Sunday, April 25, 2010

Take me out to the ball game: part 2

Three days after saying that I didn't think we would be taking Isidora to another night ball game, we decided to take her to another night game. It was one of those situations where the tickets were going to go to waste if we didn't use them. So we packed up Isidora again and dragged her out to the game.

She did way better than the last game! We even got to sit in our seats for a whole inning! It was great! We also decided to leave after the fourth inning, which was a huge help for Izzie, as it wasn't as far past her bedtime as it was for the first game.

Sitting nicely on Nanny's lap, cheering for the Redbirds. "Go, go, go!"

What is in here?

Being silly, as usual. Can you believe it?

House update: Assuming everything continues to go as planned, we close in 8 days! And we are planning on moving the day after that. We have a good deal of our apartment packed up at this point and we are starting to run out of non-essential things to pack. Matt and I are both getting pretty excited!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


We were out playing in the back yard last weekend at Grant and Juanita's house. Lately, Isidora has gotten better and kicking a ball, so we thought it would be fun to try to kick the ball around the back yard. At first Isidora was interested, and had some fun kicking the ball around.

Check me out!

Better watch out for my sweet moves!

But then she was more interested in watching Sofie chase the tennis ball.

Oh well, There will be plenty of soccer to come, I am sure!

Hot tub

Matt and I have been pretty busy the last couple of weeks. We have been packing almost every night and during Izzie's naptime we have either been doing even more packing or trying to sell off books at school or at a used book store. The other big thing we have been doing is research on stuff for the new house or actually going out to buy stuff for the new house. We were able to buy a washer and dryer on Thursday that we are pretty excited about! (More details to come at a later date.)

So, that is why this post is a little late in coming. Two weeks ago, Grant and Juanita decided to get the hot tub cleaned up so that Isidora could go swimming. When Isidora saw the water, she was sooo excited and kept saying, "Pea?" (please) and "Go?" Since the water had just been put in from the hose, the water was really really cold and it was going to take the hot tub heater quite a while to heat it up. But, instead of waiting patiently until the next day to go in the tub, Grant took a garden hose and hooked it up to the water heater in the basement and put about 50 or so gallons of hot water into the tub! (Grant was willing to wait patiently, of course, but Isidora was not, so Grant came up with the idea on how to heat it up.) It rose the temperature of the water enough so that we could go in, even if it was still on the cool side.

Isidora and I had a great time in the tub. She has loved being in the water since she was pretty little and she had a great time in her splash pool last year. At first she was pretty timid in the hot tub and sat on the highest ledge near the edge but eventually she built up enough courage to walk around the whole edge and let me hold her in the middle (the water was just high enough that she couldn't stand there). We even put her floaty toy in so that she could float on her own.

On to the pictures!

Juanita thought it would be fun to put some plastic eggs in to play with. Isidora had a great time playing with them and watching them float around. "Eee!" (egg). Here, she was still content to just sit at the edge.

In the floaty, kicking her legs.

Out of the floaty, learning to kick in the water.

Isidora had such a great time, we took her back over several times that week (it was still pretty warm out - around 80 F). Unfortunately, when we went the next day, the tub was way too hot and we had to dump some water out and put cold hose water back in - oh well. It was Daddy's turn to hang out with Isidora in the tub later that week:

Hanging out in the floaty with Daddy. This time the water was a little lower and Isidora could actually walk around the hot tub while she was in the floaty. She really enjoyed the freedom she had!

Playing with the toys on the floaty.

A downside of having the hot tub working again is that every time we go over to Grant and Juanita's now, Isidora is begging to go outside and to go in the tub. Sometimes we can entertain her with just being outside. Looks like we will be in the tub a lot this summer.

Bonus picture!

Here is Isidora in her splash pool last year - it was an inflatable open hippo mouth (kind of creepy). The canopy was great and did a great job protecting her from the sun. It also had a little fountain (where her hand is) that you would connect a hose to so it would spray water. This picture is from the first time she used it. She was 6 months old in the picture and was about a week away from being able to sit on her own. She had a great time in there!

On a side note, Isidora started saying a new word this morning - "sewoh" or sword to us. Claire had bought Matt a Prince Phillip sword for his birthday or Christmas a couple years ago and now Isidora loves to play with it. Today she told us what it is!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Why My Dad's Cooking Is Awesome, Reason #2381

We greatly enjoy the cooking at my parents' house. My dad has become a very good cook over the years and tends to do his best work on Sundays. Every once in a while I also enjoy taking pictures of his cooking because it looks so darn delicious.
Last Sunday provided just such an opportunity as we were hanging out at their house.

This particular meal centered around a roast recipe he knew of that involves bourbon. That alone is enough to get my salivary glands going, but the pictures really drive the point home. Also, he did the roast outside on the grill using a large cast "Dutch oven" type pot, which was just cool.
First we see the twin chuck roasts browning nicely on the grill. Quite aesthetically pleasing, wouldn't you say?

