[monday meals mashup] week two

Hey hey hey.

It's week two of sharing our meal plan. FYI, I'm using the term our meal plan like Chuck does when he says "our backyard project". So - you know how much he's helped with this week's planning and how much I help with the backyard.

We are each other's support system and rocks.

If you believed what I just typed above was sincere, then I believe you have found the wrong blog or you're a new reader. In which case, welcome, I'm a horrible person.

Last week's dinners went pretty much to plan with the exception of Monday. It ended up being 70 degrees and that is not pasta soup weather. That's taco weather. So we had a last minute substitution and a carry over of pasta soup into this week. These are the things that occupy my time.

Oh and while we are talking about last week, the coconut curry chicken (a new recipe) was TERRIBLE. Don't make that. I made it and bestie Jessica made it and we both had the same feeling. It was so bland and beyond blah. Chuck ate it but only because it was that or cereal and he's a growing boy (protein is protein). Sam ate it too but he didn't mind when he peed in his mouth so he's not a credible critique.

On to this week. No new recipes; this week is all tried and true. These are some of our absolute favorites - just feels like that kind of week.

Monday: Pasta soup. See recipe from last week.
Tuesday: Fruited Beef Curry. This recipe is to die for and more of a rainy day recipe. It also needs to sit on low for two hours so this used to be a weekend only dinner until I stopped having a "real" job. That's a little stay-at-home mom humor for ya.
Wednesday: Chicken Enchiladas. The best recipe ever. Favorite meal as a kid. Favorite meal as an adult. I have a very developed, refined pallet.
Thursday: Spaghetti with homemade marinara. I say homemade marinara like I'm some Tuscan chef. It's so simple. I use a very easy Giada De Laurentiis recipe, but I omit the pancetta unless it is on some ridiculous sale. Otherwise, it just isn't worth the price to me.
Friday: BBQ chicken with homemade BBQ sauce (recipe below). Here's my one soup box for the week. If you are trying to stretch grocery money and save a little, buy whole chickens. They are so much cheaper than pre cut for a meal like this where you want them on the bone. Have someone in your house learn to cut up a whole chicken. I nominated Chuck in 2006 and he accepted.
Saturday: I'm out for the day in Portland with family so I'll buy Chuck a rib-eye to gnaw on for dinner (they're on sale this week - lucky him.)
Sunday: Chicken Parmesan. This recipe is bomb but it takes a baby wrangler because of the oil so it's officially been demoted to a weekend meal only. Sorry, Chicken Parm. Send complaints to Sam.

Check out my fellow link-up friend Ashley from Life at the Parsons for her meal plan this week.

I would love to hear what you are having this week - could inspire me for next week. Comments are always the best part of blogging (what? like I do this out of the goodness of my heart?).

Fellow bloggers - consider joining Ashley and Me in our Monday Meals Mashup. Grab our button, but don't forget to link back to us.

baby monitor, cat monitor, same-same

Backyard progress this weekend: zero.
Thunder sightings: zero.
Hours of sleep: almost pre-baby levels.

Why come? Be-come we visited Chuck's Mom and enjoyed the wonderful sleep odyssey of being at Grandma's house. Grandma isn't sick of Sam and his games or totally over him like we are so she is only too happy to wake up at 5:30 am with him.

I do not do this.

I have told him repeatedly that I don't care for 5:30 secrets and nothing he has to say before 6 am is worth my sleep time.

Deaf. Baby. Ears.

At home, when he wakes before 6, we do the good parent ritual of lovingly getting him from his crib and listening intently to his dream stories and loving on him something fierce.

Nope. LIE.

We turn the monitor off, turn the fan in our room up, and fall back asleep. This is a 6 am house, Sammy. Take it or leave it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: we said we wanted to be parents, not good parents.

But here, at Grandma's, he has a Professional Mom who wants to hear those secrets and play all day. We have done very little parenting since Friday and it has been AMAZING. I wish Sam had a real Mom all the time. Sawreeeaa kid.

So whilst we were away, the baby monitor at home was obviously not in use.

OR WAS IT??????

As I'm sure you do with your baby monitor, we have rigged ours up to do cat surveillance when we're away.

I'll let that concept sink in with you before I continue.

Ready? Ok.

Our baby monitor is really just a security camera. We view it through an app on our phone or a secure log in online. Don't worry, you cannot Google SamCam and come up with our monitor. Weird-os aren't out there watching Sam sleep online. PROMISE.

What we can do is set up the monitor so that any time there is movement in the room (say, a giant black panther cat) the monitor takes five pictures rapid fire and emails them to us.

We have two hopes in doing this when on vacation.

