Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kitchen disaster (and banoffee pie!)

I saw a blog post on banoffee pie this week and decided I had to make it! It's basically made with any kind of pie crust you want (I did graham cracker) layered with 3-4 bananas sliced on top, caramel, and whipped cream - it sounds delicious and easy, right? In order to make the caramel, you boil an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk for a few hours and it magically turns into caramel! I'd heard of this method before, and didn't think too much about it. I followed the recipe exactly, putting the can in a "small sauce pot," filling with water, and boiling. After it had been going for about an hour, Will and I went upstairs for a few minutes. While we were up there, I heard a loud crash in the kitchen. I ran back downstairs to find this...

Yes, that is bits of caramel, all over the ceiling. It exploded EVERYWHERE. Cabinets, walls, floor, window curtains...there was even bits of caramel on Will's toys in the playroom, a good 20 feet from the stove. Ughh. I am SO thankful that Will and I weren't in the kitchen when this happened!

My little helper
Matt was VERY gracious about the whole thing and even stayed up late scraping caramel off the ceiling. He gave me a chemistry lesson on PV=nRT to explain why this happened. If the water level gets below the top of the can, it can get too hot and explode (it would have been nice for the blog post to mention this possibility!). He assured me that if I used a stock pot and put plenty of water in there, there is no way it would explode (because then it would never get hotter than the boiling water - 212 degrees). So the next day I tried it again!

It worked! It made delicious caramel!
The finished pie
And the pie 10 seconds later, after it was left too close to the edge of the counter and Ellie (our dog) decided to sample it!

We still cut it from the half that wasn't touched, and it was awesome! Matt and I both loved it. The flavor combination works so well together. So, don't be afraid - learn from my mistakes and give it a try!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fun little boy!

Will went for his 2 year doctor's appointment today (a little late!). He is doing great - at 26 months he weighs 30 lbs and is in the 85th percentile for height. He got a flu shot and a vaccine, but it was his last vaccine until he turns 4!

This was his first week of going to school by himself, and his teachers say he did really well! They take pictures of the kids playing and email them to the parents, which I love! They also send home "turtle-grams" listing out a few things he did that day. Today he covered a baby doll with a blanket, and filled a dump truck with sand. Yay! I'm a proud momma:)

I am loving this stage right now. Before I thought the 6-9 month stage was the best - when they can sit up and are easily entertained, but not old enough to throw tantrums and not mobile yet. But I am REALLY loving the 23-26 month stage so far. The more his vocabulary develops (and it grows HUGE during this stage), the less tantrums we have. He is a big talker...when we are in the car he talks nonstop, pointing out the park, the ice-cream shop, fire engines (anything with lights on top), and garbage trucks (any big truck)! I love that he is inquisitive and I love that as a mom I am transitioning from just nurturing/supervising to actual teaching. Right now I am teaching him about obeying, and I try to incorporate it into everything we do. Most of all, I just love how much FUN this stage is!

Here's a few favorites in Will's life right now:
  • Favorite Movie - Toystory, without a doubt! He asks to watch "Woody" all day, everyday!
  • Favorite Food - "Jelly" sandwiches (pb&j's), "truckers" (crackers), and noodles (any pasta)...I guess he's a carb-lover like his momma!
  • Favorite Book - right now it is "Paddy Bear" (Paddington Bear - we have the series that used to be Matt's when he was little)
  • Favorite Song - he constantly sings the ABC song, which goes "ABCDEFJ...P,QRSTUVWXY and Z, Now (mumble, mumble)" and then he starts is so cute I am going to have to get this on video!
  • Favorite Toy - his 3 Woody dolls and his Thomas the Train. He likes to pretend he has to change their diapers and put them down to sleep (which means laying them on their stomachs, because this is how he sleeps)
"Goodnight Woody! Goodnight Thomas!"
Here's a few pictures of him at the park this week. Earlier that day the check-out lady at the grocery store gave him about six stickers because he kept saying "More sicker!" He proudly wore them for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fun weekend!

Last weekend, two of Matt's oldest friends, Steven and Craig, came up for a guy's weekend in the city. They said that some of their favorite times over the last few years were at each other's bachelor parties, so this spring Craig proposed another bachelor party... even though they are all married now. (And by bachelor party, I mean just hanging out and going to a Cubs game...the craziest thing these guys do is stay out past 10 at night!)

So while Matt was in the city, Meme came to visit Will and me!

