Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Thanksgiving was perfect this year!

I've never completely hosted Thanksgiving before. I've always had it at someone else's house. Even if I helped to make most of the dishes, it's never been me as hostess. Some years I've gotten away with doing less than others. Some years one dish, or bring a pie, or even bring a drink. Some years, I've made half the dishes myself. This year, it was all me at my house, with my family. And it was great.

We did Thanksgiving dinner on Friday this year. Jon spent Thanksgiving day with his girlfriend at her brother's house, so we moved it back a day so he could come to our dinner also. The night before, I made the pumpkin pie and the dough for the rolls, and Ben prepped the turkey for frying.

On Thanksgiving morning, I got myself and the girls ready for the day and got in the kitchen to get started. I made a game plan the night before and wrote down what order I was going to cook everything, what time things had to get in the oven, what time they had to come out, and it made the day go very smoothly. Just as I was starting the rolls around 11, Ema called from Sequim and said she wanted to drive down and asked if that would be ok. I was so excited! One more for dinner, and it's one of my favorite people in the whole world. She hadn't driven down here by herself before (it takes about 2 hours, 3 highways, 2 bridges and a freeway) and was finally feeling brave enough to head down.

On my menu this year was: the turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, cranberries, green beans, rolls, pumpkin pie and apple pie. I did the pie crusts from scratch, the rolls from scratch, the mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes from scratch, and the apple pie filling from scratch, the cranberries from scratch. I did stuffing from a box since we fried the turkey, and used canned pumpkin for the pie filling. The green beans were just the steam in a bag kind, but they were good anyway. All of it was good, actually. Really really good. I wish I had had an extra stomach for that dinner.

Ema arrived as I was cooking, and kept me company in the kitchen. She helped a lot by holding Natalie. Lauren wanted to help cook, so she went and got all of her cooking stuff - the apron, chef's hat and pot holder - from the playroom.

She also made the fantastic centerpiece for our table:
She ended up sitting in the high chair since we needed all four chairs for adults, and there wasn't much room on the table. Small, but adequate. So we did the food buffet style in the kitchen:
(from left to right:) Mashed potatoes, cranberries, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, gravy, rolls... all in my very best, fanciest, matching serving ware. Ha ha ha.

This was the sweet potato casserole, which we almost didn't have. Ben suggested I not make it when we were shopping for stuff last weekend, but at the last minute, I had him stop by the store to get some sweet potatoes. I decided that even if I was the only one who ate it, I wanted it. And I'm glad. I found a recipe online and tweaked it a little by adjusting the amount of sugar, adding pecans to the mixture before it went in the dish, and adding marshmallows on top. Very yummy, and Ema said sweet potatoes were always one of her favorite holiday dishes.
And here's the turkey that Ben fried. Wow. Delicious. If you have never had a deep fried turkey before, you're missing out. We haven't baked a turkey again since the first time we fried one. So so so so so good, you guys!

It was a very successful Thanksgiving!

Ema and Jon both spent the night and I went out shopping with Ema on Friday. Ben and Jon have been working on Jon's car this weekend, as usual when Jon comes to visit. Jon actually ended up staying another night because they didn't get a part Jon needed until late last night. They had to drive out to Sumner to pick it up, which was I was happy about because they stopped at the Sonic in Puyallup to get dinner on the way home.

It feels like it's a short week this week, too, because Natalie's birthday is Thursday and Lissa will be getting here, and I am taking Natalie to her pre-op appointment with ophthalmology and pre-anesthesia on Thursday morning, and her well-baby visit Friday morning. Then we'll have her birthday party on Saturday with Jon and Maya coming down, too.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Getting Ready for Turkey Day!

We're going to do Thanksgiving dinner on Friday. Ben's going to fry the turkey. Today I went ahead and made the crusts for the apple pie and the pumpkin pie. I used a really simple recipe and made it in the food processor, and I hope it works out ok. Everything else I'll be able to make on Friday.

I've started Christmas shopping already and that has been fun. I love the holidays and I'm looking forward to Christmas so much. Dad is coming up here from the 20-23 of December. The next month is going to be so busy, but I'm glad because it will make the good stuff come sooner. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Visiting the Cardiologist

This morning I took Natalie in to see the pediatric cardiologist. He did a quick ultrasound of her heart and some other parts, (aortas and ventricles) and said everything looked great. We were out of the room 10 minutes after we walked in. One of the quickest visits we've had.

I bought some cute cookie boxes at JoAnn Fabrics last night for my cookie exchange party. I'm getting really excited for that. I'm making some cookies I made this summer that are so delicious. I think they're called chocolate chip filled melting moments. They're little sandwich cookies that are so light and buttery. They are a lot of work, but I think they will be worth it.

Ben is flying tonight and tomorrow night, but has a four day weekend for Thanksgiving. I hope this weekend we'll be able to go over to the Christmas tree farm and get a tree. I'm really feeling the holiday this year and I'm making myself wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate. My biggest debate is if I should wait until after Natalie's birthday, too. Maybe she deserves to have her birthday separate from Christmas. I don't know where we're going to put the tree, but we'll figure it out.

The girls and I went to Macy's today. I was on the hunt for a Martha Stewart pie plate I saw on their website, but they didn't have it in the store. We did walk through the holiday decoration department, though. Lauren loved it. She loves nutcrackers and will stop to look at and touch every one. She got her Barbie Nutcracker Ballet movie, and now just associates nutcrackers with beautiful dancing, I think. They had so many neat ornaments. Last year I decorated our tree in white, silver and red and I think it was really pretty. I don't know what I want to do this year with it.

