Monday, February 28, 2011


Jonathan and I went wild and crazy on Saturday. We spontaneously decided to take a 45 minute drive to the closest IKEA. We had been once before when we were newlyweds, on our way home from a weekend trip to Newport, Rhode Island (times sure have changed). We packed Abigail and Sarah up in their carseats, sans winter jackets for extra comfort, and ventured south to IKEA.

Sarah took a nice nap on the way while Abigail enjoyed looking out the window (of course, she fell asleep 5 minutes before we got there).
We managed to spend 3 whole hours walking in circles around the place. The girls enjoyed occasionally trying out a chair or toddler bed. Sarah spent most of the time in the stroller though.

After a quick and messy lunch we decided to make a purchase. We got a few things and managed to spend less than $100. As soon as we got home we set up our new apartment accessories.
May I present to you the piece of furniture that transformed our living room from the Day Care Fun look to the Let's Have Company! look.

We also got a cute net-shelf-thing that was only $4.99, it's a nice fun way to store the girls stuffed animals.

Our trip to IKEA was a welcomed escape from the apartment, and now I have a new lease on our living rooms's life!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Photo Fridays 02.25.11

This is how I kept the girls occupied while I cleaned their room this morning...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Sneak Peek

We went shopping today-shoe shopping. Abigail and I (with Sarah for moral support) were on a mission to find shoes for my brother's wedding. We found a cute pair of "flower girl" shoes for Abigail, but failed to find any "bride's maid" shoes for me. Here's the cute pair Abigail will be wearing in less than two months:

After our trip to the mall we went to David's Bridal to pick up a sash to go with Abigail's dress. I have to say, Abigail was like a kid in a candy store. She was in awe of the craziness going on with brides and bride's maids trying on dresses. She desperately wanted in on the action. I did what I could to keep her with me and went so far as to promise to let her try on her flower girl dress at home (up until this point we had hid it away to keep it safe).

Abigail tried on her flower girl dress and loved it. She did not like the fact that I wouldn't let her try it on more than once (which is why we hid it in the first place). Have I mentioned lately that she loves to dress up? I think she is looking forward to the big day almost as much as my brother and future sister-in-law!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Our Weekend - Part 1

This past weekend our little family split up. Jonathan will share about his time with Abigail in the next post.

Sarah and I joined my Mom, Aunt, Sister, and Niece for a weekend trip to New Jersey. The main purpose of our journey was to take part in my future Sister-in-Law's surprise bridal shower.

On Saturday morning we all piled into the van and headed down for the 5+ hour drive. We made good time considering we made two stops and got turned around a bit by our misguided GPS ;-) Saturday was pretty low-key. We hung out at my brother's apartment where Sarah chased his cat throughout the afternoon. We then went to Bertucci's for dinner. We went back to our hotel, where Sarah fell asleep shortly after.

Sunday mainly consisted of bridal shower festivities. After a wonderful and filling breakfast we headed to the shower site to help set up. There turned out to be plenty of help, so I found myself spending most of the time chasing and entertaining Sarah. Once guests arrived we strapped Sarah in her booster seat for lunch and she was there until Dawn was finished opening gifts. Thanks to modern technology we were able to keep Sarah quiet and in her booster seat for 90 minutes (she watched Toy Story 3 on our portable DVD player). The shower was a success-Dawn's family and James did an excellent job keeping everything a surprise. Also, the girls did great considering how long we were (11:30 to almost 5 with no real naps).

Sarah a bit before the shower started.Dawn being surprisedSarah watching Toy Story
I love this shot my sister got, a cute Bridget with shower action going on in the background.

James and Dawn came back to our hotel a bit after the shower for a visit. Unfortunately I was dealing with Sarah in the other room, so I missed out on most of the visit.

On Monday morning we had breakfast with James before heading back on the road. Our trip was even better on the way back with only one pit stop.

Sarah and I are happy to be home, but we did have a great time away!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Photo Fridays 02.18.11

This is what Sarah has been doing A LOT of lately:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What They Don't Tell You

Sleep is a basic need. You need it, I need it, our babies need it.

"They" say it's a good idea to develop a consistent bedtime routine-I agree. We've had pretty much the same bedtime routine for a while now. They also say sleep schedules are good.
We've done pretty good in this area as well.

What they don't tell you regarding babies and sleep is this:

Just because your little one falls asleep later than normal or skips a regular nap does not mean they make up for it by sleeping in the next morning. In fact, they may even end up waking up EARLIER than normal.

We are living proof of this. It's 5:30 AM (when I drafted this) and Abigail woke up 15 minutes ago.

