Thursday, June 30, 2011

Family Photos

I mentioned that our friends the McNabbs came to town this weekend and that we had a great time with them! I can't wait to meet their little boy Pierce who is due in September. Jared McNabb has a photography business and offered to take pictures of William as a baby gift to us. We were so glad to accept and we spent a good part of the weekend taking pictures of our little boy and then of the whole family. None of us is particularly photogenic. Brian and I found that out about ourselves when taking engagement pictures and confirmed it during wedding, and then maternity pictures. William has been known to smile beautifully right up until a camera is held up and then make as dull of face as possible. He did that for Jared too unfortunately, but he was so much better than any other photographer we've worked with at helping us look natural in front of the camera and waiting for us to make just the right face before taking his shot. I was very comfortable posing and had so much fun with it. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the baby shoot and from our family shoot.

I'm having the hardest time trying to pick which pictures I want to print to display in our home, but I'm pretty sure that last one will be our Christmas card this year.

Please go check out the rest of the pictures on his blog If you're looking for a photographer I strongly recommend Jared! He's located in Houston but he and Erin love to travel.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What a lovely day

Will and I have been enjoying a particularly nice day today!
It started out with our sweet friends Brooke, Maggie and Clare coming over to play. They had a good time. I am really looking forward to the day when Will can actually play and interact with me or with other kids. I think it will be so fun. For today though Will and Clare chilled on the activity gym while Maggie enjoyed exploring the dog water and my lazy susan. Can you see the dry mustard she has in the picture of the three of them? Brooke agreed to look after Will during the days that I'm teaching next year, which I couldn't be more thrilled about. He's going to be in such good hands!
By the time they left, it was nap time so William caught some zz's while I made the blueberry soup for dinner and Mommy and Grammy chatted. I also got to talk to Neely for the first time in a while. I just wish she had happier news. I love you, lady! You have so many "real" friends who are here for you.
After that we made a quick stop by the florist to pick up some "welcome baby" bouquets. We had not one, but two new friends born at the same hospital. We took a trip up to meet them and congratulate their families. Barrett James and Rhett Archer are the most darling little boys born since my own. They are normal baby size, 7 lbs 8 oz and 6 lbs 10 oz respectively, but they seem so teeny tiny in comparison to William. I never got to see him all fragile like that. Their mommies are doing really well too. Here is me, Laurel and Rhett. Barrett was eating so I didn't get to take a picture with him.
From the hospital, we went over to the church to say a Rosary in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Of course we prayed for a healthy start for these little boys, but also a prayer for Pope Benedict because today is his 60 anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. Today is also the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul so that made our little chapel the perfect place to pray today. Will did so great letting me get through the whole prayer. I was prepared to stop one decade in if need be, but he held strong.
We're home now and will stay put the rest of the evening I assume, but we will have company here. Brian's college roommate, Cain, has a new job at Valero where Brian works too. He'll have to move closer to San Antonio (he lives in Austin now) but he's staying with us while he finds a place. We've been enjoying his stay for a few days so far.
One last thing that has made today great is that I got to see the sneak peek of the pictures Jared took of Will this weekend. You can check out the sneak peek too on his blog, but when I see the rest I'll post some here. This is my favorite one so far.
I hope you're having a great day too!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I love my little big butterball of a baby! I definitely had not prepared myself to have such a hefty boy though! When I was born I weighted 5 lbs 7 oz and was 20 inches long. I was a super skinny baby for quite a long time and never had the chubby cheeks or thigh rolls that are so delicious on babies. Brian on the other hand was quite a chunk apparently but our boy beats him.

William weighed 9 lbs 9 oz at birth and was 22 inches long. That's big, but he just keeps getting bigger! At his 2 month appointment we learned that he was 25 inches long which puts him in the 95th percentile and weighed 17 lbs 1 oz placing him in the 99th percentile for weight. I'll be darned if he hasn't gained another pound since then!

They say you can't possibly overfeed a breastfed baby and that he'll go through a stretch where he doesn't gain any weight once he becomes more active, but I do have my doubts. I've built up some muscles holding him all day but it's tough unless he's sitting on my lap or riding in a carrier.

On a side note, don't you just love his shades?

