Friday, January 30, 2009

A Day at the Park

Yesterday, after Daddy got home, we decided to go to the park for a little fresh air and outside fun time. We had a great time (even though Daddy put Drew in the biggest tube slide on the playground and Popa caught Drew at the bottom head first and backwards).  Here are a few pictures of our outing.  Daddy and Drew had so much fun (and Mama had a great time taking pictures.  Nana and Popa had a great time too.  When it was time to go, Drew decided to walk them back to the car.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Little Miss Bright Eyes

Emma is growing so fast already. I can't believe she'll be a month old soon. Wow! She's getting more and more alert too. She has a lot more to "say" and she's starting to "play" a lot more too. It's so sweet and fun. I love my babies!

Rainy Day Fun

Today was a cold and wet one so Drew and I had to find something indoors to do. Emma was happy in her little papoose chair with her dangly toys rigged to it, so Drew and I made the best of our day indoors. I was trying to think about what would make a little boy excited to be indoors and figured "What little boy doesn't love a fort." So we got out his foam letter blocks and built a fort. We even added a front porch. Drew was not really interested in making flowers and putting them in pots to make the front porch more inviting (hmm.... men) so we forewent that detail.
Drew had a great time in it. He pulled all of his toys in it and we would play peek-a-boo through the "letter windows." So our rainy day ended up being a great time anyways. Who needs the outdoors!?! Well, actually, we do.... we love to go out and play, but we're just fine here indoors having our rainy day fun!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Drew's First Haircut

Drew was getting a bit shaggy. We had been putting off his first haircut for too long because Mama had a specific shoppe in mind in Burkdale Village that we just HAD to go to for this oh so important milestone. Well, it serves me right, we ran out of time and little miss Emma Jane decided that was not going to happen because she was coming. Well, it all worked out to be perfect (as things usually do), because Colin got to take Drew for his first haircut. There's something very sweet about a daddy taking his boy to his barber to get the first haircut (well, I don't know if I would classify the girl that cuts Colin's hair as a "barber," but you get the idea). Colin goes to a sports place to get his hair cut and so this is probably more what Drew would want anyways as opposed to the cutesie little shoppe that Mama had picked out.
Well, they had this done while Emma and me were still in the hospital. My first reaction when they walked in the room was "Oh my gosh, I have a 7 year old all of the sudden!" Anyone who has children and has experienced this "first haircut" knows exactly what I am talking about. He looked adorable, but he went from my baby boy to my little guy all in one afternoon. I was a lot to handle considering all of the changes we were going through at the time. I am now used to it and he is soooo cute I just have to squeeze him every time I see him. I'm sure he loves that!
So here he is....
Drewbers before his haircut... one last, shaggy stand

Drew sat in Daddy's lap the whole time. He was such a good boy.

Ta Da! My new little boy... He looks so old.

This is now Drew and Daddy's "Hair Lady"

Not Just a Cup of Joe

Brew me up a good start to the day.  

Changing your coffee brand is almost like changing your whole identity.   It's funny how people hold on to their coffee choice so tightly and protect there beloved brand. The people that I know that do this swear by their brands. I was actually quite surprised at myself when I switched over.  But I have to admit, the coffee that I drink now won the coffee wars that went on at the beginning of my husband and my relationship (Community got the boot for Tim Horton's... rightfully so). At the beginning of our relationship I thought for sure that my husband was going to change is Canadian ways of coffee drinking because I thought "there could be nothing better than my New Orleans Community Coffee. Boy was I ever wrong. He told me that I would be the one to change and I laughed, almost balked at him. Then I tried good old Timmy's and I was sold! MMMM MMMM Good! Now we have it shipped or brought to us by family (Tim's doesn't ship to the states yet, but I still have my fingers crossed.  This past Christmas, Colin's parents not only shipped us our coffee, but they also got us sleeves of the to-go coffee cups and lids so that we could feel like we had just stopped by Tim's on the way to work.