Next we take a gander at the pot situated on the grill. Because the pot has legs and wouldn't sit right on the surface of the grill, Dad just used a simple base for a potted plant pot to rest it on.

There aren't very many ingredients to this recipe. The bowl holds the liquid mixture that the meat will actually sit in while it roasts (the part that contains the bourbon, yum) and some cloves of garlic and lots and lots of onions also go in. Sometimes simple is better.

Everything into the pot. Now it looks like just a bunch of onions. Appearances can be deceiving. Let's check back in a little while...

Now that's more like it.

The roasting being finished, here we see the meat resting. Mmmm.

Finally, the components of the meal; the sliced roast, the bowls of sauce made from reducing the roasting liquid, some mashed potatoes, sauteed peppers (you can't see them, but trust me they're there) and carrots sauteed with butter. Add wine and people to eat it and this makes a heck of a meal.

Take me out to the ball game

For the last several years, Matt's parents have shared season tickets to the Saint Louis Cardinals with three other families. Growing up, we only very occasionally went to sporting events, and I believe I had only ever been to one professional game (a Mariners game), before I started going to Cardinals games with Matt and his parents.

I love going to the baseball games, it is just a little bit more challenging with Isidora. Last year, she was still pretty young during the baseball season, and sitting through a 3+ hour game in the Saint Louis summer didn't work very well. So, after a point, we decided to leave her at home when we went to baseball games - usually this meant one of us stayed at home with her while the other went.

This year, the first tickets Matt's parents had was to a night game (7:15 pm start time). This did not bode well for Isidora as her bed time is 7 pm. But, we were unable to find someone to stay at our apartment with her so we decided to try to take her to see how she would do. Fortunately, Matt's parents' tickets are in the Redbird Club, which is a nice, air-conditioned part of the park with lots of seating, so Izzie and I could sit up there and she could run around rather than having to sit on my lap down in our seats. The Redbird Club is also where SLU held Match Day ceremonies.

For a first outing of the year, she did pretty well. She was definitely tired the entire time and I don't think we will be taking her to another night game. It was worth it, though. Matt and I have realized that since residency is starting in July, I won't be able to go to many (if any) games after I start, so I'd better go while I can. Also, the further we get into the season, the hotter it is going to get, and the less we will be willing to take Isidora.

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures from the game:

At the Metrolink station waiting for a train.

At the stadium, playing in the Redbird club.

I thought it would be fun to compare this to her first game from last year (i.e. her first game ever).

This was from April 12th of last year. Notice how we are all bundled up? This is how we are usually dressed for April games, but for some reason, Saint Louis decided to skip spring this year and head straight into summer. I am not amused.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tea party

Isidora loves her tea set, she plays with it almost daily, but this is usually simply carrying around one of the cups or spoons, etc. Recently, she has started to "sip" from the teacup and then give me a "sip" from the cup - this is just making a slurping noise while holding the cup to your mouth.

Yesterday, I decided to try to have a real tea party with Isidora. I filled up the tea pot with water and we sat down and drank some "tea" from the tea cups. It was so much fun!

Here I am pouring the "tea" while Izzie waits patiently (yeah, right).

Taking a nice drink from the tea cup.

Down the hatch!! I love how you can see how much she has spilled on her shirt, she did actually get a lot in her mouth, though!

It looks like we will be having tea parties more often :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Put me in the zoo

As I have said many times in the past, I love the Saint Louis Zoo. Mostly, I love that it is free, and we feel we can take Isidora as many times as we want without worrying about the cost. This afternoon, we took Isidora to the zoo and Katee was nice enough to come with us.

We had a really great time and Isidora had lots of fun seeing the animals. I think she is starting to better understand what is going on, as well as to better recognize the animals.

Anyway, here are a few pictures we took while we were there.

Sitting with Auntie Katee

Family picture in front of the tulips.

Hitching a ride on Auntie Katee's shoulders.

Checking out the elephant.

Saying hi to more elephants.

As for the house inspection - everything went well. The inspector did not find anything that was really bad (no termites, etc), but he did find a lot of small things that needed to be fixed. We will see what happens next!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Turtle Park

Yesterday it was pretty warm in Saint Louis - I think it got up to 82 or so. Since it was so nice outside, but too hot for something like the zoo (well, not necessarily too hot, but too crowded), we decided to go to Turtle Park. Even though I have lived in Saint Louis for the past 4 years and have visited several times before then, I have not even been to Turtle Park, so it was a treat for both Izzie and me.

It was a pretty neat place to take Isidora. And, as a result, she now knows how to say, "turtle!" Really, its more like "too-too," only in whispers, but it is pretty cute nonetheless.

Here are Isidora and I sitting on one of the large turtles. Can't you imagine little kids having a great time climbing on these things? They are so neat. Turtle Park is actually right next door to Highway 40/64 (which is what you see in the background.)

Isidora sitting in the mouth of another one of the large turtles. She was pretty hesitant at first. I guess it is good that she doesn't like to sit in the mouth of large reptiles.


After swinging, we decided to sit in the shade and blow some bubbles ("buh-boh" in Isidora speak, another one of her new words.)

