September 30, 2011

eighteen months

We are closer to two than we are to one.  How did that happen?  I seriously have no idea.   Whatever the case, Miss Ryann turned 18 months old yesterday!


A couple weeks ago I packed up the majority of Ryann's 12-18 month clothing.  The 18-24 month stuff fits pretty well... well it ranges from some of the t-shirts being snugger than I thought they would be to some of the pants sagging a lot because they are way too big.  Ryann finally graduated to size 5 shoes!!!!  Why is this so awesome?  Because there are so many more options once you hit the 5's.  Actually we got a 5.5 in her new pedipeds, but they are definitely a bit big.  We go to the doctor for her 18 month check-up on Tuesday, so I'll have some more official stats then.  On another note,   I can FINALLY see a tooth creeping up in her gums.  I'm hoping the others aren't far behind and we can just get this teething stuff over with.


Life is pretty similar to last month, in regards to sleeping, eating, things of that nature.  Ry is in bed by 8, usually up no later than 6:30, and naps from about 1 to 3:30.  She is such a punk when it comes to food sometimes.  Her veggie tots have black beans in them, and she will dig out the black beans, tell me she found a bean and happily eat it.  She also likes corn.  So one day I made a mix of black beans and corn.  She spit it out like it was the most disgusting thing she ever tasted.  Really kid?  So we mostly eat a lot of veggie tots, a lot of peanut butter toast, and a ton of fruit.


Ryann has shown a big interest in singing the last couple weeks.  Hearing her sing 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' makes me smile every time, so much that my cheeks hurt.  It is just plain adorable.  She also has been singing her ABC's.  Occasionally she gets confused when she gets to 'R', because we've worked on spelling he name, so she will say "L M N O P, Q R Y A N N".  Apparently I should have made sure we nailed the order of the alphabet before working on her name at all.  Oops.


As usual, Ryann's language skills and the things she says impress me more and more everyday.  She can almost clearly say words such as hippopotamus, rhinoceros, avocado and edamame (not that she actually eats those last two or anything, she just likes to say them when I am eating them).  And oh my goodness, she loves for us to ask her questions like "did you have a good nap?  did you have fun on the walk?", so she will often come up to me and say "Did Ryann have good nap?" hoping that I will ask her.  Cracks me up.  While at my parents she laid down right next to their cat, looked her straight in the face and said "How was your nap?  Mikki (her name is Nikki) kitty have a good nap?"  Hilarious.


Ryann can count to 20 in English, but sometimes she skips 14-17.  She also can count to ten in Spanish, but usually she doesn't want to.  Or when I am trying to get her to count in Spanish, she likes to tease me and say "count in English?"  "No can we try Spanish?"  "Count in English."  Ok, whatever you want kiddo, I suppose counting is good enough.  We've also started talking about the days of the week and months of the year.  Hearing her say September is another one of my favorite things.


I'm thinking life is going to be interesting when Ry hits her teenage years (which is never going to happen, she is staying little forever, obviously...).  She is definitely my daughter.  She needs her space, gets overwhelmed easily, and sometimes has a short fuse :).  I have a feeling we will butt heads a bit.  Already we manage to push each other's buttons, and then need a little break from each other.  Which is a little tough considering the fact that you know, she's a toddler.  She needs me whether she likes it or not!  She has quite the personality and is a fiercely determined little girl.


As far as I know, Ryann is doing GREAT in the gym daycare and at MDO.  All of the adults say she is so smart, and how much they love her, and she doesn't cry or whine all that much, that she listens well (not sure if I believe it, she rarely listens to me at home without physically being redirected or bribed).  But she is still pretty timid, or well, terrified, of other kids.  She does NOT like people being in her personal space at all.  Often when I go to pick Ry up from the gym care center, she is in the baby area.  They tell me she gets overwhelmed (and sometimes trampled) in the toddler/preschooler area and wants to be with Miss Bee and the babies.