I'm almost done with the sewing on the pillow or wall hanging I'm making for Natalie and then I can start on the one for Lauren. I think pillows would be nice, but I originally had planned on making a quilted wall hanging, and I just can't decide which one I want to do.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Both Girls Are Asleep!

It's 4:30 in the afternoon (even though it feels like late evening because it's already getting dark, thankyouverymuch, northern hemisphere) and both girls area totally asleep.

Lauren has ballet on Friday mornings at 9 am, which means we have to leave here by 8:40 so we can get over there and get her out of her rain boots and coat and into ballet shoes, and to leave here by 8:40, I have to wake up at 7:30, get Lauren up, fed, and both of us showered.

I wish I had the who cares attitude to just throw my hair in a headband and wear a hoodie to go to ballet, with only a freshly scrubbed face, but I don't. I need to be showered and make-upped. And I don't think it's fair to not get Lauren ready because I'm feeling lazy. So we get up early.

Unfortunately, this kind of makes her a cranky beast for most of Friday. I had her in her bed watching a movie for a "rest" at 1:15, but at 1:30, Natalie's home therapist and services coordinator got here for an appointment, so she was up and downstairs to see what was going on. And to not leave me alone. And was really really making things difficult. But that's ok. She's in bed now. She just went upstairs and laid down and will be an angel child when she wakes up.

Natalie was playing on the ground and just rolled onto her belly, pulled her knees in and her butt up in the air and went to sleep. I remember sleeping like that. I wonder why that position is so comfortable only until about 5 years old?

We went to Michael's yesterday to get some stuff for Lauren so she could decorate her lego castle. I couldn't help but get stuff for myself, too. I love all that Martha Stewart craft stuff. I picked up a cute bird and owl stamp set and a glue stamp pad and silver glitter. And now I want to go back and get a bunch of colors of stamp pads and more glitter. And more stamps. Not that I have anything planned, I just want to be prepared, you know, for that day when I need to host a last minute stamping and crafting party. Or when someone comes to my door demanding to know where their birthday card is, and I just be like, oh, wait, hold on, and whip something together in a matter of minutes. (note: not likely to happen. Ever. But at least I'm prepared.)

I'm getting excited for my Cookie Exchange party. I think I decided I'm going to make Chocolate Chip Filled Melting Moments which is a recipe I've made before out of "The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook" that Jayna got me for my birthday. They are delicious. I know they will take some work, and I'll have to 4x the recipe, but that's ok, they are worth it, and I want something special for the exchange. Right now I have 4 people who have said they are going to come, but I'm hoping I can get a few more people, too. I'm really excited for the holidays this year. Especially since last year was so crazy. But first, I get to focus on Natalie's first birthday. Yay! We're going to have to get a good party together for the little girl. She's amazing and she deserves it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Trucking Along

The girls and I went to Sequim on Tuesday and spent the night at Ema's house. It was a good trip, I always enjoy going and spending time with Ema.

We had our first home visit for Natalie's therapy this week. I am happy that we are getting more things going for her. The home therapist is going to meet us at Natalie's physical therapy appointment next Wednesday. Then she will be able to help us translate what we're doing in the office to what we're doing at home. Natalie has been doing really well, though. So close to crawling. She really wants to move and is finding all sorts of ways to get around that don't involve crawling. She's working on more teeth now, too, numbers 8 & 9 are coming in. We have appointments for Cardiology and Urology coming up and we're trying to get something scheduled at Audiology. Hopefully we'll get through and see everyone and then be done with most of the specialties and the ones she needs to see regularly will only be once every 6 months or year.

Lauren did better at ballet this week, she got in line when she was supposed to. She really likes it and we went ahead and signed her up for next month, too.

I'm trying to organize a holiday cookie exchange. I emailed our FRG leader and asked her to send out a rough invitation to everyone in the troop. I hope I can find people who are interested so I can get one going. If I can't find enough people through the troop, I'll put up a flyer on our mailbox and invite people from my street, too.

I'm still working on the crafts I'm doing for the girls. I saw a cute craft in Parents magazine that I think I'm going to set up for Lauren to do. I can't find it online, but it was just cutting out Christmas trees from green felt and letting her decorate them with stick on gems, then using a hole punch at the top and hanging them with ribbon as a garland or as ornaments. I think she'd have fun with that, plus it would be pretty easy to do. And not too messy of a craft.

Ben is dropping the crab pots again today. He's really gotten into going and doing that. He needs to hurry up and get a second paddle for the canoe, though.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Lauren had her first ballet class yesterday morning. She really liked it. Her class is for ages 3-6, but it's a Friday morning so it's mostly younger kids that aren't in school. She's still the smallest in her class. It's so cute. They're working on first and second position and a plie along with a couple other things. She seemed to like it. And this class is more structured than her creative movement dance class, which is good. She needs to learn how to follow directions and get in line and stuff like that.

Natalie went to her new eye doctor here. He is going to do surgery on her eyes to straighten them out. I'm waiting for them to call me with the date, but they said it'd be a Wednesday in December, most likely. She's also been referred to the new Physical Therapist where she'll also get speech therapy. I'm waiting for them to call me, too.

Ben has been flying and teaching at work. Last night he was on duty and worked from 7 pm until 9 this morning. They didn't tell him he'd be working overnight until 3 yesterday, though, so it was a long night for him. He's been asleep most of the day.

I've been working on a couple crafts for the girls. I also picked up a great cooking magazine and have been making recipes out of it. I really like a white bean and turkey chili that I've made twice. It has been cold and rainy and really PNW up here. We're counting down to Thanksgiving and Natalie's first birthday. And Lauren has already been working on an ever growing Christmas list.
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Our Videos

Latest Video of Lauren:

Video of Lauren walking:

Lauren's First Steps:

Our 5th Anniversary Video: