Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Driving to church on Sunday it was snowing, hard.

Martin: Sometimes I really like snowy days like this. It looks nice.
Me: I know (lifts up my phone to take a picture)
Martin: I can never really get a good picture though. It never looks as good and you can't see the snowflakes.

Me: Yeah, me either.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Suck It

On Saturday afternoon my sister-in-law, Megan, came over with her two daughters, my adorable nieces, for lunch. Before we went into the kitchen for lunch we were catching up in the living room. Martin was tossing Aubrey around and she very lightly tapped her head on the computer. Because she has this uncanny ability to be super resilient if she hits her head while doing something she is not supposed to be doing and then crying hysterical if someone else is to blame for her injury - she, in true form, started to cry.

Kendyll: Aubrey....that didn't hurt.

*Aubrey crawls over to me and continues to whimper*

Kendyll: Suck it, Aubrey.

*everyone breaks out into fits of laughter*

Martin: Did she just tell Aubrey to suck it?
Megan: I think she was going for Suck it up because that's what I usually say to her, but she was just a lot more direct.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Stuffed Pepper Soup

*conversation over the phone between Martin and Gabe*

Martin: Ok. Well I"ll let you go, I've got to eat dinner
Gabe: What are you/Jenna making?
Martin: It's already made. Stuffed Pepper Soup
Gabe: What is it?
Martin: Stuffed Pepper Soup
Gabe: What?
Martin: Stuffed Pepper Soup - I'll have her do a blog post on it.
 - Honey, do a blog post on this soup
Me: Oh! Don't eat it. I have to take a picture of it then.

Recipe taken from here, found on pinterest

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Words With Friends

I recently discovered Words with Friends. I say discovered in a very loose sense because it's basically scrabble on a phone so its been around for centuries. Anyway, I had never heard of it until I heard about Alec Baldwin refusing to stop playing it at the airport. My interest was slightly peaked by a game that was clearly so good it couldn't even be put down to fly through the air but I still didn't bite the bullet and seek it out.

Then, a couple weeks ago, I was watching the Giants beat the Packers and I decided to look it up. And then I decided to start a game with Caton. And then I was apparently supposed to make the first move but the game had given me all consonants and I couldn't form a single word. So I had to pass. On my first move.

To say that Caton crushed me in this game is a huge understatement but I felt like I really learned a lot about strategy from her and when my sister-in-law, Jenn, started a game with me - I felt like I was much more equipped to play.

The great thing about Words with Friends is it really doesn't require any time -  I mean, other than the massive vocabulary that is in a constant swirl around my head now (hmm. what words do I know that end with x? What about q? Is there anything I can add to the end of that word other than an s to elongate it as I am typing another word? I feel smarter already and I haven't even typed anything) but time commitment wise - it's not there. You play when you have a minute. If you don't have a minute until 24 hours after your opponent last played NO BIG DEAL. It's pretty amazing. It took Caton and I almost two weeks to complete our first game. Which sort of leads me to wonder why was it such a huge deal for Alex Baldwin to shut it off? but that's a whole other question.

The other amazing thing about Words with Friends is I feel like I'm really communicating with these people that I, otherwise, don't talk to enough. If someone were to ask me if I'd talked to Caton lately my gut reaction would be to say yes, even though the most interaction we have had during the entire month of January is placing letter tiles back and forth, and virtually at that.

So....Words with Friends....Yipee!

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Day with Daddy

On Saturday I had to work all day and Aubrey spent the day hanging out with Martin. I think it was a really good bonding day for both of them. Martin sent me the picture message of the "creeper wagon" they played with in the shop and when I got home they were both really engrossed with perusing facebook together.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

MySpace Photo

The other day it was really cold out and we couldn't find Aubrey's absolutely adorable pink winter hat. So Martin graciously removed his hat and put it on Aubrey. Then he took a picture because she just looked so cute! When he sent the picture to his brother, Gabe, the response was that it looked like a Myspace photo. If you're not familiar with a "myspace photo" it can basically be characterized as a photo that you have taken of yourself. Most often in the bathroom in a really cutsey seductive pose with your head cocked to one side. Something that says.....I am super hot and I have tons of friends, I just couldn't find anyone to take headshots of me so I had to take them myself.