Just thought I'd share.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Photo Fridays 02.11.11

Girls just wanna have fun...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My New Job

I got a job last week. It is very part-time - three hours one day a week. A local church has a mom's organization that meets, I help with child care. There are a number of benefits that go along with my new job...

We Get Out More...
We visit my Mom once a week and will run an errand or two. But, with the cold and wet winter I find myself being more of a homebody, though this has resulted in two cases of cabin fever. This is something the girls can look forward to each week.

The Girls Get to Gab...
The girls spend a lot of time with each other, but don't spend a lot of time with other kids (outside of their cousin and kids from church). I work in a room with boys and girls Sarah's age and older while Abigail spends time with other 2-3 year olds. Plus, I get to talk with other women I work with, you know, actual ADULTS!

Abigail Learns a Thing or Two...
The older children have a curriculum they go through, which I love! Abigail gets a little taste of what school is like. In honor of this job benefit Nonna bought Abigail her own little backpack. Here is a picture of her ready to head out...

Let's face it, this is a 3 hour a week, 12 hour a month job - I won't be able to buy a new wardrobe or put a down payment on a house, but it is nice to have a little extra cash. This is like icing on the cake. I am most excited about the getting out/socializing/learning aspects of the job.

Thank you to my dear friend who brought this opportunity up and looked into it for me! I love my new job :-)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What's Cooking: Chicken Bites

There are only a few meals the girls are likely to eat up completely, which limits our menu. Our go-to meals include white bean soup, pasta, and of course chicken nuggets. I recently found a recipe for Crunchy Whole-Grain Chicken Bites in The Pampered Chef * cookbook 29 Minutes to Dinner (which also has an accompanying recipe for slaw). I thought this would be a healthier alternative to the processed chicken nuggets I tend to cook for the girls.

Modifications/Substitutions: I made a few inadvertent modifications because, frankly, I didn't read the recipe carefully. Some of my intended modifications included using my hands to crush the chips and using cooking spray because I didn't have a Kitchen Spritzer. I also used baby carrots instead of whole carrots (which I would say was a mistake, because they were a bear to shred). The error that had the biggest impact was not reserving part of the dressing as a dip for the chicken, so the slaw had more dressing than the recipe intended (though I tried to make up for it by adding more celery and carrots).

Ease: The idea was for the recipe to take less than 29 minutes to prepare and cook. This took me much longer because (1) I had to backtrack because of a mistake and (2) I used baby carrots instead of regular carrots. Other than the time factor this meal was really easy to make. As the chicken was cooking I was able to make the slaw. I'll give this recipe 4.5 stars for ease.

Affordability: This was one of the more expensive meals I made, but it wasn't overly expensive. I'll break this one down (minus normal pantry items like mayo, paprika, and eggs):

Chicken (on sale) - $2.00
Half a bag of the multi-grain chips - $1.75
Dressing - $1.10
Sour Cream - $1.00
Celery - $2.00
Half a bag of baby carrots - $0.90

This meal was less than $10 (total $8.75) so I'll consider it to be an affordable one, especially since it made a nice dinner meal. I'll give it 3.5 stars since it is the most expensive meal I've made to date (and because I'm cheap).

Taste: Jonathan came in the kitchen as I was making dinner and saw the ranch dressing mix (he is not a fan). He asked me if it called for "a lot", so I was worried this meal would be a "miss". Jonathan was pleasantly surprised though - he loved it! I really liked it too. The chips made for a great crunch. I also really liked the slaw. I will award a 5 for taste.

Family Friendly: I will give the girls credit-they both tried the chicken bites. Abigail even ate a whole one, but then she decided to just eat the crunchy topping off of the second one. Abigail tried the slaw but didn't go for it. Sarah played with her slaw. I have a feeling that for now a lot of these recipes won't be exactly "family friendly" because of the stages the girls are in. I will have faith though-one of these days I'll find a 4 or 5 to share! For now I'll settle for 3 stars.

What's Cooking Rating:
4.0 stars (rounding to the nearest .25)

*Just thought I should mention that I have not been compensated in any way by The Pampered Chef or any other website I pull recipes from. I just share about my experiences with recipes I find here and there and make them available to you via a link to the source.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Photo Fridays 02.04.11

We got to see Miss Bridget today. I thought I'd have fun with her sunglasses and snapped a quick pic.

Here she is with the same size glasses a few weeks after she was born (picture courtesy of my sister Laura).

