Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chase's Birthday Weekend Part I

The McHusband and I drove to Charlotte Friday night and spent a little time with Bri, Nate, and Lyla then went to the McInlaws' house to spend the night before getting up early to head to SC.

When we got the Kevin and Jenny's, Chase was nearing the end of his party animal power nap. My keen aunt ears heard him wake up so I was first in line to go get him out of his crate, er, crib.

(I know I already posted a similar picture, but I'm a proud aunt, what can I say.)

I need to apologize to anyone that I might've offended with my candle comment. See the candle on top of Chase's cake hat? It was pointing in a downward direction, and I straightened it up and said, "You're too young for your candle to not stand up straight."

Some advice for anyone planning a party on a budget: buy a bag of balloons, blow them up, and let the kids at them. It was like that scene in Jaws where the guys on the boat bait the Great White with bloody meat.

Here's Chase enjoying the balloons. Notice the little girl in the background who wouldn't give up until she tasted a balloon.

Time for cake!

Chase really wasn't sure what he was supposed to do with the piece of cake his parents put in front of him. He soon got the hang of it though.

I love the looks on Jenny's face.

First, there's regret about giving Chase the cake to squish:

Then there's the resignation that he made a mess and, yep, she's going to have to clean it up.

Up next? Presents!


Boy, I have been a blogging slacker, haven't I? Well, I hope to make it up to you in the next couple of days with lots of pictures and videos from Chase's birthday party on Saturday. In the meantime, here's a picture of Chase and me (Thanks, McMom!) right after he got up from his nap as the party was starting.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The McHusband is sick with a man-cold (yes, that's different from a woman-cold). He's been coughing and clearing his throat A LOT, especially at inconvenient times like four in the morning (Sunday night) and midnight (Monday night).

I don't know when he was clearing his throat last night because he spent the whole night in the guest room. He didn't go to the guest room until the aforementioned times the other two nights and it sucked for both of us to be disturbed and awake so he headed to the guest room at bedtime last night.

It was strange for him to go to another bed before we'd even officially GONE to bed, but it was worth it. I got to sleep and he didn't feel guilty about waking me up. Right, McHusband? Win-win, right?

I don't think I've ever shared my guest room. Well, it's certainly looked better than it does right now...

From the door:

Pillows, pillows everywhere.

The McHusband's arsenal of drugs.

{Sigh} I don't think they're strong enough.

Or maybe it's not JUST the McHusband who needs to be taking all the makes-you-sleepy medicine.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

People of Walmart

Have you guys heard of this site? If you haven't been to it yet, check it out. Each picture's like an individual horrific car accident that you can't help but stare at, and I defy you to get through more than three pages without a jaw drop.

So, what do the people of Walmart look like? Well, you've got this winner right here:

Look closely. That's her fishnet-covered BELLY hanging out the bottom of her skirt.

Speaking of body parts hanging out... Be glad this is a shot from behind.

And just how do these people get to their favorite discount retailer? In their custom Stegacarous!

Check out the site. There are lots of pictures and the captions are very entertaining, plus you can see which state the store was in.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Oh and two

One weekend, two Beantown Baker recipes...zero all-out successes. Yeah, I'm pretty disappointed.

I made Crockpot Kielbasa and Sauerkraut today. I carmelized the onions:

Cut up the meat:

And dumped two cans of sauerkraut in the crockpot:

I added the meat, onions, and liquid and set the crockpot to high.

I let it cook all day, stirring occasionally to make sure all the meat and sauerkraut was mixed with the liquid. I used one of the empty cans as my spoonrest and was taken aback by sauerkraut's nutritional value.

I knew that sauerkraut was basically cabbage and I'm aware of a cabbage soup diet so I guess I really shouldn't have been too surprised. But really - no calories at all? I may have to make sauerkraut a staple.

But back to our meal. How'd it turn out?

{Shoulder shrug.} Eh. It was okay.

I don't think it's a recipe I'll be keeping. Guess I'll have to find some other way to cook sauerkraut if I'm going to be eating it on a regular basis.

Hmm, is there such a thing as a sauerkraut cake?

Peanut Butter Surprise Balls

I made Beantown Baker's peanut butter truffles yesterday. I have to admit, they weren't as good as I expected. I mean, it's not like they were bad, they just weren't as outstanding as I figured they would be.

One thing I did like was the crumbly peanut butter mixture. Once you squished it into generally round submission, the balls held their shape and weren't all gooey and likely to melt like the Kraft Oreo or Nutter Butter Truffles.

I covered about 2/3 of the balls in semi-sweet chocolate and the other third in milk chocolate. I was thinking that the peanut butter mixture would be sweet enough on its own so the semi-sweet chocolate would help temper that, but I think the milk chocolate was the way to go and I wish I'd made more of those.

If these balls and the Kraft Nutter Butter Truffles had babies, I think we'd have the perfect truffle. I guess I'll play matchmaker the next go 'round.

Turkey Pesto Panini

I've just been cooking up a storm today. I've got my kielbasa and 'kraut in the crockpot, and I made paninis for lunch.

My favorite panini (that I make) is my Turkey Pesto Panini. I slather one side of each piece of bread with butter then the other side of each piece gets pesto. There's a slice of cheese against each piece of bread then turkey in the middle. I stick the sandwich in the panini maker and about four minutes later, you have golden deliciousness.

Look at those perfect grill marks.

I love a good sandwich.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

{Steam}Fresh vs. Canned

Have you guys seen the Birds Eye Steamfresh products in the freezer section of your grocery store? The McHusband and I really like the corn, but I switched things up the other day and got the green beans. Now, the McHusband isn't too picky when it comes to food, not like SOME people (ahem, Byron and Terry), but I wasn't sure he'd be feeling the green beans.

