Tuesday, March 31, 2009

American Idol, Top 9

Well, my husband made fun of me a little bit tonight when we started watching the show for writing this little recap every week. But, obviously he reads it so who is he to cast stones.

This one will be short and sweet because (1) I didn't really LOVE the show/theme tonight and (2) I have to finish sewing up Claire's Easter outfit for her to wear to her school party on Thursday. (When you make something with bunnies on the fabric, you have to get maximum wearage out of it and due to spring break, the Easter party came a little early.)

Anoop Desai - “Caught Up”: Don't know the song. Didn't really like the performance. I do hope Anoop sticks around for a few more weeks though.

Megan Joy - “Turn Your Lights Down Low”: I wish this girl's singing was a good as she is cute. She sounded really nasally tonight.

{I think I have made up about 3 new words so far in this post. Is nasally a word?}

Danny Gokey - “What Hurts The Most”: I LOVE RASCAL FLATTS, so I was pumped to hear Danny perform one of their songs. He sang with soul and power. Good performance.

Allison Iraheta - “Don’t Speak”: Good performance. She was looking very Cyndi Lauper-ish tonight. I thought the outfit was cute minus the WHITE SHOES! Oh my word, those were awful!

Scott MacIntyre - “Just The Way You Are”: Good performance for Scott, but not in a league with the other contestants vocally. And really, no one should take on Billy Joel on the piano. My husband thought he looked like a character from the movie "Grease" with the new hairdo. I tend to agree.

Matt Giraud - “You Found Me”: I LOVE Matt and I LOVE The Fray, but obviously the two do not mix well. Matt, oh Matt. Why don't you listen to the judges advice? I think the judges' will save him if he gets voted off tomorrow night, but they were NOT happy with his song selection.

Lil Rounds - “I Surrender”: I didn't really like this song when Celine Dion sang it. Lil's performance didn't do much for me either. Someone needs to help that girl find a song that defines her as an artist. She can definitely sing, but she hasn't really connected with a song yet.

Adam Lambert - “Play That Funky Music”: Good arrangement of this song and great job making it current. I liked this performance, but it was a little over the top in places and a little screechy. I think my friend Mary said it best (from a comment on Facebook earlier tonight) when she said, "could you really listen to a whole album of Adam?". I think probably not. He is still VERY GOOD and deserves to go far in this show despite his bouts of weirdness.

Kris Adams - “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone”: Could he be any cuter? I loved this new and contemporary arrangement of a kind of slow and boring song otherwise. According to my hubby (who thinks it's stupid to write this recap), Kris will sell more albums than any other contestant this season. He is probably right.

Kris was my fave tonight ... by a mile. Danny came in a very distant second. Bottom three prediction: Scott, Megan and Matt. Check out BooMama's comments on the show here.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sew What?: March

Other than this, there has not been a lot of sewing this month. I did finally finish the little dress below for Claire. I am embarrassed to say that I started the dress in March 2007. Yikes! I got a little hung up on the bouillon roses (in pink), but I found a great tutorial here, that showed me how to make the bullion rose. I added the pink ric-rac on the bottom to add a little color to the dress and cover up the blind hem stitch. (I also do this on my machine and it usually looks fine, but with the corduroy/thicker fabric, it didn't look quite as nice.)

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Despite the very long delay in finishing this dress, it is plenty big and Claire should be able to wear it this year and next year for sure (and maybe longer).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quilt Update ... I'm falling behind!

I am officially behind on my quilt (as I suspected would happen sooner or later). I have finished up Blocks E and F.

Block E
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Block F

And, I have laid out and organized all of my quilt blocks. (see below). This is actually starting to resemble a quilt now. The sashing (which is the fabric that will separate each block and outline the quilt) is the background fabric in the first photo above, so that gives you a better idea of what the finished product will look like.

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Elizabeth already has the instructions up for making the quilt back, layering the quilt and quilting the quilt, so I am very far behind. I am about halfway through making the quilt top. I am looking forward to my weekly sewing day (on Thursday) to finish the quilt top and back, then I hope to do the quilting over the weekend.