A couple of Ryann's favorite things to play with this month have been her Little People Zoo (and just her Little People in general) and blocks.  She loves to stack blocks, and she is so precise when she is doing it.  We have this set, and often she has to make sure all of the numbers are facing up and all the corners are aligned.  Other things that make her pretty happy are coloring and stickers.  But stickers aren't for paper, or for just sticking on your shirt, of course not.  They are for sticking on your nose, your forehead, your bum, etc.  When we stopped in the dollar store this week Ryann wanted to leave a Minnie Mouse sticker on her forehead.  She would have, if it had still been sticky enough to last.  What a goober.


Happy eighteen months baby girl.  I love you more and more everyday.  So much more than you'll ever know.  I'm so proud to be your mommy! 

September 29, 2011

embrace the camera

My mom spoils us way too much when we stay with her.  (I'm not complaining mom!)  Seriously.  And oh my goodness, this time Ryann was 100% obsessed with her grammy, well and her papa, but mostly her grammy.  I wasn't allowed to help her with dinner, "grammy do it."  I wasn't allowed to hold her, "grammy carry you (she has not gotten the concept of me vs. you, when to use which one anyway)."  If my mom would leave the room Ryann was in tears.  Oh boy.  Anyway, here is photo dump from our week hanging out with my parents!

I think my dad had already left for work, or something, actually I have no idea.  But she was calling papa.  She is almost ALWAYS calling papa.


One day we visited the Children's Discovery Center.  It was AWESOME.  There was barely anyone else there, so Ryann could roam without getting trampled.  She loved painting and the rice table, I'm not surprised.




One morning we ventured to the zoo.  Definitely not as cool as the Omaha or Kansas City Zoos, but we still got to see some animals.  Ryann was obsessed with the gorilla this time.  We had to go back and see it again :).  We also fed a llama, a goat and a sheepy, another highlight of the day.


During a little adventure to the dollar store (you can find some pretty sweet stuff there!) we grabbed some more bubbles.  The evening weather was perfect to spend some time chasing giant bubbles outside.


Now I'm back home (I drove Ryann to school straight from my parent's house, I don't think she appreciated that...) trying to put my life back together and get settled again, before we head off on another five day adventure next week!  Whew...

September 28, 2011

a day in the life - gia

Good morning intrawebs.  I've got nothing clever to say this morning (do I ever?), so I'll just let Gia do that talking.  I hope you enjoy a day in her life!


Hi everyone! I am Gia from A Life in Progress and I am so excited to be participating in Ashley’s a Day in the Life series!! I am a full-time, working mommy. I try and juggle teaching high school English, advising our Drama Club, and being a wife and mommy to our almost ten-month old baby boy and 13-year old stepdaughter who is in the 8th grade. Here is a peak into my chaotic life  (and I apologize for lack of morning pictures; clearly, taking pictures at 7 AM was NOT on my mind).

5:15 AM (on a normal day): The coffee starts to drip and I begin to smell the wonderful aroma. On this particular Monday, I forgot to set up the automatic brew. Which SUCKS.

5:30-5:50 AM: I repeatedly hit snooze and then get up in a panic, realizing I have overslept. Ugh. Shower, brush teeth, stand in front of closet. Wake up Alexys, who ALSO slept through her alarm. Stand in front of closet. Get angry that C has time to eat breakfast. Dump 3 clean and folded baskets of laundry on my bed, finally find a skirt and shirt to wear, iron aforementioned shirt and skirt. Blow-dry hair and do crappy job of straightening my hair.

6:30 AM: C gets up Logan, who seems to have a cough and the sniffles. Awesome. Load up the car with my school bag, drama bag, purse, my lunch and Logan’s lunch. Also have a Thirty-One delivery for a friend at work. Lots of bags to load up. Realize I have not eaten breakfast and that I am starving.

6:48: In car with Logan and head to babysitter’s, but first, a stop at the ‘Bucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte and an oatmeal. God Bless the PSL.

