June 28, 2010

Wild, Big Frog

Abby Koch often declares that she's not "Abby" or a "big sister" but that she's a "wild, big frog," so Tiffany threw her a frog-themed birthday party. Tiffany made these super-cute cupcakes herself!
Here's the birthday girl enjoying one of many cupcakes with her Granny G and Papa Doug.
And then here's Arthur crawling up to their feet begging for some scraps of cupcake.
Christie and Lisa enjoy frog-green punch and ice cream, and Matthew gets some creamy deliciousness too.Arthur and Hamilton played sweetly together on the floor during most of the party. They thoroughly enjoyed Abby's play kitchen with all its play food and dishes.Matthew will be two years old in August, but his size difference is much less noticeable now than even just a few months ago. Matthew got in on the fun with the play food.Toward the end of the party, we attempted to get all the kids together for a picture. A few children had left already, but after several failed attempts we finally had all the kids sitting in the same vicinity.

New Diversion

Hamilton enjoys being in the kitchen with me, and now he's figured out how to open the cabinets. I only allow him to play in one of the cabinets, but he loves banging around on the pots.
Somehow he quickly gets bored with those loud pots and crawls away seeking another adventure.

June 26, 2010

Watching Austin

Tiffany brought little Austin over Thursday morning, so she and Bryce could take Abby to the aquarium for her birthday. Hamilton and I had a fun time entertaining Austin. It's only been a few months, but I still have a hard time remembering that Hamilton was little and non-mobile once too. The now-mobile Hamilton enjoyed crawling around Austin and checking out this new baby. Austin never fussed about all of Hamilton's attention, but Austin looks less than thrilled and even a little doubtful of Hamilton's moves.Hamilton and Austin share a cute moment in this video; I think they'll be fast friends in no time.
video

Snack Time

This week when Hamilton has been waking up between 4 and 4:30, I've been giving him an afternoon snack. I'm feeding him at the coffee table while he stands, so he doesn't get confused thinking it's going to be a full meal. I'm not sure if he could be confused, but this distinction makes sense to me. I've been offering him juice, some Cheerios, and his favorite--Yogurt Melts.He looked like such a big boy standing by himself and feeding himself a snack. He talked excitedly to himself the whole time.
He's so determined to get the Yogurt Melts out of the bowl first.

June 21, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I knew my wonderful husband to be a great father long before little Hamilton came along. Sweet Claire knows him to be a great father, too. His unselfish love and devotion to Claire was one of the things that attracted me to him when we were dating. Sunday he looked so dapper in his three-piece suit, which he wore to celebrate Hamilton's baptism.I was happy to spend father's day with my daddy, who has been a most kind and generous father to us kids. He's super smart about most everything, hard-working, and only persnickety about endearing things--like Blue Bell ice cream, real Coke, and squash casserole without any zucchini. As a special treat, we made him his favorite dessert Boston cream pie, which he so graciously also allowed everyone else to eat. We hosted 17 people for lunch on Sunday after church between our families and a few friends. It was chaotic and a little crowded, but I loved it. We ate lots of food and dessert, then we chatted and drank coffee all afternoon. After Hamilton's nap, he enjoyed opening his baptism gift from David--a new Eric Carle book! Earlier before we let the children out of their fine clothes, we had a short photo shoot despite the oppressive heat. Mimi's a great seamstress, making Hamilton's christening gown, his HTM outfit, and Claire's new dress. The kiddos looked so sweet posing for pictures in the backyard.

Toddler Talk

Saturday night at dinner with all the family here, Pops and Claire began talking about words that little kids mispronounce. Pops remembered, "Well, Gray used to call them 'forses' when she was just learning to talk. Like, 'look at that forse inside the fence.'"

He gave another example, describing the horses that their neighbors have. I could see that Claire was listening and thinking hard about what Pops had said. Then she asked, "Did she used to say 'foam'...you know, when she meant 'home'?"


And for the record, no I did not.

June 20, 2010

Hamilton's Baptism

Mimi made Hamilton the sweetest, christening gown. He looked so angelic.We gave him a much-needed haircut yesterday in preparation for his baptism. We trimmed a little off the sides and an inch or so off the back. Hamilton had been veering into mullet territory, so I used his baptism as impetus to give him a proper haircut.I was a little concerned that he'd be too squirmy during the first part of the worship service to be down front with all the family. However, Hamilton surprised me getting out most of his fidgeting before the service started. He was relatively immobile after we put his gown on him because it was so long and cumbersome for cruising. Once the service started, he calmly sat in my lap and stayed in my arms during the music. He was mesmerized by the drums and guitar during most of the songs, not taking his eyes away from the musicians. Several times he displayed his affinity for talking and noise-making, but I popped in his pacifier, which usually helped tone down the racket. Our family filled two rows almost. Spencer and Travis sat behind the rest of us: (from left) Mr. Morgan holding Hamilton, Claire, Dad, Mom, and Judy. We were hoping Grandma would come, but her knee had been hurting her for several days. She needed to rest, so we promised to take some pictures for her.I put Travis in charge of taking a picture and video while we were up front with Hamilton. Due to operator error, we have only the last few seconds of Hamilton's literal baptism. Hamilton behaved during the first part when Pastor Craig talked, and he didn't seem to mind the water too much when Craig was baptizing him in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The short video picks up right after "Holy Spirit."
video
When Craig finished, Hamilton gave him the biggest smile as if on cue, which is why the congregation laughed.