I love my coffee because it reminds me that we have family that loves us in another country

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Parents

"Oh" By Dave Matthews
The world is blowing up
The world is caving in
The world has lost her way again
But you are here with me
But you are here with me
Makes it ok

I hear you still talk to me
As if you're sitting in that dusty chair
Makes the hours easier to bare
I know despite the years along
I'll always listen to you sing your sweet song
And if it's all the same to you

I love you oh so well
Like a kid loves candy and fresh snow
I love you oh so well
Enough to fill up heaven overflow and fill hell
Love you oh so well

And it's cold and darkness falls
It's as if you're in the next room so alive
I could swear I hear you singing to me

I love you oh so well
Like a kid loves candy and fresh snow
I love you oh so well
Enough to fill up heaven overflow and fill hell

The world is blowing up
The world is caving in
The world has lost her way again
But you are here with me
But you are here with me
Makes it ok

Oh girl you're singing to me still
I love you oh so well
Like a kid loves candy and fresh snow
I love you oh so well
Enough to fill up heaven overflow and fill hell
Love you oh so well

This song reminds me of my father. It seems so perfect. He loved my mother "oh so well" and after she died, he loved her no less. The first 2 choruses are the ones that really get to me. My dad's world was really caving in all around him, but he was ok as long as she was there with him. But then one day, she wasn't...and that's when he decided (not intentionally) that life may not have been the best place for him....being with her was. He really did have enough love for her to fill up heaven, overflow, and fill hell.
He died from a broken heart...and that truly is the story. Even the doctor's agree. There was no explanation for why his health declined so quickly. They tested him for everything and nothing was wrong. He was just heartboken. I couldn't imagine a better ending (or beginning) to my parent's love story. I am so happy for them that they found that kind of love and that they are back together again.
I love you oh so well

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Lesson Learned About Bath Time

Well, we now have two children, so the rules are changing. There are some things that I need to think about ahead of time. One of them is bath time.
Drew's nightly routine is very much set in stone. We eat, have a bath, read (sometimes.... sometimes just straight to bed), and then off to sleep.
Well, last night we went through the routine and then I was off to give Emma a bath. Well, she screamed during this one. She's still not completely comfortable with it (I'm not familiar with this problem because Drew took to the water immediately). Anyways, then we heard Drew start screaming. It was a terrified scream. I have never felt so badly. He was so scared that his little baby sister was screaming. It really scared him. So we had to take him out of bed and show him that Baby Sister Emma was okay. After seeing her, he was fine again, but he couldn't go back to bed until she was dried off and ready for bed herself.
From now on, Emma's bath comes before Drew's (until I can put them in together).

Goldfish and Bananas

So, it seems that there is nothing as reliable as good ole' Goldfish and Bananas.... or at least not at our house.  These two food groups have remained our tried and true blue through a whirlwind of what I like to call the "food  moods."
 One of the "Drewisms" of our household is The Rule of 6.  At any given moment, Drew has about 6 items that he will eat.  When one is added to the repertoire, then another gets the axe.  For instance, months ago, he loved mashed potatoes. Now, however, he's moved on to broccoli and cheese rice instead.... he won't even look in the general direction of the potatoes anymore.  
We've had to redefine the word "Flexitarian" to describe our meals.  We do not use it in this house the way it is described on Wikipedia... no, no vegetarians here... not even close. But we love the word so.  So we decided to redefine it.  It's perfect.  Flexitarians are people like us who have to fix one staple meal and then design side items to accommodate different people.  It's very flexible I think, and quite agreeable.  Drew gets some form of all of the nutrients that he needs (which is very important to me... and it's important to do it in a healthy way that promotes a lifetime healthiness), and we still get to eat "adult" food rather than slip into the weight trap of "child friendly foods."
Ah.... what will our little man eat today?  Will it be spaghetti or has that been snubbed yet?  Will he have his morning eggs and cheese, or does he want pancakes?  What's the  Food Mood today?  We'll never know until we sit him down at the table.  
We have all of the traditional rituals.  Either Colin or I cook and the other one sets the table and fixes the drinks.  Then we get Drew seated and served and sit down and say the blessing.  Then, it's time..... will he or won't he eat what he's been served?  This morning it is bananas and pancakes....  he looks, I hold my breath.  He pokes, I gasp.  AND HE EATS!!!  Ah yes, I love you oh fruit of miracles.... he always eats the banana!  So we are all a bit more relaxed knowing that at least that constant remains.  Then it comes time for the pancakes.  Oh, look, he pokes.  "What does that mean?" Colin asks.  I'm not really sure how to reply.  AWWWWW.  And they are snubbed.  The new food moving in is apparently Colin's homemade French Toast.  I can't say that I blame him though.  After watching Daddy flip them in the pan the theatrical way that he likes to do this, I would want the "fun food" too.
So for now we are up to French Toast, spaghetti, mac-n-cheese, carrots, and of course my beloved, Goldfish and Bananas.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hot Wheels

