Monday, August 25, 2014

thank me later

I used to bake something for the residents once a month... 
But then I had a baby. (that's the excuse for everything isn't it?) 

I really want to start doing that again... And so my idea has been this big plan for weeks. And this weekend I saw my plan through. In all it's glory. Because Kyle was on call this weekend (oh how I hate it!) So I decided to conquer the evil day of loneliness with sugar.

Bourbon smoked sugar.

You're welcome world.

So... not going to lie... When my Aunt Jules gave me this jar of Woodford Reserve bourbon smoked sugar in my bag of Kentucky Proud goodies, I was like... Cool. What am I going to do with it?

Well friends, while I was rifling through one of my junk cabinets and saw the jar a year later, it dawned on me.


So I found a Snickerdoodle recipe with good reviews and tweaked it a bit. And I dubbed the results Kentucky Snickerdoodles.  So here's how to make them:

Kentucky Snickerdoodles
adapted from Trisha Yearwood's Snickerdoodles

Wet mix
1 stick butter. Room temp
1/2 C Crisco
2 eggs. Room temp
1 C sugar
1/2 C light brown sugar

Dry mix
2 3/4 C All Purpose flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

The good stuff
3 Tbsp plain sugar
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon

A small separate bowl of bourbon smoked sugar.
  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • In a large bowl, beat the wet ingredients until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. 
  • Gradually mix the dry mix into the wet.
  • I like to line my cookie sheet with parchment paper. No mess to clean up and never a stuck cookie to scrape off.
  • Now for the important part. Make the cookie dough balls. I use a cookie dough scoop. It's about a tablespoon.  Dip one side in the bourbon smoked sugar and then roll the whole thing in the cinn/sugar mix. Place dough 2 inches apart with bourbon sugar side up.
  • Bake for 9 minutes.  (They will look all puffy and not quite done like my 2nd photo but will shrink down like my 3rd)
  • Let cool on a wire rack.

Makes 3-4 dozen soft, amazingly chewy cookies.

These would be just as delicious without the bourbon smoked sugar.  It isn't a necessity but it does add just a little something special. Mostly an extra crunch that could be achieved with much cheaper turbinado sugar.  But then you couldn't say you were all fancy and used bourbon smoked sugar like me.  

Monday, August 18, 2014

myles oliver : monthbymonth 9

you are getting to be impossible to photograph each month.

I'm not sorry it has taken so long to write this... I really need to start writing things down to remember what happened in which month.  Because the way I do these... the 13th of the month ends what I can write about... and I'm late... but a lot of things have happened since the 13th.  After vacation though I tried to fit in a million social events and naps were thrown off and exhaustion ensued so here we are with me awake late on a Sunday night trying to get this finished almost a week into your 9th month of life.

I drove your dad insane while we were on vacation with comments about how you had to be 20 pounds by now since you feel so gosh darn heavy lately.  Much to his delight, I was wrong.  At your 9 month checkup (no shots this time yay!) you weighed 18 pounds 14 oz and were 29 1/4 in long.  So still a little bit of a light weight and soon to outgrow your infant car seat based on height alone. 

You were really in an awkward stage this month.  Even though you are getting to be too heavy to easily carry in the infant car seat, we still love that you fit in it because you handle restaurants and shopping a lot better when you are confined to it.  While you can safely sit in a high chair or the shopping cart, with the freedom and closer proximity to your parents, you are a little more whiney wanting to be held.  

You had your first fever inducing sickness the week before vacation.  I guess I started it.  I had some drainage and felt a little off for a couple of days and then you woke up on Sunday before church feeling warm and super snotty.  We stayed home and a good thing.  You had a fever until Wednesday.  Nothing too concerning, just your first really bad cold.  The worst was the snot because I had to use the bulb so that you could breath at night but you really really hated it.  Otherwise, extra snuggles and Tylenol were your only change to the day.  You kept chasing the cats at every opportunity.

During vacation, you figured out how to pull up on things.  You have since mastered this skill and are cruising all over everything.  I really should get things off of the tables.  No more taking my eyes off of you for even a second.  You can no longer be trusted!  

You are so wiggly.  Diaper changes have to be made with musical toys for you to hold.  If you don't have one (or something equally loud to squish) then you spend the entire time trying to flip over and jump off the table.  Which is partially our fault... we let you go off the couch head first all of the time (while we hold your ankles).  You just love it so much.

one of the only pics of you guys this month since you are scared of your 
friend most of the time.
You are still sensitive to loud noises that you aren't the one making.  Eliza is a loud little thing so a lot of your play dates are spent with you in my lap, grabbing my arm, or crying.  If she (or any other kid) is quiet then you are fantastic and spend the time "sharing" and trying to grab their hands/hair/feet/faces.

my former coworker and friend stopped through 
town on her way back to TN from ATL!

