Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Autumn in Connecticut

This is my favorite season.

The trees burst in flame--red, orange, yellow, gold, copper and bronze.

The old stone walls meander through the fields, dotted with bales of hay ready to be taken back to the barn.

Old red barns come alive against the season's backdrop.

The lakes reflect the gorgeous foliage and bright blue sky.

Hillsides are dotted with horses, cows and sheep, busy looking for the last blades of summer grass.

The air is clean and crisp--sweater weather is approaching.

My first Autumn back in Connecticut and I am relishing every moment!

Photos courtesy of Google Images. I only WISH I was that good of a photographer!

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Saturday afternoon
scattered showers
welcoming friends to the new place
11 adults
6 little ones
grilling in the rain
a few cases of Newcastle
lots of laughter and catching up
burned hotdogs
New England-style hot dog rolls
Smartfood popcorn
a killer pasta salad
naps for the babies
another round for the adults
we used to talk about everything but kids
now all we talk about is our kids
old memories spun into stories
new memories made
should have taken more pictures
smiles everywhere
5 years away
it's good to be back

Casey, Chris & Chris

Friday, September 26, 2008

Lovin' the Hotsling

I feel like I must take a moment to praise my nanny, my second pair of hands, my babysitter and my cradle -- in other words-- I LOVE MY HOTSLING.

What the heck is that, you ask?

A Hotsling is a type of baby carrier that is made from one continuous loop of fabric, with no straps or buckles. It can be used to carry babies and toddlers up to 35 pounds and in a variety of positions. I used it constantly with James, and it looks like I'll be doing the same with my Ella girl.

Here is a pic from their website illustrating the "cradle" position for a newborn:

The Hotsling enables me to :
make dinner
wash dishes
fold laundry
sit on a conference call
go to the bathroom (sorry, but it's TRUE)
nurse discreetly
make banana muffins
feed the dogs
and most importantly . . .


And for that, I am eternally grateful!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pretty in Pink, Pink, and MORE PINK

Our baby girl is a little more than a month old! (And I still haven't made her birth announcements.) I took her to the pediatrician yesterday and she weighs 7lbs, 15 ounces (she is a bonafide peanut, being that she is only in the 10th percentile for her weight). Doc says she looks great and is a very healthy little girl.

Anyway--I had her in a great little outfit today that my friend Stacey gave her and I thought it was SO precious, and SO pink, and SO girly that I had to take a million pics.

I told you it was a million pics. Well, maybe only a couple of hundred. (In any case, this should make my mother and Jerolyn happy, as they are my regular "more pictures please" blog readers, LOL.)

Isn't she precious??? I love her bunches.

We all do.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Spiders are Mmm . . . mm Good!!!

To celebrate our arrival back on the East Coast, we decided to have the following item for dinner last night:

James was pretty tentative about getting close at first.

Considering that these babies are upwards of $20 a pound in Vegas, we haven't had any for almost five years (unless we were at Smith and Wollensky's).

We never feel like we have enough REAL butter to drown the lobster in. Needless to say we did not go light on the butter last night.

We had clams on the grill, too. They were fantastic! Chris likes his with hot sauce--I like 'em just plain right out of the shell. The sea never tasted so good!

Of course we also needed to have some native corn on the cob (James' favorite veggie--oh yeah, the ONLY veggie he likes.) Since we had Silver Queen last week, we had to have Butter and Sugar this week

And what could be the best New England desert to have following a yummy lobster feast? Why homemade apple pie--OF COURSE! (Made with local Macs!)

Ahhhh . . . HEAVEN!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Just Lovin' Life

Ella and her Dad enjoying some snuggles on the couch:

If you can't find James just look for him in the backyard on the playset:

Here he is saying "Play dump truck Mommy? Play dump truck?"

Here is my Gino sniffing the breeze:

We are headed to the Big E today. It is gorgeous and sunny here for the last weekend of Summer. My favorite season is next!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sassy, Saucy, Zippy, Creamy & Cheesy!

No, these aren't the four long-lost cousin's of Disney's Seven Dwarves, it's what's for dinner!


Let me explain.

My Mom sent me a couple of vintage cook books last year and I was reading through them this morning, looking for some quick and inexpensive one-pot meals. The books are from the Campbells Soup Company and were published in 1975.