Well, Drew has his new favorite toy, his Hot Wheels set.  He just loves to watch those cars go all around that loop and track.  He only has the starter set, but that's plenty for him.  His daddy was sooooo patient in teaching him how to put the cars in so that they would go around the loop and so that he could put more than one in at a time.  He's so good at it now.  He can get 2 or 3 cars going at one time.  The only thing is it's sooooo loud, and now, even if he's not playing with it and he's taken some of his cars to another place to play with them, he wants his track running with one car in it.  It's not very conducive to a quiet, peaceful home.  Emma is not phased by it though.  She is going to be such a sturdy child.... having to deal with all of Drew's "Drewisms" from the get-go.  Here are a couple of pictures of Drew enjoying his new toy.... it's like Christmas all over again!
Drew putting his car in the track
Loop the loop!!!
Wait....  I want more cars
Drewbers putting on the breaks!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Snow Day

January 20th was an interesting and memorable day for a lot of reasons.  First and foremost, it was Drew's first snow day.  We had so much fun out with him.  We woke up to the white covered trees (ok...more like white dusted) and ate our breakfast very quickly so that we could go out and enjoy the morning.  We knew the snow wouldn't last for long.
When we got outside, everyone was out with us.  Oh, there's nothing like a good snow day.  All of the kids in the neighborhood were enjoying their snow sleds and snow balls and Drew just took it all in at first.  He really enjoyed watching, but at the beginning, he stayed back a bit.  Then, Matthew, a very sweet middle schooler, let Drew ride on his sled.  It was so funny.  First off, there wasn't enough snow to really do anything, but there was plenty of ice to go flying down the road, so that is exactly what Drew did.  He had so much fun...Popa would push him and Nana would catch him down the hill.  He loved it.  After a while it was time to head up to the yard where there was a bit more of a collection of the white stuff.  Then back inside for lunch and a good ole' nap.

"That looks like fun"

Here we go!!!!


"Let's do it again!"

Monday, January 19, 2009

Emma's New Minky

Nana brought Emma her own new Minky.  I know it will be a favorite, especially knowing how much Drew loves his.  

Nana and Popa's Visit

Nana and Popa are here to meet Emma Jane. It is so wonderful to have family all together like this. I will be keeping ya'll up to date on all of the goings on of these next couple of weeks. We'll just be hangin' out and enjoying our new little girl and keeping her safe and healthy at home. Here are some pictures of the first meeting the other day. It was such a special moment. We are all in love! (We'll have some pictures of Popa with the family when his sniffles go away).

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Stayin' Alive

Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk,
I'm a woman's man, no time to talk.