New Look

Since I'm trying to motivate myself to blog more, I decided to try out a new template for Morgan Adventures. I really enjoyed Blogger's new template designer. There were many choices for backgrounds and layouts, font colors and types. I tried to keep it simple but new; hopefully my designer brother approves.

June 19, 2010

Meal Plan 5

Since all our family is coming in for Hamilton's baptism, this next week's meals will be feeding lots of people.

Thursday - Salami and spinach stromboli
Though I didn't have any marinara sauce--much to Mr. Morgan's chagrin, the stromboli was delicious even without any dipping sauce.

Friday - Steak fajitas
I doubled this recipe then froze some of it according to the directions. Since it took a half hour to slice everything, I'll be glad for an easy meal the next time we have a hankering for fajitas.

Saturday - Tomato, mozzarella, and pesto panini
For lunch we'll enjoy farm-fresh tomatoes and homemade pesto on our paninis. I have some leftover salami from Thursday's strombolis for Mr. Morgan who will prefer some meat on his panini.

Saturday - Grilled pork chops with cherry tomatoes and garlic butter
For dinner with the whole family, Mr. Morgan will grill the pork chops. I'll substitute the farm-fresh beefsteak tomatoes we have for cherry tomatoes. I'll probably also fix squash casserole, fresh green beans, and corn on the cob.

Sunday - Moroccan pot roast
We're hosting a special lunch following Hamilton's baptism, so I'll be preparing food for the lunch in the Crock-Pot. This recipe is a great twist on traditional pot roast. Since it's also Father's Day, I'm making a Boston cream pie for my daddy. I don't make the cake from scratch though; according to some reviews and my experience last time I made this dessert, the cake is better (and easier) from the box.

Monday - Mediterranean salad with chickpea patties
After a fat weekend of fun eating, Mr. Morgan and I will eat lightly on Monday night.

Tuesday - leftovers

Wednesday - Turkey and roasted red pepper meat loaf
We're hosting community group this week, and I'm hoping if I triple this recipe it'll feed everyone.

June 18, 2010

Snippets

For the last week I've felt unmotivated to take pictures or blog for some reason. I'm sure I'll snap out of it soon. In the meantime here are some snippets of what's been going on with us lately:

I took Hamilton to the doctor this morning since he's had three days of a runny nose and cough. Turns out the poor thing has an ear infection in both ears!

Claire has been camping this week with Mimi and Pops in Lavonia, Ga. They're camping with other families from their church, and I'm sure Claire is having a blast. Maybe Mimi will have some Claire-isms to share.

Since Hamilton's baptism is this Sunday, his Grandma Judy and cousin Spencer are here. My family is coming tomorrow. Yes, we'll have a full house on Saturday. Papa Joe stayed behind in Tennessee, and he'll be visiting his nephew Welch who's in the hospital after a terrible car wreck earlier this week. Please be praying for Welch, and you can keep up with his progress on Facebook.

Mr. Morgan and I have started again eating popcorn nearly every night. He enjoys a butter-flavored salt sprinkled on his portion, and I usually have cinnamon and sugar on mine.

Our dear friend David Herring is back! He's been hanging at the Morgan house many nights the last few weeks, and we're so glad he's back in Charleston for the summer.

June 15, 2010

Alvin Greene

Our politically scandalized state has been all over the national news for the last week because of the blame-the-faulty-polling-machine, Dems-picked-the-wrong-guy debacle. Here's a great article I read a few days ago regarding this black-eye for our state.

Still Running

I went for a run tonight--yes, shockingly, I'm still running--and I had my best time yet! I usually run for a third of my exercise time and walk for the other two-thirds, but tonight I ran for two-thirds! I ran a new course, which was exciting; maybe that's what inspired me to keep running tonight. I went after eight o'clock tonight because it's been so oppressively hot in Charleston these last few days. I've really enjoyed my running, much more so than I ever imagined possible. Maybe I'm turning into a "runner" after all.

June 9, 2010

Meal Plan 4 Plus

It's been over a month since I posted my last meal plan, but obviously I've cooked since then. I've listed a few of the best recipes that I prepared this last month.

