Thursday, September 30, 2010

What's For Dinner?

Tonight I whipped up Rachael Ray's BLT pasta dinner which indeed had bacon & tomato but in place of lettuce, arugula was used. Rachael Ray is known for her 30 minute meals, but I must have been slow tonight since this took me closer to 45 minutes to an hour. But the dish had a lot of layers of flavor & a freshness to it with the arugula, parsley & basil.

Click here for the recipe.

Who doesn't love bacon?! Oh, you? Well, you should probably be committed!

The recipe calls for a toasted panko breadcrumb mixture that includes freshly grated Parmesan cheese & flat leaf parsley. I totally regret mixing this into the finished dish. If you decide to make this recipe, definitely keep it on the side & let each person top their bowl with this mixture which will give it a nice crunch. I was kicking myself as I ate my portion, but I guess you live & you learn.

If you ever have cherry tomatoes on hand & want to make a quick, fresh sauce, just add it to a pan with sauteed onions & garlic, cover tightly with a lid & cook for about ten minutes over medium heat (give it a shake every so often). After the tomatoes burst, season with salt & pepper & mash them into this delectable sauce.

Top with freshly grated Parm, have a glass of wine & viola, dinner is served!

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Party Time!

Yesterday we celebrated Cam's 2nd birthday with our wonderful family & friends. It's always hectic to throw a party, but so worth it. In order to minimize the day of party stress, we decorated the house the day before while Cam napped.

We went with a Lightning McQueen/Cars theme & used red, yellow & black as our colors.

This was the banner that Cam's grammy made for his Chicago Bears themed first birthday party.

I made a bunch of Tastefully Simple dips the night before & Mike's mom made a fantastically tasty & healthy bean dip. My sis brought her buffalo chicken dip which is phenomenal & we baked it in the grill vs. the oven in hopes of keeping the house as cool as possible. And since I didn't want to be stuck in the kitchen during the festivities, we picked up pulled pork, coleslaw & baked beans from a local BBQ joint.

My sis & mom!

I was very happy with how the balloon bouquets turned out!

Unfortunately my dad & brother had to work & couldn't make the party & Auntie Erika wasn't able to fly down from Chicago either.

Staying cool in the pool! The unfortunate part of having a September birthday is that it's still sweltering hot in Florida... ICK!

So lucky to have such great family & friends in our life!

Cam scored some awesome toys & clothes which is fantastic as I cleaned out his drawers & closet a few weeks ago & things were looking rather bare.

Cam's cake turned out too darn cute!

We also celebrated my sister's birthday which is today; happy birthday, Lauren, we love you!!

I had no idea that Brian was so artistic! I must say, I was very impressed with his work!

Auntie Lo Lo & Leah!

Regardless of the heat, everyone seemed to have a really great time! It was so nice to have everyone together to celebrate the birth of my baby boy!

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Friday, September 24, 2010

My Two Year Old

I woke up with excitement in my chest today, ready to celebrate Cam's 2nd birthday! It's unbelievable when I think about just how much my life has changed in the past two years. I now mark my life in two parts; B.C. & A.C., but in this case I mean before Cameron & after Cameron. Being a mom has been the biggest accomplishment of my life.

Of course things are nowhere near as simple as they were B.C. but they are so much more exciting, fulfilling & full of change A.C. It's amazing when you think about just how much a baby changes in their first two years of life. Exactly two years ago today I was still in the labor & delivery room, just having met my little man about three hours earlier. I sort of felt like I was babysitting as I held him; surely it wasn't possible that we could be fully responsible for this other human being, right?

But, after about, oh five months, I finally felt like I was really getting a hang of this whole parenting thing. It was starting to fit like a glove & I began to truly enjoy it, having gotten over the hurdle of sleepless nights & tiring days with a newborn.

I feel so blessed to have such an amazing bond with Cameron; we seem to just get each other. I can look at him a certain way & we'll both just burst into laughter as if we're sharing an inside joke.

Cameron can be very strong-willed & persistent & I just know he did not get those traits from me! Okay, my nose just grew a few inches after typing that. But, he keeps us on our toes as he is a very active toddler. Two minutes into the highchair during dinnertime & we're hearing, up, up, up! Ever since Cam was a newborn, he hasn't been content with just being still or confined. When being held as a two month old, one could never hold him like a baby; you had to hold him upright, against your chest so he could be sure to be involved in the action of his surroundings.

It's so hard for me to believe that Cameron is already two! Each step of the way to getting here has taught us something new & made us fall in love with Cameron that much more. I utterly adore this boy of mine & I can never thank God enough for blessing our lives with his life. I will never take for granted the love I have for this human that occupied my belly for nearly ten months. And just as I whisper to Cam every night before bed, I'll say, Thank you God for our BB, God bless our beautiful baby boy.

Happy birthday, Cameron, you're the absolute best!!

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

My One Year Old

Today I woke to see my beautiful one-year old boy. But tomorrow when I wake, I'll be looking at my beautiful two-year old boy!

It's really hard to believe that Cam is going to be two; time is slipping by so quickly. I have to say though, I really do appreciate & cherish every moment I have with him. Maybe because I work full-time & Cam goes to daycare 45+ hours a week, I enjoy the time I do have with him that much more. I am seriously loving every stage of his development though each stage does have it's challenges, I'm up for them. Sometimes this child has us stumped, but the three of us seem to figure things out together.

I absolutely adore birthdays since it's a day that is completely special to that one person. But I never knew how meaningful a birthday could be to me until Cameron was born. Tonight Cam's Papa & Uncle Nick fly in from Chicago to spend the weekend. I can't wait to be off work tomorrow as a family & celebrate the incredible life & birth of my amazing baby boy.

Cameron, Mommy loves you more than you'll ever know!

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Horsing Around!

Now that Mike's mom is in town, it felt like we had more time this evening to spend with Cam. The dishwasher was emptied, dinner was made... I'm one lucky gal! So we used the extra time tonight to horse around & cuddle with Cam!

Cam gives the sweetest kisses. Although sometimes we do have to work for them. I'll say, Can I have a kiss? And he'll shout, No! And I'll shout back, Puh-leeeeze! And that will go back and forth about three times until he finally gives me that kiss.

And the hugs? Ugh... to die for!! They melt our heart into a little glob of gloop!

Cam enjoyed being dangled upside down tonight & whenever Mike put him down, he'd say, Again?

Cam also enjoys it when I hold him & pretend to get dizzy while saying, whoa, whoa, whoa & then "dropping" him backwards. Although he has a bit of a trust issue since he can't seem to fully let go as he keeps one hand gripped around my arm.

I could seriously eat this boy up!

I seriously love this kid more & more each day. And I cannot believe he's going to be two on Friday. How did this happen? Where has the time gone?

We're so looking forward to taking the day off work to celebrate Cam's birthday with Mike's dad & brother who are flying in from Chicago on Thursday night. I think we're going to head out to the Florida Aquarium so that Cam can flock with the fish again & play at their splash pad. Normally we're only able to go on a weekend so hopefully it'll be less crowded than usual & Cam will be less likely to get run over by the rambunctious older kids.

Then Saturday is the Lightening McQueen/Cars shindig at our house! Big weekend ahead & I can't wait!

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