lion man

I am not sure what Henry’s first Halloween will look like exactly. Since it falls on a Friday, David and I will both have to work during the day.  Once we get home, it might be either too late or too cold to take the lion man out. Of course, if these two concerns do not present themselves, then we are aiming to taking the little lion out on the town (for at least a few minutes) to “trick or treat.” It will be funny bringing him by our neighbors homes or bringing him over to close friend’s. If nothing else, he will don his little costume and we will observe the holiday through photographs! I am sure Henry is psyched about it!

Regardless of how we celebrate on October 31, Henry was able to spend a little afternoon with his friends recently at a pumpkin festival in costume!  It was adorable seeing his little buds dressed as a strawberry, cow, and astronaut. And, of course I loved seeing their parents as well. It is nice being a part of a little group of moms to share stories, insights, goofy moments, and, most importantly, to watch our babies grow up, thrive, and begin to reach out and “play” with one another. It is such a fun part of mommy-hood. To me, this was our Halloween celebration!

rose kennedy greenway

Kaelin came to visit us in Boston for a week and on Saturday the three besties took “Bestie Fest 2014, the summer edition” to the Rose Kennedy Greenway.  Of course, Mr. Henry joined us for our outing as well.  When we started school in Boston (shhh about 10 years ago), the greenway didn’t exist. Instead it was a massive construction site full of concrete madness. The promise of the greenway loomed over future Boston but it never seemed like the plan would be actualized. Nevertheless, it opened in bits and pieces and now is a beautiful series of parks that line Atlantic Avenue. We made our way there in order to snack on some food truck delights and walk about the little market of local artisans. It was a beautiful cool, crisp, and sunny afternoon. Henry was in stellar form and our reunion was thoroughly enjoyed! It was the perfect outing for a new baby and a bunch of best friends looking to reconnect over a easy stroll and ice cream sandwiches!

baby shower

On Saturday, David, Heather, Alyza, Zachary, and I piled into our car and drove from Boston to New York for our Baby Shower. My mom and dad planned this special afternoon back in December and we were very excited to finally be able to see all of our family and friends and share in this truly  great moment. In some ways, it wasn’t until this moment that the upcoming arrival of the little one became real. Being surrounded by the love, support, and laughter of the strong and beautiful women in my family felt like the “official” initiation into the “mom club.” Sharing stories about their pregnancies, births, and parenting adventures helped provide calm and perspective to the luncheon. It was inspiring to see these women and to share in the good, the bad, the ugly, and the miraculous of motherhood. David and I felt truly loved and the generosity of our loved ones was overwhelming. Our little guy is so lucky to be joining this tremendous family and to have a nursery that is stocked with all we could imagine and need to help his transition into the world go smoothly. It was quite a special weekend for all of us.

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  After the meal, David joined us and we unwrapped the gifts for the little one together. Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 3.37.25 PM

  Baby clothes are so darn cute and tiny!Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 3.39.32 PM

Even David received a special gift just for him. The Daddy Doo Doo Emergency kit was a hilarious gift filled with all he could need for a poop disaster!  Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 3.39.47 PM

We had the very special help of Zachary and Alyza (our niece and nephew) throughout the party.

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Can you believe this cake! I was so surprised when it arrived and could not have imagined a cuter more delicious dessert. Our friends Maryanne and Amanda were so wonderful in finding this treat. And, yes the baby’s  nursery “theme” is elephants!    Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 3.41.00 PM

Our visit to New York was short but it is amazing to think that our next trip down to our family in July will include the little one!

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semi-homemade baked ziti

Last night we rang in the New Year with our neighbors. It was so much fun hanging out, playing charades, and just spending time together. David and I have always said we are incredibly lucky to have moved into our neighborhood. We instantly made friends with those around us and were welcomed in. Last night was just a great reminder of that. To celebrate, the host and hostess shared a “New Year’s Eve around the World” theme. Each house then adopted a country and brought a dish with them to share. David and I chose Italy. It was a hectic morning and my meal choice went from one dish to another. I finally settled on some baked ziti and I think it came out pretty well and was insanely simple to prepare.

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2 boxes penne noodles

1 can 28oz diced tomatoes

1 cup Ricotta Cheese

1 package mini meatballs

2 jars Rao’s arrabiata sauce

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Prepare the penne noodles according to box in order to have “al dente” noodles.  Return the strained pasta to a deep sauce pan. Mix in 2 jars of Rao’s Arrabiata sauce, mix in cup of Ricotta Cheese. Cut meatballs into quarters and mix in to pasta. Finally mix in the diced tomatoes. Pour mixture into a baking dish. Top with the shredded mozzarella and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Turn your oven to Broil and brown the top layer of cheese for 5-7 minutes (watch it during this part so as not to burn the top layer but just brown and bubble slightly). Then serve and enjoy!

eric’s chicken noodle soup

On Saturday afternoon, we invited our college friends over for a turkey dinner potluck. It was so much fun. Of course, I loved being with everyone and sharing a meal around the table together as a family. And, the food was quite delicious as well. We prepared the turkey, stuffing, and gravy and each friend brought a family favorite along for a side or for dessert. The house was warm with Thanksgiving aromas. It was a decadent meal and there were a few of us who wished we could curl up on the couch in our stretchy pants.

As was inevitable, David and I were left with so many leftovers. We were a little perplexed with how to handle all of the remaining turkey. I have never been very good at re-purposing leftovers. Thankfully, Eric, Laura’s husband, shared his delicious chicken noodle soup recipe which we substituted with our turkey meat. Coming home from work tonight, this meal was easy to whip together and so delicious. We are both excited to eat these leftovers again tomorrow night. And, to be honest I see this becoming a staple in our home. Thanks Eric!!

Ingredients:

Roast chicken or turkey leftovers (we used 2 legs, a little breast meat and 2 wings from the turkey)

2 carrots

2 celery sticks

chicken stock (enough for 6-8 cups)

rice noodles

onion

garlic

olive oil

red pepper flakes

tarragon

marjoram

basil

salt and pepper

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 7.33.39 PMStart by heating olive oil in a pot. Saute chopped onion and 4 diced garlic cloves until translucent.

IMG_5197Add in the turkey or chicken leftovers. Cook together with the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes until meat is warmed through and browns a little on the edges.

IMG_5199Add in the chopped carrots, celery and the spices: 2 tsp basil, 1 tsp marjoram, 1 tsp tarragon, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 2 tsp red pepper flakes. Saute together and cook 2-3 minutes.

IMG_5200Pour in the chicken stock. I added about 8 cups of the broth. Bring to a rolling boil and then cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Finally, add in the rice noodles and cover the soup again for 5-8 minutes to cook the noodles. Serve and truly enjoy!

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