Sunday, February 28, 2010

Alive & kickin'

Yes, it's been two weeks since my last post and no we haven't fallen off the face of the earth but thank you to everyone who emailed and called to make sure that we were okay. We have all been sick since Valentine's Day with colds so nothing major but the stinking colds have just lingered and drained us of our energy. On top of the colds, I have been dealing with yet another bout of insomnia so that hasn't helped in my getting over this sickness.

So, what's been happening? The Monday after Valentine's Day was President's Day, a day off for all of us which was good as we spent the day in our PJ's going through tissues at an alarming rate. After a good day of rest we all tried to go into Tuesday full steam but after school & gymnastics practice for Maisie, it was an early night as the two of us crawled into bed together at 7PM calling it a day. On Wednesday and Thursday I did take Maisie to school but both days I picked her up early and we took some nice naps together. Thursday afternoon she was tired and actually started running a fever so I called the gym and cancelled gymnastics and on Friday cancelled her swim lesson and called the gym again to say that Maisie would miss the gymnastics team try-outs that night. She and I spent Friday, Saturday & Sunday in the house, recuperating, doing crafts, puzzles, playing games and doing a little cooking together. Our attire of choice was either PJ's or sweats and by Sunday night, though still with stuffy & runny noses, we were both feeling considerably better.

This past week has been just a normal week for us though Miss Rosemary had to cancel swim lessons on Friday for personal reasons, we've attended all our usual activities. This past Friday night Maisie did go to the gymnastics team tryouts and she did very well. She paid attention to the coach and did everything asked of her to the best of her ability. They started on the vault then went to the bar followed by the beam and finished up on the floor. I only remembered that I had my Flip in my bag when they were doing their skills on the floor so that's all I recorded. After the try-outs a couple of the parents of the other children came up to me asking how old was Maisie and telling me how well she performed and being quite surprised to find out that she was only four and the youngest of the group. She did really well and made me proud.

Even though we've been sick, I've been in a cooking mood and I've added three new recipes to Cook Lisa Cook, check out my Chinese Whole Steamed fish, Glass Noodle, Spicy Chicken and Spinach Salad and Rum-Cured Salmon Summer Rolls. Even though we've been sick we sure have been eating well and all these new recipes were delicious and quite easy to make.

Maisie and Eammon now both seem to be over their colds and I'm almost there too. Now feeling better we had a good weekend and it was great to finally get out and together with friends again. Saturday morning while I went out grocery shopping Maisie played over at K & A's house for the first time in two weeks. She was so happy to see her friend's again. In the afternoon she and I took a nice long nap together and then had a fun afternoon playing together.

Today was a full day with Anne, Steve, K & A. This morning they all came over here for brunch. We had fun eating, visiting, watching the children play and we all watched The Princess Bride. It was then time for a change of venue so Steve took all three children back to his house, Eammon headed to the gym and Anne and I went out to do a little shopping. Once home again we gathered at Steve and Anne's, ate some more delicious food, visited, watched the children play and we all watched the US/Canada hockey game. It's so wonderful having next-door neighbors that are so great to spend time with and having all the children like each other and get along is a huge, huge bonus. Tonight Maisie and K looked so cute when they were playing dress-up I just had to snap a piccie.

We're now ready to take on another week. Nothing out of the ordinary planned just hoping that the snow predicted for Tuesday misses us, that we sleep well, feel better each day and have a good week.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day and Year of the Tiger

Sunday we gathered with friends at Anne & Steve's home to celebrate Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year. It was a fun-filled afternoon of crafts, play, cooking, eating and drinking.

The upstairs kitchen was crafts central with the girls making Chinese lanterns while the boys made and painted little wooden boats.

Maisie had fun gluing on all the crystals and cutting the papers.

Downstairs was cooking central where we had fun making homemade dumpling. While we were making the dumplings we enjoyed Anne's delicious lettuce wrap appetizers.

Me and my beautiful little Princess.

The children enjoyed a dinner of noodle soup, beef bulgogi, rice, crispy noodles, dumplings, veggies, hoisin bbq drumsticks & mandarin oranges.

Maisie found all the food delicious!

After dinner the children decorated heart-shaped red velvet cupcakes for their dessert.

Maisie went light on the frosting and heavy with the fairy sprinkles.

The adults feasted on all the same foods but for dessert enjoyed Nutella crepes with whipped cream and Chocovine. If you love chocolate and/or a drink like Bailey's Irish Cream, check out Chocovine, totally awesome!