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What's Cooking: Pork Chops

I remember when I was younger we would sometimes have pork chops paired with applesauce. Pork and apples just go together. That's why this particular recipe caught my eye a few months back. I thought I'd give it a second try this week. So now I present to you Golden Pork with Cinnamon Sugar Apples. I first found this recipe using my Crock Pot Slow Cooker Recipe Finder, a free App for my iPod Touch.

Modifications/Substitutions: This recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of cinnamon-I thought that sounded like a little much, so I only used 1 tablespoon. Also, I mixed my apples, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl instead of a resealable plastic bag. And here's a funny story: I didn't really know what "Golden Mushroom" soup was, so I used cream of mushroom soup instead not knowing there was a difference. I think it still turned out fine.

Ease: This is a slow cooker recipe, so it is super easy. I love "set-it-and-forget-it" meals. Though you do need to add apples an hour before you are ready to serve. Five stars for ease.

Affordability: Like with the meatballs, pork was on sale ($1.99/pound). Apples and cream of mushroom soup are inexpensive and the other ingredients are regular pantry staples. This recipe gets 5 stars for affordability.

Taste: Jonathan loved this meal. I enjoyed it too, though it is a little on the sweet side for me. Abigail loved the apples but shied away from the pork. We'll go with a 4.5 for taste.

Family Friendly: Like I said already, Abigail loved the apples, but didn't eat the pork (though she did taste it, I'll give her credit for that). Sarah touched the apples and gave them a taste, but didn't end up eating them (I think it was a texture thing). Sarah did have some of the pork, but didn't go crazy with it. She stuck mainly with rice and veggies tonight. I have a feeling a lot of these recipes with meat in them will have lower Family Friendly scores, but not because they aren't family friendly in general, they're just not Kapaldo Family friendly (at this stage in our family life anyway). With that said, I'll go with 2.5 stars based on our experience.

What's Cooking Rating:
4.25 stars (rounding to the nearest .25)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More Snow

Our area has easily had over 5 feet of snow fall this winter. Jonathan still had to work with each passing storm, though thankfully he's done work at home a few times. His work actually closed today though due to the white stuff, even though it has probably been one of the tamest storms of the season. Hey, I'm not complaining, it is always great to have him around.

We took advantage of the extra manpower and bundled up the girls for some fun outside. We were able to stay out longer this time because it was a bit warmer and the girls had new snow gear.

We also were able to make a snowman! Though, Sarah ended up decapitating it before we went inside.

Also, check out the icicles hanging from the side of the building.

I am glad for this snow day, but I am ready for spring (as I noted in the post be
low :-)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Toddler Shenanigans

Abigail can be very entertaining at times. She also needs to be entertained. She can be a bit, let's say...energetic. The long winter and seemingly endless days of snow does not help. We've been stuck in the house a lot lately and Abigail is getting bored.

Let's start on a light note. Abigail is getting very good at dressing herself. All I have to do is set her clothes for the day in front of her and she is all set (minus me having to sometimes turn things around for her). A few times this week she's wandered off to her room though for a costume change. Here are a few things she's come up with:

Her parings are very edgy. I'm not sure that the "shirt-for-a-skirt" thing will catch on. Oh, and in that second picture she is wearing Sarah's clothes.

Now I have to come out with a disclaimer for this next little diddy-there is no underlying reason why I decided to ask Abigail the questions you'll see in the dialog below (I was just curious):

Me: Abigail, do you want to have a baby brother?
Abigail: Gives me a look. Shakes head. No.
Me: Do you want to have a baby sister?
Abigail: Same look. Shakes head. No.
Me: So you don't want Mommy to have any more babies?
Abigail: Shakes head. No.

There you have it. And just to be clear, I am not expecting.

Here's the not so light note. I typically put Sarah down for her second nap once Abigail is already sleeping. Today I was reminded why I do this. Sarah didn't take a first nap, so the afternoon nap would be her only nap. Well, she fell asleep before Abigail did, so I put her in her crib sleeping sweetly. A few minutes later I walked in to find Abigail standing at the crib and pulling Sarah's leg through the rungs. Sadly no one got a much needed nap today.

I can't leave Sarah out. I know she is small and she is only 16 months old, but she does toddle around and she does things that fit with this post's title. Sarah is climbing now. This scares me! We have a small table and chairs set and she has just figured out how to climb onto the chairs to take a seat. She took it to the next level yesterday though. I was washing dishes and turned around to see her STANDING on one of these chairs at the counter (Abigail stands on them to "help" with baking and such).

And while I was putting Abigail down today for the nap that didn't happen, Sarah had fun making a mess in the kitchen.

I am ready for spring. I think the girls are too.