Despite the fact that I am behind on this quilt, I am HOOKED on quilting. I have already gotten fabric to make two baby quilts and can't wait to get started on another project.

David is WALKING!

David took his first unassisted steps this past Tuesday (on 3/24/09). Apparently, our nanny had been working with him and when Will got home from work, he showed off his stuff. Will called me as I was driving home from work to tell me the good news. I rushed home to see my little boy move ... and move he did. He was talking 5-10 steps before he would come crashing down into Will or I. He holds his hands up for balance, which I think is cute. Any time we practice walked with him, we would hold his hands up above his head, so that is what he is used to I guess! Anyway, he still crawls most of the time and he still can't stand up on his own (he has to pull up on something), but he can definitely walk if he wants to.

Here are some pics of the first day of walking below. Check out the last picture where he has a little carpet burn above his left eyebrow. He was still all smiles though ... and I think it is time to move our baby-proofing efforts into high gear. We hardly had to baby-proof anything for Claire, but David is already getting into EVERYTHING!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

American Idol, Top 10

I had so much fun writing this post last week, I thought I would write it again this week. Please indulge me. Tonight's theme: Motown Music.

Matt Giraud: “Let’s Get It On”
What a great way to start the show. Matt did not disappoint. I could watch this guy perform all day long.

Kris Adams: “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You”
Another great performance, especially having to follow Matt. Kris definitely made this song his own, but still with a James Taylor-laid back kind of feel to it. I love to watch his facial expressions when he performs.

Scott McIntyre: “You Can’t Hurry Love”
Did I just imagine this or was he wearing pink pants? All of Scott's performances are starting to sound the same to me. I admire the fact that he has overcome the adversity of being blind, but I am ready for him to go home.

Megan Joy: “For Once In My Life”
I actually liked this performance from Megan compared to the previous weeks, but the judges obviously did not. I loved her "look" tonight. Maybe I can borrow her stylist.

Anoop Desai: “Oooh, Baby, Baby”
This performance was just okay for me. I think it would have been better a little more up tempo. And, singing in falsetto is definitely not Anoop's strong point.

Michael Sarver: “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”
I just don't like this guy very much and I'm not sure why. He seems nice and likeable, but I just never made much of a connection with him. My husband fast-forwarded through the last half of his performance, so that pretty much sums up how he (and I) felt about it.

Lil Rounds: “Heat Wave”
Good performance, but not great. I expected a little more originality. I hope Lil makes it another round because she is a good singer and performer, but this may be the beginning of the end for her.

Adam Lambert: “Tracks of My Tears”
Adam cleans up very nice. Talk about extremes ... this guy is all over the place. He was smart to bring it down a notch after his creepy performance last week. He can definitely sing ... maybe he could give Anoop some lessons about singing in the upper register. I don't know that I have ever heard this song before, but I really liked it. You gotta love it when Smokey Robinson gives you a standing O.

Danny Gokey:“Get Ready”
More of the same from Danny ... a good solid performance. He has great stage presence and I love the tone of his voice. I loved how he kept running back to dance with the backup singers.

Allison Iraheta: “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone”
I am officially an Allison fan. She nailed it tonight. {Kara gushed a little much.} Loved her outfit tonight too ... she looked like a fun, hip 16-year old.

My favorites tonight were Matt, Kris and Allison. Least favorites were Scott and Michael. Check out BooMama's review here.

What's Cooking Wednesday?

I made this yummy roast in the crockpot yesterday. I love walking in after work to find that (1) dinner has already been cooked and (2) the house smelling so yummy delicious after a piece of meat has been cooking for 8 hours! This recipe was SO EASY!

1 pkg. dry onion soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3 lb. chuck roast
Combine cheese and mushroom soups. Mix dry onion soup mix with 1 cup boiling water (I just heated in the microwave for about 2 mins.). Add to soup mixture. Pour into crock pot. Top with roast. Cover and cook on LOW for 8-9 hours. Turn roast halfway through cooking time if you can (I did not). Shred meat and combine well with gravy before serving. Serve over egg noodles. Yield: 4 servings.

