28 January 2012

Adventures in Vegetables: week 4

This week was a giant kale fail.  My friend shared some kale chips with me several months ago and I've thought about making them ever since.  So, my year of adventures in vegetables seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally give them a whirl.

I bought more kale than any one person would ever need.  I washed and tore it all up.  Then "sprinkled it with oil".  Now, I admit, this may have been where it fell apart.  See, I have a deep seeded fear of oil.  I hate the stuff.  I hate adding it to stuff.  I hate eating something I know has been covered in oil...yet I will eat oil fried french fries any day...it makes no sense, and even I don't understand it, but it's the way my mind works.  You're suppose to cover the kale with oil...I may have half-heartedly sprinkled 1/2 a teaspoon on the pile and called it good.

Then I sprinkled it with salt and baked it until crisp.  I was pretty excited to try them when I took them out of the oven.  But instantaneously I was bowled over by the stench of rotting socks and urine.  Yes, baked kale smells like rotting socks and urine.  And the taste wasn't pleasant either.  In fact, they were so bad that I cleaned my mouth out with some Fritos (fried in oil...there is no logic in my life).

Here's how I rate this vegetable:
Taste: D...even though it tasted like socks and urine it still beats out the eggplant
Texture:  A...it was crispy, all things crispy get a thumbs up in my book
Ease of use:  C+...I'm lazy
Likeliness that Carrie will eat it again:  50%

I found a new recipe for salt and vinegar kale chips.  I'm thinking the vinegar might dampen the sock/urine taste and make them somewhat more edible.  So, I'll probably it them again.

22 January 2012

Adventures in Vegetables: week 3

I am a potato patch kid, born and raised in the heart of Idaho.  As an Idahoan I know how amazing potatoes are.  You can do a bajillion things to them:  mash em, rice em, au gratin' em, shred em, fry em, bake em, boil em...the list goes on and on and on.  Potatoes are one of the most fawesomest foods on the planet.  But God took things to a whole new level of fawesome when he took the potato and made it purple.  Jimmeny Cricket it was amazing!

Here's how I rate this vegetable:
Taste: A...it's a potato.  All potatoes get As.
Texture:  A...once again...it's a potato
Ease of use:  A+...I bought it pre cut so all I had to do was bake it.
Likeliness that Carrie will eat it again:  100%

Up next:  kale

18 January 2012

Pics of the Babies

Since the possibility that I'll ever have a baby of my own is slipping away quicker than I'd like it to, I was sooooo excited to have two weeks with two babies.  Two babies meant I could always be holding one while everyone else had the other one.  Of course there were a couple of times when it was just me, trying to hold them both...which takes an insane amount of creativity and skill.
The oldest twin is Thomas.
He is alert and quiet and quite content to just be bundled up with his binkey.  And when he's hungry he'll let you know in a civilized manner.
Then there is baby girl.  Miss Emily is not quite as mellow as her bro.  In fact, I heard the word "naughty" used to describe her quite often.  Miss Emily is kind of particular.  She hates being naked,  she hates the quiet, and she LOATHES being put down.  You could rock that child for an hour, think she was in the depths of REM, put her in her crib, and within a matter of seconds she would wail, as if someone had just dumped a bucket of ice water on her.

Yes.  Baby girl is high maintenance.  But between you and me, she's also my favorite...shhhhh, one shouldn't have favorite babies.  But she is.  I could hold her and snuggle and kiss her and squeeze her to my hearts content.  And I did. 
I also taught her how to make a drunk pirate face...she was a natural with that one.
I was one proud auntie.
But baby girl wasn't always perfect in my arms
In fact, at times she found me quite boring.
Other times she was content to just surf the net for new art ideas.
 
But mostly she just slept.

And sometimes I did too.
I loved her sweet newborn baby smell.
And listening to her whisper soft breath.
And feeling her warm little boy snuggled against mine.
I asked her several times if she knew of any babies waiting for me to be their mother.
She didn't have an answer.

So I just took it all in.  Cherishing those few precious moments.  Knowing it may have been the only time in my life when I would ever have the chance, the opportunity, to have a baby.  If only for a couple of weeks.
No, you shouldn't have favorite babies.  But I do.

Thanks Dan and Merianne for giving me such a fantastic Christmas!  You'll never know how much it meant to me to have those hours with your kids.

16 January 2012

Falling into the New Year

Ok, lets see if I can blitz through the end of 2011 so we can start focusing on 2012...and hopefully keep up with it.

Whew...here we go.

