Sunday, August 29, 2010

Jaclyn's Big Adventure

One of the closest and dearest people in our lives is off on a big adventure. Just in time for autumn here in the northeast, Tony's sister Jaclyn has gone to seek out the palm trees of Southern California.

She is driving across country with her boyfriend Tony (I know... another Tony!) and her cat Opie. She started a blog to share the tales of her adventure. See it here:

Palm Trees

If I could, I would have installed a camera in the dash to watch what happens. It would be the best reality show evarrrr. But the blog is the next best thing.

This is something that Jaclyn has wanted to do for years and years, and we are super happy and excited for her. But we will miss her so much. Like... A. LOT. I'm getting a little teary thinking about her not being around for a while. That girl lights up a room. She can talk about her trip to the bank, and everyone will listen and laugh their butts off.

Even Des knows that Auntie Jaclyn tells the best stories. He is mesmerized by her. She would watch Des for us every other Friday and I know he is going to miss her. But we will see her very soon!

Best of luck, Jac. See you on Skype!

We can live beside the ocean
Leave the fire behind
Swim out past the breakers
Watch the world die

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Braintree Roads, Take Me Home

This weekend Tony and I had our first real night out without the peanut to attend the wedding of one of my oldest friends, Diana. Nana (my mom) was nice enough to watch Des for the night while we partied it up in Plymouth with the old gang from Braintree. The wedding was fabulous, Des was a perfect gentleman for Nana, and the recovery day was not as bad as I thought it would be!

The gorgeous bride and groom.

Jenny, Sarah, Sarah, Jenn, sharing names and lookin' like Mardi Gras!

Us. Aint he handsome? Every day I pray that Des gets those dimples.

Ahh my friends. Some of the regulars are missing from this photo, but the spirit is always there. We've been through the awkward teen years, the wild party years, illnesses, break-ups, building our careers and familes. Through it all we are always there for eachother. Probably at a gay bar belting out Mariah.

The stories I have on these people would make a great pitch for the Real Housewives of Braintree. Bravo TV? Hook a sistah up.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Late Father's Day Gift

If you're friends with me and Tony on Facebook, you know that we are constantly posting new photos. Me and Des, Daddy and Des, family/friends and Des... Des, Des, Des. First Time Parent Syndrome, what can I say. So I was shocked to realize recently that we had yet to capture a single photo of the three of us together. Travesty!

So one of Tony's father's day gifts was a picture frame and a note inside that said: Reserved for Family Photo. I had requested the services of our friend Scott who dabbles in photography (check out some of his impressive work here), who mentioned that he was looking to get some experience with portraits. Then we spoke with our neighbors who maintain a beautiful, lush garden to request the use of their yard as a backdrop. Our yard is a bit... dry. Overgrown. There may or may not be an old transmission hiding under a bush. Landscaping is a skill we have yet to master.

Right around Desmond's 6-month birthday we finally captured our family together. Despite the extreme humidity (as my auntie would say, 'I was in a lather'), and a baby who WOULD. NOT. NAP... we had a fun time and Scott got some really great shots. Here's a preview of just a few of our favorites:

Now the tough part is picking the few we want to frame and display.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Adventures of Making Baby Food

I know, I know. Homemade baby food is just soooo trendy these days. Like cloth diapers, Sophie the giraffe, or :ahem: mommy blogs. But with the guilt-ridden recent end to breast feeding, I had to shove all those emotions into some kinda project. Preferably one that involves cost savings. You're welcome, dear frugal husband.

So hey, my baby may be drinking synthetic chemical poison powder (not reeeeally), but at least I can give him organic, locally grown fruits and vegetables pureed with love and kisses from Mama!

Step 1... Look online for help. Because the internet has all the answers! And I am utterly clueless! Many thanks to my baby food making bible:

Step 2... Dust off the food processor that is still in box and wrapped in plastic.

Step 3... Purchase the goods. I decided to start with peaches and pears. They seem easy enough and they supposedly aid in digestion. Des needs all the help he can get in that area, poor guy.

Step 4... Get to work!

All in all, it is a very easy process. Wash, peel, chop into cubes.

Firmer foods need to be steamed so they get soft. With softer foods like plums, mangos, avocados, there's no need. Then the cubes get pureed in the food processor until nice and creamy.

The mixture is then poured into ice cube trays for freezing. Once fully frozen, dump the cubes into a labeled ziplock bag and DONE.

Truthfully, if you're working with a lot of fruits at once, it can take a while. Lotsa peeling, chopping, steaming, pureeing, freezing, etc. You gotta clean the processor in between different fruits. But as a person who is decidedly UN-Martha-esque, I found it extremely easy. Fun and relaxing, even! Especially with a glass of wine and no breastmilk to worry about tainting.


*Let me end by saying, I am by no means against the store-bought jarred foods. In fact, we use them quite a bit. Sometimes it's just easier. Peas, for example, are a big PITA. You have to cook the heck out of them and there's the extra step of straining the skins, and you don't get much for the cost. Plus they make the whole house stink like feet. But Desmond loves them, so jarred peas it is! Among many other things when I get lazy.

**Also, let me really end with this conversation with my mom:

Me, feeling all proud: "So I've been making my own baby food."
Mom: "Oh cool! When you were little I used to mash up fruits and veggies and then put them in ice cube trays to store."
Me: "That's what the internet told me to do!"
Mom: "Well, how do you think they come up with that?"

Whenever I need to google something, I should really just call mom.

Oh wait, here's the end!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

From the Mountains...

In light of the fact that my vacation time is all but depleted (thank you, extended maternity leave... totally worth it), as well as the fact that traveling with a baby poses certain challenges, we are working on perfecting the art of the local weekend getaway. If we can get there by car in >3 hours, we're in!

So when my family proposed a long weekend in the mountains of New Hampshire, we were so there. It took a lot of planning (see previous post), both among my extended family and within our little 3 person pack. But it was pretty much the perfect weekend. The weather cooperated, the home we rented was beautiful, the company was a blast as always (my fam would have fun in a paper bag, I swear... as long as there was wine ;-), and we took full advantage of everything the mountains have to offer.

The only mission that went unaccomplished was a hiking trip for the 3 of us. When we tried to put Des in the hiking backpack for the first time, his head was too low and his arms too high. He's a big boy, but not quite big enough. Perhaps in the fall.

So far on these day trips and weekend getaways, Des has put his toesies in the ocean, a river, a lake, and a pool. A trip to Walden Pond has been added to the list!

And perhaps the warm waters of the Carribean? Can't get there in a weekend. Sigh...
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