1. We catch a ghost.
2. We catch Kitten.

Re: #1. How amazing would it be if we were looking through the pictures that have been emailed to us and picture, say, 4 is a creepy little girl holding a doll. That's the dream. Hasn't happened yet but trust me, the hope is there.

Good news though. I know you are going to be as happy about this as we were.

We caught a kitten on patrol.

Among the FORTY emails from the camera - no ghosts, just the changing light tripping the sensors - we hit the big cat money. You would have thought we hit the Mega Millions Jackpot. No - we just got emailed grainy pictures of our cat. Pretty much the same thing.

"I wonder if she left the closet open for me."

"Nope. She leaves the drawers open and a laundry basket out but does she leave my favorite sleep spot open? NO. I hate her. Will pee on her laundry Monday. I'll just go pencil that into my schedule."

Look in the hall. He made a lap down the hall to check the other rooms. At least he made his full rounds.

Did you need to see this is an easier to view GIF? You do! Good.
Did I find a web site to make that for me? Maybe.
Happy with myself? Obviously.

Ok, I know, as if this post could get better. WE CAUGHT HIM AGAIN.
Be still your beating heart - I KNOW. How could I possibly enrich your life and Interweb time more than I already have?

I'll tell you: More cat monitor pictures and a second cat monitor GIF.
I am the Ron Popeil of blogging today.

We call this string: Glowing Cat Eyes seeks Corner Action on Open Drawer
(title may need work)

 And the GIF because I can haz make him walk.


So, we have this going for us.
A baby monitor that doubles as cat surveillance.
Win. Win. Win.

photo dump friday

The magical photos from my cell phone this week. It was big week here.

We started with Thunder.

We ended with a first hair cut.

It was all sorts of Gwen Stefani (bananas, get it?).

The 411 on our week.

No pictures please. Jeesh.

Learned to use a straw. Had his first cold. Had his first juice box. He thought he was the cat's meow here and a total Caroline (poop don't stink. C'mon).

I asked Chuck if he could pick up Sam's toys.
Instead, Chuck diapered the naked baby.

We are rockin' the Clek Foonf and loving life. This thing is huge. It's expensive. Do not judge me. We got it on a considerable sale making it only slightly expensive as opposed to obscenely expensive.

I was trying to explain the term "Mother's Helper" to Sam.

I am sorry, but where is the baby? Seriously. Where did the baby go?

Speaking of where did things go. Where did my hair go? Do you see this? The tufts. I knew you lost hair post pregnancy. I did not know it would break off all around my face making devil horns. While I understand the devil horns are justifiable - my disposition - but this is getting ridiculous. I look like a six year old who cut their own bangs. I sent this picture to Jessica along with a very tactful and thoughtful text about the situation. (I do not just take random selfies in the bathroom, promise.)

Auntie Libby!!!!!! Libby and I had a very crucial meeting on Monday regarding the Teen Wolf situation in Beacon Hills. Sam may have been sent to bed early.  

The smoothie may have gotten a little out of hand.

And same with the rest of this lunch. So we aren't clean eaters. Sue us.

Flour play time.

This gem from 2006 ended up on my phone (I needed it as part of the celebration for PK's 60th). It begs to be posted even though it didn't happen this week.

Thunder didn't come back but the tree guys did. They brought the stump grinder and went after it. Sam was beside himself.  

Remember my rant earlier about the devil horn tufts? I put all my hair in a time out and chopped it off. OFF. Done. At least this way it's all short so my  preschool faux bangs don't stick out as bad.

More from short hair land.
I am sorry if this is your car, but this is the worst one I've ever seen. EVER. This offends me on so many levels.

I said we ended the week with a hair cut. Here it is. Such a little gentleman. He did great. Sam did pretty good too. See what I did there?

why my sister in law is cooler than yours.

Maybe starting with a picture from 2006 isn't exactly the way to begin a post about being "cool" but whatever. It's Throwback Thursday man. I don't make the social media rules, I just follow them.


That picture. Oh Chuck, you are a sick man. (In your best Chandler Bing voice) Could we look anymore alike here? (Now switch to a taunting voice) Someone tried to marry their sister.

Ew. Gross.

Good news (?) we've aged into looking less alike than we do here, but that's mostly because my hair is a lot shorter. No matter what we do, we for sure look more like sisters than me and my sister.

That is Nan. Aunt Nan, formally.

Nan is a designer and her pieces are fabulous. And this post is about that.

Nan owns nan-made objects - how cute is that name? She works in mainly Pendleton wool and leather right now. She's so much like me. No really. Like how I work mainly in macaroni and cheese and diapers - do you see it now? Practically the same person.