Some of my other daily reads posted some yummy sounding recipes this week too. Check them out over at Kelly's, Kim's and Melanie's blogs.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Just because ...

It was nice outside today ... and warm!

We felt like taking a walk.

We are starting to be okay with sitting in the grass.

The kids were full of smiles today.

Time passes too fast. I just wanted to capture these precious faces today.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

David: 11 months old

David is now 11 months old. He is getting to be such a big boy. This past month, we have seen a lot of this ...

and this. He is INFATUATED with all things bathroom. If we accidentally leave the toilet lid up, he will most definitely be splashing in the water. If the lid is down, he will move on to unrolling the toilet paper.

He is still the happiest little morning person. I finally caught that sweet little smile when he woke up this morning.

He is very interested (always) in what big sister is doing. She is starting to get a little annoyed.

If it moves, its a walker. Nothing is immune ... even the garbage can.

Speaking of ... the garbage can is his #2 favorite INFATUATION. If it's full enough, he can open the lid and pull something out. NOTE: if it's food, he will eat it. YUCK! We tricked him for a little while by turning garbage can around to face the wall, but he has figured it out!

He is not quite walking yet, but he has taken a few steps here and there. He can stand on his own now. He will be walking before we know it and then he will never slow down!

Other things noteworthy from this month include:

-drinking real milk out of a sippy cup ... he still loves his breakfast and bedtime bottles of formula, but he is quite content drinking for a sippy cup at lunch and dinner.

-making new sounds ... specifically, nananana (almost like he is asking for a banana).

-he also signs "more" now ... at least I think that is what he is doing. It is really more like clapping, but he does it when I get out the veggie straws, which is his most favorite food ever!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Quilt-Along Update

Thank goodness for Thursdays and naptimes! Because, on Thursdays, I am at home with David while Claire is at MDO for part of the day. David usually goes down for a nap shortly after we get back home from dropping Claire off so I have a couple of hours to sew (or do chores, etc.).

So, today, I caught up on my quilt blocks. Elizabeth at Oh Fransson posted instructions for blocks C and D earlier in the week and I finally had time to sew them up. I am happy with how they turned out.

BLOCK C: Look closely. You will probably never see this type of block on any quilt I make again. This was a lot of sewing, ironing, lining up seams, and more sewing. I like the finished product, but it is definitely not worth the work!

BLOCK D: This block turned out nicely. This is more up my alley. I can handle sewing 4 strips of fabric together!

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If anyone is thinking about making a quilt, I would suggest not using any directional fabrics the first time. You have enough stuff to think about than having to add making sure all your fabrics are turned the right direction. I only had one directional print in the fabrics I selected and I already messed it up and had to reorganize my blocks so the lines would be going up and down (see block C).

Hopefully, Elizabeth will get the instructions for blocks E and F up soon and I can sew them up over the weekend!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

American Idol, Top 11

I love this show. I can't wait until every Tuesday to get here so I can watch the performances this season. This is one show that my hubby and I will sit down and watch together, so not only is it entertaining, it is good for my marriage too. (That may be a stretch).

I look forward to reading Boomama's review of the show each week almost as much as I look forward to the show itself, so I decided to Mr. Linky to her post with my own comments.

Michael Sarver: "Ain't Goin' Down 'Til the Sun Comes Up"
This should be a Texan oil rigger's forte. He should have blown it out of the park. But he didn't. I was not impressed.

Allison Iraheta: “Blame It On Your Heart”
This was a good performance but the raspy voice is not my fave ... nor did I like the red leather jacket/red hair combo.

Kris Allen:“To Make You Feel My Love”
I have a secret crush on this guy. Well, not so secret anymore. Loved this performance. One of my favorites of the night.

Lil Rounds:“Independence Day”
Singing Martina McBride on country night is like singing Whitney, Mariah or Celine on any other night and Lil missed the mark. Before tonight, I definitely thought she was the best female in the contest, and she still probably is, but I hope she makes it through this week. I thought she might put her Lil Rounds spin on a country song instead of singing something pure country. I was wrong!

