Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lake Eola

Today we, despite me feeling VERY under the weather, ventured out to Lake Eola in downtown Orlando. What a beautiful place. There were DOZENS of swans, black and white ones. Great blue herons, cranes, and turtles covered the banks of the lake. I am a sucker for wildlife, so I was in heaven. Evan did not want to be confined to a stroller, but I was too worried he would go after a swan. And swans don't have such great reputations for reacting to such disturbances as a 15 month old rambunctious little boy. So we decided to take a paddle boat ride around the lake. Again, Evan did not want to be confined and basically cried 75% of the time. Paul and I tried to enjoy the beautiful scenery despite the very LOUD cries coming from our sweet little boy. After we felt thoroughly sorry for ourselves and discussed how we were probably the only ones in the world with such a cranky little boy, we took a walk through the flower gardens. I got a couple of cute shots of Evan in between bouts of screaming. In his defense, he is in the process of cutting two or three teeth simultaneously, which can't feel good. And honestly, one second of sweetness makes up for an afternoon of fussiness. During the boat ride he put his head on my shoulder and just cuddled (which he rarely does anymore) for at least a minute. So it was totally worth the whole trip, just for that.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Evan's Guide to Eating Whatever you Want: From Pizza to Chicken Nuggets, and Lollipops to Boot

1. Make sure she kills herself while breastfeeding you for 13 months, watching her mercury and nitrate intake, eating and drinking very little caffeine and artificial sweeteners.

2. Be certain that she buy a special food processor and book on how to make her own baby food. After she spends days making and freezing dozens of little ice cube trays of pureed veggies and fruits, spit every thing that she spoons into your mouth out and cry loudly while flailing your arms and legs.

3. When she finally starts you on adult food and spends forever cutting up every tiny bite, throw it all on the floor while shaking your head NO.

4. At your one year doctor visit, make sure the doctor makes her feel really guilty after telling her your weight is only in the 10th percentile.

5. Make sure all of Mommy's friend's babies eat really good, and clean their plate at each meal.

6. When Mommy is trying to feed you out in public, be sure to scream so loudly that onlookers think she is force feeding you.

7. When Mommy gets desperate, right before your 15 month old well visit, she will cave. And when she does cave (with pizza, or chicken nuggets, or any kind of fried food for that matter) - because she will inevitably cave, eat every single morsel of food she gives you. Be super cute and get it all over your face. Savor every ounce of that delightful food. And act as if you haven't eaten in decades.

That's it. If you follow the above steps, you are sure to be able to eat anything you want. She will even feel like she is feeding you healthy if you eat a couple of peas after inhaling chick-fil-a nuggets and waffle fries. You may even get a lollipop for dessert!!! She will be so proud of you, she will take pictures of the drool on your tummy that accumulated while devouring your lollipop. SUCKERS!!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Have You Ever Heard of Such a Thing?

Have you ever heard of a dog breaking their tail before? Maybe. But have you ever heard of a dog breaking her tail three times in a three year span? I doubt it, but Corky has!!! The first time I took her to the Vet, they XRayed it, and said,'s broke. But they couldn't do a thing for her, ($600 dollars later). The second time I took her, they said it's probably broke. I said no need for another XRay, I will take your word for it. That was only $50. Yesterday we realized it was broke again.... and we are treating her with a little (free) TLC. Feel better Corky.

I lied...One More

Here is one more holiday-themed picture. My friend Laci emailed it to me today, it was taken at a cookie exchange party at our friend Reagan's home a couple of weeks ago. I have so few pictures of Evan AND me, that I treasure them all.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Last of the Christmas Photos: 2008

Well here are the last of the cute pictures we got from Christmas 2008. These are pictures Grammy and Kevin took yesterday, both of whom are great photographers. We were sad to see Uncle Kevin and Grammy go. It's just simply not going to be the same around here without them. We loved having Kevin here from Seattle for 9 whole days, and can't wait for the next visit. It was a very MERRY CHRISTMAS in the Starstrom household. Also note the new blog look. It will probably be the last change for a while. Uncle Kevin taught me how to do some html changes, and Gretchen Whipple provided me with a hard copy of one our family portraits. Please visit her site when you get the chance. It's a link on my list of "Sites I Love" to the right. She is an amazing photographer, don't you love the picture at the top of my blog?? Can't you tell how much we love our little guy???

Christmas Lights Like You Have Never Seen Before

Uncle Kevin taught us a really cool new photography technique. We didn't capture a really cool picture because we were just playing around pretty late one night. But all you do is put some black colored paper in a tube around the camera lens, and then punch any shape at the end. We did a moon. Then any blurred lights in the background look like whatever shape you punch out. Isn't that cool?

Trimming the Twee

Evan can say "tree". It sounds more like "twee" and we aren't sure if he thinks lights are called trees, because he says tree in reference to lights too. But it's too cute. He is fairly gentle too. He mostly looks without touching. I think we will both be sad to take all of the decorations down in a few days. It means Christmas is really over, and won't be here for an entire year. But we sure did have fun while it lasted!!!

(BIG) Kids at Heart

When Kevin, Paul and I get together.... we can be kinda immature. But it's so fun, it's hard to grow up. Paul and Uncle Kevin especially. This week they actually built a fort to sleep in. Not for Evan, just for them. Please see the posted pictures to believe it. That's right, they are 35 and 36 years old respectively. Also pictured is us at the top of a jungle gym giving the Blue Steel look (a Zoolander reference) and Paul and Kevin dancing with their new Wii-, as well as them spooning on the couch. Should I be worried???? Previous Christmas vacations included Hulk Hands and Fart Machines, so comparatively, we are totally mature!!!

We Feasted Like Kings

One of our family traditions is making a non-traditional Christmas Eve dinner as I mentioned before. I think one reason is, we like to take advantage of my brother's mad-kitchen skills. He is such a good cook, he really could open his own upscale restaurant. So we all cook together for the big dinner. This year we feasted on seared scallops, duck breast, asparagus tossed in a balsamic, soy sauce, butter reduction, and mushrooms stuffed with lump crab. Oh my, was it good. So good I had to take pictures. And so good, Uncle Kevin and Paul licked the cutting board that the duck was sliced on. The next morning we dined on crabby eggs benedict with homemade holandaise sauce, scratch buttermilk waffles with real maple syrup, fruit salad, and fresh squeezed orange juice from my Mom's orange tree. Isn't your mouth watering?? Usually I am a Semi-homemade, 30 minute meal kinda girl. But around the holidays we all slow down to an Alton Brown speed. But it is well worth it. If anyone wants a recipe send me a comment. I am not sure enough people even read my blog for me to write out all the recipes!!! Not pictured meals from this week: shrimp and scratch grits, pistachio encrusted salmon, and roasted Cornish hens. Yum. It's gonna be hard to go back to my normal, very un-scratch repertoire of meals.