Friday, January 28, 2011


Oliver, Addison and I drove home from Oregon by way of Seattle so we could visit Taylor and Emily.
We got up to Seattle on New Year's Eve morning. We hung our T&E's apartment for awhile and then went to lunch on the warf and to walk around Pike's market. (I still need to get some pics from Emily.) We hauled Addison's baby bjorn on our whole trip to use in Seattle and then when we went downtown Oliver brought only part of it. It was pretty cold and so Uncle Taylor hauled her in his jacket like a kangaroo. After Pike's Place Market it was time for Addison's nap and so we headed back to the apartment and she and I rested while the rest of the crew went to tour some Seattle sites.
Oliver loved the locks and the troll under the bridge with a car in his hand. You cant' really tell but he has a life-sized slug-bug under his hand which we saw again the next day in the light.
They got back from their touring and T&E made us dinner and then we played games and visited. We didn't make it until midnight and Addison wasn't a good sleeper at their house. But we had a blast and loved our visit.

New Year's Day morning we went touring more of Seattle and then to breakfast.
Fun was had by all!

Christmas Meetings

I don't know why I haven't taken pictures in RAW before...I was really upset that my cousin formatted my camera to take only RAW pics and I am finally finished converting them but it makes editing so much easier! I'm planning to re-set our camera to take both RAW+JPEG so that I have options. Please note: I would like to say that these photos are a result of bad cropping but Oliver was a little zoom happy and cut off almost every head in every picture...just one more thing for us to work on :)

So without further ado, we visited a lot of family while we were on vacation. This is Addison on Christmas day in her Christmas outfit from her grandma.
The day after Christmas we went to meet Aunt Sarah. She is the last Aunt that Addison got to meet and they loved each other!
We then went to meet Addison's great-grandparents (my dad's parents). This woman is one of my favorite people in the whole world! I only get to see my grandma once a year when we visit Oregon but we chat on the phone and her example has shaped me into the woman that I am today. I am so lucky to be close to my grandma!
My grandma's sweetheart...married 63 years this month! They gave Oliver and I their wedding china as a wedding gift and we love it. We use it for special occasions and occasional Sunday dinners. My grandparents have never broken a piece and we haven't either...yet...63 safe years and counting :) Their legacy teaches about patience, love, forgiveness, the power of family and companionship. What a wonderful example they are to our new family!
This is Addison's 4-generation picture (missing grandpa, but as close as we'll get for now). My grandma's maiden name is Starr and she was an only child of an only child and a girl so her last name ended with her...until my parents gave it to me as a middle name and we gave it to Addison as a middle name...I hope my grandma lives FOREVER!
I love these people...Addison does too...can't you tell!
My dad came to visit at Thanksgiving and we didn't take any pictures! I must have been out-of-my-mind. So we snapped one at Christmas (please forgive the missing head).
I love my family and wish that we got to see them more often. But we had an amazing visit that I wanted to finish documenting.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

She Wasn't Lying

My mom told you yesterday that I can sit's the proof!
Like my outfit? My Aunt Missy bought it for me and I was actually modeling to show myself off to Aunt Missy but it proves my mom's other point as well.

Monday, January 24, 2011

First Trip to the Park

It was supposed to snow on Saturday but it turned out to be a gorgeous morning. Addison was up at 6 and back down for her morning nap by 7:30. Oliver wasn't feeling that great so he went back to bed too but I wanted to get things 8 I had cleaned the kitchen, bathroom, and done the grocery shopping! I was feeling so productive. Needless to say, we didn't want to spend all day at home cleaning so we decided to go to the park.

Addison can now sit-up. I probably should have some pictures of that, but I've been slacking. She sat up by herself for the first time on Tuesday, January 4th. She was still wobbly and when she looked up at anyone she would go toppling over. She is now able to sit up and look around and it is so cute.

We decided that since she can sit up it's time for the park swings! It is my favorite part of the park.
She loved it!
She laughed and smiled and we had a great time.
Despite the green grass and blue skies, don't be fooled, it was FREEZING!
After a few minutes on the swing her dad took her to climb through the playground equipment. Her stoic face resulted because she was really cold!
One trip down the slide and then it was back to swing with mom for a few minutes.
Although she was cold, she was still happy.
We were at the park less than 15 minutes and it started to snow so we headed home. I'm sure many more park play-dates are coming...hurry up Spring...we're waiting!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jerk Turkey Chili

My friend Carrie posted this recipe on her blog and I was so excited. Every year we freeze left-over Thanksgiving turkey and every year I struggle to figure out how to use it. So without further ado - yum and spicy! It has been modified to be a little lower in PP values...

