Monday, July 30, 2012

Our first-born

The other day, Kyle and I decided to do a photo shoot of our first-born, Kona, to put up in the guest bathroom.  Because, when you're a guest in someone's house, what's funnier than a picture of their dog, with bubbles on her head, just chilling with her rubber ducky in the guest bath?  Um, nothing!

The things this dog puts up with!  As if the constant, "love pats" she gets from Cooper boy aren't enough.  And then there's the cat to deal with.  Oh, the cat...

Here are a few of my favorites:

[Note: I don't know why, but in my head Kona sounds like a young Penelope Cruz...]

"I am utterly humiliated."

"Oh wait, I can play with this rubbery ducky?  That's cool, I guess."

"Hurry up already.  My beauty waits for no one!"

The framer!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Vinos for my amigos!

Kyle and I are always on the hunt for a good house wine.  In my book, a house wine is one that you don’t feel bad about opening on a Tuesday night with your Junk Pizza or trotting out in front of guests.  It may not knock it out of the park, but it will not disappoint!  A solid base hit instead of a homerun, as Kyle would say!

House wines also have to have broad appeal in order to be a good “go to”.  For this reason, we tend to avoid overly oaky whites or slap you in the face, tannic reds.  I think a good house wine is like a good dinner guest: it should compliment whatever you’ve got going on in the kitchen without being too loud or opinionated!

In our house, we keep the budget at $20 or less.  It’s a little game we play!  At $50 this is an easy task, at less than $20 there is a fine line between fine wine and vinegar!
 The “paying cash” and “by the case” discounts at our local Spec’s wine store definitely help the cause.  The verdict is still out on whether we are actually saving money…we may or may not in fact drink more wine because we keep it readily available!

Our current picks include a Sauvignon Blanc and a Pinot Noir that pair well with summer food and HOT Houston weather.

Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley:  This wine screams summer.  It is crisp and citrusy without being overly sweet.  I think it’s great with anything off the grill!

Calera Pinot Noir, Central Coast:  This wine is so very drinkable.  It’s definitely in the California style of pinots which to me are more fruit forward and berry-licious, but it is very subtle and just plain cool.  If this wine were a person, it would definitely be a hip young chef that runs a bad ass food truck!  FYI: Let this one breathe a bit before you enjoy!

Also, I follow this blog for good wine under $20! (The name says it all!)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Prisoner

As it turns out, Cooper is not all to blame for his crib escape.  Yes, I was the one that lowered his mattress but apparently it still had room to go down even lower.


As I do with most “man tasks” in our house, I ever so kindly asked Kyle to lower the mattress when Cooper started to pull-up.  It is a vague recollection, but I’m sure that I probably “very sweetly” asked him several more times to handle the task before I rolled up my sleeves and took it on myself.

Two things at work here: 1) I have an independent streak and sometimes I go all “girl power” on Kyle and insist on doing things I probably have no business doing; and, 2) my New Year’s resolution was to speak more nicely to Kyle and decided to quit the nagging.  Seriously.  It sounds ridiculous but I have a bit of a temper and like a 4-year old I am training myself to “use my words” and communicate when I’m angry.  Or “PISSED”, as my college roommates know too well.

Anyway, I called the sweet neighbor girl down to play with the boy while Kyle was playing golf one afternoon.  A few choice words and an couple of sweaty hand wing-nut fumbles later and the task was complete, or so I thought.

I’m sure it won’t be the last bump on the noggin but he is safe and secure now…until the next time…at which point we will go to the big boy bed…which I will NOT be assembling!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


God blessed us with a kid that has no problem going to sleep.  It’s staying asleep that gets us.  I honestly think he’s just plain nosy or as a more “Stepford Wife”-ish mother would say: “very curious about the world around him and highly motivated by independent discovery”.  Or, just nosy.

Summer is made for traveling and toting babies which poses a problem for a Mama trying to make sleeping arrangements that are as close to home and as boring as possible.  Any little noise, strange light or sheet crinkle is sure to arouse attention.

We travel with a sound machine and all the loveys out of his crib (Sleep props!  Gasp!) and try to put him in as quiet and as dark of a room as possible.  (Ventilated) laundry rooms and closets work nicely!  Also, I have recently discovered the MamaDoo Kids Pack n Play mattress topper that fits perfectly into any standard Pack n Play.  This thing turns that quilted fabric on a cardboard sheet “mattress”, as they call it, into a cozy little sleep spot!  Plus, it fits perfectly and snugly in the Pack n Play (no gaps)!  It folds into thirds which makes it highly tote-able.

And, it makes a great hang out spot for you and your best pal!

Up next…Chronicles of a Crib Jumper!  Anyone else out there have a little one calling jail break on their crib?  We had our first escape last night and it scared the bejesus out of me!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Leaving on a jet plane

Holy moly, kids have a lot of gear!  Our first ever family vacation is quickly approaching and I am wondering if all of our baggage is even going to fit on the plane!  Speaking of planes, I have my ammunition sac diaper bag packed to the brim with anything I could think of to entertain an 18 month old for 2 hours!

I'm hoping I have plenty of snacks, toys, markers, post-it notes, iPad apps and Yo Gabba Gabba episodes tucked away.  If not, I'll be trading in these:

To buy enough of these (for all of the passengers around us)!!!

Wish us luck!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

He may look like his Mama

A couple of months after Cooper was born, I read about this Canadian couple who was going to raise their baby without regard to gender.  Only the mother, father, siblings and midwives know the sex of the baby named Storm.  Ok, that's extreme but before Cooper had a personality I had to wonder if it was really that simple.