7:05: Drop Logan off at babysitter's house and feel bad because he is snuggly and clearly is out of sorts. Head to school.

7:15-7:40: Arrive at school and get ready for my day. This includes checking attendance and my email, eating my oatmeal, making sure all my copies are ready for the day. And wasting time by talking to other teachers (hey, this is all about honesty, right? We our the biggest gossips)

7:40-2:35 PM: School day! Lunch in here somewhere and grading on my free period. I teach 9th, 10th (American Lit), and 11th (Brit Lit) grade English and I tutor as an extra assignment, so I am always trying to squeeze in stuff during any spare minute.

2:35: Department meeting (lame). Today is C's day to pick up Logan from the sitter's house because I have a meeting and then rehearsal for our fall production, Noises Off. This is my last year and we are doing this and Chicago in the spring. They are the two productions I have ALWAYS wanted to do.

5:00: Run to my parents' to pick up some leftovers for dinner (my SIL's baby shower was yesterday) and stop for lunch meat at the local deli for the week.

5:45: Dinner! It is so important for us to eat dinner as a family as often as possible. It is our time to catch up on our day and lives and just spend some technology-free time together. Then playtime with Logan. He is in a relatively good mood (for the most part)

Who needs a toy when you have Mom's spatula?

7-7:15: Tonight is a non-bath night (he gets a bath every-other night), so C changes Logan into his jammies while I clean the kitchen and clean up Logan's toys (which are everywhere). He gets his bottle, I attempt to read him a book then bedtime. He is exhausted and falls asleep right away.

Is it bedtime for Ozzie too?
Goodnight Moon...

7:15-10 PM: School work/Thirty-One orders/or sit on my butt and watch bad television because I am too tired to think today. Pack my lunch and Logan's lunch and prep all the bags I need to load up in the morning. Make sure my coffee delay brew is set and head to bed. I TRY to be in bed no later than 10:30 every night.

And now for Ashley's famous questions:

1. What is the most surprising thing about being a mom?
Honestly, I just didn't get how much you could love another human being. I love Logan with every fiber of my being and realize now that I would do ANYTHING to protect him. His smile lights up my life and he truly is the very best part of me. And the fact that sometimes I think I COULD be a SAHM really astounds me because I never thought I could.

2. What advice would you give new or soon-to-be moms?
Be the kind of mom YOU want to be. Don't let anyone else pressure you into doing something you don't want to do or parent in a way you don't feel is right. We make the choices that are right for our family. And sometimes, what is right for us is not right for others. And that is a-okay.

3. What are your top three baby products? (I love this question and seeing what other mommies love!)
-Bouncy/vibrating seat. OMG we would have been lost without this. Until recently, Logan was taking his bottle in it because he refused to be held while eating. I am fairly certain he was past the weight limit, if there was one.
-Footie jammies. Because Logan was a December baby and well, they are damn cute.
-The Bundle-Me. It made life so much easier during the cold months without having to stuff the little man into a snowsuit or puffy jacket.

Thanks so much for letting me share my day with you!!


Thank you, Gia, for letting us peek at your day!

September 27, 2011

pumpkin banana bread

I've been ready to make some pumpkin bread, but we had THREE bananas that were getting a little brown.  Cue sad face.  I didn't want to make banana bread!  I wanted pumpkin bread!  Luckily there is google.  A quick search for pumpkin banana recipes and I found this.


The recipe didn't taste strongly in either direction, but I couldn't stop eating it.  Seriously.  And Ryann ate it!  That must mean it was really good.  Of course I had to add chocolate chips (duh), and I threw in walnuts because I love to have a little crunch in everything.