Jerk Turkey Chili

  • 1T Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2T Chili Powder (you can use less for less kick)
  • 1t Dried Thyme
  • 1t Cinnamon
  • 1/2 t Ground Allspice
  • 18 oz shredded Turkey or cooked chicken
  • 2 Medium Zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 can (14 oz.) Diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz) Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (4 oz) Diced Green Chilies (or, if your brave, jalapenos!)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  1. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat and add onions, stirring until softened
  2. Add chili powder, thyme, cinnamon and allspice until fragrant (roughly 1 minute)
  3. Add turkey and zucchini - stir to blend them with the spices
  4. Add broth, tomatoes, beans, and chilies
  5. Bring to a boil
  6. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes
  7. Turn off heat and stir in garlic and cilantro
  8. Let set for 5-10 minutes
  9. Serve with sour cream and additional chopped cilantro*

Weight Watcher Notes:
- If you prepare this recipe as listed above it is 6 PP for 6 servings (not including whatever toppings you choose to put on your soup). My soup made just over 12 ladles worth and Oliver was full after just one bowl (2 ladles).
- As listed, it is medium/mild - but you can make it spicier by adding more chili powder and/or using jalapenos instead of green chilies. The original recipe called for 3 T of chili powder but 3 T has a PP value and 2 T does not. I actually only put in 1 heaping T and it was plenty spicy for us.
- If you would like fewer than 6 PP per serving then you can decrease the amount of turkey. The chili with no turkey would be 3 PP per serving (if divided into 6 servings). Every ounce of turkey is 1 PP value. Adjust your meat according to your desired lowered PP value.
- I served this with Jiffy Cornbread (my ONE weakness :) ) Jiffy Cornbread is 4 PP for 1/6 of the box. So 6 servings or soup - six servings of cornbread - 10 PP values for the meal. This can easily be left out.
- Also, my husband hates tomatoes so I used my immersion blender to grind them up before adding them to the soup and you couldn't even tell they were there. The broth turns dark because of the black beans and spices so it isn't even a red chili! A major plus in our house!

Friday, January 14, 2011

WW Recipe - Beach Street Lemon Chicken Linguini

I love WW but I don't always love trying to find dinner ideas and having to figure out the points. Sometimes we eat bland stuff 'cause it's just easier to count the points. I have been making a real effort this year to actually make dinner and not make chicken/starch/veggie at every meal.

Since so many of my friends have started WW I decided that when I cook a tasty recipe I will share it with you so you don't have to calculate and you can know that I think it's TASTY! Even if you aren't on WW, eating healthier is important to almost everyone.

I really wanted to try Beach Street Lemon Chicken Linguini. I put her recipe into the recipe builder and it came to 94 POINTS for the whole recipe WITHOUT THE CHEESE! I about died...then I picked myself up and started the modification process. So without further ado here is my modified WW version that Oliver loved too...

Beach Street Lemon Chicken Linguini
2 oz uncooked linguini (per adult) - 5 PP
1 t olive oil (per adult) - 1 PP (needed for daily healthy guidelines so just suck it up!)
Zest from one lemon - FREE
Juice from one lemon - FREE
½ c. chopped green onion - FREE
¼ c. chopped fresh parsley - FREE
Salt and freshly ground pepper - FREE

½ c. water - FREE
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used powder) - FREE
2 T. Cajun seasoning - FREE
2 T. lemon juice - FREE
2 T. minced parsley (I used dried) - FREE
1 T. brown sugar (or more if you like it a little sweeter) - 1 PP
2 T. soy sauce - FREE
2 chicken breasts, sliced. (OR 16 extra large shrimp OR 8 costco chicken tenders) - 1 PP per cooked ounce

* Combine the marinade ingredients in a Ziploc bag.
* Place frozen chicken in marinade to coat. Refrigerate 1-12 hours.
* Cook marinated chicken with the marinade sauce in a large saute pan on medium heat until chicken is cooked. (Because we are using water in our marinade, the water boils off and the marinade turns into a rub...if you don't like spicy then half the Cajun seasoning because there is no oil to dilute it.)

* Cook linguini in boiling salted water until done; drain well and rinse noodles.
* Combine juice of one lemon, zest, olive oil, green onions, and fresh parsley together. (If you already ate your healthy oil for the day then you can omit the oil and save 1 PP values or you can add 2 t for 2 PP values to get your daily allotment if still needed.)
* Add hot pasta into bowl and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Notes: I measured our pasta so I knew I was eating exactly 5 pts worth and then I weighed my cooked chicken so I had an accurate count and then I tossed them together. You could toss the chicken in with the pasta and just eat but I like to have an accurate count of my points. Because 1 T of brown sugar marinated 12 ounces of cooked chicken and I only at 3 oz then I didn't count the 1 PP value. It just depends on how much chicken you make and how much you eat.