We found out quickly that it was, for us at least.  All the pink dresses in the world wouldn't change this:

The boy may be my spitting image, but he is his father's son.  Everything that Daddy does he is all about.  His favorite toy right now is the "BOWWWWWWER" = (blower) .  He follows his Daddy around with a golf club saying "Daddy! Daddy! This! This!", trying to get him to hit a ball with him.  He has learned how to cast and reel in a fishing line, although I think both of his grandfathers had something to do with that too!  He has stuffed animals a' plenty, but the only thing he wants to do with those is throw them at you.  Nice.

I'm pretty sure the only time he stands still is when he is watching his Daddy do something with tools:

Oh and the mud.  Oh, the mud, the dirt, the water and the bugs.  How is it fair that I too get Kyle's "payback"!?!

Oh well, at least he looks like me! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Seeing as we don't get many chilly comfort food days in Houston, I took the opportunity of a rainstorm and a friend with a new baby to fire up the oven in July and make one of my favorite meals.  I stole the recipe from Kyle, he borrowed it from Thomas Keller. Semantics.  This chicken is so good you will claim it as your own, too!

The secret to a good roast chicken is to let it sit, unwrapped, in the refrigerator overnight before you roast.  That way, the skin dries out a bit and you end up with this really crunchy chicken skin wrapper that holds in all of the juices.  Mmmm boy. 

To prepare your bird, season the cavity generously with salt, pepper and smashed garlic cloves.  Massage the outside with a little oil, salt, pepper, thyme and garlic powder.  Pick any root vegetables you like and toss them in oil, salt, pepper and some smashed garlic cloves.  Throw your veggies in a cast iron and make a little hole in the middle to put your chicken.  Roast at 475 degrees for 20 minutes, then lower the oven to 400 degrees and roast for another 45 minutes (or 160 degree internal temperature).  


And if that picture doesn't make your mouth water try this, ha!  I'm sorry, can't help myself.  There is nothing cuter than baby butt and I couldn't figure out how to incorporate!

Monday, July 9, 2012

My how times have changed

Motherhood is one of those things that kind of sneaks up on you.  When I first had Cooper, I didn’t automatically feel any different than I did the day before.  I just had a new “boss” that was 6lbs 8ozs and VERY DEMANDING!  However, conversations such as the one between Kyle and me in my kitchen the other day let me know that I have officially arrived.

The scene: I am still in my heels from work cooking dinner while Cooper is at my feet, also cooking dinner, and Kyle is entertaining the both of us.

K: I think that website we were looking at earlier was a bunch of knock-offs.

C: Fake Thomas-es?... {Thinking to myself: “Hmmm, those Thomas the Tank Engines were a little janky.  Who would post fake Thomas on YouTube?  I bet there are copyright issues.”}

K: Thomas?

C: Thomas the Train?

K: I was talking about the Ferragamo loafers we were looking at earlier.

C: Oh, right.  That’s what I meant.

WOW.  Motherhood has reduced me to talking about a children’s show while my husband attempts to discuss designer shoes?!  Sheesh.  Let’s not mention that all day at work I am singing “They're two they're four theyre six they're eight. Shunting trucks and hauling freight…”  What can I do?  The boy loves his “choo choo”!

Oh well.  At least I get a cute little sous-chef out of the whole thing!  Yes, hot sauce, bread crumbs and birthday candles are quite palatable when served from this little one!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

There's room enough for two

We are big fans of bedtimes around our house.  Cooper is just not a pleasant person after 8pm and it gives Kyle and me some time together in the evenings to chat about things other than choo choos and bubbles (and of course get our workout in)!  The kid goes to bed like clockwork every night…it’s a beautiful thing!

However, as with most things in life, there are minuses to all of the pluses.  Mainly, without a sitter, we are homebound most evenings.  So, when talks of “where are you watching the fireworks” started circulating at work I naturally started to get a little whiney.  I was especially deterred after talking to one co-worker who was taking her 3 year old and 14 month old boys downtown to watch the show.  More power to her but I imagine I would be the lady getting kicked out because people couldn’t hear the fireworks over my son’s screams!

So naturally, I take my sob story home to Kyle and he almost instantaneously comes up with the creative plan to throw some lawn chairs up on the roof and poach the country club’s fireworks display.  Sneaky and genius!  My two favorite qualities rolled into one.  Besides, who doesn’t need a little redneck in their 4th of July party?!

The set-up:

Enjoying the show!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Mommy must-have!

Motherhood has its perks.  Not getting to shower at your own convenience is not one of them!  Cooper has a knack for waking up from his nap just as I step into the shower.  If I set my alarm for 6am to shower, he will most definitely be up at 5:45 and, just like that, shower time just turned into heat up milk and play time!

Enter Mommy must-have: Dove Dry Shampoo.  Yes, at the risk of totally grossing you out and alienating any male readers I might have (are you out there? J), I am blogging about what to use when your shiny hair is NOT that “just from the salon” look!  Just to be clear, I shower every evening.  However, extending Thursday night’s shower into Friday night’s date night is a little tricky!


Just a quick spray into your roots and you instantly have more volume and less “shine”.  For less than $5 (Walgreens, HEB…), this is a good trick to have up your sleeve (and in your bathroom cabinet)!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


In February, Kyle and I went on a sailing trip with three other couples in the BVI.  It was definitely one of the coolest things I've ever done.  It was a week of island hopping, sailing and more Painkillers than I ever dare drink again!  The weekend we got together with the crew of our boat, which appropriately named "No Drama, for a mini-reunion at our friends' lake house.

Here is the video that I made for our little get-together.  Please excuse the debauchery mid-video and enjoy!