February 10, 2017
8 lbs., 2 oz.
Proud Parents, Jeffrey and Deirdre
Is he smiling or what? We are so filled with love for this little guy already. We were in the hospital waiting room with Deirdre's parents when Jeff came through the door from the Labor and Delivery section, arms raised high, "It's a baby boy!" We were able to see mom and baby a little bit later. Isn't he the most handsome little one you've ever seen? I'm fighting a cold but once I'm not contagious I want to eat him up! Ironically, Brooks was born the very same day as Elsie, February 10. My sons having their firstborn on the same date, 2 years apart...wow.
Our little Madelyn came to visit on my birthday on the 3rd. She's really smiling a lot. She grows so fast, I'm wondering how Mondays With Madelyn will be once she starts crawling. A lot of vacuuming and sweeping I'm sure. Once the weather gets warmer, a looooong time from now, I want to go for walks with her in her stroller and maybe a few trips to the park up the street. This is so fun. I don't know how Emily feels but when Madelyn isn't sleeping, getting her bottle or a diaper change, I like to put her in the portable cradle in front of the TV with Sesame Street on. Before you think of me as being that type of mother, I mean grandmother, who lets the TV babysit the kids, you should see her smile and wiggle to the music and those cute Muppets as they sing and dance. I think the music and colors and faces are really pretty cool for a baby. Better than watching me fold sheets.
I am so wanting to make changes. I think winter and being inside virtually most of the day makes me want to get wild and crazy. The clean out and organize phase is over, or let's just say I'm good with the 2 closets and 4 drawers I did. I also purged 3 sweaters and countless cotton tops that I shrunk in the dryer. Does anyone else have problems with shrinkage? I do have a tendency to buy more inexpensive clothing for hanging out around the house. But man, I've been so good about hanging sweaters, bras and rugs to dry. I know~~~I shouldn't wash them together.
So I was going for my highlights and I was going to have my girl cut it shorter and I was also thinking an alternative would be bangs. She talked me out of short bangs and I did realize I would be a version of myself at ten years old with makeup and a lot of expensive hair products. So she gave me side bangs. This selfie is right after and of course, it's styled perfectly. Since, it's been a disaster. The bangs are going straight up in a bouffant sort of style (think Elvis), and when I finally tame them to casually go off my forehead, I've used so much gel, mousse and hairspray, my hair is bulletproof. I've never been good with hair, I don't know why I have it. I mean long hair. Maybe it's the ease of pulling it up in a ponytail or loose bun and looking like the same old Jane day after day. Maybe I should just accept the way my hair wants to go. I might just avoid messy drawers, closets and fussy laundry as well.
After I cleared the Christmas decor off the mantel (about 2 weeks ago), I left it bare so I could pretend I was looking for inspiration. I was actually parked in front of the TV every night watching Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med. I do not watch these shows because I live here, God knows it's happening all around me, I don't have to see it on TV when I have the news (I don't take this lightly) but I love to recognize streets, intersections, restaurants and the general links to Sweet Home Chicago. Do you know they actually film here and really do use real names of streets, parks, etc.? I was watching a chase scene recently on Chicago P.D. and they were going after a suspect downtown. The dispatcher called in, "He's heading toward LSD east on Columbus" As the officers said, "Copy that.", I'm screaming, "No! Take Randolph Street. Less lights and traffic!!!" I love interaction television.
But getting back to the mantel, I really strove for simplicity and you know by now clutter is my middle name. I think I got it with the mercury glass on each end (does anyone love mercury glass pieces anymore? I love it and always have it here and there in vignettes). I like to have something green or organic in every arrangement and I decided toss some books in randomly. Every mantel needs a little randomness. Some of mine are a total mishmash of stuff and I just tell myself that people will think I'm on to something, go home and totally trash out their mantelscape. The sign is handmade from the cutting of the wood to the distressing and stamping of the words. I wish I could remember the name of the blog where the husband and wife make the most incredible one of a kind pieces of art. If you are sincerely interested, let me know and I will dig through my archives to when I first bought it. This has been hanging in the master bedroom for a long time but as I said, I'm making big changes. This was tough because I love my windows on the mantel.
Well, you can see the window didn't make it far! Another wall in the living room. I really pared this down. I usually keep family pictures in the bedrooms and family room but it's about mixing it up. This will stay until spring/Easter, whichever comes first. I'm feeling a little lighter.
I'm sharing a recipe that knocked the socks off The Husband and I. I think it may be a new Go To for making pork with a crispy coating and juicy flavor. I may even use it on chicken. The key is giving the meat a dry rub, browning it over high heat on the stove and then baking it with a light brushing of mustard and honey near the end. You can find the recipe here. No pictures from me. I simply can't take good looking pictures of the food I make. In fact I think it may make most readers turn away in disgust.
For your information I made the following changes:
~~~I did the whole recipe with pork tenderloin
~~~I increased the amount of the herbs and spices just a bit
~~~I cooked the meat to 120 degrees as opposed to 140. It continues to cook once removed from the oven and I didn't want it dried out.
That's it. I'm going to try it on chops and chicken. This would be great on the grill as well.
I was super excited that The Husband fulfilled my birthday wish with something other than tacky pajamas and bad perfume. ;-D We have tickets to see Idina Menzel at the Chicago Theater in August. I just love her. She's a wonderful Broadway actress who has won Tony Awards for her roles in Rent and Wicked. She is also the voice of Queen Elsa in Frozen, in which she sang Let It Go, and won an Oscar and a Grammy. So...I'm such a fan and I just love the theater. We used to go quite a bit before my hearing went downhill. With headsets provided I can now enjoy going again. Musicals are my favorite. Funny, I barely mentioned it to The Husband and there were the tickets on my birthday. Great seats, too!
I also forgot to mention that this sweet guy gave me a potting table for Christmas! Yes! A freaking potting table for the garden! I've been crabbing and dropping hints forever and there it was Christmas morning, well sort of. A photo copy of said potting table with the actual one in the garage waiting to be assembled. This will be interesting. If I want it by spring I may need him to get started now.
We are having ups and downs with the temperatures here but we are going up to 60 degrees (!!!) this weekend and after missing the lake 2 weekends in a row, I'm excited to get there and get some fresh air. The Husband bought yet again, a new wood chopping device. This one helps you make kindling and that's a must for making a good fire. Have I ever told you I'm a really great fire starter? With a big fireplace, wood burning stove, chiminea and outdoor wood burning stove..well, sometimes I've been inclined to get involved. We do the outdoor fires 3 seasons, and the indoor fires for a good 6-8 months. While he plays Davy Crockett, I plan to walk the dogs. They are so huge and lazy with the lack of activity as the winter drones on. And I need some exercise, too. Seriously.
Feel free to share some of your laundry woes with us, your like or dislike of seeing plays and musicals, as well as any changes you will or won't be making as we near the dream of a possible early spring. ;-D