Maisie with her completed Chinese lantern.

Some fireworks made a perfect ending to a fun day of celebrating. Maisie doesn't like loud noises so even before the fireworks were lit she had her ears blocked.

A big thanks to Anne & Steve for a fun and memorable day and we can't wait to continue these traditions with our children for many years to come.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fun filled Saturday

Oh what a busy and fun Saturday! Our morning started with Eammon taking Maisie out for a little playtime in the snow where they quickly met up with K, A, Anne & Steve. Of course with the two Dad's out there with all the children, it became a game of throwing snowballs off our dock trying to crack the ice. The sun was shining and it was surprisingly mild outside so it was nice to sit out there for a bit and drink hot chocolate and coffee with everyone. After our drinks Anne suggested that we have brunch together which sounded like a great idea. After a quick shower I brought all the ingredients I needed for my dish over to their house and the cooking began. Anne made a delicious Italian omelette with garlic, peppers and sun dried tomatoes along with some thick sliced gourmet bacon. My contribution were crepes filled with Nutella & bananas topped with whipped cream. After a great meal and some play & social time it was nap time as Maisie had a big afternoon ahead of her.

After nap we headed over to Kathy & Matt's house to celebrate Chani's 3rd birthday.

Chani looked adorable in her birthday outfit.

The party was a Crayola theme and Kathy went all out, decorating her home and keeping the color theme going. For the children, Kathy had numerous craft & activity stations set up to keep them busy and earning prizes.
Maisie enjoyed stringing Fruit Loop necklaces but then ate them as fast as she made them. After making her third one she asked if she could skip making the necklace and just eat the cereal.

Unlike Maisie who chose only to do a few select activities, Briana participated in everything and here she is working hard, decorating her backpack.

Once Maisie had her fill of Fruit Loops she had fun playing in and coloring the castle.

Then there was the food!
The tables were a kids candy feast and as soon all the children sat down the sugar fest began.

It wasn't all candy, there was a fruit punch fountain.

And a chocolate fountain with fruit, marshmallows, cookies and treats to dip...Okay I guess that's candy too but there was "real" food too.

Stinkin' adorable chocolate covered pretzels, but seriously there was food in which the first ingredient wasn't sugar.

See real food, Chicken nuggets, Mandarin oranges and fruit snacks...oops guess that last one is candy again.

Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, veggie tray and Fruity Pebbles treats.

Chani, Maisie, Briana & Katie ready for the sugar fest to begin.

After all the parent's best efforts to get the children to eat some of the healthier food it was cupcakes AND cake, yes my girl ate both and finished both servings.

After all the food and sugar it was time to burn off some energy. Kathy & Matt had a balloon drop from their balcony and the children had a blast running around, kicking, throwing and playing with all the balloons.
Catch Mama!

Briana catching a balloon.

This is so much fun!!

Me and my best girl.

We arrived home just after 7PM and all that sugar kicked Maisie in the tush because by 7:30 she was out, snuggled in and sound asleep!

Happy 3rd birthday Chani and thanks for the super fun party and all the treats!

Friday, February 12, 2010


I often tell people that one of the happiest days of my life was the day I sold my snow blower and shovel and moved to the deep south as I am not a winter, cold weather or snow person. While many people find the snow beautiful and fun to play in, after this very cold winter and now snow, I'm over it already and looking forward to some nice hot summer weather.

The view from our back door.

Maisie and A having fun together in the snow.

Okay, I'll begrudgingly admit that it is sort of pretty and Maisie did have fun but bring on summer!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Day party!

Today Maisie and her classmates celebrated Valentine's Day with a fun party at school.

Maisie's little sugar fest though started before the party as her bento was holiday themed and contained a bit more sugar than usual. (For a list of the contents of this bento and to see her other ones, please visit Maisie Eats Bento.)

Maisie looked so happy as the party began, just knowing what was in store made her smile.

The party started with the children all handing out their Valentine's cards and treats. In the end, each child went home with overflowing bags of candy and cards.

Maisie and I ready to have fun.

Maisie working on her craft, cutting out an heart.

The heart says, "I love my family because..." and Maisie wrote "they give me hugs and kisses." Awwww...

Maisie and I made and brought in red velvet heart shaped cupcakes for the children to decorate.

Frosting and decorating the cupcakes was good and messy fun.

Maisie with her finished cupcake creation.

