Tuesday, January 10, 2012

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!

Carson, you turned four months old right at Christmas and what an amazing present you are!  You are flipping over like a champ and getting so frustrated that you can't crawl yet!  I have a feeling that when you do learn to crawl or walk, you will be all over the place.  You started getting exceptionally fussy, drooling like you were trying to fill a lake and chewing on everything you could get your hands on!  Around New Year's I felt your first tooth! The second one came out the very next day.  Oy!  You have had a rough time teething and it is making you wake up four to five times a night.  We have relied heavily on Tylenol and a vanilla scented teether that I like to refer to as your "chew toy."  You are able to sit in your bouncers and play (sometimes independently!) for short amounts of time.  At your four month appointment, you weighed 21 lbs and were 27 3/4 in long! You are slowly moving towards that 100th percentile, but right now you are still above that curve!  We love you more and more each day! 

 This is a video taken from our phone, but for Christmas we received a nice camcorder to capture fun moments like these!  We love to hear you laugh!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Holiday Treats!

I love making new and fun things for the holidays for people!  I went out on a limb a little this year with some creations, but I think they worked out well! For our neighbors I made s'more marshmallows!  I love making homemade marshmallows!  They taste so much better than store bought ones!  I used Ina Garten's recipe, but I wanted to spruce it up and make it fun for the kids.  Plus, what adult doesn't like s'mores??  I like making the individual marshmallows, but it is way messier this way.  First I used mini muffin cups with foil liners (don't use paper because the marshmallows will never come out!).  I sprayed baking spray in them and dusted them with powdered sugar so the marshmallows would come out easily.

I then filled the bottom of the cups with graham cracker crumbs and put a baking sheet on top and shook the muffin tray so the crumbs would stick to the sides of the foil.

Then I made the yummy marshmallows!  It's like fluff before it sets. 
 You have to scoop out the marshmallow quickly because it sets fast.  Then I wanted the marshmallows to have that toastiness about them, so I put them under the broiler for a few minutes.

 Lastly, I broke the Hershey bar into pieces and put them in the sides.  I wanted to put them on the top of the marshmallow, but of course I would really have to break the top of the toasty marshmallow to put the chocolate on top.  I think next time I will press the chocolate inside the marshmallow before I broil it.  They came out so cute and so good!! I think these would be good all year round!
I have been hearing awesome things about the chocolate and bacon craze.  I was dying to try it out, so when I was invited to a Cookie Exchange I thought it was the perfect time to test it.  Hey, if it flopped then there were hundreds of other cookies to munch on!(Also, I was told to bring 3 dozen cookies- I barely have time to bathe, much less make 3 dozen cookies.)  Chocolate bark takes no time to make and even less effort.  I baked a package of bacon on cookie cooling racks with a cookie sheet under it, so I could get nice crispy bacon and the fat dripped off.  I chopped the bacon in small pieces.  Then I melted a bag of dark chocolate morsels in a double boiler.  I mixed 2/3 of the bacon and some slivered almonds in the chocolate, spread it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkled the rest of the bacon on top.  I put that in the fridge to harden.  I did the same thing with a bag of milk chocolate morsels.  I think the dark chocolate tasted the best.  I loved the sweet, salty and smokey flavors.  I think next time I will cut the bacon in bigger pieces and just sprinkle it on top instead of mixing it in.  It was so good!
Dark chocolate Almond and Bacon Bark! Yum!
My last new creation for the holiday was an Eggnog Cheesecake for my dad.  He loves eggnog with bourbon, and I thought a cheesecake would pair perfectly with the sweet, smooth eggnog.  I found a recipe with great reviews and it turned out heavenly!  It wasn't a dense mouthful of baked cream cheese.  It was so creamy, almost like a pudding.  I added 3 tbsp of bourbon into the cake, but you couldn't taste it.  Next time I'll add more:)  I decorated with nutmeg on top.  I also added cinnamon and nutmeg to the crust.  I think it would be awesome with some spiked whipped cream!  I baked it in a water bath as well and no cracking!  It was so good that my dad made sure he gave me back my spring form pan before I left so next time I see him I can bring another cheesecake!
(This is not my picture, but it looked exactly like this!)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas in Captions

 Christmas with a little one is so much fun!  We are so excited to start our own family traditions with Carson, but this Christmas we decided to spend one last Christmas in Richmond at our parents' houses.  Carson saw more friends and family than I think we did!  So much love!  Our Christmas was filled with family and friend time, lots of food and more food, and a gratefulness for all that we have.
Christmas Eve, Jeff's parents have a Christmas party for friends and family.  We loved that Jeb and Rachel, our friends who recently moved to Charlotte, could visit with us for a little while!  I so miss them being in Hampton Roads!

Carson put himself under the Christmas tree!  BEST. PRESENT. EVER!

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Carson had the biggest piles of presents out of everyone...but guess what he liked the most?  Wrapping paper:)
Me and my little elf on Christmas morning at my dad's!

One of the best things about this break was that we got to rest and relax as a family

Carson loves his Uncle Johnny!  My bro moved to a new apartment, so we got to go visit.  I love Richmond and all its character.

Happy boy in his new toys!  He loves being able to play upright!

Can't get enough of that smile!
Bethany, one of my all-time favorite people, drove down to meet Carson!
Beth was one of my housemates in college and maid of honor.  I am rooting for California to give her back to the east coast!
Uncle Johnny got Carson a Mickey suit!

So high!

Our little family by the tree!
Our Christmas card/birth announcement!