Ah Ah Ah Ah, Stayin' Alive, Stayin' Alive


Ok... I know this is really shallow and ticky tacky, and not really fair considering my last post about Creme Brulee.... but I'm just soooooo excited! I put on, and wore for the whole day today, my pre-baby jeans!!!! I mean, even pre- Drew!!!! Yay!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Nap Time Luxuries

Ahhh..... naptime.  A stay-at-home Mama's respite.  I have really learned to take advantage of this time.  Some days it's necessary to get "work" done during this time, some days it's necessary to take the opportunity to even just shower if it's been "one of those mornings," but some days.... it's time for Mama to pamper herself.  Last night after everyone was in bed (Colin was out for a business dinner uptown at the Capital Grille), I decided to make myself some Cre'me Brulee'.  I figured "why not!?!"  It's simple, yet it makes you feel so spoiled.  So I scrounged around, had all of the ingredients (not that it takes much) and whipped it up.  
Well, that meant that today, there they were....staring me down in the fridge.  So I took one of them on and I won that battle (or lost terribly depending on how you look at it).  It was naptime, so I was able to just sit and enjoy.  Not that I mind sharing, but there's something soothing to the soul about enjoying a cre'me brulee' in absolute silence one slow bite at a time.  
Ahhhh.... naptime

Creme' Brulee'
8 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated white sugar (for the caramelized tops)

Preheat oven to 300ºF. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Add cream and vanilla, and continue to whisk until well blended. Strain into a large bowl, skimming off any foam or bubbles.
Divide mixture among 6 ramekins or custard cups. Place ramekins in a water bath (large pan filled with 1 or 2 inches of hot water) and bake until set around the edges, but still loose in the center, about 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and leave in the water bath until cooled. Remove cups from water bath and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. When ready to serve, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar over each custard. For best results, use a small, hand-held torch to melt sugar. If you don't have a torch, place under the broiler until sugar melts. Re-chill custards for a few minutes before serving.

Serves 6

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Emma's First Experience in the Kitchen

Well, I'm starting her out early. Emma has been a part of her first baking experience. My sister and I were talking the other day about how having a little girl makes you incredibly sentimental and drives that urge to continue family traditions. After thinking about that, I realized that the majority of traditions start from the heart of the house: the kitchen, or at least that's the way it is in my family. I'm sure it's always been that way, but to me it starts with my Grammy. Everything I can remember about her was nurturing...stern, but nurturing. And it usually came from the heart through her kitchen. Well, anyways, I want to continue to nurture my children from my heart in the same way. I also want to give my children the life lesson of how to nurture themselves and their loved ones throughout their life. I want to spoil my family with treats and memories of spending time together in our kitchen and I definitely want to pass down the traditional recipes that Colin and me were raised on along with some that we pick up along the way.
Well, here are some pictures of our start. Introducing Emma's chocolate raspberry torte! Ta da!
"Only the freshest ingredients" says Emma

We had so much fun making this torte

This was really the extent of Emma's help....but it was energizing for me just knowing she was there.

The final product!

Emma's Coming Home Party

Emma's coming home party was such a great time. Because my sister was here and able to help (ie. do ALL the work.... thanks Karen) we had a bit of a Louisiana flair to this soiree'. We invited our closest friends (see "It Takes a Village") to join us in welcoming home our sweet baby girl. But no worries everyone, we kept it small and everyone was super healthy (except Drew who has a runny nose, but since he lives here we had to include him on the guest list...j/k .. haha). Emma Jane Westgarth-Taylor was absolutely beautiful that night. We celebrated by watching the NCAA national championship game and eating and enjoying Louisiana fare. Welcome home baby girl.

Here are the "village people" once again

This is what was left of the spread that my sister put on for us

Don't Mary and Brandon look awfully comfortable with a baby

Drew and Sadie had a great time playing together

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sweet Emma Jane

She's here, she's here!!!  Our precious angel is finally here.  We've been waiting for so long and we've had sooooo much fun preparing for her (more on that later).  I could go on and on about how much we love her and how amazing she has made our lives already, but I don't want to stay away from my new family for too here are some pictures to keep you all up on what a gorgeous little girl we all have now.
She's so beautiful when she sleeps

From the time that she was born, she only left my side once, for about 20 minutes. The nurses said that she was so beautiful they had to make a cuter hat for her.

These tiny hands hold our hearts

Such a personality shot.... she is always doing this.