Saturday, June 30, 2012

Picking Wildflowers

A few weeks ago, my brother Alex was taking Aubrey of a tour of all the wild flowers growing in the rubble and grass around the edges of the farm. After spended a day in the packing tractor on top of the bunk silo he was fairly confident he had spotted all the good ones and was eager to show off her knowledge to the greatest set of listening ears he's ever encountered.

Alex: And look Aubrey, here's some pretty little white flowers. I don't know what they're called.
Me: They're daisies.
Alex: No they're not. Daisies are ugly.
Me: Nope. Those are daisies.
Alex: Hmmm. oh.

So, we all got a lesson in botany and Aubrey had a lot of fun picking wildflowers.

Friday, June 29, 2012


A couple weekends ago, Aubrey woke up in the middle of the night. Because my body is trained to hear her every nightly move, I also woke up and went into her room to investigate the cause of her distress. Seeing no problem - I decided to bring her into the kitchen and get her a little bit of water, change her diaper and send her happily back to bed. As I was laying her back down in her crib I overheard my mom talking to my dad outside the window at 1AM!

Me: Martin. Martin. I just heard my parents talking outside.
Martin: (groggily rolls over) They're probably just looking for a new place to get fresh. (rolls back over and goes to sleep)

Unconvinced this was the reason for their midnight stroll outside I tried to investigate by looking out the window. At first I saw nothing but then I saw headlights and my youngest brother Garrett yelling Heifer!

Me: Oh no! I think the cows are out
I rush around trying to throw some clothes on my body and head out the door, only to be greeted at the bottom of the stairs by Garrett.

Garrett: I see you finally came to join the fun, now that it's all wrapped up.
Me: What happened?
Garrett: All the 1000 pounders got out. There was like 75 heifers outside your window.
Alex: We heard them from our house. There was cars honking their horns on the road. All the calves were bellowing and going crazy on top of which I'm sure Andy was freaking out in the apartment directly below you. How did you miss it???
Me: I don't know. I heard Aubrey wake up. I didn't know what woke her up. I guess it was that.

Apparently I'm a pretty sound sleeper.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Instaweek 6

Another week full of photos of Aubrey and Food. I'm really starting to see a pattern here.

Garrett coming in to the dock on waterskis. That water looks so awesome.

Relaxing on a hammock at the lake. Life really doesn't get much better.

Mmmm. Portabella pizzas.

Hamburgers and a salad. Perfect summer meal.

Strawberry toast!

Sunrise in the morning. Beautiful.

Mmm. Saturday night ice cream. Aubrey loves it!

Chasing ducks at the park in Ithaca.

Watching a movie and cooling down at the same time.

Picking wildflowers!

Playing near the calves.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Harley Hello

Martin: So I was driving my work truck and I passed a motorcycle and I was like, I'm going to try it so I did and they did it back.
Mitchell: They probably thought you were a rider.
Me: What was it?

Martin: (throws out hand like this).

The harley hello.

Martin: If you put your hand low it means no cops and if you lift it up it means there's a cop.
Me: Oh (demostrates hello)
Martin: You don't have to put you're hand so high. It looks like you're doing the disco.

Mitchell: The only problem with it is a lot of riders don't actually know it so you'll pass them and they'll wave to you and there's never a cop.
Me: That would probably be me.
Alex: You'd be really enthuastically waving like.....OMG There's another motorcycle!!!