You'd think I'd know his tastes inside and out by now, but I guess there are still some things I don't know (for sure) about him.

When I got home from the store, I asked him, "Do you like green beans?" He said he did.

On Sunday, we marinated some steaks and onion slices (Thanks, Jeremy!) and grilled those along with some corn on the cob.

We'd never grilled corn on the cob before and let me tell you - we may never cook it any other way again. It basically turned out perfect. I just put some butter and salt and pepper on them and wrapped them in foil and the McHusband, grillmaster that he's becoming, took care of the rest.

I was in charge of the green beans since those had to be nuked. When they were done and I put them in a bowl, the McHusband said, "Oh, I don't like those." (McMom, I think you can probably imagine how he said that; just replace "those" with "Quiznos.")

I said, "But I asked you if you liked green beans and you said yes."

"I like CANNED grean beans, the skinny ones," he explained.

Apparently, he'd rather have mushy string beans from a can than relatively fresh cut green beans that you have to actually chew.

We're about to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary and our THIRTEENTH year together. Can you believe I'm just figuring out his green bean preference? Geez, what else don't I know about him?

Of course I wouldn't make you read all my ramblings without a picture or three.

Sorry, I forgot to include the corn on the cob. Imagine corn. On the cob.

Tori was waiting for scraps (and got them).

And Tucker put his best cute face forward, but he failed miserably. No table scraps for him.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Big news

When I checked the mail after getting home from work today, there was a card for me. I wasn't expecting anything and it's not near anything worth celebrating so I had no idea what it could be.

Here's what I saw:

I was still confused. I mean, what had I done that deserved brownie points?

I opened the card to find a handwritten message. Wow, this person really cares about me!

Wait, what are they congratulating me for? I did what?

Apparently, I gave birth and didn't even know it.

Sorry, Mom and McMom - I promise I'll give you guys a little more heads-up before the next one.

Movie review

The McHusband and I watched a great movie yesterday: Ghost Town with Ricky Gervais, Greg Kinnear, and Tea Leoni. It didn't make a huge splash in the theaters, but I do think I remember reading good things about it when it first came out. I'm so glad I gave it a chance because it's one of the best movies I've ever seen.

You probably have no idea what movie I'm talking about, do you? Here's a trailer:

And if you want to see more of the scene with the Great Dane, go here.

It's worth seeing the movie just for the time Ricky Gervais's character, Dr. Bertram Pincus, spends in the hospital. I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. In fact, the McHusband had missed that part at the beginning of the movie so I restarted it and played it for him, and he was laughing as hard as I was.

If you want to laugh and be entertained, watch this movie. I can't imagine you'd be disappointed.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tucker and his Frisbee

Tucker is pretty much obsessed with his Frisbee. All he wants to do is be outside with you throwing it so he can get it, bring it back, and start all over again. He will beg to go out then if you don't go out with him, he'll sit on the deck and every time you go near the door, he'll stare at the Frisbee (which we've been keeping on top of the grill). It's so pitiful and cute that 2 out of 3 times I end up out there throwing the Frisbee for him. Come on, you've seen him; how can I resist?

Between the French drain and the Frisbee, I think we're gonna have one tired pup on our hands tonight.

The McHusband ended up putting the Frisbee in a new spot - on top of the breaker box. When I let Tucker out later, I was wondering why he was sitting just off the deck looking at the house.

(These photos aren't staged. Tucker just goes out and sits and stares all on his own accord.)

"Please, Mom, pretty, pretty please?"

And you know what? I caved and threw him the Frisbee.

Je ne sais quoi

That phrase literally means "I know not what." According to Wiktionary, it means "An intangible quality that makes something distinctive or attractive."

Why am I giving you a French grammar lesson?

Good question. Actually, I just wanted to use a French phrase and that seemed better than "Excuse em moi."

The McHusband put a French drain in the yard today. Our a/c units lose a lot of water and the area where the pipes drip was a muddy mess. I realize that our timing could have been a little better considering we're nearing the end of summer, but better late than never, right?

Of course, it wouldn't be a McProject without a couple of supervisors.

"Yep, that's a muddy mess."

"You sure you know what you're doing?"

The McHusband hasn't moved, but Tucker, in true supervisor fashion, laid down in the shade while Morgan headed off to "get supplies," which is NCDOT road construction speak for sneaking a smoke.

In an effort to appear busy, Tucker has switched positions.

When the McHusband goes to the shed, though, Tucker has to get up and follow. Hey, no one said this supervisin' thing was easy, Tuck!

Almost done. One more trip to Home Depot for another bag of rocks and some right-angle PVC pipe and it'll be done. I think we'll send the McHusband on that errand.

Voila! (Hey, another French word!) We have a French drain - and a lot of mud.

Hopefully we'll get some grass growing over there and won't have to worry about the mud anymore.

Good job, crew!

Creature comforts

I'm back with another episode of Wild Kingdom straight from my front porch.

Meet our resident tree frog. It looks like he's as interested in what's happening on other side of the glass as we are.

Don't you hate when people hawking their religion come to your door? Luckily, this guy just needed some space to practice his prayers and we didn't mind helping him out.

I'd taken my ferns off their chains to water them. Apparently, that didn't sit well with one little guy who was counting on the fern to be there.

He started off on the railing.

We actually have a lot of these guys around and I kinda like them.

I don't know how he got up there, but soon enough he was where he wanted to be.

"Hey, lady - little help here?"

Sorry. I know I said I kinda liked you, but I prefer that we keep this a long-distance relationship.