Friday, December 30, 2011

Wrapping up Christmas

Please excuse the lateness on this post.. I wanted to show you the rest of our Christmas celebrations. I work around the clock now and haven't had time.

Here is our "Christmas morning" at my parent's house, from December 23rd.

Watching Toy Story 3 with daddy, waiting for everyone else to wake up!!

A little scared of the train Santa left, but interested..

Sorting shapes with one of his new toys!

More than he knows what to do with!

Josh and Cortney opening up presents!

Granna and Coco, he was getting sleepy! Not used to getting up so early!!

Cohen with Great Grandmother Ivy. She comes for Christmas morning every year!

Checking out Daddy's new helicopter with Uncle Josh!

Then we had yummy casseroles for breakfast. The rest of the day was lounging, napping, and playing with new gifts/toys. :) Hector and I went back to Plano that evening. We left Cohen with Granna and Pop, his first sleepover EVER. My first night away from him EVER. I bawled like a baby for the 20 minutes we were loading up the car and for the first 30 minutes of our car ride. I hated leaving him. 

But he did fine. We Face Timed with him every evening (he stayed two nights) and then Granna and Pop brought him back to us on Christmas day. Boy, was I glad to see that little face light up when I got home from work that day! And boy, was it SO hard to go to work AGAIN the next day. I missed him so much. Next sleepover is not for at least 6 months. Mama has to recuperate. 

So, we had our "Christmas Eve" on the 26th, when I got home from work.

Opening his Christmas Eve present from mama and daddy. 

He's working pretty hard!

Got a big piece off!

Where is it??

He got a piece of tape stuck to his finger and thought it was funny that it wouldn't come off.

Christmas pj's!!

Trying to fly daddy's helicopter.

Then we set out the Santa snacks!
Yea, Santa gets two Sprinkles cupcakes in our house. 

As if Cohen knew it was "Christmas" he woke up at 8, instead of 10!

Guess he took one back to the sleigh with him?? :)

Trying out his new drum!

The thermometer for his "care for me" teddy bear.

Fun with bows!

"Uhh-Ohhhh" his first and favorite 'word'

Unwrapping his "want" from mama and daddy, Woody!

He likes Woody's hands for some reason.

Santa filled our stocking with goodies! 
An alien straw-cup from Toy Story, two new paci's, new socks and a Buzz Lightyear cell phone for Cohen!
Scarf and two Florence and the Machines cd's for Hector.
Starbucks gift card, address book and calendar for me!

So, Cohen's gifts this year: Something he wanted (Woody and Buzz figures), Something he needed (kinda hard, but a baby proof case to put our iPhone in for him to play with whilst protecting it from drool and him), Something to wear (his Christmas pj's) and Something to read (a new book, not pictured). Then of course, Santa brought a few things and filled his stocking. 

Hector gave me a limited edition HP and the Sorcerer's Stone book (!!!) and my very first pair of Tom's! I gave him his very first pair of Tom's! We're so happy. 

We are also so blessed this Christmas Season. JP said at church last week, "Don't let God's presents distract you from His presence." Gen.ius.  We are so thankful that Jesus came to earth as an innocent baby some 2,000 years ago, walked among humans for 30 years and then died on the Cross to save us all from our own selfish sins. Can't wait to spend eternity with Him!

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope it was wonderful! Have a safe and happy New Year!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Eve!!

Merry Christmas Eve!!
We've been in Paris since Wednesday, midday. Today (Thursday) is our Christmas Eve! 

My lovely hospital thinks it necessary that I miss my firstborn son's first Christmas... whatever. I worked all three holidays last year... but whatever. I'm trying not to be bitter, can ya tell? Not only am I working Christmas Day, but Christmas Eve AND the day after. :( Postponing our [little] family Christmas until the 27th of December. but whatever. Jesus wasn't born on the 25th of December was he? We're not certain of the date, so, we'll just celebrate it a little later this year.

ANYWAYS. This isn't a ranting post, it's a happy Christmas post! We're in Paris for our family Christmas with my parents, brother and his girlfriend. Also, my grandmother Ivy and her other son and his family. So, it's been great catching up with everyone. 

That's our tree at our home this year, we're so proud and in love with it! Cohen has been pretty good with it, occasionally pulling/shaking the lights and he has a few favorite ornaments to pull off.


Yesterday we just hung out with Mom and Dad (Granna and Pop, as you know them) ate real tamales for dinner! Yum! Oh yea, and right when we got here, Cohen started walking! Like 75% of the time! It was crazy! He just "got it."

Then today, Christmas Eve, we had our annual get-together with the Shouse family at lunch time. We had great fellowship and exchanged gifts and of course had delicious foods and sweets. 

Charles, Darlene, Charlie, Hector, Cohen, me

Opening his gift from the Shouse's, a super cute sweater outfit!