Aubrey's reach for the phone isn't helping her case.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On Heeding Warnings

Last weekend we had to purchase a new bottle of canola oil (if you don't remember the catostauphic circumstances in which I parted ways with my  last bottle read more about it here ) It was sitting on our countertop and Martin started reading the side

Martin: Wow. If you had just read the side panel of the bottle we probably could have saved ourselves a lot of trouble. You basically did the opposite of everything it says here.
Me: What do you mean?

*taken from the side of the bottle*
WARNING: Oil will catch fire if overheated. Damage or serious burns may result.

DO heat oil carefully, uncovered, on medium heat
DO reduce heat if smoking occurs
DO NOT leave unattended while heating.
DO NOT refill bottle with hot oil.

DO turn off heat
DO cover pot until cooled to room temperature to avoid reignition
DO NOT carry pot until cool.
DO NOT put water on hot or flaming oil.

On the plus side, I DID NOT put water on the hot/flaming oil and I also DID NOT attempt to refill the bottle with hot oil.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I love reading so, naturally, I want my daughter to share that feeling with me. I want her to gobble books up, to get lost in stories, to really get caught up in the characters in a book. Before having a baby, I had a really idealized idea of reading books with children. In my head, every night before bed we would cuddle up and read a couple of books. It would obviously be a great bonding experience and the favorite part of both of our days. Since having a child, all my previous notions on a short attention span have been revised. Aubrey will rarely sit still for a single page let alone an entire book. On top of that, the children's books that contain few enough words that I can actually get through them before Aubrey greedily turns the page are really boring. And, right around bedtime, Aubrey usually wants to go to bed and I'm usually ready to put her to bed and neither of us are really in the mood for sitting through some boring story. Needless to say, I was discouraged. But I persevered. I say that in the sense that I kept books around Aubrey. We read books during the day. And there are always books available for Aubrey to thumb through or to bring to me to read to her. And, I don't want to speak too soon, because who knows, maybe she'll hate reading. But for right now, she really enjoys books! Every morning when she wakes up and sees the baskets full of books in the corner of her room she screeches and chooses a book to read/play with. And multiple times throughout the day I'll find her thumbing through a book and intently taking in the pictures (intently meaning, as intently as possible in the four to fifteen seconds before she loses patience and turns the page)

Monday, January 23, 2012


Martin: I tell you what, if those footie pajamas ever really make a comeback and they start producing them in adult sizes I am definitely going to buy some. Those look amazing
Katie: I have some upstairs. They would probably fit you. You have to try them on.
Martin: Ooooh! Do they have a backdoor? You know for really cold, lazy days?
Katie: Ha. I'm not sure you'll have to check

Like father, like daughter.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Me and My Pretty

On Thursday I was off for the day because I'm working this weekend so I got to hang out with Aubrey all day long (and I also got to see a couple great friends from college. Michelle! Ranatta!) In the morning, after breakfast but before we had really gotten up the energy to put actual clothes on Aubrey and I were playing together in the living room and decided to do an inpromptu photo shoot. Aubrey loves to take the picture and then immediately look at herself.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dinner Time!

I've been really organized with my meals this year. You see - I typically have this problem wherein I kinda sorta think about meals I want to make as I am walking through the grocery store. This means that I am basically just randomly grabbing at an assortment of items that I think might make a good meal and throwing them in my cart. Then when I bring them home I realize on the night of said meal preparation that even though my cupboard is full I have none of the correct ingredients somehow, even though they're all very basic and are ingredients that food bloggers describe as things you always have on hand.

Basically, we end up eating spaghetti at minimum twice a week.

