Sunday, May 31, 2009

She's a Big Kid Now!

Our little bit is growing up! Saturday we converted her bed from a crib to a toddler bed. Because we had bought it off of Craig's List, we never got the hardware needed for toddler bed conversion which consisted solely of two bolts. So I went online, did a little bit of research, got the bolt size, made a trip to my local Lowe's, bought the bolts for a whopping 39 cents total, and then proceeded to convert the bed all by myself! This little red hen is quite proud of herself :o)

Billa was very excited by this change and loves being able to climb in and out of her bed. This means however, that we must now remember to crack her door open each night so that she can leave her room if need be. We had originally hoped to wait until Billa was 18 months old before Conversion, but we changed our minds after she *almost* climbed out one day and given that we got really tired of having to go rescue her every morning when she woke up at the buttcrack of dawn. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, kids are way smarter than we give them credit for.

We figured it would take a couple of weeks if not days to adapt to this new change and figure it out, but without showing her, our little engineer figured out in one night how to sleep in her bed without falling out (or playing all night as we thought she might). In addition, she also figured out that the door was cracked enough for her to exit the room and make her way into our room, which she did precisely at 6 am Sunday morning. It was a bit of a shock for all of us, especially since she didn't cry at all when she woke up, like she normally does and we hadn't shown her what to do.

I am a little bit saddened by this change, as it means my baby isn't that much of a baby anymore. Everyday she is growing into a little person with personality and while I love seeing her learn and grow, part of me doesn't want her to get too big that I can't hold her in my arms...at least not yet anyway!

Anyhoo, I should sign off now as it's been a long day of baking and cleaning and playing; I will have to post on some new Billa Babble later this week as Billa had many new words this week and weekend!

Until then,
Kelly

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Papa and Memorial Day Weekend Happenings

After a looooong three day weekend, I am left wanting a weekend from the weekend. Michael started at Harley on Friday, and his second day was on Saturday, so Billa and I hung out all day. We went out in the afternoon to go see Daddy at his new job and meet all the nice people he works with. I tell ya what, bikers are some of the nicest people. They really get a bad rap thanks to motorcycle gangs. You don't believe me? Then Google BACA, aka Bikers Against Child Abuse. That'll make you run up to the next biker you see and practically throw your arms around them for a hug. Saturday evening we FINALLY went and saw Star Trek, thanks to Kellie and Anthony. They paid for the tickets and even babysat for us so we could go out for our anniversary! Love you guys!

Sunday we went to the lake. We visited with Michael's dad and stepmom and had a lovely day relaxing, although it was a bit stressful for me really. I am NOT a fan of lakewater, so I was a little anxious being near the lake and then totally worried that Munchkin would go and take a dive. It also got REALLY hot and I didn't drink nearly enough water. No sunburn though! No tan either, boo.

And then finally, my daddy's birthday was on Memorial Day this year, so on Monday we went to visit him and my mom and have some BBQ, chocolate cake, and homemade ice cream. Yum! Billa had so much fun playing in the garden and the fountain that she can't wait to go back next weekend when Michael and I go to Papa Carl's birthday party on the lake. My dad enjoyed the chocolate cake I made for him, which incidentally is the first time in years he has not made his own cake. After a long day, we came home exhausted but well fed.

Tonight, I am making a cake for Kellie's baby shower at school and I am ever so grateful that tomorrow is Wednesday and not Tuesday. Yay four day work weeks! Anyway, I will post some pictures later from this weekend when I am not covered in MMF and cream cheese icing.

Until then,
Kelly & the Gang

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The best choice I ever made...

Today is our third wedding anniversary! Hooray for us! Michael's step mom and I have an inside joke about being "here by choice", which we usually incite whenever Michael or his dad crack a really lame joke or particularly bad pun. Well, I am here to tell you that it was the BEST choice I ever made! Here's to three years, love...and many more!

