cheese and then more raspberries and then take a knife and swirl it as much as you want. Then you bake it just like the recipe says.

**To make the chocolate swirl: Melt 1 pkg. of semi-sweet chocolate chips over a double boiler. To swirl it, use the same steps as the raspberry instructions.

Tip: Don't over mix it, especially after adding the eggs. This will keep it from cracking in the middle.
Also- I think I will cut down on the lemon zest just a little bit next time. It wasn't overpowering, I just think I would like a bit less.

Fish Fry!!

Little Miss Avery loved the root beer pop-ice. She didn't really get much of it, but she certainly tried. She wouldn't give it back to Dad either. She had a good time with it. I've never seen a baby want table food as much as this one.

Every year the Center Point fire department has a fish fry on the last Saturday in June. Dad was on the fire department when I was little so we went every year. I have many fond memories of the fish fry, so I was excited that we were going to be in town that weekend. Scottie needed the house to himself so he could study for boards. Even though I was tired of traveling I was happy to go with the girls to the fish fry. Gracie was really excited to play the dunking booth. She wasn't able to hit the target with the balls, so I told her to go hit the red button. She thought it was pretty funny. The man in the tank was my seventh grade computer teacher. I heard Grace telling the other kids in line that they were going to be dunking her moms old teacher. You can imagine how much those strangers cared. But I thought it was cute.

This is Gracie and Cy. He is the son of one my childhood friends Christy. We basically grew up together. My dad and her dad Steve have been best friends since grade school and they still hang out together. So it was only natural that our kids would become friends. Grace is only two months older than Cy and she really likes playing with him when we come down to visit. Don't they look cute together??

Yes, I was the red-neck, white trash parent that had her baby walking around in a diaper. It was really hot that evening and Avery was sweating. I let her sit in her diaper for a while after I changed her. But I couldn't take it for long and I eventually put her dress back on. Avery probably would have preferred to stay in her diaper, but we have to keep up a good image. That's the most important thing to teacher our children, right?

I LOVE this picture! This is my friend Jacinda's little boy Michael. Jacinda is Christy's sister. She and I were born two days apart. She was more like another sister than a friend. I like that I still get to see her from time to time when I come home to visit. It's neat to see our kids play together. Her daughter Macey loved Avery and Micheal is a little doll baby. I think I'm going to crop this picture and send it to Jacinda. This is definitely a framer!!