Another persistent food problem of mine is that I often buy some item because I am really excited about making one particular thing with this item and then I forget about the remainder until it is growing something in my refrigerator. Not the most economical cooking strategy out there.

So THIS YEAR I am turning over a new leaf. I'm so organized. I have all these amazing dishes that I've heard about, or seen on pinterest, or read on other blogs and I'm excited to actually have the organization to try them out.

So I created a memo in my phone and I have our dinners planned out into February. And then when I'm shopping I can look at the memo and make sure I get the appropriate ingredients. It also eliminates me forgetting to use the remainder of items that I purchase because I make sure if I know I am going to buy a pack of zucchini for grilled zucchini one day that I use the remainder to try making zucchini pasta that I saw on pinterest sometime later in the week. It's really brilliant.

Fish Tacos with a Greek Yogurt sauce. I had previously used the Greek Yogurt to make a different topping for Chicken Gyros.

French Dip. MMmmm. There's really no other way to describe French Dip.

Martin: This is great. I don't know how everything that comes out of the crockpot can be so good.

I don't know if I would go so far as to say everything is great from the crockpot, but I will agree that I'm pretty good at choosing the great recipes.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Your Bag

*Packing for my company Holiday party out of town last weekend*

Me: Whoa! You're packing all this stuff?? I thought we could maybe just take one bag plus the hanger bag with your suit and my dress.
Martin: I'm just throwing my stuff together.
Me: We're going for ONE night. Do you really need two extra pairs of boxers and three tee shirts. You're going to be in your suit most of the time.
Martin: Ok. I'll take some stuff out.
Me: Also, I wanted to put our shoes in the bag first so they don't get our clothes dirty.
Martin: Ok. Does my duffel bag work, or do you have a particular  bag you want to use to?
Me: ...well....I actually do like my duffel bag better.
Martin: Of course you do. Well, find me this AMAZING bag and I'll fill it up.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cotton Candy, Anyone?

On Friday afternoon when we first arrived in Chicago, we immediately headed to the outskirts to spend the afternoon, evening and night with my previous co-worker and peer advisor whom has since been promoted. Her husband, Bill, was kind enough to pick us up from the airport. When you leave Midway airport and head towards Bill and Stephanie's home you drive through some areas of Chicago that are.....well, definitely not well known for tourism.

Martin: Oh, look there's an office chair on the side of the road. Anyone need an office chair.
Bill: Somebody will kill you for that office chair around here.
(seconds later we see a man scurrying down the underpass to retrieve his lost office chair, looking up we find an entire home set up under that underpass)

Me: What is that guy doing walking down the middle of this highway.
Martin: Oh my gosh....he's selling cotton candy! We really should buy some
Bill: That is honestly the first time I've ever seen anyone peddling cotton candy on the side of the road.
(we then watched as a truck stopped in the middle of the intersection to purchase some cotton candy, causing all the cars behind him to miss their opportunity to turn left.)

Bill: We really should have purchased some of that cotton candy. It would have been a great story and really added to your Chicago experience.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fast Friends

Aubrey and Amanda made fast friends over Aubrey's dinner of rice and beans on Saturday night in Chicago.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chicago! Shedd Aquarium

We also went to the aquarium in Chicago. It was outside the aquarium that we first tried our beloved Chicago dogs. Aubrey really like watching all the fish.

And there was a Christmas dolphin show going on.

And Aubrey was a complete angel. Also, so many things that I always wondered why they existed I have realized the reason since having a child. Like lockers in public places. Previously, my thought process went something like this, who would pay for a locker. How hard is it to carry your coat.

After having a child, my thought process went something like this, A locker! For only fifty cents! That is amazing! And I don't have to carry around Aubrey's stroller....and her coat....and her snowpants....and my coat....I can just carry her and possibly a sippy cup. Sign me up please!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Chicago! Sears (I mean) Willis Tower

I think it goes without saying that you can't go to Chicago without going up the tower. The Tower is apparently no longer called the Sears Tower, but is now called the Willis Tower. You will see that noted on all the brochures..  Willis Tower (formerly Sears).