From our rehearsal...so young and in love :o)

To celebrate, we splurged and bought a pork tenderloin to roast. I know, I know, I am not normally a pork eater, but I have slowly been won over to the other white meat team now. I still hate ham, however. I just can't fathom why people like it. I googled how to cook pork tenderloin and lemme tell you, I stumbled upon the best recipe and method ever. And because I've had two glasses of wine and am feeling quite benevolent, I shall share it with you.

First of all, purchase pork tenderloin! TENDERLOIN, people, not loin. It looks like a baguette of meat. About a pound or so will feed two people quite handsomely with leftovers. A couple of hours prior to cooking, prepare a brine. This brine will consist of 1 quart of COLD water, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1/4 cup of salt (I prefer kosher). You can do three cups of water and then add in ice until it hits the 4 cup line to get your H2O cold. Place aforementioned tenderloin in a dish deep enough to hold it and the brine. Pour in brine, then place in fridge for about 30 minutes. Pull out and turn pork over if needed. I left it on the counter for 45 minutes after the initial 30.

Preheat your oven to 425F. In an overnsafe skillet (yes I said "overnsafe"...I think it's a hilarious typo and I refuse to fx it), heat up some olive oil and then sear the tenderloin over medium high heat on all sides (will take 4 to 5 minutes). Turn off the heat and pour off the excess oil if you have any. Glaze the tenderloin with a sweet fruit sauce. I used Fredricksburg Farms Pomegranate and Mango Chipotle Grilling Sauce and brushed it on all over the meat with a pastry brush. Now place the entire skillet in your preheated oven for 15 minutes. When 15 minutes is up, insert your meat thermometer (yes, you really should have one of these) and check to see that it is a minimum of 145F. You want the internal temp to be between 145 and 160, which is hot enough to kill off the bad bacteria. Once it's there, you're done cooking, but you're not out of the woods yet! Now comes the important part. YOU MUST LET THE MEAT REST. This means removing the meat from the skillet, placing on a plate and then "tenting" foil over it. You simply place a large piece of foil over the plate making sure that it doesn't touch the meat. Let rest for 5 minutes minimum. Once your 5 minutes is up, slice and serve kiddies!

You can use the same grilling sauce as a dipping sauce. The pork will be a little pink in the center, but so long as your temp reading came out to 145F minimum, you're A-OK. So there you have it, the perfect pork tenderloin. It melts in your mouth and is almost better than just about anything you can think of. We had ours with a veggie mix from the freezer and some garlicky bread and a Norton Reserva Malbec. DEE-vine!

And now that we're fat and sassy, I'm going to make some homemade brownies (no mixes here!) to eat with the rest of the wine. [sigh] It's been a good year...

Sealed with a kiss...

Adios amigos,
The Guerra's

Monday, May 18, 2009

Silly Saturday...and Sunday!

This weekend was a doozy, that's for sure! First up was Friday night. I can't even remember it now. Michael and I were so wiped out, Michael made a Wendy's run and we had a "picnic" in the living room while we watched CSI. I then stayed up way too late blogging, reading, watching TV, etc.

Saturday started out slightly overcast and then turned into a rainy mess. Our good friend Josh has just arrived home from Iraq and his welcome home party was postponed as a result of the rain. Instead, Michael and I took the time to do a little housecleaning, play with the baby, and do some grocery shopping. Michael's sister Caitlyn is also active in theatre and her high school's UIL One Act Play made it all the way to state! Both of us were in One Act in high school, but we were never lucky enough to make it to state. We went to see the play and then out for an impromptu birthday dinner with Michael's dad and stepmom and his other sister, Michelle. It was a lovely evening that was then topped off with Billa throwing up everywhere on the way home. We had to pull over and strip her down it was so awful. We don't think she was sick, just that she had eaten too much, too fast. We got home and everybody crashed hard.