Pumpkin Banana Bread

  • 2-3 mashed ripe bananas (I think I put in 2.5 ish)
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (if your batter looks too wet throw in a little more)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees*.  Lightly grease (or whatever it is you like to do to make your stuff not stick to the pan) an 8.5x4.5 inch loaf pan (pretty sure mine was 9x5), or two smaller loaf pans, or four mini ones...
  2. Place mashed banana, pumpkin puree, oil and eggs in a bowl.  Beat with an electric mixture on low speed.  In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon. 
  3. Add flour mixture to banana and pumpkin mixture and beat until just moist.  Mix in walnuts and chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 1 hour until toothpick placed in center comes out clean.
*In my oven, my big ol' loaf of bread always seems to burn on the outside before it really cooks on the inside.  This time I turned my temp down to 325 and baked the loaf for over an hour.  It came out better, but really I just want to get two smaller loaf pans.


September 26, 2011

i am a runner

Six months ago, I would have told you "I can never be a real runner.  It's too hard, why would anyone want to do that for fun?"  Three months ago I would have probably told you "I'm not really a runner.  Sometimes I walk.  I don't go that fast."  Now, in the midst of training for a half marathon, I still have a hard time looking at myself as a runner.  But the truth of the matter is, I am one.

I am a runner.

Yesterday Meghann from Meals and Miles completed the Augusta Ironman 70.3.  She swam, biked and ran for a total of 70.3 miles.  Are you kidding me??  That is crazy.  But she posted on Saturday that she was having a hard time calling herself a triathlete, because she is so new to the sport.  But let's think about it, she has completed a triathlon (more than one!), therefore she is a triathlete.

Just because you may not win races, or can't run an 8 (or 6 or 7 or 9 or 10 or whatever) minute mile, doesn't mean you're not a runner.  If you want to be a runner, all you have to do is run.  Do you have an interest in running, but think you are too out of shape, or there is no way you could ever do it?  I suggest you read this post by Ali of

This week, I can truly say I think I am falling in love with running, and dare I say, am addicted to it?  On Thursday while Ryann was at MDO, I decided I wasn't going to spend the whole day in the house cleaning.  I wanted to get out and enjoy my freedom a little bit.  I decided on a trip to Home Goods.  Whoa, crazy, I know.  :)  Anyway, for some reason I couldn't enjoy myself and check out all the goodies.  I felt weird without Ryann.  I really missed her and it was making me all emotional.  The really crazy thing though, was that instead of wanting to eat pounds and pounds of chocolate, I wanted nothing more than to jump out of my car and just run.

That, people, is PROGRESS.

Screen shot 2011-09-25 at 10.04.01 PM
from the Race for the Cure, photo by Action Sports Images
as a side note, when I showed Chris that picture he said "wow it looks like you're power walking or something."  I could have smacked him.  I thought it looked like I was running really fast.  I mean I know my form sucks but hey...

Not that I always really want to do my runs everyday or anything.  It is so mental, I'm pretty sure almost every morning I try and talk myself out of running for a million reasons, but somehow I make myself do it anyway.  Yesterday morning was no different.  My legs were sore, it was a little chilly, and 8 miles sounded terribly long.  But I sucked it up and laced up my shoes anyway.

The first mile was brutal.  My legs were cold and tight and all I wanted to do was turn around, go home, and have my mom make me waffles or something.  Thankfully just after passing the 1 mile mark I started to feel a little bit better, a little warmer and more awake.  The second mile flew by and the third wasn't too terrible either.  But the time I finished my fourth mile I was starting to wear down again, and with the route I was running I was getting closer to home again.  Extremely tempting to just head home.  But I didn't.

I told myself once I hit 5.5 miles I could take a little walk break.  Why I decided on that distance I have NO idea, but whatever.  Except when I hit 5.5 I was going down a hill and feeling pretty good.  So I kept running.  I went about another mile before I started feeling really tired again, but when I realized I had under 1.5 miles to go, I decided to just suck it up and keep running.  I was ready to be done.

I finished 8.43 miles in 1:17.  Are you kidding me?  I covered nearly 8.5 miles yesterday morning!!!  I'm pretty sure I'm going to feel like that every week until I finish this half marathon.  I still can't believe I'm doing it.  Only crazy people run for fun.  (Wait.  I'm pretty sure we all know I'm crazy).  I really wanted to run around the block screaming with my arms in the air I was so proud of myself.