Martin: Are we sure we're walking in the right direction? Where is the tower?
Zach: I'm pretty sure we have to head west a little bit.
Amanda: Which way is west from here?
Zach: To the left
Amanda: Oh! Is that always the case?
Zach: No, only when you're facing north.
Amanda: Oh. right. that makes sense.

The views from the Willis Tower were amazing it is absolutely incredible to be that high and look down at the city unfolding around you.

One of the coolest parts about the Willis Tower were the recently installed sky views. You can actually go out onto a completely glass overhang and literally look at the city below your feet. Aubrey, who is not scared of heights took to this like a fish and water and was in awe looking below her.

I didn't think I would be the least bit bothered by this experience, but when I took my first step onto the ledge and looked down I found it to be a lot scarier than I had originally anticipated.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chicago! Magnificent Mile!

We were fortunate enough to stay in an amazing and affordable hotel right off the Magnificent Mile.  I'm not usually one to care much for the accomodations, but the location, the price and the set-up of the rooms were completely perfect for traveling with a baby. There was actually a door between the bedroom and a small living room so we could put Aubrey to bed at night and then still stay up eating, drinking, laughing and talking in the common room. We walked The Magnificent Mile on Sunday morning to look in all the windows and see all the shops. Did you know that there is a small castle-like building on the Magnificent Mile that was a water control building. It is also the only building still standing from before the Great Chicago Fire. Just a little Chicago trivia for your Sunday morning read.

One of my favorite parts about walking the Magnificent Mile was watching all the little girls carrying their American Girl dolls and headed to the American Girl store. We didn't go in there, but we did go into the Lego Store which was right next door (I want Aubrey to be an engineer when she grows up so I'm trying to facilitate that type of learning environment.....I kid, I kid. She can be whatever she wants - provided whatever she wants falls into the category of engineer, architect, famous chef, ballet dancer, or doctor) Anyway, that entire scene above was made out of legos. Pretty neat, huh?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Chicago! Navy Pier!

It was cold in Chicago. They don't call it The Windy City for no reason. We wanted to make sure Aubrey was warm while we were walking around, so we really bundled her up. Doesn't she look hilarious! She reminds me of Randy from A Christmas Story.

I can't move my arms!

Saturday night when we met up with Amanda and Zach we went for a walk. We walked a long way in the wrong direction and then we turned around and went to Navy Pier. I'd like to place the blame of the wrong direction walking on someone, it just seems like the thing to do, unfortunately, that someone could probably be me and I don't want to do THAT. Amanda and I just walk very fast we're always walking like we're on some sort of important mission. Even when we have no idea where we're going or in what direction we're walking. Zach and Martin like to mosey. So even when they have an idea what direction we're walking in, they'll just mosey along behind. This type of thinking often leads to problems.

It didn't matter, it was just good to walk and take in the sites. And it had the added bonus that when we left Navy Pier it was dark and everything looked gorgeous.

I heard Amanda ask Zach to take a picture of the city at least  four times before I had the presence of mind to make a joke about it causing Zach to finally hear. Of course, I didn't have the presence of mind to slow my pace for this picture until Martin scolded me moments later.

And between the ships in the pier and the city lights in the background. The laughter we were making and our adorable child dressed up like Randy from A Christmas Story it really was a picture perfect moment.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Sunday was one of those amazing days that makes you wish everyday could be just that way. We dragged ourselves out of bed in the morning and went to church (this part was especially difficult after going out the night before). After church we went and got groceries. When we got home at 11:30 Aubrey immediately passed out (she had been up until 10 the night before and then again from midnight until 1:30ish when we finally went home - partying is really hard on the whole family).

Aubrey took a four hour nap until 3:30 and Martin took a two hour nap. We layed around a lot. We ate lunch in the living room.

We wrapped ourselves up in blankets and drank coffee during the day. And then we watched countless episodes of How I Met Your Mother.