Sunday dawned bright and early as Billa decided 6:45 is never too early to start one's Sunday! Yargh. We've been slowly starting to wean little munchkin from her wake up feedings, but she HAD to have one yesterday. So I let her for a few minutes. When she was done, she smacked her lips and then said "Mmmm, that's good!" (Really, it sounded like "Mmm, dat goo!") Michael and I just about died from laughing so hard. I'm sure our neighbors found the situation as hilarious as we did. After some homemade muffins, we briefly went back to Mike & Trisa's to pick up laundry (and run another load thanks to the vomit the night before). From there, we headed to Josh's party! We had a great time but since Little Bit had refused to take a nap, we packed it up early. We were pleasantly surprised by a visit from my little brother Philip who is in town to visit friends when we got home. After he left, I took a quick catnap to regain some energy to make dinner. Billa had had so much fun playing in the Ingersoll pool that she wanted to take her bath early so she could play in the water some more! Silly little Pisces baby...

After dinner, Billa suddenly had new found energy and she went to town undoing all of the cleaning we had bothered with on Saturday [sigh]. As you can see below, every room in the house is becoming Billa's personal play land...every room except her own! She was not very happy that we wouldn't allow her ballpit in the living room.

Once we put Billa to bed, I baked a lemon cake in anticipation of our third wedding anniversary on Wednesday and Michael went to join my brother and his buddies for a couple hours of poker. Finally, these two pumpkins called it a night at midnight.



Hope you enjoyed the wacky weekend recap!
Until next time,
Kelly & the Gang

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Billa Babble: Balloon, Book, Popo

It's been awhile since I posted any Billa Babble. She says so much all the time, but none of it has really been consistent. There are some words that she now uses regularly, like "ball" (which she now has approximately 493 of them in her ball pit), "milk," "Mama" & "Daddy." And she gestures. A lot. Maybe too much as we have begun to wonder. But we still hear words like...

Balloon: It actually sounds more like "bah-roon." I don't know how she does it, but Billa manages to spot EVERY single balloon in the grocery store and has a conniption fit when we don't get them for her. Sorry, honey, but Mommy isn't 20 feet tall and can't reach the DEFLATED balloons in the rafters for you...

Book: I was actually pleasatly surprised when Billa pulled a book off the shelf the other day and carried it away, saying "Booh. Booh." (Like book, but without the 'k') She definitely has a favorite one too that is one of those touch and feel and learn books. She likes the bumpy green frog page the best!

Popo: No, our child is not referring to a Pissed Off Police Officer. Michael's family grew up calling a pacifier 'popo.' So we've adopted that as our word as well. I got Billa to say popo the other day as she took one from me and wandered off. She yelled at me not too much later when she couldn't find it and practically screamed "Popo!"

So that's our Billa Babble for now. Now enjoy some silly pictures of our girl Billa!

Love,
Kelly & the Gang

No!!! They be takin' my paci!

Mommy makes such good cake, I can't wait to sit down and eat it!
(Michael is actually holding her as he's walking to the table)


I am just so tickled!

How Billa spends a good portion of her time: stuffing her face.

Rockin' her Charlie Brown inspired outfit

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Angels & Demons sneak peek and Other News

During Michael's quest for gainful employment, a fellow at the Armani store gave him a free pass for two to go see Angels & Demons tonight. Not sure why, but I don't care. I haven't seen a movie in awhile and since Michael's been unemployed, we had to hold off on seeing some of the new blockbusters for a bit :o( But free tickets are good and free babysitters are even better! Thanks to Beth for being available on really short notice...you rock!

The movie doesn't release until this Friday so security was a little ridiculous for the movie. They searched my purse and they even used those metal detector thingies from the airport to sweep people's bodies. They were banning cell phones and all recording equipment to prevent the movie from leaking early. I honestly don't understand why people do that; the quality is always terrible and it's really kind of sad when you think about it--I mean come on, you took a picture of a movie on your cell phone?! You. are. so. cool. [eye roll] Anyway, security wasn't all that vigilant because they not only missed my cell phone but my hidden stash of Sour Patch Kids and Peanut M&M's that I had snuck in. It's so funny... I was more worried about those being found than my phone, LOL!

