26 June 2015

25 June 2015

23 June 2015

Evolution of a walker

Over the past six months or so, Damon has made huge strides (pun intended) in his movement, going from barely crawling to walking in that short amount of time. I knew he would be walking before his first birthday, and that's exactly what happened!

Maybe it's because he's the second child and I knew what to expect or maybe it's because I'm spending so much time at home with him these days, but I've noticed the marked difference in his movement. Luckily, I caught most of it in videos.

Video taken Jan. 22, 2015
He started by flopping around while lying on his stomach like Superman. It's funny to look at this video and see him so immobile. Now that he enjoys his freedom, I can hardly keep him in one room!

Video taken Jan. 26, 2015
Then he was spinning and getting up on all fours.

Video taken Jan. 29, 2015
After that was the army crawl.

Video taken Jan. 31, 2015
Then he was hopping forward while on all fours.

Video taken Feb. 6, 2015
Next was rolling every which way and semi-crawling.

Video taken Feb. 13, 2015
Finally it was real crawling. He didn't even mind crawling on the slippery kitchen floor. In fact, I think he liked it!

Video taken June 22, 2015
For the past few weeks, he has been taking a few steps before falling down and resorting to crawling. But on Father's Day, he was showing off his walking skills all day, probably because he had an audience full of grandparents and an aunt. Then yesterday, he was walking all over the place like he's done it his entire life. I love these early, wobbly steps!

I hate to admit it, but my baby is a walker now!

18 June 2015

15 June 2015

Damon's first dip in the pool

Yesterday we introduced Damon to Mommaw and Poppaw's pool.

He was a little uncertain at first. But once he saw Avery having a good time, he joined right in.

After swimming awhile in Daddy's arms, we moved Damon to the kiddie float. We also helped keep him calm by letting him hold a ball. He probably could have spent all day in the pool if we kept him in the float. But the sun was getting too hot for him.

And if you want to reminisce with me, check out Avery's first time in the pool.

11 June 2015

09 June 2015

Easy Spanish rice

While making a Mexican-themed entree last week, I got a hankering for a Spanish rice side dish. A quick Google search came up with this easy Spanish rice recipe on www.food.com. If only I had read the full recipe to see that it took 30 minutes to simmer! Dinner on this night was a little late since I didn't time all of the dishes correctly.

The rice dish was very yummy but a bit too thick and gummy. I think I should have let it boil a little longer before I simmered it for 30 minutes. Then the rice would have been at the right consistency.

1 cup uncooked rice
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1⁄2 cups water
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
3⁄4 teaspoon chili powder
1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder

Preparation Instructions
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add rice and onion and cook 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is golden brown and onion is tender. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender.

08 June 2015

05 June 2015


Ever since we found out Damon was going to join our family, I wondered how the five-year age difference would affect his relationship with Avery. I expect them to enjoy each other and play (relatively) well together but have very different interests and friend groups since they are not very close in age.

So it has been such a joy to watch them play together now. It's been even more fun as Damon has learned how to interact with Avery and how to make her laugh.

I had to capture one of their play times in a video last week...pterodactyl screeches and all. For now, Avery is winning the battles. But Damon is so strong that pretty soon he will win their confrontations. Then I imagine that Avery will be done playing with her little brother!

04 June 2015

02 June 2015


You may remember seeing this picture of an adorable, curly-haired baby last year. Well, this baby boy's outfit now belongs to another adorable baby boy.

I loved seeing Damon wearing clothes that Chris wore at just about the same age. They both look too cute for words! (As you can guess, Damon wouldn't keep the bow tied!)

01 June 2015

Chicago steakhouse rub

At our house, Chris is the master of the grill. He cooks everything perfectly on the grill, whether it's chicken, steaks or vegetables. A couple of weeks ago, we both wanted to eat steaks. But Chris didn't want to use his usual marinade (it's simple...bottled Italian dressing!). So he went online to search for a dry rub recipe. He quickly found this Chicago steakhouse rub on www.recipe.com. We had all of the ingredients in our pantry...bonus! Well, we substituted powdered garlic for granulated garlic and "regular" paprika for smoked Spanish paprika, but I think those are suitable changes.

The result was delicious, juicy steaks! The rub gave a little extra flavor to the meat, which truly tasted like it was cooked at a fancy steakhouse. And Chris knew how much I liked this recipe when he noticed that I didn't use A1, my go-to steak accessory!

1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sweet smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preparation Instructions
Stir together the dry mustard, granulated garlic, coarsely ground black pepper, sweet smoked Spanish paprika, dried thyme and cayenne pepper. To use, cover both sides of steak generously with rub; allow to stand 30 minutes at room temperature before grilling. Makes 1/4 cup.