March 29, 2011

Sweet Simon

Since our cd drive wasn't working for a while I was unable to view the photos that the amazing Maria took of Simon when he was just 4 days old.  It was so fun to see these photos for the first time, now that he is over 3 months old.  It's amazing how quickly he has changed!  Here are a few (of many) favorites:

Right Now

Word on the street is Obama's in town. Some of the caravan headed into
the museum. Not something you see in NYC everyday. It's all very

Right Now

Preparing to have a cyst removed from her gums. She is so brave!

Update: After the operation she was a bit loopy and it was quite hilarious!  While still in the doctor's office she kept announcing, "I want to live here!"  And we stopped into Williams Sonoma, she lied down on some stairs, feet higher than head, and said, "This is so much fun."  Even after the drugs wore off she is still a bit euphoric about the whole experience informs us, "The doctor was so NICE!" or, "It was so fun!" Brian and I had some good laughs!

March 26, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day! ~belated~

I had this post ready to go then I got distracted (can you imagine?!).  And then the computer was off to the shop, getting a new CD drive, since the last one wasn't working.  (Because silly iMac designers put the card reader right under the CD drive.  Don't they know that exhausted mothers, trying to upload photos of their cute kids, might accidentally slide the memory card into the cd drive?!)

Brian starts a new job on April 1st, so he's taking these next couple of weeks off!  It is so much fun having him with us as we explore the city.  The weather was glorious and this is what we did on St. Patty's Day:

Waiting for me to return home from a morning run.

Enjoying a "shamrock shake": protein, fruit, veggies, and green food coloring.

A bit of bluegrass  in the Times Square subway station.  I loved them!

Pausing to see the workings of a photo shoot in Soho.

Practicing his scooting skills in Soho.

Munching on very yummy corn on the cob at Cafe Habana.  He must have gotten some spice.

Sweet & Savory Sausage Sauce

Some friends have requested more of my go-to recipes and suggested I post them here, on the blog. This has been a favorite recipe for a few years. The sauce is cram-packed full of flavor that is so delicious! It's not a difficult dish to prepare, but it does take time to simmer and cook.  I will often double this recipe and freeze some for another day.  If you do double the recipe don't double the white wine and chicken broth otherwise the sauce is very liquidy (still delicious though).

Sweet & Savory Sausage Sauce

adapted from The Figs Table

1lb sweet Italian sausage, taken out of casing and crumbled
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 Spanish onion, chopped
1 cup white wine
3 cups chicken broth
2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
two 28 oz cans whole plum tomatoes, drained and hand crushed

Place a large stockpot over medium-high heat and, when it is hot, add the sausage. When the fat begins to render, add the garlic and 1 teaspoon each of rosemary and thyme.  Cook until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Discard any excess fat. Add the onion, lower the heat to medium, and cook until it it almost caramelized, about 30 min.

Add the wine to deglaze the pan. Add the broth, and cook until reduced to a thick syrup, about 30 minutes.  Add the anchovies and tomatoes and the remaining 1 teaspoon each of rosemary and thyme.  Cook until the flavors meld together, about 20-30 minutes. Serve over medium shells or orecchiette.
Oliver helping me hand crush the tomatoes.

Restaurant: recipe

During Brian's vacation we have been going out to lunch at some new places.  recipe is our new favorite spot.  We've been there twice this week.  All the dishes we have tried are so tasty.  The vegetables are amazing: fresh, crisp, flavorful.

The lunch menu is a steal!  

We've tried: chestnut soup (special), pumpkin gnocchi (special), duck leg, lamb ragu, seared scallop (special), striped sea bass (special), mussels, pulled pork sandwich, and the chocolate pignoli tart.  Oh! and the bread basket too!  yummm....

We really enjoyed everything we had, but our favorites are the pumpkin gnocchi and the braised lamb shank ragu.  I'm seriously craving the lamb!

yummy striped sea bass

pulled pork 

March 23, 2011

Right Now

Determined to get every last drip of that strawberry shake!

March 20, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

I'm grateful I can throw a bunch of veggies, fruit and dairy into my
blender and call it dinner. Oliver is on his 2nd glassful with a side
of whole wheat bread. Easy, guilt free, after church dinner, that the
kids enjoy, is priceless.

(today's batch: spinach, carrots, cucumber, tons of bananas, milk,
plain yogurt, whey protein, and a tablespoon of orange juice

March 18, 2011

March 15, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

January 2010*

I am grateful for tourists. 

No, not because they walk so slow and take up the entire sidewalk.  No, not because they come in droves and block every turnstile to get onto the subway.  And, no, not because they talk really loud on a full train about how rude New Yorkers are.