You are also really clingy.  It is much harder to get things done without you freaking out.  I mostly have to do everything during your nap times now.  I used to be able to put you in a jumper and you would entertain yourself by gleefully jumping for a long while.  Now that you are able to cruise, you like the freedom and you almost always cry when I try to put you in those.  Sometimes if you can't see me then I can get away with doing something really quick but that is mostly wishful thinking.

Ever since our trip you hate being in the car.  I don't know if it is really because you had enough of the car, I have had you way too much on the go, or if it is purely because you are teething.  On top.  You would be weird and get top teeth before bottoms like normal people.  Either way; you whine all the time in the car now.  Unless you are jabbering (only bahbahbah, you flat out refuse to say dada.. in fact you almost always blow raspberries when we try to get you to) or you are making your sweet singsongy soprano noises.  You make those noises on your own, in response to us making them, in response to your dad whistling, and in response to whistling on the radio.  

You are so awesome.  Even when you are driving me insane!

Monday, August 11, 2014

vacation vacation VACATION

I made Kyle promise that our first vacation of 2nd year would be a beach trip for just the 3 of us since all 4 of his vacations last year were spent with family/having a baby.  And he kept that promise.  :)  Of course I did all of the research and planning and booking.  I would do it even if he wasn't a resident.  Its my thing.  So I chose Hilton Head Island for its price (compared to Charleston) and relatively close proximity to us (since Myles has never been in the car longer than 2 hours... even less since getting out of that newborn sleeping phase).

daddy gave standing lessons on the beach and proper falling technique lessons in
the condo. something I am extremely grateful for now that we are home.
Myles had a play date evening with Eliza while Kyle and I had a date to see Guardians of the Galaxy the Friday before we left.  We knew we wanted to get a date in before we left for the week since no one would be there to relieve us.  The movie did not disappoint.  At all.  I laughed the whole time.

the one hour of the whole week that he would wear a hat.  

We packed up, went to church, and got on the road Sunday.  The drive without stops was 4 hours, 4 1/2-5 with stops.  We got to our condo in HHI around 5pm and then we headed to the grocery to get a few things for meals that week.  Myles was a real trooper.  We couldn't have asked for a better traveler.

I knew our condo wasn't going to be the Ritz or anything; it was obvious from the online listing that the decor hadn't been updated in a while but we weren't looking for luxury, just a short walk to the beach and pool.  Both of which this delivered.  I was surprised though to find out that the mattresses were the oldest things in the condo.  There went my plan of great sleep while away from the cats.  But I would say that if a crappy mattress is the worst part of the trip, then we were doing pretty good.  Myles slept like a champ in the provided pack-n-play the whole week.

The complex that we were staying at was surrounded by nature preserve so it was a really "natural" beach.  Not much white sand, and it was really flat so low tide was really far out.  There were also little fiddler crabs EVERYWHERE!!!  They were so funny to watch run from us when we walked at low tide.

yup all those dots are crabs

We never felt like we could stay on the beach very long since it was so miserably hot when it wasn't raining so we ventured out quite a bit to look around the island.  We did a little shopping, a little fudge sampling, a little wine tasting, and a lot of driving.  We tried to make it fun for Myles and get out of the car quite often.  Thankfully we found some swings!

We ate out at least once a day and had a few "just ok" meals and some really good ones.  Kyle and I are opposites when it comes to the beach.  I LOVE seafood and want as much of it as I can get while we are gone; he is fine with some fish, but would rather get normal food.

I LOVE the beach and all it entails (sand, sun, smell of the salt water, sound of the waves) ; he hates sand (something he confessed in the middle of the week...apparently I still don't know my husband!) so a baby covered in wet sand that can't just be brushed off is his worst nightmare.  He was a great sport though.

All in all, we had a great time as a family of 3.  We both really needed to get away.  HHI might not be my all time favorite vacation spot but it didn't disappoint either.  And obviously, Myles loved everything about the trip as well.  Except for the extra long ride back because of all the traffic we ran into.

It definitely would have been nice to have had a stay-cation and had Kyle help me do some projects around the house or let me run out and browse my favorite stores while he watched Myles, but I can not emphasize enough how much we needed to get away.  I think it really helped Kyle get to know Myles better.  I didn't realize how much of his schedule/abilities Kyle didn't know about until this trip but I guess its pretty normal with Kyle only seeing him for a few hours a day during the week.  Kyle had no idea that I froze homemade baby food and so was confused by the colorful stuff in the ice cube trays in the freezer... as he put it "you go into the kitchen and magic things happen and I feed him what you bring me".  Thats right good sir; I work magic.  It was definitely good for all of us. Even if Myles will never remember it.  Thank goodness for photos!