If that doesn't make me a runner, I don't know what does.

But then again, I've actually been a runner since March, haven't I? 

Do you consider yourself a runner or an athlete?  Why or why not?

September 25, 2011

week in iphone pics

This week Christopher started his OB rotation.  OB rotation = we rarely see him.  Super lame.  He has 4 days off this month.  And is allowed to pick 4 days total off for his next rotation.  So in two months we will spend 8 days with him.  I know it could be a lot worse, but I miss my husband :(.  And I know he doesn't enjoy it so much either.  Nonetheless, Ryann and I are really having to work to keep ourselves entertained!


My phone freaked out on Sunday, and I had to reset it or something, so I lost some of my iphone pictures from that day.  Nothing too exciting though.  I went for a seven mile run while Ry and Daddy played together, and Grandma 'Nita brought over Christopher's old rocking horse.  Chris said she sat on that thing for almost an hour.  Too cute. 


Someone was apparently ready for nap time while I was cooking lunch.  No, she wasn't actually asleep, but I think it could have happened!  After nap Ry was feeling extra goofy.  When daddy came home Ryann really wanted him to read her the bible.  She really likes the Rhyme Bible Storybook.  Good weather meant that a post dinner walk was necessary, per the usual.  After Ryann went to bed I got to work reorganizing all of her old clothes so I could put away the 12-18 month stuff.  7 bins full in 17 months, shopping problem much?


I asked Ryann if she wanted to go to Target, her response?  "Try on hats!  Try on HATS!!!"  Apparently last weeks hat extravaganza made a lasting impression.  Of course we forgot the shoes I needed to return, which was the whole reason I needed to go to Target in the first place, don't worry, we got groceries instead.  Ryann was too quick for me when I was trying to carry in the bags, and grabbed the chalk.  Oh well, the weather was gorgeous.  I decided it was about time I actually straightened my hair, so I set Ryann up with some yogurt in front of the bathroom.  She decided shoveling yogurt with her hands was a way better idea than eating with a spoon.  Oh well, I actually looked decent for a change.  We hit up the park after dinner, Ryann had a great time on the swings.


One of the bins I brought upstairs was full of things that were too big (some 2T and 3T clothing that Grammies and Grandmas apparently couldn't pass up a while back).  This pink tutu was in there... it can play music so little girlies can dance and twirl.  Ryann liked the music, but wasn't so sure about actually wearing it.  Ry does love putting on Mr. Potato Head's glasses.  And ohmygawd that next picture.  We are making progress in the 'smile for the camera' department.  And do you see what is on her head?  A HAIRBOW.  For starters, she really has enough hair to support a bow now, score.  And she left it on for almost an hour!  Double score.  We ran to my printer's office to pick up a client's programs.  Ryann was refusing to get back in the car because she was listening to the trains.  And after dinner Ryann helped me make some pumpkin banana bread.  Don't worry, the recipe is coming.  It was GOOD (side note, my hair looks absurd).


We were on top of the laundry bright and early (before 7am!), go us.  Ryann loves to brush her teeth with me in the morning so I tried to get a picture.  She was much more concerned with the toothbrush sticking out of my mouth than taking a cute picture.  Doesn't she look like such a big girl when she is heading off to MDO?  And I frequently find her in the bathroom sitting on the potty.  She loves to, as long as she is wearing pants.  Take her diaper off and she freaks out.  Whatever.


Friday morning we had a play date, and went to Open Gym at a local gymnastics place.  It was much less busy than the last time we went, and Ryann enjoyed playing with all the cars and walking on the little balance beams.  She has zero concept of actually staying on the beam though, she tries to run.  After nap I wanted to send a picture to Christopher, so I asked her what face she wanted to make, smile face, crazy face, sad face... she said tongue.  So he got a tongue picture.  We spent a lot of time coloring that afternoon.