YUP. 33 years ago. Chris and I were sitting at the table this morning laughing over some of the names of the entrees, which are really, ummmm . . . IMAGNIATIVE.

I wouldn't say that any of them sound appetizing.

Here are some of my faves:

"Spunky Ham Bowl" -- doesn't that make you want to upchuck?

"Sassy Beef & Noodles" -- ooh, la la, baby, what's your sign?

"Spread-a-Burger" -- aahhh, no coment on this one

"Lightening Spaghetti" -- would that be a lightening fast trip to the bathroom after dinner?

"Tuna Clam Tempter" -- umm, oh yeah, that sounds tempting, but no thanks, I'll pass.

"Fanciful Franks" -- you know, I always think of franks as fanciful!

"Saucy Liver Strips" -- that's just gross.

"Rum Tum Ditty" -- what the heck is that?

"Shrimp Surprise" -- no surprise here when I tell you I won't be eating it!

"Creamy Tuna Mold" -- ok, I am throwing up in my mouth.

"Flaming Bean Soup" -- who exactly is this recipe written for?

"Cock-a-Leekie" -- again, no comment

"Two-Way Casserole" -- ummm . . . no, I'm not going to say it.

And here are some of my favorite photos from the cook books.

How about this for dinner. Is that SPAM???

Hey honey, we're having a head of cauliflower for dinner. Can anyone think of a good name for this one?

Here is Chris' favorite (of course). Might this be "Fanciful Franks"? All I can say is "Mmm ... mmm YUM-O!"

And here is a pic of me serving up tonight's dinner:

After which we are hitting the disco. Has anyone seen my blue eyeshadow?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Catching Up

Ok, I am getting around to sharing more of the pics I have been taking. Here are few fun ones of James helping Chris slide empty packing boxes down the stairs into the basement.

It just goes to show you that you don't need a bunch of toys for a kid to have a great time. (Yes Mom, I know you have told me that A HUNDRED TIMES, LOL)

I have never heard him shriek with laughter playing with his trains as much as he did pushing box after box down the stairs!

Yes, I was careful to make sure that the force of his pushing didn't send him tumbling down the stairs after the boxes (well, at least when I wasn't crazily snapping pictures!)

Some of the boxes were bigger than him!

Just look at the smile on his face! It cracks me up.

I know I have been light on pictures of Ella--here is one of her sleeping. So peaceful!

And here are a couple of James on a pony at the Four Town Fair. I was a little miffed that I didn't get to walk him around myself. (I cut out the people that lead the pony and were holding him).

I think he would have had more fun if I had been there with him, boring him with stories of my own pony that I had as a kid on the farm growing up . . . how his name was Trigger . . . how he looked just like the one he was riding . . . how we walked barefoot up hill both ways for four miles to the little one-room schoolhouse . . . . (OK, realizing that I am starting to sound like my Dad . . . S C A R Y!!!)

And yes, I did take my three and a half week old baby girl to the fair, and everyone was astonished, or freaked out, or clearly thought I was crazy and or negligent for bringing her . . . but hey, or HAY, I'm a farm girl and I had to see the cows. So there! I'll be sure to let everyone know if she comes down with hoof and mouth disease . . . PUH LEEZE.

We had so much fun. I just considered it a primer for the Big E!

And one last one of James playing trains. Love him!

He has been very cute with Ella--we pretty much call her "Little Baby Sister" instead of Ella, as that is what he calls her.

More to come!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Deere John,

What is it about boys and their toys? When we moved to the rental house there was an old John Deere riding mower in the garden shed that according to the landlord wouldn't start. You know Chris--he got right to tinkering with it and now it works like a dream!

James was very excited to get to ride on his Daddy's tractor!

We went to the Four Town fair on Sunday and had to stop in the John Deere tent where Chris bought a hat for himself and a sweatshirt for the boy. So I say, Deere John, what is it about your famous green and yellow machines that excite my guys so much?

And here is a blast from the past: Guess who this little guy is riding Chris' old mower a few years back?

Time flies!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Just Pics

No time to post . . . STILL UNPACKING. Enjoy! Ella is three & 1/2 weeks old in these pics taken over the weekend.