I've read the book and I have to say, this was a very good adaptation of the book. I made sure that I did NOT reread the book before I saw the movie; I did that with Harry Potter #5 and came away hating it. When it finally came out on DVD and I watched it again, it was WAAAAY better. As with any book that gets made into a movie, there are going to be scenes and mini plots that get cut, but I didn't truly miss anything they'd taken out. The action moved along fairly quickly, but not so fast that you couldn't understand what was going on and the story flowed smoothly. I have to say, by far, my favorite scene is [SPOILER ALERT - if you've read the book, this won't matter - skip to the next paragraph if you'd rather not know] where the bomb explodes in the sky. It was freaking A-MAZE-ING. I get chills just thinking about, it was really well done and beautiful. I would believe in just about anything had I experienced that in real life.

My only issues with the film are that I kind of feel that the Camerlengo is skewed from the beginning, and they make reference to Langdon's previous escapades with the Church, which if we want to be picky (and we will), Angels and Demons happens BEFORE the Da Vinci Code. I swear that the first film references the events from Angels and Demons but Michael says no. Of course, I am now obligated to try and prove him wrong. Ok, and one more thing: when you see a story like this that has the main character endure so much, you hope to see them change somehow. While I know that the character of Robert Langdon will always remain skeptical of religion and God, I felt saddened that he didn't seem to change at all. Michael did point out that his last lines infer that he will be pondering the words of the cardinal and hopefully gain some sort of spiritual insight and that made me feel better. You should always care about a character; otherwise, what's the point of telling the story?

Overall, great movie and we had a lot of fun going out and seeing a sneak preview of a new movie before most everyone else! Tomorrow night, we see Rent! Yay! Advance thank you to Michelle & Caitlyn... Billa is going to have fun playing with her aunties!

[Yawn] And before I sign off, I have to announce that Michael has found gainful employment... he is now going to be working for Harley Davidson! How neat is that? We are very thankful for this opportunity; prayer is a powerful thing :o) Michael will post some later as he finds out more. We haven't heard anything from Ghosthunters yet; we might not, we'll see, but as always, we'll keep you posted. Tomorrow I promise that I will post some cute pictures of Billa. I need to play with the settings on my camera though as I seem to be having to do a lot of editing and color work on the pictures we've been taking which makes me think that someone has been playing with something they shouldn't have...

And now, it's night-night time!
Love,
Kelly & the Gang

Saturday, May 9, 2009

So this ghost walks into a bar...

Over the last few weeks, Michael and I have started an impromptu ritual on Wednesday evenings. My coworker Beth and her dog Brodie come over and we make dinner, share a bottle of wine, play with the baby before putting her to bed and then the three of us adults (and Brodie and Gumerry) all settle in to watch Ghosthunters. This new found ritual prompted Michael to visit the show's website and do additional research on ghosthunting. He discovered that GH was doing a casting call for a new member on the team. On a whim, he sent an email and then promptly forgot about it.

WEEEEELLLLL...yesterday Michael got a phone call from an unrecognized number and the accompanying message was from the casting director for the show wanting to talk to him!!! They played phone tag for a bit and then finally the guy got ahold of Michael while we were at the grocery store. I had to laugh...here's Michael walking down the rice and beans aisle discussing paranormal activity and the people around us are looking at us funny. After chatting for a few minutes, the guy asked Michael to tape a demo and fill out the app for the show. HOW COOL IS THAT!? Especially since Michael is currently looking for a job (which by the way, if anyone has any leads, please let us know!!!)

Being actors, we are very familiar with the "don't call us, we'll call you" routine so we're really shocked that Michael even got a phone call. They must really like him! We have no idea what will come out of this, but we are so excited. We'll keep you posted on what happens.

Until then,
Kelly & the Gang

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

27 Years...Happy Birthday to me!

Today is my 27th birthday! Thank you to everyone for all of their well-wishes!