Darlene had me open a bag with a can of olives, and Hector a can of chili. We're like, "Whaaaaa...?" Then buried underneath mine was a gift card to Olive Garden, and Hector's was, of course, to Chili's! Clever, right?

Then we played a friendly round of Rage.. our favorite card game. (it wasn't friendly..)

Finally, we had dinner at my grandmother Ivy's house. Her other son Ronnie and his wife Linda were there with their two granddaughters. Cohen got some sweet new toys and clothes and had a great time with the girls and great-grandma! 

Hector and I thought pretty hard about how we wanted to handle Christmas traditions with Cohen. We want him to experience Santa Clause, so we're going to do that for sure. Of course as he get's older, we'll explain how Santa is something extra at Christmas time and should not take away from the real meaning of Christmas. We're planning to do the Elf on the Shelf next year, he's too little this year. It's just a fun Christmas tradition, and we want our children to have no shortage of sweet family memories. 

As for gifting our little guy (and future children) we've decided to give him something he wants, something he needs, something to wear, and something to read. Then Santa will be in charge of few surprises and his stocking. The something to wear will come in the form of Christmas pj's on Christmas Eve. Something to read will also be opened on Christmas Eve and read before bedtime. We're so excited to start these traditions with Cohen. 

When I bought his pj's at Carter's, they were buy one, get one free, so I got a pair for him to open/wear tonight on [fake] Christmas Eve!

Unwrapping his first wrapped box ever! He did pretty good, wanted to chew on the ribbon, though...

And there he is in his new Christmas pj's, Granna and Pop version! And he's walking there! 
My big boy, growing up so fast!

I'll post more tomorrow after Cohen's first "Christmas Morning." 

Much love! And Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

11 Months, so soon??

Well, Cohen is eleven months old now! Yesterday to be exact. Can you believe it? I can't.

I've been putting things together for his birthday party and it's making me all nostalgic and stuff. I see the pictures of his itty bitty 8 pound, 12.4 ounce self, snuggled up on Daddy's chest and I get teary eyed. How were we so blessed to get this amazing bundle of joy? He really is a joy, too. I can't count the number of people who ask me, "Is he always this happy??" And yes, yes he is, I tell them. Unless you catch him from 9 pm to 3 am. I joke, I joke. Or do I?

Here is Cohen's winning 11 Month Tonka truck picture!

(he would not sit facing the front long enough for a picture.)
(also, see that adorable fuzzy diaper sticking out? yea, that's our itti bitti tutto minky diaper; LOVE IT!)

Growth: BIG. We'll get ya some real measurements next month, as he'll go to the pediatrician for his ONE YEAR checkup. Pretty sure he's a 22 pounder, though. He wears 12-18 month pants and 9-12 month shirts. 

Eating: He gets 6 ounce bottles of formula 3-4 times a day. He drinks half-strength apple/carrot juice a lot (50 mL of juice + 50 mL of water mixed together). He also drinks water a lot. He has conquered the straw, so he has had a capri sun and a juice box. :) He likes to try our Dr. Pepper and Lemonade too, when we go out somewhere. Just because he loves straws. He eats just about what we eat, I just tear up pieces for him or give him little fork/spoonfuls. He loves chicken. (Yay!) And rice! Especially from Pei-Wei. He's just like his Daddy. 

Sleeping: He is so fickle. He's unpredictable and horribly inconsistent. (Sorry, buddy.) He'll usually go down for bed at 9 pm, no problem. But then, he'll wake up 1.5 to 3 hours later crying  screaming in his crib. He wants out. We've made the mistake of getting him out a few times, and now he expects it. I'm the weak one, I can't stand to hear him screaming like that, so I cave and go get him. Hubby says NO MORE. And we haven't. I'll go in and give him his paci once. And we'll think he's quit crying but it's just that he's crying so hard he is holding his breath (you know that cry, right?). Ugghhhh. It has to be near the end of all that mess right? We have YET to get a full night's sleep with that child. Nap time, however, is a different story! Boy likes his naps! (Or maybe he's just so deprived from crying for hours the night before.......) He takes a nap in the morning that lasts about one hour (or 2.5 today... he cried a lot last night) and then another one in the afternoon that lasts about one to two hours. Mama loves nap time. Sometimes she takes naps too. :)

Teeth: We have two teeth! The middle two on the bottom. They look so sweet and he likes to touch them and use them. I could never get a picture of them, because he hides them! I know, I know... eleven months and only two teeth? He's a late bloomer! Give him a break. He doesn't seem to be teething right now, but I'm sure there are more around the corner. 