Ryann found my stash of hair ties in the bathroom, and thought they were bracelets.  She was occupied for quite a while trying to get them all on.  We made a last minute decision to go to Target (we wanted to get some treats as a present for Daddy, because we were ditching him while he works some terrible hours).  Target's dollar section is rocking these days.  Isn't my little devil cute?  For some reason Ryann was CRAZY from like 11:30 until I laid her down for nap at 1.  All over the place, laughing at herself for no good reason, and giving me 'the eyes' throughout most of lunch.  

Oh dark chocolate almonds from Target, they will be the death of me.  For the record I DID NOT eat the entire container in one day.  These are from a trip last week I think.  Ryann picked out all the packaging for Daddy's gift.  I wasn't in love with the purple bag and black bow, but it's what she wanted.  After nap we made the (relatively short) trek to Grammy's house.  We beat them home, and Ryann discovered she could reach the doorbell.  Check out her yellow chucks, Grammy ordered them for Ryann's Halloween costume.  Can't wait to see my little penguin all decked out!

Linking up with Amy!

September 24, 2011

just call her captain obvious

When I was working in a childcare center in Lawrence, there was the cutest little girl in my class named Lydia.  She was a smart little thing, a little shy of three years old.  Quiet, most of the time, but she knew a lot of, facts we'll call them.  I liked to call her captain obvious.  She would always tell me things like "Lydia wearing jeans.  My name is Lydia.  Blue is azul (I believe she was a Dora fan).  That is Sofia (a little girl in the class)."  Basically just pointing stuff out all the time and telling me what it is.  Obviously that isn't a bad thing, she was always applying her knowledge.

Well, I have my own little captain obvious.

so serious!  but still oh so cute :)

Have you ever wanted to have your life narrated by a 17 month old?  It can be somewhat entertaining.  All day long, "Mommy eating.  Mommy laughing.  Mommy going potty.  Mommy cooking dinner.  Mommy calling Grammy."  Mommy this, mommy that.  She always makes sure to describe or narrate what I'm doing.  It's pretty cute.  Occasionally slightly annoying, because if you don't affirm that yes, you are indeed doing what she has described, she repeats it until you do, but still pretty cute.

What has surprised me is that she also likes to narrate my emotions.  It's no secret that kids are pretty in tune with how you're feeling, and can pick up on stuff, even when you think you're covering up how you're feeling.  Ryann is no exception, and she'll let me know.  "Mommy tired.  Mommy is happy.  Mommy is sad."  She always knows.  And if I snap a little bit, well, "Make mommy angry?"  It is more than enough to put myself in check, and make sure I stop letting whatever is irritating me push me over the edge (like the 9000th time Ryann throws her cup on the floor).


And just so I don't forget, here are some other things captain obvious has said lately (as in, um, Thursday)...

Lately in the mornings our needy, attention starved, often incredibly annoying cat, Max, follows me into Ryann's room and meows and rubs all over me and climbs my legs.  Ryann loves to get down and 'see him'.  She tries to pet him and such.  The other morning she was 'seeing him', and then decided she wanted to go play.  Absolutely no joke, this is what came out of her mouth, "Get out of my way Max.  Back up, back up."  I about died laughing.

This is actually still along the captain obvious lines... That same morning I realized all of my bras were hanging in the laundry dungeon room to dry, so I put my clothes on, grabbed Ryann, and we went in to the basement to get one.  Then I started to put it on.  "Mommy doing?"  "I have to put a bra on."  "Mommy put bra on?  Puttin' bra on da boobs?  Mommy have boobs."  Seriously, child, we have to figure out a way to stop talking about boobs.  Now she always wants to see my bra.  I know one of these days she is going to be at MDO (in a church mind you) and start talking about boobs and asking to see her teachers' bras.  I will DIE.  Mommy fail nine thousand and two.

