Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lazy Cookies & Drunken Bread

So lazy, they droop off the plate. Or perhaps it's just me who's lazy. ;-) I wanted to make cookies, but didn't want to pull out the mixer. So, something I could stir up with a fork was perfect. They turned out very chocolaty and fudgy, and you can't tell that the base is sugar-free, but that is, of course, optional.

Cake Mix Cookies, from

1 (18.25 ounce) package (sugar-free) chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp instant coffee granules
1 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the cake mix, butter, oil, vanilla, coffee and eggs until smooth and well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

With the lazy cookies, I also made drunken bread to carry on the slothful theme. (Or just because I LOVE bread, and this recipe is absurdly easy and completely scrumptious.)

Beer Bread, From Rebecca Crump (

Makes 1 loaf
• 3 cups whole wheat flour
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 1 scant tablespoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 bottle (12 ounces) beer
• ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-x-5-x-3-inch loaf pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
3. Using a wooden spoon, stir the beer into the dry ingredients until just mixed.
4. Pour half the melted butter into the loaf pan. Then gently spoon the batter into the pan, and pour the rest of the butter on top of the batter.

Little Man played on his activity mat most of the time I baked, and only got fussy at the very last. Scooping out cookie dough one-handed, etc. is much more challenging while holding a baby, but indeed, do-able. (As is typing this entry one-handed.) Motherhood makes one ambidextrous.
Indy reclines with his elephant. Being lazy is cool.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Indy Update

Sweet Pea was 3 months last Monday, which he celebrated by...being really fussy. A few calm moments in the baby carrier at Kroger. Earlier that day, he had a major meltdown at Casey's office. Wouldn't eat, wouldn't sleep, etc. Riding in the car finally got him to chill out. The swing helped too. He really likes motion and white noise. Later, he snacked on some delicious fingers, happy as a clam. I've heard that many babies are fussy in the evening, but Indy's getting the mid-day fussies. He did it yesterday, too. I think he's developing a need for a morning nap, and I like to go out in the mornings, preventing a good nap. I hope it will be better for him when I go back to work and my mom comes to watch him. She came over earlier today to stay with him while I did some work at Casey's office. He slept almost two solid hours in this afternoon. Awesome. Happy baby & much happier mommy.

But I think the fussiness is helping me get more ready to go back to work! Teaching is easier than calming a screaming baby any day. A few nights ago, though, I woke up in the middle of the night worrying about him when I go back to work. It's natural to worry about your children, but today it was really good to see my mom take such good care of him. He'll be in good hands.

He plays with toys now. So cute.
I have gone overboard with the rings and toys on his play mat, and everything has rings on it. He'll play and fall asleep with rings still in his hand. I was looking at pictures of him when he was smaller...and he was really sweet and darling when he was that tiny, but he's STILL sweet, and now he's even more fun. I love his smiles. And I think he's even had a few giggles.
He was a cool dude at the Bastille Day celebration at the Bishop Art's District.

I love him.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Foundation Work!

So, last week they finished preparing the foundation.Build my house!
And so today they poured it. Yay! It should be dry in a few days, and they'll put a construction fence around it and start the framing later this week. Awesome. I want my kitchen! :-)

Otherwise, all is well. I helped with a friend's baby shower this weekend. I made 4 dozen full size raspberry almond cupcakes and a little more than a dozen mini cupcakes. My mom took care of Indy while I baked. :-)

He's doing really well. Just as sweet and happy as ever. He's recently discovered his hands, so it's fun watching him play with his hands and start grabbing at things.
For the 4th of July, we hung out with Dustin and Aubrey, grilled steaks and hung out. It was fun.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

House Update

I have been derelict in posting about the house progress, certainly because it finally is making progress! We got unofficial word that the plans had been approved by the city the day after Indiana was born (so, 11 wks ago), and slowly and surely since that, things have been happening.Leveling and framing the foundation.
Several weeks later...a giant pile of dirt! And an electric hook-up. (Baby-steps, people!)

Trenching to lay piers for the foundation. 30 sixteen foot piers! This house is going to be bolted to the ground.
Now the plumbing has been laid, capped and covered, and next week they'll pour the foundation.

It would have been this week...but the city of UP decided to stick their fat face in it and delay stuff for no reason. Well, their complaint is our foundation is a foot higher than the average height of our two neighbors' foundation. Um, whatever! Cosmetic issue, yes? And the foundation is engineered that way to avoid drainage problems...which UP is also super-fussy about, but anyway, they green-tagged the foundation, again. I'm hoping to see vertical progress soon.

The builder says they'll be done in probably November or December in real-time. Here's what the front will look like, mostly. Red brick with white accents. I'm looking forward to my new kitchen. :-)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Trip to Tyler

Last weekend, we went out of town for the first time since before Indy was born. Woo woo! I worried that Indy would have a hard time being in the car that long, but he slept the whole drive and was very mellow the entire trip. So thankful.

We stayed in a B&B outside of Tyler and had a really good time. The B&B is on a beautiful estate with a big main house, but we stayed in a little cabin to ourselves, and it was pretty homey. Both nights we relaxed, watched movies and played cards. It was fun.Casey took Indy for his first swim in the pool there. It was really sweet seeing Indy floating through the water with his daddy. I wish I had a picture, but it was too dark. :( Another time.

Saturday, Casey wanted to get a swim workout in, so we went into Tyler, and while Casey swam, Indy and I walked around the Rose Garden. I love flowers, especially roses. It is past peak season, but there were still lots of beautiful blooms, and it was so fragrant. It was lovely to literally stop and smell the roses. :-)
Indiana slept the entire time. No smelling roses for him.
We got to see Casey's grandmother and have her meet Indiana for the first time. It was a really sweet visit; I wish she lived closer! But I enjoyed the time we had.
On a side note, we discovered a song that Indy finds very soothing. It's calmed him down several times and actually put him completely to sleep yesterday evening. Hopefully it isn't an indicator of his future musical preferences. But at this point in time, if it calms a fussy baby, then it's all good. Indy's not super-fussy in general, but I think every baby has their moments.