Adam Lambert:“Ring of Fire”
I am an Adam fan, but tonight he was a little creepy. Okay ... he was a LOT creepy. I applaud him for trying to put his own spin on a country song when he is clearly not a country song kind of guy. But he took it a little too far. I think he might have scared off some of his fans?

Scott MacIntyre: “Wild Angels”
As my hubby said, Scott is inspirational. And he is. But he is definitely the weakest singer remaining in this competition.

Alexis Grace: “Jolene”
An "okay" performance. I'm kind of indifferent to Alexis. I thought this was a good song choice, but she didn't really deliver.

Danny Gokey: “Jesus Take The Wheel”
A little slow during the verses, but he totally made up for it in the chorus. I love this song and I loved Danny's spin on it. Go Danny!

Anoop Desai: “You Were Always On My Mind”
My hubby was a big Anoop fan from the start and we are proud to say that "Anoop Dog" is now back in the house. He has a good voice and finally selected the right song. I don't expect him to be in the finals, but I think he will be around for a few more weeks.

Megan Joy: “Walkin’ After Midnight”
Props to this girl's stylist, but somebody needs to give her some dancing lessons. Geez! If she stands behind the mike for another week and shakes her hips, I am going to go crazy. Her performance was good, aside from the un-attractive dancing. I am also distracted by the VERY LARGE TATTOO on her arm. It really doesn't go with the image the producers of the show are trying to create for her.

Matt Giraud: “So Small”
I love this guy and I love this song. He is AWESOME! I think he will be in the finals with Danny. I can't wait until tomorrow to download his performance from iTunes. Definitely the best performance of the night in my book.

I predict that Scott, Alexis or Michael will be going home tomorrow night.

(Okay, I totally need to be in bed instead of writing this post, but it was much more fun to watch the show while thinking about my commentary. Plus, it made watching television seem almost educational knowing that I was going to write a report about it later.)

Celebrate Green!

As you can see, we had quite the St. Patrick's Day festivities at our house yesterday and today. I was off yesterday (which is not normal) so I had a day to prepare for the holiday (which is also not normal). Claire and I traced and cut out foam shamrocks to hang on the kitchen light, read a story about St. Patrick and made a green clover snack. David supervised.

{Click on the collages below to see the pictures close up. I finally learned how to make these fun collages on Picasa. Yeah!!}

Today, Claire made this pretty picture at school and we had lime sherbet milkshakes for dessert. Apparently, I forgot to dress David in green, but now that I think about it, he doesn't have anything that is green! So, he got to wear the shamrock headdress.

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Will and I topped finished the night off sipping green milkshakes on our neighbors' back porch and watching American Idol.

NOTE: We don't typically celebrate St. Patrick's Day. I needed something to do yesterday to entertain the kids, so we did this. Claire had fun ... and maybe learned something. I had fun too.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Baby Shower for Marianne

Last week, we had a little baby shower dinner for my friend Marianne. She just had her second little boy so things were very low key. She got some really cute personalized stuff for baby Cooper and we had a fun girls night out.

Marianne opening gifts (with Holly and Jessica looking on).

The whole gang (minus Colleen ... she had to leave early).

The guest of honor was home tucked in bed. What a cutie!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's a Quilt Along

I have been wanting to make a quilt for a while. I love picking out fabric pairings, planning, etc., so this type of project is right up my alley. One of my favorite sewing bloggers, Elizabeth, makes the most beautiful quilts. She is young and hip and sews a lot for her young nieces and nephews. She is hosting a quilt-along over the next several weeks, so I thought it was time to get started on a quilt. It's almost like taking a class, but you can sew on your own time. So, far, I have kept up with everything ... so far.

Here is the quilt pattern I will be making (front and back).

I have selected my fabric and pairings.

