Saturday, September 29, 2007

Friendly Donuts

I have spoken often and fondly of a little-known place called Friendly Donuts here in the Valley. Chris and I stumbled on the place one morning when we were on the East side of town. I had been wanting old-fashioned glazed donuts like I could get back in Brunswick, Maine at this place called Frosty's. As luck would have it, we walked in and the shelves were filled with them! So, we go there a few times a year (good thing, as I am sure each donut is about 1,000 calories!)

This morning we swung over there to pick up a dozen to bring over to Bill and Gini's. (Of course I documented the whole thing for ya!) Here's the place; it doesn't look like much . . .

But once inside . . . YUMMO! (as annoying Rachael Ray would say.) Here is Chris making his selection. Don't forget a cake donut with frosting and sprinkles for the boy!!!

If you see this pink box coming thru the door, nope, it's not the Avon lady, it's FRIENDLY DONUTS!!!

Yum, yum, YUM!!!

Here is the littlest Friendly Donut fan:

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My Little Busy Body

James has been in the process of reducing his nap schedule from 3 three-hour naps a day to 2 two-hour naps a day. This has led to many new behaviors, including:

  • pulling open all of the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen
  • turning the DVD player on and off and on and off and on and off . . .
  • chasing the cat and screaming at the top of his lungs
  • spinning himself dizzy
  • repeatedly picking up his sippy cup and hurling it across the room
  • riding his toy horse "Garrin -style"
  • beating on the tv screen with both fists
  • finding the wrapping paper stash and unrolling all of it

Here are a few additional examples:

Pulling all of my work binders off of the shelf and ripping the paper out of them while I am on a conference call and trying to tell him "Ssshhh" with my finger and trying to push him out from under my desk with my feet:

Pointing repeatedly at the plant that he is NOT ALLOWED TO TOUCH because he keeps pulling all of the soil out of the pot but he apparently doesn't believe me or care when I say "NO DON'T TOUCH IT!"

Getting every toy he owns and throwing them one by one over the gate that is blocking off the stairs and then screaming because he can't get them:

Hauling Elmo around by the eyeballs:

But of course, while all of these things are happening, (although I can get frustrated when I am trying to do my work or clean up the mess from the bomb that apparently exploded in the house before Chris gets home) I am always looking at him and thinking "where did my little baby go?" And then I get a little weepy and then I have to laugh because he is just so damn amazing.

I know that soon we will be going from two naps to one, and then to none, and I can only imagine what will start to happen at that point, but for right now I just love him so stinking much that I don't care how much wrapping paper he destroys--in fact, maybe I'll just grab one of the rolls tonight and run all over the room leaving a great, krinkly trail for him to mess around in to his heart's content!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Smells Like Home

We were going to have leftover chili tonight, but instead I popped my pot roast in the crock pot this morning at 7am. It is a 10 hour recipe and can I just say IT SMELLS SO GOOD!!!


3 to 4 lbs. brisket, rump roast, or pot roast
2 to 3 potatoes, pared and quartered
2 to 3 carrots, pared and thinly sliced
1 onion, peeled and quartered
Salt and pepper to taste
1 & 1/2 c. water
1 packet onion soup mix

Put vegetables in bottom of crockpot. Salt and pepper meat, then put in pot. Add water. Sprinkle with dry soup mix. Cover and cook on low 10 to 12 hours.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

James has Conquered the Couch

"Hi Mom! I'm going to climb up here and sit with you, 'kay?"

"I think I can . . . I think I can . . . I think I can!!!"

"I did it!!! Uhh . . . what do I do now that I am up here?"

"Oh no!!! Not the pinch bugs!!! Grandma Ferguson! Come and save me!!!"

(Gasping for breath in between laughing)

Ok folks, so here is a video of James getting up and down from the couch BY HIMSELF!!!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Congratulations Chris!

Chris started his new job today as a Senior Engineer with Cox Communications!

After 10 great years with Emerson, he couldn't pass up an opportunity for advancement. AND the BEST part is that he gets to STAY HOME and be Daddy to James and Hubby to me!! No more flying across the country, leaving on Monday and coming home on Friday. Now he gets to come home to dinner on the table, his laundry fresh and clean and folded and put away, the house sparkling clean, HEY STOP DAY-DREAMING AND GET TO WORK!!!!! LOL

We love you so much babe, and we are so proud!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Golfing at Desert Willow

Chris and Gene and I hit the course on Sunday morning to play 18 holes. I was a little nervous since I have had a sippy cup in my hand more than a golf club in the last year-and-a-half, but I did alright!

The course looked pretty good, even after the Nevada sun had been beating on it for the last five months!
Here's Gene saying "Hmm . . Chris, I think your ball just hit the cart path."

Gene and Mel got me interested in playing golf when Chris and I moved out to Vegas. Many of my first lessons on the green were given to me by Gene. Thanks, Coach!

"Quack . . . quack, hey buddy, nice stance!"

This one isn't pretty, but at least my head is down!

Chris and I, happy and tired after 18 holes. Chris shot an 84 on the course, which is a par 60. NICE JOB! "What was my score??" Uh, let's say I won't be giving up my day job anytime soon.