Ugh. She is so much cooler than me.

I'd say I'm writing this to promote her, but she doesn't need any promotion from me. Her stuff is selling like crazy all over the Northwest and a little store named Patagonia has started selling her pieces. Maybe you've heard of it.

Actually, I've been meaning to show off Nan's work for a long time but her Etsy shop (nan-made objects) is never full for long enough - she keeps selling out. A high class problem.

It's not surprising.

Her stuff is bomb.

So this is more about me being able to say "Look who I'm related to!!" and maybe I'll be cooler in your mind because of it than anything else.

At least I can dream...

nan-made objects
Probably go check it out.
And probably buy something.
Who knows what a vintage Nan Allison might go for one day.
I'm really just trying to help you.
Ok I'm done.
No more enters I promise.
I lied.
Over and out.

The newest item. Cross body fold over bags.

Wool and leather wristlet. I just got one of these for my birthday. It's fabulous.

Wool and leather tote bags.

Small zippered pouch. I also have one of these. It's perfect as my wallet or a small clutch.

This is a sneak peek of what she's working on now. It's all leather and to die for.

I can't end the post without a picture of Nan and her favorite baby. And just for a refresher, remember that she made Sam that pea coat for Christmas.

Can't buy this item - it's an Aunt Nan "one of a kind".

that human baby by jack allison

That freaking human baby.

They brought him into this house last year like suddenly he owned the place, like I should thank them for bringing him into my life. I hated them. I hated him. I mostly hated her because I have a suspicion that he was what made her look like Carnie Wilson.

It was a rough first six months as he adjusted to my house. I did everything I could to voice my opinion. I peed on her laundry - only her laundry. I would never disrespect my Dad like that. I didn't talk to them. I didn't look at them. I did make a point to talk to everyone who came to visit to let them know the tragedy that was my life and the injustices that I was being faced with. Everyone was sympathetic.

Trust me, I had an army on my side.

Oh I hated that human baby.

He contributed nothing. He never once petted me. Scratched me. Loved on me. Showed me any of the affection that I deserve. I am, after all, the most handsome cat baby in the world. There's even a song about it. My mom sings it all the time.

You know one time, to fain niceness, I brought that human baby my toy for fetch playing and he licked it? I had had that toy for 8 years and had just gotten it smelling right.... RUINED. Ruined.

I just did not understand what all the fuss was about. He did nothing all day. Meanwhile, I'm carrying the brunt of the work load around here patrolling windows, jumping on my parents to survey the room, grooming them, and making sure all pieces of furniture are covered with a thin layer of black fur. I work my butt off each and every day around here.

But then, one day, that human baby smiled at me. And I liked that.
And then he started grabbing for me.
And then he started petting me.

His petting leaves a little to be desired and Mom is always saying "gentle" to him when he does it. I can tell he understands that word about as well as I do.

I had Mom take a few pics of us when human baby started pulling his weight around here. She says he's like six months old in these photos.


I mean, it was bad in the beginning, and then around six months time it wasn't so bad.

And now, well, now I'm kind of used to him. I don't like him, like him; if I was going to move out ever I don't think I'd try to get an apartment with him or anything but I'd see him on weekends and definitely send Christmas cards.

So, yeah, things are going better for us now. Better for me at least. I like to make sure I'm always in the room with Mom and human baby - I just need to keep my eye on them. I play it cool so they don't know. "Oh yeah, no, I wanted to watch the toilet be flushed 7 times in a row. Cool beans."

I can tell sometimes human baby gets tired and I get that so I don't actually mind if he uses me as a pillow. And he has started helping out around here some. He really does a great job of getting me soaking wet with his mouth - it makes bathing easier. Who thought I'd ever compliment him? Plus also it's kind of nice that someone screams and practically wets their pants every time I walk into a room. A guy could get used to this.

I am disappointed that he's trying to share food with me now. I like eating his food - those chicken nuggets were awesome!!! - but I don't appreciate him eating mine. At least Mom gets equal mad at both of us when we share food. Maybe she isn't playing favorites after all?

Anyways, things are going better around here for me, and I guess I wanted to share that. Mom says it's good to talk about feelings but I don't know why - I stopped listening SQUIRREL!!!!!!

Closing thoughts and my take away message: human baby isn't so bad after all.

Sharing toys has been challenging but overall not terrible.

I don't know what he was thinking.

I'm teaching him surveillance skills. He seems interested in learning.

My mom says to tell you, yes, I am a big cat. I'm tall and skinny. It's genetic.

Mom says she put added a video of Sam "petting" me so you could get a better idea of my life and why I am a saint of a cat for loving that human baby.

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