Here are a few pictures from our weekend. We had our good friends Erin and Jared in town. They are expecting their first baby in September. We took the boat out and went swimming at the lake. Jared is a photographer and took a whole bunch of wonderful pictures of Will and of our family, so there will be much more beautiful pictures coming soon.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Hazelnut quinoa stuffed peppers, watermelon. Ice cream sundaes with the group after dinner.
Wednesday: Fried egg sandwiches and blueberry soup (not this recipe but similar)
Thursday: Cincinnati style chili over spaghetti, cooked carrots
Friday: Spanish cod on rice, cucumber salad
Saturday: Fried chicken, pinto beans and mixed greens

I felt a little conflicted grocery shopping today because I've been trying to buy more organic and natural foods for my family, but I was also buying the fixings for ice cream sundaes which we're going to have when we host our friends for the Monday night group this evening. I had organic soups, eggs, tons of produce, etc, then Hershey's, Smucker's and Nesquick syrups, sprinkles, and marachino cherries. Is there such a thing as organic sprinkles?

Anyone who has worn a baby in public seems to know what kind of attention that draws. It's a trade off, I have both hands free and know that Will is comfy and safe, but every other person wants to stop and talk about the carrier, how big he is, and what he's doing in there. I love that so many people think I have a cute baby, but I have a limited amount of shopping time before he wants to nurse again and I've got to this this ice cream in the freezer! I try to get out quick with an "aw thanks" and a big smile, but I'm going to have to get craftier if I really want to make haste.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cake 8- Banana Crumb Cake

Today Willie turned 8 weeks old! I can't believe how quickly time is passing. If it were the middle of the school year I would have been going back to work which is incomprehensible to me. I couldn't leave this little buddy if I wanted to!

In celebration I made Christy Jordan's Banana Crumb Cake. It wasn't the first time I've made it, in fact I think I'm developing a reputation for making and sharing it, but really all my best recipes come from her. The reason I made it today is because we are going out of town on Sunday, Brian to Aruba, Will me and my mom to the Valley. I wanted to bring cake to my grandpa when he gets to meet his great grandson for the first time and this recipe makes two 8x8s or two loaf pans. I made an 8x8 for us and a loaf to bring down to family. The other reason is that Brian's work threw a shower for us this week and sent us home with a huge chocolate cake that we've been eating on since. There's an awful lot of cake around here but I couldn't break my plan so soon.

This is a perfect way to use up too ripe bananas and goes great with coffee as a breakfast cake, but makes a fine dessert too!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The flood of 2010

A year ago today the Guadalupe river, which we lived across the street from then and now, rose from 4 to 29 feet in a matter of an hour and a half. It was just a few days after Neely and Chad had come to visit and we had tubed the river and swam and boated in Lake Dunlap. Both would be closed for most of the rest of the summer. Our house didn't get any water in it but I was home alone to watch the waters rise closer and closer. There were only a few inches that kept our front door step out of the water. Many people did lose their homes, boat houses, RVs, and one man lost his life.

Living in this town, you often hear people refer to the flood of '98 when just about all of New Braunfels was under water, including the house we live in now. I wonder if people will speak about the flood of 2010 in the same way, or maybe not since it wasn't the worst we've had, and there is always the chance that it will happen again. It seems that no matter where you live there is a chance of some disaster or the other befalling unsuspecting residents. It makes you sensitive to those who have been hit recently, by tornados, wild fires, earthquakes, hurricanes that will land this summer. God promised not to wipe out the earth with a flood again, but when it is your own family and your own home in danger, it probably doesn't feel very different.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

St. William of York, pray for us

Today, June 8th, is the feast day of William's namesake, St. William of York. I had forgotten to celebrate, but thankfully a dear friend reminded me. So today I am thankful for the example of the archbishop of York and will ask him to intercede for my son.

St. William, you never took your eyes off of Christ and his will for you. You devoted yourself to a life of prayer and mortification and you showed forgiveness and love to those who had before been in opposition to your election. Please help us follow your example of perseverence and forgiveness so that we may forgive our transgressors and always persevere in the Lord's will. Amen.

Learn more about him and other Catholic saints here.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Crispy eggplant with mushroom marinara over orzo, with sauteed beet greens
Tuesday: the Ham and Tomato Pie I didn't actually end up making last week, blueberry and cantaloupe fruit salad
Wednesday: chicken enchiladas from my new cook book! pinto beans
Thursday: Pork roast, roasted beets, new potatoes

Weekend Recap

Friday morning Will and I joined three other mamas for some play time with their babies. Will mostly watches at this point, but it's nice to know he will have so many friends built-in as our friends' children to start off with. We talked about getting together more regularly which I hope will happen as I thoroughly enjoy their company, but sadly I'm worried my house won't be a good place to play. The littlest babies would be happy here, but we don't have the big baby toys to keep the older ones entertained. They would be terribly disappointed by the toy selection.

Unfortunately a good chunk of our playtime was carved out by annoying phone calls back and forth with Perfect Bridal. I was going to pause the recap here and tell you the story of the dress, but on second thought, I'm just going to put it in a separate post.

