Friday, September 25, 2009

It's been a while...

I know, I know, I'm a total slacker of a blogger. I got so into it, but then, I just kind of stopped... I promise I will try to be better at blogging! So, here is a little family update:
aka: Jack-jack and 'bay buddah'
Jack is now SEVEN months old. I swear time goes by too fast! He is so different than Nick ever was! He is very independent, but also loves to be held. Like, he loves to be held, but also needs to get whatever is sitting closest to him. His babbles are 'mama', 'dada', 'nana', he also sqwaks when he doesn't get what he wants. He is sitting up all by himself, and if he is on his tummy, he can push himself up to a sitting position. He also is scooting very well. If he has an object in front of him that he knows he wants, he is after it, without any hesitation. He started copying me just yesterday. I shook my head no-no, and he started doing it right after. -What a smart boy! He is totally obsessed with food, and likes to be fed at the same time everyone else is eating. He will reach for whatever is in front of him, and stick it directly into his mouth. He loves to bounce while standing, and his new fave is being dipped upside down, and being tossed in the air. (Don't worry, I'm cautious) He LOVES bathtime, and is a big splasher. He loves it best when Nick is in the tub with him. They splish- splash all over the bathroom, and all over mom.

I think they realize they are brothers, and they are supposed to be around one another. Jack finds Nick very entertaining, and Nick loves to play with him. Nick tickles Jack, and they both think it's hillarious. Nick climbs right into Jack's playpen and they play together. (As much as they can) Of course it usually ends up in them both grabbing at the same thing, and one of them crying. Jack puts up a pretty good fight for a 7 month old. Does a mamma proud.

aka Nickerton, Wickywas, Wick, Nickerdoodle....
Nick is two and 4 months... and what a ham. He is definitely in his 'terrible two' stage. Not that it's 'terrible', I think he just likes to push the limits, and fight for his independence. He hates timeout, and everything associated with it. He has decided the walls are his favorite palate for his artwork. ( I swear, I dont know where he keeps getting these writing utensils) He loves swimming, going to the beach, hanging out with family, and trying any new thing he can get his hands on. He loves to help mama, and help with his brother. He still loves Yo Gabba Gabba, and still loves to 'help' mommy in the kitchen.
My mother thinks this is hillarious, so I will share:
Today, I was doing some household chores, and went upstairs to quickly tidy, and put some laundry away. Nick was downstairs, watching a cartoon. I thought he would be okay. I smelled something really funny as I closed the linen closet, rushed downstairs, and there is my Nick- COVERED in red nail polish. He had it covering both of his hands, on his eye lids, his nose, his cheeks, shirt, and last, but not least, my couch. It looks like he poured the polish out onto his hand, and then, decided to smear it all over the place. I was upset, to say the least. I cleaned him up, put him in timeout, and moved past it. A few hours later, after a nap, and a snack, I started to do some more cleaning, and putting laundry away. I went upstairs, put the laundry away, picked up some dirty laundry, organized a few drawers. I swear not ten minutes had past. I went downstairs, and Nick was pouring KETCHUP all over his little brother. Not only was it all over Jack's hair, face and clothes, it was ALL OVER the couch. Yup, the same couch as the nail polish. From one end to another. splotted and smeared. I couldnt even speak. I was SO MAD. All I could do was clean it up. I knew if I opened my mouth, it wouldn't be pretty, and I knew if i went to grab Nick, it wouldn't be gently. The only thing i could do was clean it up. In tears, and have my mom call me. To cry- only to be laughed at.
Needless to say, we wont be buying couches til the kids are in their 20's.
Besides that- Nick is truly a sweet kid. He loves to give hugs and kisses. He loves his dog. He loves our family. And is truly a blessing of mine. If I didn't have my Nick... Oh I don't know where I'd be.
me... aka- mom
I am currently just living the dream. Being a housewife, taking care of the kids, etc. I'm getting out of the Army, so that my children don't have to be without both of their parents. So, that means, bubye free school, and bubye to another source of income. Meanwhile, I'm trying to find an apartment for my family to live in (with a dog) while my husband is deployed. So far, I havent seen anything really promising. But I'm hopeful that things will look better closer to the time of the move. I will probably try to go to school, once I'm home in Utah. Nursing is still what I think I want to go into. There's always a need for nurses, and they usually have very flexible schedules. Plus, I'm confidant it will be easier on me, given my medical history and knowlege.
He is finally a part of the Florida National Guard. Just swore in on Monday. He is looking to deploy on January 6th of 2010. It will be hard for us to be apart, but we know it is a good thing for our family. He will have training from the end of October, to the end of November. We decided we are going to put his dad's house on the market again. So, we are busy trying to get things all organized, and ready to show.
Anyway, that's our update...