At 5:00 Katie and Ryan came over with their adorable daughter, Karalyn. We had steak sandwiches and broccoli. Karalyn is so cute I could have just eaten her. She is getting to that really cute chubby baby phase that Aubrey is too quickly growing out of. I wanted to have her cheeks for dessert. Katie wouldn't let me. But she did give me a extra cute smile so I said that would suffice for now.

Oh, Sunday....I want you back.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chicago! The Airplane

Did you know, babies fly for free on your lap until the age of two. And, on Southwest Airlines, bags also fly for free! (This proved to be very useful because traveling with a baby requires a lot of crap). The same girl that went to Europe for ten days on a trip that required both business and pleasure attire with just a small backpack absolutely needed both of my free bag options for this trip. Between the pack and play and the carseat and the stroller and the 15 changes of clothes in case she ruined the ones she was wearing. And the toys and the snacks. I was really starting to question if I even wanted to go on vacation at all as we waddled into the airport with all our crap.

Our gate was right next to a children's play area which worked out perfect as our flight was delayed by an hour and Aubrey had plenty to keep her entertained.

And on the flight, she was....pretty good. The part of my that forgets everything stressful that happened once everything has ended well wanted to type she was a perfect angel, but the realist in me remembers how she threatened to cry and ruin everyone's trip multiple times and this was discouraged only by the fact that we walked up and down the aisle saying hello to everyone as we passed. So yes, all is well that ends well and I would definitely do it again. Preferable multiple time, before she turns two while it's still free.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Chicago! Food!

I went to Chicago with Martin and Aubrey to meet my amazing friend, Amanda and her equally amazing husband Zach over a month ago. I have yet to post a single sentence about the trip. Ok, maybe I've posted a sentence here or there - but this trip was amazing, it was Aubrey's first time on an airplane, it was great to see Amanda, AND it coincided with Martin's birthday. So you see, lots of post-worthy material.

Because I really like food. I'm going to start off my Chicago vacation series around the food we ate while in Chicago. Because, Chicago, you sure do know your food.

This was a previously unknown fact to me, but Chicago is apparently known for its Steakhouses. So on Saturday night, in celebration of Martin's birthday - we went out for steak. We went to the Weber Grill. The steak was delicious, the conversation was hilarious, the wait was incredibly long but we were able to snag some seats at the bar and Martin's drink was on the house (due to it being his birthday)

It also happened to be that lady in the background's birthday. I'm not sure how old she turned. I asked her, but then everyone made it seem like it was such an offensive question to ask I think she got too embarrassed to answer.

Everyone knows of Chicago for it's deep dish pizza. It obviously would have been completely blasphemous for us to leave Chicago without trying some original deep dish pizza. So, of course, we gorged ourselves on it. We got pizza from Giordano's, Chicago's famous deep dish restaurant. We actually took this pizza back to the hotel and at it after Aubrey had already gone to bed, but had we eaten there I think it would have been perfect. It was a very nice family atmosphere. Be it as it was, though, Amanda and I had a great time drinking way too many gin and tonics (for me) and whiskey gingers (for her) while waiting for our pizza to cook. The boys hung out at the hotel with Aubrey. I can't say that I'm a huge fan of deep dish. I can say that I am very happy I tried it. I'll admit that it was pretty tasty. But given the choice between a good old New York pizza and a deep dish, I'd pick New York any day of the week.

They have McDonald's in Chicago. We didn't eat here, but we did find a GIGANTIC McDonald's and Martin insisted that we take a picture.

And then we crossed the street and went inside to use the bathroom. And Amanda got her picture taken with every statue on the lot (trust me, I have a lot more pictures similar to this one)

But, hands down, my favorite meal of the vacation was the CHICAGO DOG we got from a street vendor on Sunday afternoon. It was pure deliciousness. A hot dog with tomato, pickle, mustard, onion, relish, hot sauce, celery salt. AMAZING.

Martin and I actually enjoyed these so much that we got another one in the airport before leaving the city.