Mitchell: Or she'd be waving with both hands off the wheel.
Martin: Yeah, the other motorcycle would be like oh my gosh, there's road block ahead.
Me: Is that what it means if you take both hands off the wheel and wave them?
Mitchell: Ugh! No! If you take both hands off the wheel people are just going to drive past you praying that you don't run them over cause you're an idiot.
Me: Oh.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Portabella Pizzas

Of all the amazing things Martin does (making me laugh uncontrollably being the chief amazing feat) being a homemaker is not one of them. So when I got home from work at 7:53 on Tuesday night, there certainly wasn't dinner waiting for me. In fact, there wasn't even a husband and child waiting for me as they had retreated to my mom's house for dinner in my absense. Knowing dinner at my mom's was probably eaten and put away, I decided to whip myself up something. I had some portabella mushrooms in the refrigerator and I remembered this pin which I found on pinterest a while ago and decided to take a crack a something new. I was too famished to take the time to look up the actualy recipe so I pretty much just based all my decisions off of my knowledge of the word pizza. When I did look up the recipe later - I realized my version varied greatly from the one I had pinned.

This is what I did:

I destemmed the Portabellas.
I poured spaghetti sauce in them.
I topped with shredded mozzarella and diced peppers (peppers were the only other vegetables in my fridge other than brussel sprouts)
I grilled the pizzas until the cheese melted.

Like I mentioned, I got home at 7:53 and by 8:17 I had inhaled two of these, cleaned up the kitchen, and started the dishwasher.

But...if I were making reccomendations, which I obviously am, I would probably follow the original recipe a little closer. The original recipe was less of a pizza and more of pizza type vegetables stuffed in a portabella and topped with cheese. The big advantage to this is the original recipe required you to saute the vegetables until cooked before adding them to the portabellas. This really would have skyrocketed my meal from good to great because my peppers were basically still raw when I ate them on my pizzas. I think if I was really short on vegetables, like if I didn't have tomatoes, I would probably saute my vegetables and then mix with spaghetti sauce before adding in the mushroom.  Either way, I would highly recommend this meal....especially if you're a mushroom lover!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


A couple weeks ago, in what seemed like over night, my grandmother's rose burst went from having a flower here and there to bursting with gorgeous flowers. My mom mentioned that I should try to get a good picture of Aubrey with the rose bush as a backdrop. I thought this was a marvelous idea, but unfortunately - the blooming of the flowers coincided with Aubrey's terrible nose injury. As luck would have it, Aubrey's nose healed in record time and the flower blooms, while starting to die a little are still gorgeous. So.....I attempted to take the perfect picture. I've included every photo from that photo shoot so you can see just what I'm up against. 

Hey Aubrey, can you look at the camera, please? Maybe try to pick a flower instead of rocks.

Ok, my camera was too slow. You look drunk .

Look at me,please.

Can you take your hands out of your mouth, please.

Ok. How about just look at me and smile.

That's about as good as it's gonna get.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Aubrey and I went strawberry picking on Saturday morning before the Strawberry Festival Parade (which if you're local you really should check out the Monday issue of your Daily News because you can see Aubrey and I watching the parade  - if you're not local you can see the picture here).

Picking strawberries at Panek's always brings back fond memories. I spent a lot of years picking strawberries there every single day for the entire strawberry season. I spent so much time picking strawberries that I used to dread picking strawberries so it's ironic that I now return as a fun, social outing. Aubrey stayed in her stroller while my mom and I picked out quarts because we were worried about her smashing the rows. And based on her performance in the stroller, I think our fears were well founded. The girl knocked the stroller over TWICE while trying to pick up her quart with berries which she had dropped on the ground. Yes, on two seperate occasions I had to pick her up because she was laying on the ground stuck in a sideways stroller. But don't worry, she was so happy to be shoving her face with strawberries she didn't even mind tipping over a few times.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Instaweek 5

A good book on a Beautiful day. Life doesn't really get any better.

Hide and seek in the calf hutch.


A pretty girl in front of pretty roses.

Banana slices with peanut butter. Obviously eat all the peanut butter first, then finish the banana.

Grandmother and granddaughter.

Fresh picked strawberries from Panek's Pickin' Patch!