Will had a BALL with his Meme in town!

Will's new Woody shirt that he LOVES!
The weather was so nice we enjoyed several meals outside!
They are so goofy together!

On Sunday the guys came up to our house and we made brunch and then showed them around Evanston a little bit before they had to catch their flights home. Meme had to leave on Monday. It was SUCH a fun weekend!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Going to school!

Will started school this week. It is a slow-start week, so they only meet for an hour, and the moms stay with the kids helping them get used to their room and teachers and new friends!

He got a new haircut and a new backpack this week for his first week of school! Something about a kid with a backpack on makes them seem SO grown up!

Will did great this week! He gets excited in the morning when I tell him we are going to school. He calls it "turtle school" because there is a turtle on the sign in front of the school and another big one in his classroom.


He likes his teacher (who lives on our street!) and has made some friends (one of which lives three houses down from us)!

I am excited for him and for the year ahead!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Back in Evanston

We've had a great week and a half back home. Here is a little of our week in pics taken on my phone...

Elmo needed quite a few diaper changes yesterday morning. While I was getting ready, he brought each diaper in one by one from his room to my room!
Big boy!
Salad Matt made with beets, goat cheese and almonds
Enjoying the park

Monday, September 12, 2011


I finally got around to downloading some recent videos of Will. I know these are probably super boring to everyone else, but I just wanted to have them on here so I'd remember them!

The first one was last week at Meme and Pop-pops. He wanted to put on his birthday hat again and I thought his little voice was cute...

This one is at the pool over Labor Day weekend...

This one is from the day we got back up to Chicago. He says "Pin down! Pin down!"...this is Will-speak for "sit down." He likes to tell people to sit down exactly where he tells them to...not sure why:)

This one is older, from his birthday party in St. Simons in July. I just got around to looking at it! Such a fun day! It is bittersweet, because Uncle Bob is in it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Labor Day in SSI

I stayed in St. Simons last week while Matt came back to Chicago for work. Will and I had a great week down there - I'm so glad it worked out for us to stay! Will knows all his family members by name and likes to repeat everyone's names several times a day - we go through all 10 or so names. He REALLY enjoyed playing with his cousin Otto...

Their matching shirts from Uncle Beau and Aunt Kate
Begging Aunt Casey-mo for some snacks

We joined all the Darts and Igels for "Taco Tuesday"'s a terrible phone pic but funny of these two little guys eating their "watermen"
On Friday my sister, Aunt Faye, cousin Chrissy and her husband Mike and their son Jack all came to St. Simons for Labor Day weekend! And Matt flew back down for the weekend too! Mary Beth and Matt and I took Will to a park on the north end of the island to play. He had a good time running around...

At Barbara Jeans
Sunday night we went to Jazz in the Park by the lighthouse. We had taken food, chairs, blankets, etc. and were there less than 5 minutes before a HUGE storm came through. It was a mess, to say the least. I did get one pic about two seconds before the bottom fell out...

I found this cute outfit at Bailey Boys for Baby Jack, whose parents are BIG Florida fans...

Isn't he cute??
An attempted picture together. Will was not interested!

We also attempted to let them play and have a bath together...

This lasted all of about 10 seconds before Will started crying, which caused Jack to cry too...

I also have to say, having an ipad has been an absolute lifesaver on this trip. We downloaded Toystory from itunes (Will's favorite movie). He says "watch woody?" about a million times a day. I don't let him watch tv or movies everyday...I try to save it for occasions when I'm desperate. But when traveling, it is sooo nice!

This was also the first time Will has had his own seat on the plane. We brought his carseat and strapped him in and started "Woody" and it was HEAVEN! We are used to him squirming all over us the whole time. I turned to Matt and told him it was the best $20 we've ever spent (the itunes movie) and he said no, it was the best $400 we've ever spent (Will having his own seat)! After kids turn 2, sitting in their parent's lap isn't an option anymore. Which I'm secretly kind of thankful for.

Will LOVED going out to my parent's store while we were home. They have a furniture store and Will would run around and around looking at everything. He also loved going to see Nick-nick (Nicki) and Kevin, who work there, and would start saying their names as soon as we pulled in the parking lot. He watched Woody out there when we couldn't chase him around anymore!

We had a GREAT time in St. Simons. It is always hard to leave. I miss our family SO much. I'm so glad that Will got to spend a lot of time with them! And he still hasn't stopped repeating all their names everyday:)
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