First up:  The Halloween Boo-Fallow Fun Run in Buffalo.  Melissa Rita and I tore it up. 
Meow
 Look at that flashy speedy little devil
If I remember correctly Rita grabbed that kid, threw him to the ground then crossed the finish line ahead of him...ha,ha,ha
And then the walker...slow and steady in my world
So after this race I literally stopped running...for 2 months.  A person my age shouldn't do that.  Bad things happen...but I'm back on the running/walking wagon in 2012...yip-yip-yipee.

Fast forward to Christmas...

My best friend and her husband had twins on 11.11.11 and they graciously let me come to DC for two weeks to play sister wife and help with the babies and play with their awesome 2-year-old David.  It was so fun to spend the holidays with kids (and Mer and Dan aren't too shabby themselves).

We loaded up the kids and adults and went to the mall to see Santa.  Now, just because a vehicle says it sits 7, does NOT mean three of those 7 can be in car seats.  Mer had to climb into the tiny little cubby of the Acura through the trunk space and sat there squished for the duration of the trip.  Way to take one for your best friend...I fully enjoyed the protection of a seat belt and leg room in the front.

David was in love with the falling snow in Santa's mall house
I took an illegal pic of the Jensens ALL sitting on Santa's lap.  
An early family Christmas gift arrived and of course David found the bubble wrap 150 times more exciting than the picture it wrapped.
He rolled around...an stomped...
And really put his whole head into popping that stuff.  
Mer's a big spender and bought her husband a gift card to 5 Guys Burgers...I was excited to see that they serve only THE BEST potatoes in the world...straight from home.
As the third wheel I was able to go to the friends and family Christmas party.  I was in charge of taking pictures of David...here's the first gift of the season he opened
He was a pretty careful opener
And then sat there quietly while everyone else opened their bear...that shoots balls out of its mouth.  Sweet!
Here's Mer and sweet baby Emily
David figuring out the ball blowing bear (well that sounds dirty doesn't it)
Still figuring it out
Yep, he's aiming it at me
Christmas morning at the Jensen's house.  Santa meticulously wraps ALL of the gifts.  Santa even meticulously wrapped the presents I brought...you could say Santa is a little OCD when it comes to gift wrapping.
David is obsessed with trains.  So of course being the aunt that bakes and likes to give gifts that cater to one's obsessions I brought David a train cake pan.  He thought that was the coolest.

Also being the aunt who really wants a little boy who is obsessed with dinosaurs, I made him a super sweet dinosaur jacket.  He opened it up, looked at it and in the sweetest little voice said,

"Ummmmm.  No thanks.  I want another present."

Dave, Merianne and I all burst out laughing and David went right on opening all of the other train themed gifts.  Later that afternoon the three of us forced him to put the jacket on.  Once we actually wrestled him into it, he kind of liked it.  You have to admit, he is ADORABLE with spines on his back.
And there are few things cuter than a little boy and his favorite toy and blanket.  Love it.
Artsy dino :D
For New Years I drove a Yarus (worst rental car EVER) to Scranton PA to spend the new year with Topher and Jillian.  On the way I stopped at Gettysburg.  It was amazing.
I love Abraham Lincoln....love him.
I had no idea there were gigantic boulders in the middle of PA.  This is where Confederate snipers hid out and took out Union soldiers.  It was a pretty amazing scene. 
Rocks on rocks
This is taken from the hill across from the boulders, where the Union stood their ground to the Confederates.
The Minnesota monument...I had no idea Minnesota was even involved in the Civil War. 
 
For my birthday I set the goal to do 36 acts of kindness.  This was the first one.
We filled all of the washers and dryers with quarters.  I don't think we quite reached 36, but we came really, really close.  We literally ran around the city looking for good deeds to do.  It was super fun and I'll definitely plan better and reach 37 good deeds on my next birthday.

One of the Scranton holiday treats is a street they block of so one of the crazy neighbors can decorate the entire road with various Christmas scenes.  This one was my favorite.  The elves doing surgery on Santa.
The live ducks were also a treat at the nativity.
Here's the three of us...you can tell we partied really hard and rang in the new year with lots of excitement.  Topher can barely keep his eyes open.
I totally didn't take as many pics of the babies as I anticipated.  Who knew those little critters could be so time consuming.  Jeepers.  The feeding, diapering, and burping just never stopped.  But I did get this candid shot of Thomas getting a bath...I love the "oh no you didn't" look on his face.
Here's baby girl Emily...gearing up to scream.  She's a girl after my own heart that one. 
I have more pictures of the babies...I'll post them later.

I had a fantastic time with Mer and her little tribe.  It was a great way to finish out 2011.  Now, on to 2012.