Water with Lemon.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Talking in Your Sleep

On Friday night we went over to visit our friends, Katie and Ryan, and their adorable daughter that I haven't seen in way too long since we went to Florida together - Karalyn. After Karalyn and Aubrey, mostly Aubrey, decided they really didn't want to play with each other both girls had a lot of fun clinging to the sides of their mothers until it was bedtime. Aubrey took a brief interlude of clinging to my side to chase the cat.

When it was time to leave around midnight, I picked up a sleeping Aubrey out of the pack and play and brought her out to the carseat. The entire walk downstairs to grab her bag and say goodbye and then out to the car she did not wake. When I set her in the carseat she quickly opened her eyes and looked at me with a smile.

Aubrey: Mom. Waawidoin (That's baby talk for what are we doing?):
Me: Hey pretty, we're going to go home and go to bed.
Aubrey: Oh.
at this point she lay her head back on the carseat content with my answer and ready to get back to sleeping.

Just one of the many moments that I treasure.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

On Potty Training

Don't take the title of this post the wrong way. We're really not anywhere near having Aubrey potty trained, but it's a notion that would be pretty spectacular in my mind but then plays out in reality as a dream of the delirious.

Memorial Day week I had a couple of vacation days and decided to embark on the daunting task of potty training Aubrey. My mom and I have been sitting her on the toilet for a few months now at random times but never with any regularity and so far there hasn't been any action in the toilet. But I bought some training pants and had a long conversation with Aubrey about telling me when she needs to go potty and we would sit on the toilet. And then I set the training potty up in my mom's garage and Aubrey went about playing on the swing and the slide and with the other plethora of toys at my mom's house.

And we went running over to attempt sitting on the toilet approximately 15 times.

Then it was time for lunch and I grabbed her to eat only to find she was completely soaked . Aubrey! You have to tell me when you need to go potty so we can sit you on the toilet.

So I stripped her out of the underwear and she ran around naked (bottomless) for a few minutes. About 25 seconds after we tried sitting on the potty one more time she started peeing on the rock patio. And then about a minute and a half after that she took a poop.

Needless to say, it might be a while before I can say goodbye to diapers.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Me: Watch the grill for a second. I'll be right back.
Martin: Umm...ok.

less than 20 seconds later

Martin:Um, honey? Are you going to come watch this food.
Me: Why? You can't handle it?
Martin: I don't know what I'm doing.
Me: It's grilling. You just let it cook.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Baked Balsamic Carrots

I was originally going to write a post about my homemade mac and cheese. Because it's amazing. I'm not kidding, Martin actually told me on Sunday night when I made it that this mac and cheese was one of the reasons why he is so glad he married me. Because otherwise he would probably have gone his whole life without knowing how good mac and cheese can be.

And then on Monday:

Me: What do you want for dinner.
Martin: I was planning on having mac and cheese. Thinking about eating the leftovers is pretty much what's been getting me through the day.

and then I could smell fresh noodles boiling in the kitchen

Me: Did you make noodles?
Martin: Ummm....yeah.....why?
Me: Because I can smell them. I thought you were having the leftovers.
Martin: Well I didn't want to eat them all - I wanted to save some for tomorrow so I can enjoy it then too.

....If that's not credibility I don't know what is.

But anyway,

I'm not sharing the mac and cheese recipe here with you today because I realized my recipe is less of a recipe and more of a throw ingredients together with no set proportions. And, I realize I never really give very good guidelines for the amount of each ingredient to add, but I barely have a good grasp on this one myself so I can't even begin to articulate it into words.

Instead I'm going to share the sidedish we had with the mac and cheese. Baked Carrots and Balsamic. The nice thing about these is it really doesn't matter how much or how little of any ingredient you use, so it's really tough to screw it up. I made these from a combination of a bunch of different recipes that I barely glanced over on pinterest. Here goes:

Cut the carrots into pieces. You can see I have some long pieces in the pan but mostly little pieces. That's because I originally began trying to cut the carrot the long way to make "carrot chips" as I had seen somewhere but almost immediately decided I didn't have a steady enough hand to master that type of cut.