I still needed 1 t of oil when I made this so my dinner was 5 PP for pasta + 1 for oil + 3 for chicken = 9 PP values. It was really yummy - it was filling - we had veggies on the side and there is leftover rubbed chicken for salad! Let me know if you try it!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Christmas Morning

We had a very early Christmas morning. Addison was so far from a regular routine at my mom's house. Because there were so many people staying at my mom's house we didn't let her "cry it out" because we didn't want to wake anyone else. So I went back to feeding her in the middle of the night or letting her get up at 5:10 was the case Christmas morning. (Aside, we thought we would have to suffer the consequences of this choice when we got home and have a few rough nights with a screaming baby girl, but she has slept soundly at least 11 hours every night since we got home - ANGEL BABY!)
Here we are opening stocking Christmas morning...Addison is chewing on her new friend Zoe.
She is also chewing on her hand while watching dad open his stocking...I don't know if you can see the pattern lately - CHEWING!
Cousin Kyle helped my mom play Santa by bringing everyone their gifts. He was so patient to wait for it to be his turn to open a gift...not a small feat for a two-year-old.
Since Addison started our day at 5:10 she was back down for her nap at 7. The rest of us were up for the long haul. When she woke from her morning nap she was ready to play and Kyle was willing and ready to entertain her. Her Nana had so many toys for her to play with and she was in heaven.
After some playtime we all got ready for the day and dressed in the fleeces that grandma bought. Since we weren't going to be in Utah for Christmas, Oliver's mom bought everyone matching fleece sweatshirts to wear. We were supposed to take a picture so she could send a Christmas card of everyone next year. Being the obedient set of children that we are, here is our family fleece picture. Don't you just love Addison's hat! Unfortunately, the rest of the family bah-humbugged the idea and so there won't be a family Christmas card of matching fleeces next year.
We drove to LaCenter and spent Christmas afternoon and evening with the rest of my family. Addison had squash for Christmas dinner. This is the only picture I have from that evening because my cousin changed the settings on my camera and I still haven't figured out/taken the time to change the picture format of all the other pictures.
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Christmas Eve Traditions

After celebrating Christmas Eve with Aunt Kel we went back to my mom's house for dinner with my mom and my sister's family. We then opened two family gifts.
Addison helped unwrap the family box of Christmas PJs...we wrapped them all together since we were traveling for Christmas and her dad wasn't going to fight her about who got to open the gift.
Then cousin Kyle helped unwrap the Christmas book we got this year.
After changing for bed, Nana read Addison her new story.
Which she loved...Twas The Night Before Christmas seemed like a good first Christmas book for Addison.
She actually had a very "bookie" Christmas which is wonderful! She got books from aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents and friends - we are so excited for the expanded shelves we now have to choose from (by we I mean me and Oliver, the ones that were reading the same 5 books over and over and OVER - so thanks everyone)!

Christmas Eve with Aunt Kel

We celebrated Christmas Eve with Aunt Kel and as you can see Addison was a pro-unwapper this year. If you tore a small rip in the paper she was able to hold on and you could rotate the present until it was revealed.
While Addison was great at unwrapping her own gifts, she didn't grasp the "gift" part of the process. She was just really excited to have something in her hand that she could put in her mouth.
Even still, she received some wonderful books, clothes, a toy and an ornament.
But she will tell you the paper was really the BEST!
Addison especially prefers low quality paper (that is the polite way of saying CHEAP) - it is easier to grasp and rips better then that expensive stuff that she isn't strong enough to tear. Please keep this in mind for future gift giving :)
What a fun celebration!

Play Date

Addison had her friends Sam over to play. He is such a good share-er and loaning us his exer-saucer. When he came over to play he was really excited to see it and recognized it immediately.
They played together for more than 30 minutes while I made dinner. I'll admit, I can't wait for Addison to be a little older so she can cheesy smile when the camera comes out. Sam is just so darn cute!

Temple Square Lights

We took Addison to see the lights at temple square on Sunday, December 12th. She has a 7 pm bedtime at the LATEST and so we went a little before 5 pm. It was the perfect time because when we were leaving the square about 6:30 it was getting so crowded. I have issues with huge crowds of people...I hate it was the perfect time for us. Plus, it was already totally dark at 5 pm.
All bundled in her snow suit from Aunt Missy. It's still a little long for her and so when it would creep up over her face we'd just pick her up out of her stroller, turn her upside down, and give her a shake so she came back to the top :)
Maybe next year we'll remember our monopod or actually learn how to use our camera at night. Until then, these will have to do.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Five Months

It was time for my 5 month photo shoot today. I am getting so active, expressive, responsive and fun. Time is passing so quickly, so say my parents, but I am loving every minute of life!
One of my newest skills is that I grab everything.
And everything I grab goes straight to my mouth.
Sometimes my grip isn't the best and I accidentally let go.
But I have learned how to make my hands work and I can usually manage to get things back to my mouth.
I was so tired after chewing on paper and all the photos that I decided to just lay on my boppy and stare stoically at my dad. Can you believe how long I'm getting? I'd say maybe I'll be tall - but neither of my parents are so it's not that likely.
I now weigh 15 pounds 6 ounces and am 25 inches long. Not only do I love to put everything in my mouth but I have found my feet and they are fascinating. I grab them and hold them and stare at how they wiggle and move. Life is so interesting all around me and I am so curious about everything that is going on.
In fact, my curiosity sometimes gets the better of me and I get distracted when I eat. But I'm a pretty good eater...still loving milk but also enjoying rice cereal, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, squash, prunes, applesauce, peas and apple juice. I'm trying new things every day!