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First Words

Georgia's first word was book. Harriet's first word was Georgia. Sweet sisters!


How can your heart soar and sink at the same time?

It soars because - she's growing up! It sinks because...she's growing up.

Today on our way home from school I asked Georgia if she would like to walk to the mailbox all by herself (with me watching from our yard) and mail a letter for me. She asked if I would drop her off at the mailbox instead.

She unbuckled her {big kid} carseat and opened the door with my letter in hand. As she turned around to close the door, her little pigtails bobbed and she said, "It's good Mommy!" as she waved me off. I drove to our house to keep an eye on her.

When she came to the entrance of a cul-de-sac with a break in the sidewalk, she stopped to both ways, just like she always remind me to when we check the mail together. Then she took the sidewalk loop around the long way instead of crossing the street. She is so big, but still so little!

I will never forget how she looked, with her bouncy gait, almost skipping; red and white Minnie Mouse shirt; cute little piggy-tails and a big smile as she happily made her way home. She had no idea I was watching.

I wish I could bottle up these moments.

Friday the Thirteenth, Indeed

I didn't think much about it when I booked our Disney Cruise to leave on Friday, January 13. Next time I will think again before doing anything major on a supposedly superstitious date.

All of this happened before we even got to the port:
  • David broke his foot about thirty minutes before we planned to leave the house; I packed all 12 suitcases and bags into the car in a dress, sandals and makeup. It was like playing an adult, real-life version of Tetris. With a little bit of added stress. This man rarely gets sick or hurt, but when he does, he makes sure to do it in a real big way.
  • On the drive to Galveston, David asked to look at the ring he gave me on Christmas. It's Hattie's diamond and birthstone celebration ring that matches Georgia's. I've worn it fewer than ten times. He noticed that a stone had fallen out.
  • Harriet had a diaper emergency that ruined her cute little nautical themed outfit that I've saved up just for this event. If you are at all into kids' clothing buy-sell-trade, it's worth about $75 with no stains. Woh-woh. Much to my dismay, she wore pink and white footed jammies for our adventure.
  • Our ship boarding was delayed by four or five hours due to heavy fog. We stood in many long lines and boarded over six hours later than our original time. On the upside, the delay allowed us to take David to the emergency room. Which brings me to...
  • The ER doctor asked several times why we are having another baby so soon, since Hattie is so young. He didn't seem to comprehend that I just haven't lost the baby weight. Asshole.
While I would rather not commemorate any of the above with a blog post, I'm hopeful that someday I will be able to look back on this exhausting day and laugh. Or at least roll my eyes.

Despite it not being the trip I had imagined while I was planning it (due to aforementioned injured husband and a baby who decided to only sleep while nursing), we had a really nice time. I'm not sure that cruises are totally my thing, but it was a fun experience. Oceans and beaches are definitely my thing, so it was great to get a little dose of sunshine and sand to get me through until summer!

I have hundreds of photos and videos to sort through, and lots of tips and ideas to add some fun to your cruise - and tons of tips to share on traveling with an infant! As Mickey would say, "See ya real soon!"

Hearty Winter Soup / Corn Chowder

I really want to start writing/blogging more, but I am having the worst time trying to rally myself to upload photos. I have quite a few blog posts written, but after moving photos from camera > computer > backup to external drive > backup to online storage, the last thing I feel like spending time doing is one more upload to the blog. I guess I'm not so motivated because the written memories are preserved....right there in my "drafts" folder.

A recipe is an easy way to get things going, and I've always used this blog as a way to save recipes that I will make again and again, so here we go. I had saved this  Corn Chowder recipe from Skinny Chef because we had leftover potatoes and bacon.

But, speaking of motivation, I was not looking forward to cooking last night. I would have loved to serve sandwiches, but we were out of bread. It was cold outside (cold for us, mid-40s) but I was able to untangle myself from a napping (!!!) five-year-old and her insanely funny sleeping bag. Glad I did! David and I loved this and Georgia ate it. Pretty sure this is only soup she's given a thumbs up, next to Campbell's of course.

Photo from Skinny Chef
My recipe does deviate from the original recipe, thus isn't as skinny. But it's not bad by any means. I just made a vow to never again buy turkey bacon - life is too short for that! This came together in thirty minutes, which includes chopping all the veggies and feeding Hattie a few bites of baby food here and there. {Side note: can you believe she loves spinach, peas and broccoli? But spits out mashed potatoes? Not sure if she's actually my child or not....}

Hearty Corn Chowder

3-4 medium sized Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
3 slices thick pepper bacon, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
12 oz. bag of frozen sweet corn, rinsed with warm water & drained
2 cans no/low salt chicken broth
4 oz. low fat cream cheese
2 oz. regular cream cheese
sour cream

Heat a stock pot or dutch oven over medium-high. When hot, add the bacon, onion and red pepper. Cook 6-7 minutes until onions are soft, but do not brown. Add the flour, cayenne and paprika. Cook 2-3 more minutes, stirring constantly until flour coats the onion and stick to the bottom of the pan. Decrease heat if it starts to brown.

Add the potatoes, corn and broth. Bring to a boil and simmer 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are desired tenderness. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chives and a touch of sour cream before serving.

Blend half of the soup with a blender or food processor for a traditional chowder texture. I skipped this step because it just dirties up more dishes. I also wasn't able to eat my soup while it was hot (had to put a baby to bed), but it tasted absolutely amazing an hour later at room temperature. 

Merry Christmas