After all that sugar a little running around was necessary and a few rounds of duck-duck-goose was good fun.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Maisie's new love

Maisie is, and has always been terrified by the sound of the vacuum, my Hoover Floor Mate, my old stick vac and even a Roomba so imagine my delight this afternoon when I brought home a Touchless Swivel Sweeper to try and Maisie wasn't afraid and in fact, couldn't keep her hands off of it. She vacuumed all the tile in the kitchen & family room as well as her gymnastics mat and is now anxiously waiting for the battery to fully charge so that she can vacuum again!! Not only does Maisie want to vacuum for me but both she and the sweeper do a great job on all the crumbs and odd bits of debris that litter the tile and her mats. Thanks for the recommendation Mom & Dad and M3, I can see why this is a favorite in your home.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Chinese New Year Lion Dance

Today we met up with friends Lisa, Doug & Briana, Kathy, Matt & Chani, Liene, Lane, Eriks & Emi and Angela, Jay, Laney & Halee up in Chattanooga Tennessee at the Creative Discovery Museum where they were celebrating Chinese New Year.

Maisie, Chani & Briana all looking adorable and waiting for the Lion Dance to begin.

It was fun watching the Lion Dance. Right at the beginning when the drum sounded and the Lion moved, it startled so many of the children and you can hear the crying right away.

Each time that we've visited this museum, one Maisie's favorite things has been painting on the computer and this time was no exception.

Of course running around and playing with Briana is top of the hit list too. Photo by Lisa & Doug.

Hugs goodbye, always so cute! Photo by Lisa & Doug.

A rare photo, Eammon, Maisie and I together. Photo by Lisa & Doug.

If you thought that Maisie's outfit looked familiar, you're correct as you've seen it before. Here she is wearing the same one back in December 2006 at the White Swan but now the size 2 finally actually fits her. This piccie is from the day that we attempted to take Red Couch photos but Maisie wanted nothing to do with that and in this picture was done with having her picture taken. Guess she hasn't changed much in these 3+ years as she still has little tolerance for having her picture taken ;-)

It was a really fun day as it's always a blast to get together and spend time with friends.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Kindergarten Pajama Day

Today was pajama day for Maisie's class. Maisie was less than thrilled to wear her pj's to school and kept asking if she could just wear her uniform. Once at school though, seeing all her friends and her teacher Miss Nancy in their pajamas, she was a happy little girl. Because it was pajama day they had some extra fun activities which included popcorn and a video. When I picked Maisie up at the end of her day she asked when they could do pajama day again because it was so much fun. I'm just happy that she had such a good and fun day.

Kindergarten PJ Day 1
Maisie hamming it up for the camera before leaving for school.

Kindergarten PJ Day 2 Maisie, Miss Nancy and a few classmates looking cute in their PJ's.

Kindergarten PJ Day 3 One last morning hug before school started.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Sunday fun with April

Friends Ilene, Michael and April were coming over on Sunday for a day of fun and food so on Saturday in preparation, Maisie helped me dust the house. She loves helping to dust and if I could just keep her from shaking all the accumulated dust off the duster and all over the floor and mats, she would truly be a good little helper.

A few months ago we made these plans to get together as they have season theater tickets and Ilene wasn't interested in seeing Young Frankenstein so Michael asked Eammon if he'd like to go. Eammon loves the movie so he was up for it and it allowed all the girls to have a nice play day together. Ilene, Michael & April came over early for a brunch of croissants, cold poached salmon, chicken salad, herring in wine sauce as well as salad & fruit plates. Everyone enjoyed the meal but soon it was time for the guys to head to the theater. Once they left it was time to entertain and keep the little girls busy.

The girls had fun playing with money and a slot machine (don't ask), and filling their purses with all the accumulated change.

On and off they each wore Princess clothes. They had fun using scratch paper and drawing fun designs.

Twister was a hit with them first playing together then each taking turns being the caller so to tell the other one what to do.

But Play-doh was the hit of the day with the girls probably spending almost 2 hours making all sorts of beautiful creations.

When I realized that the guys would be back from their show just about dinner time, Ilene and I decided that it would be fun to have dinner together so that the girls could extend their play day. At first I thought we could order some pizza but I'm really trying to avoid all the processed food. So after a quick check in the pantry and freezer I made some homemade marinara sauce, pasta and garlic bread. To bulk up the meal a little for the guys, I divided the sauce and added some nice seafood to theirs. We all enjoyed another meal together and the girls continued their day of fun, all filled with giggles, smiles, running around and good times.

Maisie was very sad to see April go home and in bed last night asked me, when was her "little" friend going to come back and play again. Always a good time with friends.
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