That afternoon Ryann was sitting in the chair in our family room.  Because she has to narrate her life as well, she told me "Coming down!" as she started sliding out of the chair.  Then, "Ryann getting down.  Get down.  Get down, get down tonight."  So yes, I sing random tidbits of ridiculous songs.  And now they are a part of Ryann's vocabulary.  Wonderful.  The best though?  Is when I sing her a song and throw in a "and I don't know the words that go here" while I keep on going.  Later she sings the same song, and I hear "don't know the words" and then she keeps humming along.  LOVE IT.

how could you not want to play with that face?

She keeps me on my toes, but man, she is a ton of fun.

p.s.  Ryann would love for you to vote for her here.  You can vote once a day through October 2nd.  Thanks :o).

September 23, 2011

crockpot chicken and artichokes

EDIT:  Thanks to a lovely reader I've been informed that the artichokes (in the chicken and ARTICHOKE dish) were missing from my recipe.  Uh, sorry about that.  They've been added!

When I made chili last week, I bought several extra cans of beans so I'd have ingredients to put it together again in the near future.  While putting away the cans I found two jars of marinated artichoke hearts.  The idea of chicken, mushrooms and artichokes sounded really good, but I wanted to have a crockpot dinner.  These days that is definitely my preference, especially things that can cook in 5 hours or so.  I can throw everything together right after I put Ry down for a nap, and dinner is ready without any drama.

Anyway, looked for some recipes, pulled a little from here, a little from there, and more or less threw some stuff in the slow cooker.  And this is what I came up with.


At first I was a little disappointed.  I intended to come up with more of a creamy sauce, but it didn't happen.  But by the end of the bowl I was loving it.  And have loved it some more like four times this week.  Also, I was going to serve this over brown rice, but we didn't have enough for both Chris and I.  So I made pasta a little bit of pasta instead (1.5 cups dry to mix in with the whole recipe).  I didn't exactly write it down while I was going, but here is my attempt at a recipe for you.  

Crockpot Chicken and Artichokes

1 package boneless skinless chicken breasts (I think mine was just under 2lbs)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bunch asparagus, cut into one inch pieces
6-8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 small jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 can low-fat cream of mushroom soup
2 teaspoons minced garlic from a jar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese

1.  Cut your chicken into pieces the size you prefer.  Add the onion, asparagus, mushrooms, artichokes and tomatoes to your crockpot.  Then the chicken.  Some salt and pepper.  Throw in the lemon juice and garlic, and dump your soup on top.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours.  I turned my crockpot to 'keep warm' after about 5 hours, and probably should have done so a little bit sooner.  Oh, and since I'm home when my dinner is cooking, I stir every hour or so.  Just for the record.

Serve over whole wheat pasta, brown rice, or whatever you want.  Top with some parmesan cheese.

Yep, I'm a master chef.  I know it.


September 22, 2011

embrace the camera

It was the first time I actually put on make-up and OMG straightened my hair in days (seriously, why is showering something we have to do, showering and getting ready is one of the most annoying things on my to-do list) so I told Chris I wanted him to take a picture of me and Ry for this post.

This is the best we got.


Ryann apparently doesn't love me enough to humor me and take a nice picture with me.  Whatever, I guess I'll get over it.  Thankfully she is pretty cute, and with a little work I was able to take some pictures of her that I'll deem as keepers.


Contrary to what her face shows in the above picture, she was LOVING the swing that night.  See?


Just ignore the fact that the picture is blurry.  Did you know it is kind of hard to take pictures of a swinging kid?  It is, just a little bit anyway.  And I'm pretty sure this next shot was her yelling at Chris to swing next to her.  She is kind of demanding like that.


Oh my little cutie.  I can't get over her curls these days.  They usually get especially crazy in the afternoons, because she has taken to completely covering her head with a blanket while she naps.  I don't like it, but apparently it works for her.


p.s.  Don't forget, if you really love Ryann you'll vote for her here.  j/k, you don't have to.  But I definitely wouldn't mind if you did!