Isidora decided to give kisses to one of the baby turtles just hatching out of its egg. This little part of the park was really neat for Isidora. Because of Easter, Izzie knows what eggs are ("eee") and she already recognizes babies ("bee-bee"), so seeing baby turtles in eggs was an excellent opportunity to put some concepts together. I am not sure if one of us told her these were baby turtles, but she certainly understood what was going on! She would point to the eggs and say "eee," and point to the turtle and say "bee-bee" and "too-too." It was so fun.

PS: I found out today that I passed Step 2 CS! Even though things usually turn out just fine for me in situations like this, I always get sooo incredible nervous! This is a huge relief and I am so glad I don't have to worry about it anymore! Now to focus on the house - our inspection is tomorrow...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Triduum

This week has been pretty busy. Most of the week was spent looking at houses and then making an offer on a house. We also went to the Magic House again with Katee and got to explore some new areas! But, as promised, Isidora got to wear some new dresses for the Triduum!

Here is Izzie playing with her letter magnets at Nanny and Papa's before we head out to Holy Thursday mass at the Cathedral Basilica.

On Friday we heard back from our realtor that our offer had been accepted on the house in the Morning, and then later in the afternoon we took Isidora to Good Friday Service. Fortunately, Juanita was able to come with us, because Isidora was quite a handful during the veneration. Nanny was able to take her outside for a while (the veneration lasted 45 minutes with all the people there) during which Matt and I were able to have some quiet prayerful time inside.

Isidora ready for Good Friday (minus shoes), complete with pig tails! Thanks again to Godfather Greg for the beautiful outfit!

On Saturday, we decided that since Easter Vigil mass was not going to start until 8:30 pm, and Izzie is in bed most of the time at 7 pm, we were going to have Grant and Juanita keep her overnight at their house and Matt and I would go to the Vigil alone. But before we left, we were able to participate in Easter egg dying.

We made some pretty neat eggs this year I think.

One of Katee's striped eggs.

One of the speckled eggs made with food coloring with all of the eggs in the background.

Matt and I had a wonderful time at Easter Vigil, and we were both very glad we left Isidora with his parents since we didn't even get home until 11:45 pm. But, we felt that Isidora really should go to Easter Mass, so we decided to go with her again at the 8 am service Easter morning. Unfortunately Izzie was kind of on a funky schedule secondary to sleeping somewhere different and waking up 2 hours earlier than normal and so she was pretty tired - which meant that she was a wiggle worm during the whole Mass. Oh well.

After mass we headed back over to Grant and Juanita's to celebrate Easter.

Here is Izzie's Easter basket, complete with Libs chocolate - a family tradition from my mom's side of the family.

After Izzie took a nap (she fell asleep on the 10 minute drive back to Grant and Juanita's), Isidora got to go Easter egg hunting! She loved it! She was a natural. She already likes picking things up and putting them in a basket or something of that sort, so this was a breeze for her. She had such a great time.

Isidora finding Easter eggs in the grass wearing her Easter dress and hat. (Thanks Grandma!)

Thank you Mr. Gnome!

Are there any more eggs over here?

Here is one!

Check out all of my eggs!

Let me show you, Nanny.

We got Isidora a baby carrier for her baby doll.

And we went for a walk after brunch (breakfast tacos and mimosa!) and Izzie got to try out her new carrier.

Auntie Katee got Isidora some bubbles for Easter and we had lots of fun blowing and popping bubbles.

After opening baskets and hunting for eggs, we spent some time on the deck. Isidora that these potted evergreens (Uncle Ben's bonzai trees) needed more dirt in them, so she took dirt from some failed tomato seedlings on the other side of the deck and put them in the pot. This occupied her for about 20 minutes or so! It was a blast to watch.

Too much moss, not enough dirt!

Getting more dirt.

Hmm, a bit more dirt, I think.

I wonder what this tastes like. (She did try it eventually, and she didn't like it.)

I think I will just eat some worms instead. (More Easter candy from Auntie Katee.)

As always, we also had a very lovely Easter dinner made by Matt's dad, Grant. For the last couple of days, he has been soaking a country ham to rehydrate it and decrease some of the salt content. I have ever only had a country ham at the Colvin house. They are very salty, but pretty tasty. The ham he was able to get was huge, I think he said it was about 20 lbs to begin with, but he had to cut it into 3 sections because it was simply too big. He ended up cooking about 13 lbs of it today (the main 10 lb portion and a 3 lb shank).

Grant cooked the ham outside on the grill so that the oven could be used for other things, and so that the house would not get so warm.

Here is the complete meal set up buffet-style. We had the ham with an apple cider reduction raisin sauce, some pan fried okra, dinosaur kale, and sweet potato fries. We also had home made buttermilk biscuits and home made pickles, pickled onions and pickled okra. For dessert we had bread pudding with a whiskey sauce. It was great!

Izzie got to have a chocolate lollipop from Auntie Katee for dessert. Spoiled rotten.

Happy Easter! He is risen!