Sunday, July 19, 2009


We had such an amazing day at the Aquarium. Some may say I have gone photo happy in this blog, but I'm sure you'll all enjoy them!!
This was actually toward the end of the day. As you can see, Nick was unwilling to cooperate with the camera, and Jack was getting a little irritable. Momma and her boys. :) How loved am I?!
This is sort of an accidental photo, but I love Jack's chubby face. The small yellow thing is a sea horse that has wrapped it's tail around this plant. They were so cute, and there are so many different types of sea horses, I never knew! Some look like plants, and some look like worms...
Another Jack photo, in front of the stingray tank. There was this one stingray that kept flapping it's side on the edge of the tank, and even jumped up onto it!! It was really cool, I think it was trying to escape!

I know this one's sideways... I couldn't figure out how to rotate it, then I couldnt figure out how to delete it... But Jack's face is cute!!
At the very end there was a playground and a water park. (Had I known about that before, we would have brought our swimsuits... Or at least Nick's.
At the stingray tank.. I just love his little attitude in this photo.
Nick was IN LOVE with the stingrays. ("That's his eyes mom?") He wasn't scared of them at all, he definitely wouldn't pet them though.
Oh, a baby turtle! ! There were kids everywhere, and I was snapping photos left and right. The older kids would make sure no one got in the way, so I could take pictures. ha ha. Tourists have photo- etiquite!

I'm so glad we got the opportunity to have a great day as a family at the Aquarium. We all had a blast! (Sorry about the picture overload! I just had to share!)


This was a humungous tank full of bigger salt water fish. As you can tell, Nick was all into it. He would stand at a tank for about 5 minutes, just to look at everything. if you look on the right hand side of the photo, you can sort of make out one of the sharks. These are some of the smaller fish, I just loved Nick's expression in this photo.
This was the alligator tank. I chose this photo because you can see the alligators, that just hang under water, with their eyes just above the water line. ( I thought that was so cool) But, you an also see Nick and Cameron's expressions in the glass.
This is Nick and Dad, both loving the fishies, and learning.
Thank goodness for our Military discounts. We, as a family loved going to the Aquarium. We learned a lot and had a great great time!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


This is from about 6 weeks ago, but I figured I'd post some pictures of our love of the pool. Cameron gets the job of chasing Nick around, and I get the job of holding Jack, and keeping him content, lol. This was before we got floaties, and probably Nick's 2nd or 3rd time actually in the pool. He LOVES the water, and is too brave. He will stand on the edge, with or without floaties, and just jump in. (He takes after his Grandmother...) See the expression on his face? He LOVES LOVES LOVES the water!! I bet he's the next Michael Phelps, without the controversy, and MUCH cuter!! :)
And, our 'beauty queen'. Taking photos while I've been swimming? Not such a great idea, but buoyant little Jack also loves the pool, unless he's hungry. He kicks his little feet around, and started splashing!


Oh, my boys are sprouting like bean stalks!! Nickolas is getting super independent, and I'm starting to see the wheels in his head turning. He is remembering things now. His favorite show, "Yo Gabba Gabba" has a section where they do a "dancey dance". It teaches a dance, and then they all do it together. There are about 4 of these dances that he knows by heart, and performs on a daily basis. He can count to 10 mostly by himself now. (He skips four every now and then.) He is going to be my kid that has a bunch of hobbies and interests. He is interested in SO many things. He loves to watch the ducks, that sit right outside of our home, on the lake. He loves to help me in the kitchen. He will sit on the counter, and I'll hand him the measured ingredients to pour into our bowl. He loves to sing songs- itsy bitsy spider, patty cake, and of course, his 'Yo Gabba Gabba' songs. He knows a lot of the lines in these songs. It's so amazing to me, that he's already remembering multiple things. He loves to ride his bikes, and play with matchbox cars. He knows all the exterior parts of his body, and loves to point them out! I think he is also learning the art of manipulation. (darn it!) He is getting so big. I miss my little baby sometimes.