I decided that since most birthdays after 21 get overlooked (with the exception of 25, 30, 40, etc) I wanted to do something different and extra special to commemorate 27 years on this earth. I haven't really done much for myself lately and so I decided to get my ears pierced for the FIRST TIME EVER. Yeah, I know... I have a tattoo and gave birth with no drugs and I've been terrified of a piercing gun. My boss was so sweet and let me out of work early, so I met Kellie at the mall and got my ears done at Claire's. I decided on some really cute sparkly CZ studs so I have some pizazz for the next six weeks. I was so terrified by it until the girl punched the first one in and then I was like, "Oh. Yeah that really doesn't hurt that bad after all." Kellie just laughed.

My ears BEFORE (and yes, Billa has a shiner...the child is going through a growth spurt. Gives a whole new meaning to "growing pains!")

My ears AFTER... aren't they pretty? (Now you know where Billa gets her eye color from! And yes, I am wearing one of her barettes)

Michael got me a pair of lovely silver filigree earrings and a brand new icing spatula...weird, yes, but when you're a baker, it's nice to get a top of the line piece of equipment! Michael's mom gave me a pair of tickets to go see Rent next week, which I've never seen onstage and have always wanted to. (Let's see...who shall I take? I'm going to go with...T-Pain! I'm on a boat...) Now to find a babysitter...

My cousin Katy finally sent me Billa's birthday present and with it were some lovely treats for me: a really cool spoon rest made by a local potter on Denman Island, BC and some honest to goodness Denman Island chocolate. Heck yes! Billa's present was also a gift for me since it is a new edition of one of my most favoritest books from my childhood: Garbage Delight, which is kooky Canadian poetry at it's best. This new version includes new poetry along with some of my old favorites. I just about cried tears of joy I was so excited and overcome with nostalgia.

Right before they left for their honeymoon, Mike and Trisa gave me a really cute set of appetizer plates from Williams Sonoma that have vintage fruit advertisements on them. Tres mignon! They also gave me a fabulous coffee table book on a wedding cake designer out of New York who does AMAZING work. I've already thumbed through it a million times.

My friend John from work surprised me with a "Death by Chocolate" cake. He knows of my love for all things dark chocolate and we frequently share bits of high quality chocolate and discuss wine pairings with them when we're bored...er, have a free moment at work ;o) Beth, my fellow Birthday Brigade buddy, got me a cute card with cupcakes all over it and a really neat balloon. I do wish she had gotten me the Dora the Explorer balloon after all, but oh well!

All in all, it was a great day made especially great by all the phone calls, email and Facebook well wishes (you know who you are!). I thank you all for making my 27th birthday super special!

Love to you all,
Kelly

Monday, May 4, 2009

Easter Pix and 100th Post!

Wow! It's our one hundredth post! Hard to believe I started this little venture a little over a year ago. Yeah, I forgot the blog's birthday. Oh well, 100th post is way cooler I think. So to celebrate our 100th posting, I'm going to finally post some of the Easter pix I got from my parents. The pictures below are some of our favorites. And in case you're wondering, the black corners are where the shutter on my mom's camera were sticking. I think a certain someone with sticky waffle fingers was playing with something she shouldn't have...

Billa shows off her Thriller dance

One happy (and very tired) family with their spoils

Michael finds an egg in the pyrocanthus...watch those thorns Daddy!

An extra inch or two from the gene pool would have been really nice right about now!

Wait, the treat is INSIDE the egg!? Well, that explains a lot!

Billa reaches for an egg

So there you go! I'll post the complete album through Picasa which you can access to the right in the sidebar. Happy one hundred, Pencil of War!

Adios amigos,
Kelly & the Gang

Friday, May 1, 2009

Michael's commercial

UPDATE: Well, they liked it. Michael is filming the reel deal (haha!) on Wednesday. Everybody rides!

video

So here is my test commercial for Victory Motors in Victoria, TX. I hope they like it. P.S.: Everybody rides!

-Michael

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