Grilled bread with zucchini, ricotta, and basil made a delicious, healthy-feeling lunch.

Beef stroganoff with yogurt and dill is a great, lighter twist on traditional beef stroganoff. With fresh dill, this dish is special.

Spinach and ricotta-stuffed shells were WAY better than frozen ones--even Claire thought so--and they were easy!

Grilled chicken and spinach quesadillas were easy and quick. The rotisserie chicken made them SO flavorful and delicious.

Riverfront Park

Tuesday morning Hamilton and I met several other moms and kids at North Charleston's Riverfront Park. Hamilton loved playing in the fountains of water, and I had fun picnicking in the shade with the other moms.
Since Hamilton loves water, he thought the fountains were great fun. The height of each fountain, however, changed without notice, so several times he took a direct shot of water to the face. He's able to stand now by himself just long enough for me to snap a picture; it's so cute to see him balance himself with his arms. Hamilton and Grady also enjoyed sitting near the water. Grady was "semi-sharing" his Cheerios with Hamilton.
I mean, Grady didn't mind if Hamilton ate any Cheerios that fell on the pavement--Hamilton didn't mind either.
Abby Koch was also at the park with her mom and new little brother. She loved jumping in the cold fountains, and with so many other kids it felt like a party.
Matthew Christian played in the water too, though in typical boy fashion he enjoyed having the fountain hit him in the pants.

A Tony

On Sunday my "actor friends" Drew and Lindsey Archer came for lunch. I met them years ago when they first started coming to Redeemer. Then after ten months they moved to New York City to pursue the stage! Well, last fall they moved back, and it's sadly taken this long to get us all together to catch up. They knew me pre-Mr. Morgan, Claire, and Hamilton, so we had lots of catching up to do.

During lunch we talked about different plays in which they were performing this fall, Lindsey's recent audition for an "industrial film," i.e. corporate how-tos and HR videos, and their favorite shows they were able to see on Broadway. Since Claire loves drama and she'd recently been in her school's May Day play, I was excited for Claire to meet real actors.

On Monday morning Claire asked, "Gray, what's a 'Tony'?"

I smiled at Claire's question, thinking Drew and Lindsey must have made a big impression on her. "A 'Tony' is a special award given to people in plays and people involved with theater productions."

"Well, do they have one for girls?"

June 5, 2010

Eleven Months Old

Hamilton is 11 months old today, and I can hardly believe it. He's crawling, sitting himself up, quickly walking while holding on to furniture, and standing for three seconds by himself. He's made great strides in his mobile abilities this month, but he still only uses two signs. He's still talking a lot, smiling at everyone, and eating like a champ.
He now has three teeth: his two bottom-middle teeth and one up top. The top tooth, however, is not a middle tooth but a side tooth. He's started biting his Cheerios with his bottom teeth, like he's figured out they can chomp into food. We gave him ice cream tonight for the first time, since we went as a family to Ye Olde Fashioned after dinner. He, of course, loved it. In true addict fashion, he cried between bites and after it was taken away. I'm not sure we'll try that again soon.
He continues to play in his playpen by himself nearly every day, giving me some time not spent chasing or watching him. He loves music and singing, and he "dances" to nearly any song or music that he hears. He's now usually sitting up in his crib when I go in to get him. He's still taking two naps every day and sleeping 12 hours at night. The photo shoot was much harder this month because the little subject kept crawling off the chair as evidenced in the next picture series.

Glasses Gone

Last week at Claire's semi-annual eye appointment, she got fitted for contacts. She'd been asking about getting them, and her doctor said we could try them out for two weeks. Claire's been loving them so far, and she seems to be a natural at putting them in her eyes. It's only taking her a few minutes each morning. She looks so much older and more mature without her glasses, and her big eyes really shine without being hidden behind her frames.

Day at the Beach

Thursday was Claire's last day of fourth grade, and Mimi came down that morning to visit the kids. We picked up Claire at the end of her half-day and headed to the beach. Hamilton LOVED the beach and the ocean.
We sat him in the surf, letting the little waves rush over him. Claire enjoyed burying Hamilton's feet in the sand and dripping watery sand on him.After a long play in the surf, we took Hamilton back to our shady spot under the umbrella. He continued to try to crawl off the quilt and into the sand. He's still learning to crawl, and he balances himself by resting his head on the ground, which I think looks so funny.
After several hours, Hamilton was tired and ready for his afternoon nap. We decided we'd make our exit from the beach before he got more worked up. (His pacifer is attached to his hat in an attempt to keep it out of the sand once it drops from his mouth.) We washed and rinsed him off in the outdoor showers before putting clean clothes on him for the ride home. He was snoozing before we even left the Isle of Palms.