I have cut all of my fabric for the quilt squares (and organized ... my favorite part of course). I have to say, so far, the cutting has been the hardest thing. It took me the course of an entire day to cut all my blocks. Of course, I was interrupted frequently by my kiddos, so total uninterrupted time, it probably would have taken about 4 hours.

Here are my first 6 blocks. The quilt has a total of 36 blocks (6 of each different block).

Here is the second pairing of blocks. So far, the sewing has been quick and easy, but I have a feeling it will get more complex as I get to the more detailed blocks.

So far, so good. I have completed all of the instructions posted so far. I'm sure, I will get behind next week when I have to go back to work at the beginning of the week, but now that everything is cut, I can sit down at my machine when I have a spare moment and sew some scraps!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Best Buddies

One of my favorite things about watching David grow up, is watching how he interacts more and more with Claire. She has certainly warmed up to him too and loves that he is now mobile and able to "rough house" with her a little more. Below are some recent photos of the two playing together.

In mommy & daddy's bed watching cartoons in the morning while Will and I get ready for work.

Playing outside. Note that Claire was ramming David's car with her tricycle. Also note Claire's new Dora bike helmet and elbows pads. We are trying to teach her to be safe!

Eating breakfast. Daddy was playing golf and mommy was packing a diaper bag to go to a birthday party and David was HUNGRY. I was actually upstairs getting something and heard Claire pulling the kitchen table chair around. I came downstairs to find this. She kind of teases him with the bottle a little bit (by pulling it out of his mouth while he is still eating), but he thinks it is funny, so no big deal.

When I grow up, I want to be just like my Daddy

Claire got to pretend shave with her daddy one morning. She had a ball! I used to pretend shave with my daddy all the time.

Last week, I asked Claire what she wanted to be when she grew up and she said "a basketball player ... with Avery." {Avery is her from from church/MDO.} "You can watch mommy."

My response: "Gee, thanks Claire."

What's Cooking Wednesday?

This is one of my all-time favorite cake recipes. I haven't made it in a while, but I am thinking about making it soon. It is YUMMY! I have to give props to my little sis for finding this recipe.

Irish Cream Bundt Cake
1 cup chopped pecans
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup Irish cream liqueur
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur (aka Bailey's)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt or Tube pan. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over bottom of pan. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Mix in eggs, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup oil and 3/4 cup Irish cream liqueur. Beat for 5 minutes at high speed. Pour batter over nuts in pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto the serving dish. Pour approximately 2/3 of the glaze into the cake pan and return the cake to the pan. Spoon the rest of the glaze over the cake bottom and let it sit for about 20-30 minutes before removing it from the pan again.

To make the glaze: In a saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup Irish cream.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Another Bouncy Birthday Party

This is our third Bounce U party in 4 months. We must be at that age. I'm certainly not complaining. Claire loves it and we do too! This was Claire's friend Baker's 3rd birthday. (Baker is in the orange pants next to Claire in the picture below.)
Can you believe these kids were sitting this still watching the safety video?? I was shocked. Look at Claire sitting with all those little boys. Some other little girls came to the party later.
David was flirting with all the girls at the party. Maggie (in the center) was his best buddy at the party. (Maggie is Baker's aunt.) Aunt Maggie and Uncle Ben kept David entertained the entire party and even let him play in the inflatables too. He loved it! We might have to get him to come babysit!

All the daddies got busy in the boxing ring. This is Baker's daddy, Ty.

My sweet Claire at the bottom of the slide.

Look at this awesome cake and cupcakes. Baker's daddy works in construction and Baker loves construction equipment. Can you tell?? This cake is one of my favorites as we have had it 3 years running now!

Time to sing Happy Birthday to Baker!

Cupcake time. Claire was more interested in stabbing her cupcake with the construction hat than actually eating it.

I love pictures from behind. This is Claire and Baker eating their cupcakes.
Mommy and Claire. Notice that Will was MIA at this party. He was playing golf.
Baker's mommy (my friend Jessica), Marianne and me. Can you believe Marianne had a one month old baby at home?? She looks great!

Baker and his daddy.