Cicotello Wedding

We attended a wedding on Saturday evening at Lake Las Vegas. Our friends Nate and Natalie got hitched in a gorgeous ceremony at Chapel Fiorenza overlooking the lake. Lake Las Vegas is this massive man-made Tuscany-style community that is simply breathtaking. Celine Dion lives out here, if that gives you any idea of it's splendor.

I knew that it was going to be a pretty formal affair when Natalie told me that her bridesmaids were going to be wearing black gowns. So Chris and I got all dolled up to hit the town!

Mel and Gene were also invited, so we hitched a ride with them and crashed at their place afterwards. Thanks Gene and Mel!! (Mel, we'll take you up on your offer for some Barossa after the wedding next time!)

Here's Mel and Gene, posing out side the Irish pub where we grabbed a pint before heading into the wedding:

The back story on this wedding is that Mel worked with Natalie, and Nate was their investments guy. Mel LOVES to play matchmaker, and so she asked me to invite them both to the housewarming that we had three years ago when we moved into our home. That was Nate and Natalie's first meeting and, well, I guess it was a good first impression because now they are Mr. and Mrs. Cicotello!!

Here's the happy couple (you guys look great!)

Chris and I had so much fun. It was a beautiful wedding.

Ahh . . two fine looking men:

Chris took this pic of the table arrangement:

And finally, a beautiful shot of the villas at sunset:

Nate and Natalie, thanks so much for inviting us. We wish you all the happiness in the world!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Friday Night Fun

We had planned to attend Balloonapalooza, a local hot air balloon fair yesterday, but the weather didn't cooperate! For once here in Vegas it was RAINING and windy. Oh well. We'll try again next year!

We invited our friends the Turners and the Feuers over instead. We ordered some pizzas and had a great time. Lon and Debbie and Jake and baby Josh came over. The boys had so much fun! Here is Garrin and Jake:

Debbie and I and the kids (still windy, but it had stopped raining, thank goodness!!):

Garrin hanging out after he and Jake ran around the grass about 150 times:

Jake tossing the ball. He was the BIG kid in the group and the other two followed him around constantly.
EVERYONE wants to play on the SAME toy at the SAME time!!! Are we surprised????

Garrin's LOVES the Elmo ride-on toy that Auntie Kimmy gave James:

Garrin and his most favorite Uncle Chris!

The Feuers left for the evening. Thanks for coming over guys! We had so much fun! Time for jammies!
Ummm . . . Chris tried to swaddle Garrin the way he used to when James was a newborn. I don't think it worked, but Garrin seemed to like it!

"Time for bed, buddy!"

"No, I'm serious." (totally laughing because how can I be serious when he is grinning at me like this.) I MEAN IT! LOL Time for bed!

Friday, September 21, 2007

How Many Ingredients are in Maple Syrup?

My little nephew Garrin is spending the night with us tonight, so while Chris was out running some errands today, I asked him to pick up some blueberry pancake makings, and maple syrup. I have an organic maple syrup in the pantry, and was pretty sure that Garrin would rather have Aunt Jemima's or something similar.

When Chris got home, he plunked a bottle of this down on the counter:

"What IS that???" I thought. Of course I have seen it on the shelf, but we have NEVER bought it in all of the almost 10 years that we have been together. I asked him about it and he said that he was pretty sure it was the best maple syrup out there.

"What??" I said. "Yes, and Kimmy thinks so too," he said, talking about his sister back in Massachsuetts. He even called her and got her on speaker phone so we could ask her.

"Ahhhh, no." she said. "The best is Vermont Made." (I tried Googling it Kimmy, but I couldn't find it. Do you mean made in Vermont, or is that a brand name?)

Now, this got me thinking about when I was a kid in Maine and my Dad used to tap the sugar maples, harvest the sap, (see pic below)

and get a big HUGE container of sap boiling early in the morning. It looked a lot like this one:
He would boil it all day long until it was dark and thick, and then we would can it. It was THE BEST maple syrup I have ever had.

At the end of the day, he would scrape down the sides and put the amber-colored, glassy strips in my sister Amy's and my hands for a one-of-a-kind sugary treat. YUM!!!

So I was looking at the ingredient list for the Log Cabin syrup. Here it is:

And then I looked at the organic syrup that I had:

Here is the ingredient list:

I know it is blurry. Can you read it? PURE ORGANIC MAPLE SYRUP. As it should be.

Anyhow, it doesn't matter. The boys will all have a choice tomorrow. And someday, when the sap starts running, I'll take my boy back to Maine and have his Grandpa show him how the real stuff is made, and put some maple candy fresh from the pot in his hand.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

We Love the Laurie Berkner Band

So I fell in love with the Laurie Berkner band when I saw her play on the Today show last year. I finally grabbed a DVD for James and no surprise here, he loves it.

Here's the band. The Wiggles ain't got nothin' on Laurie Berkner!!!

Yesterday he and I were dancing and spinning all over the living room to her music. It's great stuff! My personal favorite is "Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz)". He hasn't told me which one is his favorite yet. I'll be sure to let you all know when he does!

I was able to grab a pic when he stopped dancing and decided to view the show from the comfort of his ATV:

Uh, yeah . . . she is still on. How could you tell??

And a shot from this morning. Looks comfy to me!!