Jack is not so little anymore either! He is sitting up, almost all by himself. He can pull himself up into an almost sitting position. He has found his feet as of the other day, and tries to pull them into his mouth (along with everything else). He is also starting to scoot. He will scoot up and down the length of the bed, and of his crib. He can roll over, and is starting to grab at anything he can see, including my face. He likes to put his mouth on my cheeks. I call them my baby kisses. He is very much a needy baby, but loves to look around, and be in the action. The other day, Lucky (the dog) jumped on top of Nick, and Jack just cracked up laughing. I thought it was hilarious. It gave me a little peek into his 'growing up' side. He loves to go on walks. When we walk our dog in the evening, he will just sit in the stroller, and take in the evening air. :)

I wish life weren't going by so fast! I just love every minute with these special spirits I get to keep and take care of.

Friday, July 17, 2009


I tried this recipe for the first time last night. It was so super easy, and WAY yummy. It might sound strange, but there is just enough sweetness to really make these chops sing. Definitely try this one!
4 Pork Chops
2 TB Olive Oil
1 C. Chicken Stock
1 tsp. Thyme
1/4 c. Maple Syrup
( If you make your syrup from scratch, use a little more- I did, and used about a half cup, also add a little brown sugar in addition to white sugar. It makes it perfectly sweet)
1 TB lemon juice
Season Chops with salt and pepper. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 TB Olive Oil. When the oil begins to ripple, add the pork chops and sear for two minutes on each side. Then turn the heat down to medium heat and cook another 5-6 minutes. (Be careful not to make the pan too hot, and burn the sides, with a raw middle...)
While your chops are cooking, mix the stock, maple syrup, lemon juice, and thyme.
When the chops are cooked, transfer them to a plate, and wrap in foil to keep warm. Add your maple syrup mixture to the pan your chops were cooking in, and let heat and bubble. Once bubbly, add the chops back to the pan with the glaze, and flip them around to coat them well.
My glaze wasn't very thick, so I made a simple gravy, I had about 3/4 c. of liquid left.
1TB butter
1TB flour
leftover liquid.
Heat your butter- just before it gets bubbly- right as it's melted, add your flour and whisk. Stir consistently for about a minute, to let the flour taste cook out. Add your glaze liquid, stir for about two minutes, until it thickens- make sure you whisk the entire time so it's not lumpy. No need to season, it will taste perfect. I also added about 1 TB of cream, to make it more creamy.

I served the chops with Rosemary/ Olive Oil Roasted Potatoes, and steamed broccoli. It was a fabulous dinner, Nick ate most of it. ( It probably helps that there was a maple flavor! )
The chops are a Rachael Ray recipe.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009



When Nick found out it was Grandma's Birthday, we called her to wish her a happy day. He said "Happy Birthday!!" in the phone, and then continued to sing and shout the 'Happy Birthday Song' for the rest of the morning. And asked several times, "It's Grandma's Birthday?"

(So, let it be shown, that we were all thinking about you today!) In honor of your birthday, we made cupcakes. I wanted to try a new recipe, so I make Red Velvet cupcakes, with Cream Cheese frosting... Seriously, they were to die for!! :)



15 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
13 ounces granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3 eggs
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons red food coloring
1 1/4 teaspoons vinegar (white or apple cider can both work)
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 cup water

1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound butter, room temperature
2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside.
In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix oil, sugar, and buttermilk until combined. Add eggs, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla and water and mix well. Add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time and mix on low, scraping down sides occasionally, and mix until just combined. Be sure not to over mix, or the batter will come out tough.
Line a 16-cup cupcake pan with paper liners, scoop the batter into the liners and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Let cool. (I did 20 minutes)

Whip the butter and cream cheese together in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until creamed. Gradually add powdered sugar to the mixture and scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
The frosting can be used right away, or stored in the refrigerator up to a week.
Frost cooled cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting.

These were super super delicious. I aboslutely loved them!!

These were very light and fluffy, not too moist, not too dry- The perfect consistancy for my little taste buds!! Make sure you use real butter for the frosting. I had one go around with marg. and it didn't taste as good, or set up as well.

They made about 2 doz. cupcakes. I used my icecream scooper to measure them all the same.

I found this recipe on