Development: This kid has taken steps! He took a whole bunch on Thanksgiving. Some days he'll go the whole day without taking any, he'll just crawl and cruise. Others, he's all about getting adventurous and taking steps. It's precious and he gets very excited when he does take steps, probably because we're clapping like seals when he does it. He's trying to crawl up on the couch. Like, hiking one knee up and not being able to push the rest of the way. He loves his lovey, and brings it out of the crib with him when he wakes up in the morning or from naps, it's so cute. Let's see.. He tries to undecorate our Christmas tree... he pulls at the bows and ribbon on gifts. He has started taking drinks of water and letting the water drip.. no, gush out of his mouth, rather than swallowing it. Must feel cool. And the fact that Mama laughs every time probably doesn't help discourage him.

The other pics?
sitting still, but dark

that's lovey!!

just overturned the Tonka truck

TEETH!! You see them?

Oh, little Cohen. We love you so much. It has been the best 11 months of our lives so far! Thank you for bringing so much happiness to us and everyone you meet!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Soda Can Cupcakes

When I saw this on the Cookies and Cups blog, I thought... No... There's no way...

There's no way I can mix a can of soda with a boxed cake mix and get delicious cupcakes.

Well, there's only one way to prove something. Do it.

I spent all of $2.50 on this experiment. I did exactly what Shelly, over at Cookies and Cups, did. Because I am one of little faith when it comes to wild and crazy desserts like this.

I did not want to be stuck with 11 cans of Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash after I used the one, so I bought a 2 Liter. $1.25. :)

You need 12 oz. of soda (or the amount in one can). 

Pour in the soda.

It bubbles and fizzes!

Whisk it together all nice and smooth, until large lumps disappear.

It won't make the full 24 cupcakes. I got 18 out of mine. Only fill them 1/2 - 2/3 full. 

They look pink thanks to the Cranberry Splash in my Sierra Mist! And yes, you can use WHATEVER soda you want! Dr. Pepper! Pepsi! Sprite! Cream Soda!

Look how creative I got! I made a Christmas Tree!

My green butter cream.

butter cream:
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup Crisco
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
4-6 Tbs heavy cream

cream butter and Crisco together in stand mixer. add in salt and vanilla. while on low, slowly add 1 cup of sugar at a time and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream. scrape the sides of the mixing bowl occasionally to get all that goodness mixed up. repeat the additions of sugar and cream until finished. add more sugar or cream until you get your desired consistency.

The verdict:

I threw away all but three of these cupcakes. Yea, I know. What a waste. Thank goodness I only spent $2.50. And I only saved three because Hector told me he wanted to try them.

Sure, they look pretty. But the consistency of the cake was all wrong. When you put it in your mouth it turned into a chewy, gummy mess. Like gross. Like, I'd be ashamed to let someone eat these. I can see how these would be intriguing.. They look perfect. They break apart and crumble when you open them up. They smell like Funfetti cake. They even taste like it, if you can get past the yucky "cake" part of them. I think they were really hurtin' for the egg that I left out.

So, it's a cool thought.. and if you need some prop cupcakes, try these. But don't make people eat them. Just don't.

Oh, and that butter cream? First and last time I'll use that recipe. The Crisco ruined it. All I tasted was grease. Waxy, slimy grease.

Well, this baker is bummed and tired. Better luck next time.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

S'More Pie, this is not a joke

Wednesday's are Community Group day, and we got together for a fun dinner last night. I volunteered to bring dessert! (My favorite course to make!!)

I browsed pinterest for a while, looking for something creative and new. I was taken to a blog for another pin I found, so I began perusing that blog. And landed on this.

S'More Pie.

So, thanks to Cookies and Cups, I have a new blog to waste hours away with.

Here we go.
Gather these things:

1 stick salted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1 7oz jar of marshmallow creme
6 Hershey's chocolate bars, broken up

Preheat oven to 350.
Spray pie dish with cooking spray.
In a stand mixer, fitted with paddle, creme together the butter and sugar.
Once blended, add the egg and vanilla.
Then, on low, add the flour, baking powder and graham cracker crumbs.
Take half of the dough and press it into the greased pie dish.

Spread the Marshmallow Creme onto the dough.

Next, layer the broken chocolate over the Marshmallow creme. I got excited here and did not picture the chocolate. Or maybe I was eating chocolate. You'll never know.

Roll out the remaining half of dough, between to pieces of wax paper. Roll it into a 9 in. circle.
 Peel away one side of wax paper. Carefully flip the dough onto the pie, over the chocolate.

Now, carefully remove the last piece of wax paper.

Seal the edges together.

Now, bake it for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned. I suggest putting a cookie sheet underneath it, it gets pretty bubbly!

 Oh, YEA.

It's hard to get a decently shaped pie piece, but no one seemed to mind. 

This pie was dee.lish.uss. A messy mixture of melted chocolate and gooey marshmallow. The easiest way to eat a S'more. I'm not sure how I don't think up stuff like this on my own. 

I may or may not have had a slice of this for breakfast with a tall glass of milk. Again, you'll never know.

Well, thank you Cookies and Cups!

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