Why do I love tourists?!  Because they remind me how amazingly wonderful this city is.  They walk slowly, looking up, gazing at all the great sites and huge buildings.  There is a bit of innocence, reverence, awe that they study their maps, check their guide books and are too scared to ask anyone for help.  They get completely confused by the subway system.  They view the city through a camera lens because it is such a photogenic city.

As I see these annoying enthralled tourists enjoying the city (and all its awesomeness) I remember.  I remember my innocence.  The way my heart would beat faster and my senses awaken every morning when I would step outside my apartment building.  I remember how every neighborhood, street, and corner held new treasures.  How I studied subway and bus maps daily.  And snapped mental photos of cabbies fighting in busy intersections.  And how I was in awe of tiny grocery stores with merchandise stacked perfectly to the ceiling.

I love New York City and I'm so glad the tourists remind me how awesome it is to live here!

*Something I can't quite comprehend is that New York City is completely normal to my kids.  This is their life, their home, the only way they have lived.

March 14, 2011

Simon: 3 months

Sweet Simon loves to devour his hands.  He smiles, smiles, and smiles some more.  Occasionally we can get a good squeaky laugh out of him.  Isabella works pretty hard for a few of his rewarding giggles.  Simon squirms and squeals with delight when I bend over to pick him up; sure signs of a third baby--completely elated to have any bit of attention.  He rarely cries anymore, just kind of complains at times.  His bouncy seat has become his preferred place to chill and watch all the commotion.  He loves to watch me cook and loves to dance with his daddy.  Morning naps are awesome and last about 3 hours.  The rest of the day is iffy until the house is quiet and dark, then he will often settle down for the night and sleep 4-5 hours at a time until all the commotion begins again.

Simon summed up in one word: perfection!

March 13, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

I have the best friends ever!  Last Wednesday I turned 33.  We had celebrated my birthday the weekend before while in Connecticut.  When my actual birthday came and it was kind of a blah day.  The kids hadn't slept much for the last several days and I was completely tuckered out.  One amazing friend invited me and the kids over to her home for a delicious birthday brunch and made me cry with her sweet praise.  Another amazing friend stopped by unexpectedly and dropped off some delicious birthday cookies and a much needed hug.  Then another (yes, another!) amazing friend and two of her adorable children stopped by after dinner with an awesome birthday cake.  I was already in my p.j.s and not looking too hot, but they brought tears of joy to my eyes and much needed cheer into my home.

I have so many other stories of such sweet friends weaving their love and compassion into my life.  I love all of you amazing, wonderful women!   You strengthen me, uplift me, and make me laugh so hard.

I am forever grateful for my amazing friends!

March 12, 2011

Sensory Tub

After this incident a little while back I was thinking the kids really haven't had much sensory play since we have spent so much time inside.  (We limit baths during the winter because of their crazy dry skin.)  The snow and ice was still packed on top of the sandboxes at the playgrounds so I brought out a tub of rice and let the kids play, pour and enjoy.  They were engrossed for quite a while, but I had to put an end to the fun once Oliver started tossing the rice around.  Bonus points: they also enjoyed helping me vacuum and sweep up the mess!

Foil Painting

Instead of painting on plain old white paper I wrapped some foil around cardboard (from cereal boxes) and let the kids at it.  It was fun and messy, as usual.

Simon's blessing day

Last weekend was one of my craziest!  (Right up there with moving Thanksgiving weekend--along the parade route--while 9 months pregnant and mothering two children). We had planned on blessing Simon in our ward on Sunday, but Brian's dad was unable to leave his (Brian's) grandma who is quite ill, so we chose to have Simon blessed at Brian's parents' ward.  At 12noon on Friday we decided to go to CT and by 2:30pm we were on the train in Grand Central (I'm amazed at my packing skillz).  It was a weekend filled with awesome carrot cake (for my birthday), the worst vomit episode ever via Isabella, and Simon receiving a beautiful blessing.

Brian blessed Simon with a bounty of beautiful blessings.  I love that he was blessed with a love of learning and a sense of humor.  Learning and laughter are two things we live daily.

Pimp my {stroller} ride

We finally traded in our old Maclaren for this sweet ride:

Britax B-Ready with 2nd seat!
They are quite pleased with it as well.
I've been eyeing this stroller for a few months.  After researching and reading tons of reviews I decided this is the double stroller that would best suit our city traveling needs.  It just came to the market last summer, so it was impossible to find a used one.

But, Brian's sister found us an amazing deal.  Currently Britax has a promotion going on where you can get the 2nd seat free.  And then we bought ours at Buy Buy Baby which accepts Bed Bath & Beyond coupons (check fine print for exclusions).  So, we got this sweet ride (normally $650) for a sweet deal ($400).

As the novelty wears off Isabella will be back scooting all over the city and Simon will be strolling.

March 5, 2011

March 2, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

I'm so happy that this little boy is all mine. My heart jumps every
time his eyes twinkle as he sweetly smiles. He is a dream come true!
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