Friday evening I had every good intention of going to my first real dance class in 9 years (that's excluding the semester of ballet I took in college for credit)! A local ballet studio offers free dance classes every Friday evening in a different dance style each week and the first was jazz. I was pumped. I told my mom and my friends I was going, I invited another friend who loves and misses dance like I do to go with me (she ended up not being able to). I dug out my jazz shoes and some suitable dance clothes and check and double checked with Brian to be sure he was going to be able to watch Will for an hour and a half. It would be the first time I left him since a botched trip to Kohl's early on. Off I went, only to arrive at the studio and realize I had all the details right except that the first class of the summer is June 10th not June 3rd. Not to waste my freedom, I stopped on the way home and got my eyebrows waxed and a 10 minute chair massage at my nail salon. I'm planning the do-over for this Friday.

Saturday morning brought a trip to the farmer's market here in town. We go every week that we can because it feels like not just food shopping, but a date and entertainment as well. That's how we justify the slightly higher prices on produce. We ended up getting a pretty good selection of fruits and veggies as well as some honey, some grass-fed, hormone free, yada yada beef and the best tortilla chips (fried in coconut oil) I've ever had in my life. It was the trial run for our new stroller, and I was very pleased. I had wanted an alternative to the Bob Revolution that I could take shopping and on neighborhood walks that was less bulky than the Bob. I compared several brands and decided on the Inglesina Swift who's primary advantage ended up being the color. I love this green!

Will was very comfy and the handles are tall enough that even Brian could push it easily.
We went grocery shopping to fill out the rest of the menu at HEB. I was so glad that Brian was with us. Mainly because it's so much easier to shop with an extra hand, but also because he got to see first-hand how often we get stopped to talk about the baby, the sweet comments and the stupid ones.
We spent the rest of the day doing little projects around the house. Will and I were Daddy's assistants in the shop.
Sunday I was late to Mass because I ended up having to feed Will in the parking lot before coming in during the Homily. Apparently Will was cute enough to make up for it, everyone around us fussed over him. We relaxed hard core, and managed to eat every meal outdoors. Brian BBQed a chuck roast with a super yummy espresso rub on it for dinner. Will kept me entertained in the meantime. He learned to roll over from front to back yesterday! Here's the proof.
I hope you had a weekend as nice as mine!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Cake 7- Pioneer Woman's Pig Cake

On William's due date I made him a strawberry cake that I was hoping would be a birthday cake. When he turned 1 week old on Good Friday (no one around here was very good at being penitent) I made a Duncan Hines chocolate box cake that happened to be in my cupboard. I had a terrible fever and a one week old so that's about all I could muster up. At that point though I had an idea, or maybe Brian suggested it, why don't we have cake every week for William's birthday, all year. Great idea! 52 cakes!

There's a chance that I'll give up at some point, or miss a couple weeks. There's a good chance that my son will be pretty upset with me when I'm limiting his sweets when he's 5 or 6 and he finds out that there was a cake every Friday for his first year t
hat he didn't even get to eat. But there's a great chance that I will enjoy celebrating my son as he grows this first year, and that my husband will appreciate having cake in the house all the time.

Here's what we've had so far:
1 Week: Duncan Hines chocolate with chocolate can frosting
2 Weeks: Blackberry Coconut Cake - it was supposed to be raspberries but blackberries were on sale. it was a little dry, but looked beautiful under my cake dome.
3 Weeks: Aunt Sue's Orange Juice Cake - by far one of the best cakes I've ever had. I want it again already. Made in a bundt.
4 Weeks: Chocolate Pistachio Cake - I hated it. It was like eating unsweetened cocoa powder- dry and bitter- even after I added a chocolate glaze. My recommendation would be to use less pure dark chocolate even though that's the who
le point. Brian and his cousin loved it though.
5 Weeks: Lemonade Layer Cake - it came from a Junior League cookbook and I can't find the same recipe online. I cheated and made it 13x9 so I could travel with it. It was excellent!
6 Weeks: Store bought white cake with whipped icing for Will'
s Baptism. I don't think it's cheating since I was hosting a brunch for 30 people.
That brings us to Week 7. Happy birthday William!! I just finished making Pioneer Woman's Pig Cake. It is so sweet and moist and almost refreshing. I love the whipped topping. Her's is beautiful, be sure to click over and check out the pictures. Here's mine.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Will this morning

Is he just the cutest baby you've ever seen (except yours of course)? I love having a little boy to play with! There was more smiling and batting of the giraffe than I could capture on video, but you get the idea. He'll be 7 weeks old tomorrow.