Toss the cut carrots in a dish with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Sprinkle a little salt on top.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.


and ps. I normally HATE cooked carrots, but these have a totally different taste to them than the steamed ones your mom used to try to feed you.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Trophy Fish

These pictures were taken after our Memorial Day canoe trip when we were enjoying subs, a few more beverages and naps up by the lake. Taking a camera on a canoe trip, while tempting and so worth it when successful, is a risk I'm not willing to take given my canoeing track record with Martin.

This time, however, we had a toddler in the canoe with us so we had to be on our best behavior. We didn't flip once! I think that is definitely a first for us (a first in seven years).

There was only one small mishap. Aubrey, who was pretty great during the whole trip and kept herself fairly entertained eating fruit and watching the river unfold from her perch between my legs did manage to get into a little mischeif when she tried to reach over the boat to touch the water. One moment she was standing sweetly in the boat and then next moment she was in the water.

Martin: Honey! She's in the water!

*I used my catlike instincts to pull her out of the water by one leg*

Martin: You pulled her out of there like you were catching a trophy fish!

And she is my trophy fish.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Weddings....and eating daisies

Last weekend one of my good friends and colleagues got married. She had a fantastic wedding. Other than my own wedding (which I'm slightly biased towards) I have never seen such a full dance floor for the entire time. That in and of itself was pretty spectacular. You know I love to bust a move. ....Actually, I might like to bust a move a little too much because my dancing did not go unnoticed.

DJ: And before we move on to the next song, I'd like to do a special shout out to the girl right there in the blue dress in the middle
*entire dance floor immediately spreads so I'm standing by myself in the middle trying desperately to point to my friend who is also in a blue dress*
DJ: This girl has not stopped dancing all night long. I played a Neil Diamond song earlier and you won't believe the air this girl got. She's the Elaine from Seinfeld of this party.

The wedding was out of town so Aubrey went with us to the church ceremony and then during the reception a friend's younger sister (also her DD) babysat Aubrey in the hotel room. During the ceremony Aubrey mostly entertained everyone by showing them her muscles. Then when she started to get a little bored (it was an hour long) she and Martin went for a walk outside and returned with a flower. Aubrey handed me the flower and upon me thanking her she immediately took and back and after rolling it around in her hand for a few minutes started to rip it up and eat pieces of the stem.

Martin: Are you really letting her eat that???
Me: She's being really quiet!

You can't mess with the equilibrium a quiet toddler creates.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Truth.

Last week my best friend, Caton, was in town. It was amazing to see her and to hang out. We did tons of fun activities and I also really really like her future Bostonian roommate, Lizzie. Caton has a thing for telling stories with ..........flair. The not so eloquant way of saying that is she mostly makes them up to make a better story. The first night Caton was home we obviously got together and Caton obviously started telling stories.

Caton: Ok, here's a story that is 100% true and I already told Jenna about it right after it happens so she can vouch for me (Sidenote: If you can catch a story from Caton on the first telling it is usually closest to the truth because she thinks of fun embellishments as she spins her original tale).

*Caton proceeds to tell the story*

Caton: And that was true, right?
Me: was pretty close to the truth. There was only one difference in the story you told me.
Caton: Oh really? What was it? (Caton also trains herself to believe her elaborations so its often times hard to convince her otherwise after the story has been altered.)
Me: In the story you told me you said that Landon text one of Nate's friends for your number but in that story you said that Landon called Nate (your date at the party) for your number and he said no way!
Caton: Oh yeah. I really thought that was completely true too!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Instaweek 4

Hanging out in bed with the pretty one.

Road trip!....obviously means naptime.

Good morning sunshine!

Florida pedicure is almost gone. Who wants to accompany me for a new one?!

Making homemade Mac and Cheese for dinner

Mmmm. Mac and Cheese and Carrots with balsamic vinegar.