Sunday, April 27, 2008

I love my wife!

As Candice's Birth Month approaches (yes, Month, not day) I have been thinking about her more and more. The more I am around her the more I like her. She cracks me up. Our senses of humor and our thinking have merged into one. We can literally finish each others sentences. We talk in code derived from years of inside jokes. People must think we're crazy.
Here are 25 things I love about my darling bride, Candice.

25. She has to have a "bendy" straw with her drink.
24. She leaves hair piled up on the shower wall.
23. She loves shooting guns.
22. She is always up for an adventure. Whether it be camping in thunderstorms or following me across the country.
21. She makes fun of stupid people with me.
20. She laughs at South Park.
19. She will have lazy day movie marathons with me.
18. She, a vegetarian, will cook me meat.
17. She SCREAMS if she sees a little old cockroach in the house. Screams.
16. She hates liberals as much as I do. Sometimes I go off on political tirades and she says "Why are you yelling at me, I agree with you!"
15. She always gets after me to tidy up the house. Which would be fine if she didn't have 18 old glasses of water on her nightstand! Cracks me up.
14. Her feet are not ticklish! Freaky!
13. She can always name the band when we listen to the radio. Sometimes she makes me special little bets if I can guess who it is.
12. She can spread apart all her toes. I can only control my big toe. She thinks I am weird, I think she's weird.
11. She gets scared of burglars and murders, but reads murder mystery books at night.
10. She always smells very nice. Like a floral B.O.. My B.O., well, not so floral.
9. She takes care of the bills. I love never having to stress about bill payments.
8. Along with 9, she is smart financially. If not for her, I wouldn't have a pot to piss in. I would spend my money on a giant foam cowboy hat and a pinball machine or something stupid like that.
7. She can beat Mario Bros on the original NES in like half an hour. I didn't even know about all those warp zones!
6. She always beats me at Connect 4 and Mancala Cup.
5. She has a lush, full head of hair. Sigh... I have hair envy big time.
4. She has to beat me to get the mail. Like it's a race.
3. She is very thoughtful and loving toward friends and family.
2. She is a great umm...wife..if you know what I mean, wink, wink.
1. She is an unbelievably fantastic mother.

She is the most beautiful, amazing woman a man could hope for.
I am so lucky to have you Candice. You mean the world to me. You are my best friend. I love you more today than yesterday. But not as much as tomorrow. Unless you piss me off. Kidding. You're the best.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Waaaa!!!

video
Remington is starting to find his cry-for-no-reason voice. Sometimes I just let him go because it's a cute sound and his tongue looks funny.
We have been walking everyday on the green belt. Since it is getting hot and the mosquitoes are starting to make themselves known, R travels around like this:

He is also starting to relax his little fists that he has had clenched from birth seen here:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Growth Spurt...6 weeks

Ahhh...

Lather, Rinse, Repeat:


Little R is having a major 6 week growth spurt right on schedule. The down side: he is demanding to eat every 1 1/2 hours. The plus side: he slept for 7 hours straight last night!!! What a champ!
His 'baby bath time' is really helping him calm down. He absolutely loves the water. Big THANK YOU to Keith for letting me sleep this morning, sending me to Target sans baby, and making me homemade pizza. You are the best!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Remington in 10 years


After watching Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street this weekend, we decided this is what Remington will look like in 10 or so years. Their eyes and brows are incredibly similar, and they are both oh so cute.

Career Blogger


I just read that my favorite SLC blogger has enough hits on her site to generate $40,000/month in income. Her husband was even able to quit his job in order to help manage the advertising on her site. Sounds like a dream to me! Now if only I had something interesting to write about...

My first Brisket

Well I guess I am a Texan now. I just smoked my first brisket. Brisket is a religion down here so I thought I'd join the cult. It was a lot of effort, but very worth it. If you have a charcoal grill or a smoker I would recommend giving it a whack. It took 18 hours! I started it at midnight and we ate at 6pm. I got no sleep at all as I had to add wood and charcoal every hour. We had the Bankheads and the Delandrys over. It was a lot of fun, we'll do it again soon. I have included basic instructions incase any of you want to take the "bull by the horns" and try one.

"The Shrine" I picked this grill up from a neighbor for 15 bucks.


"The Sacrificial Cow" You can see how I scored the fat and how I set up the grill.


"And they did rejoice" Make sure you cut against the grain. Read about cutting brisket online before you start slicing.




This was really good. Here is how I did it.
Prep. You will need:
1 grill, obviously.
1 Brisket, untrimmed, fresh, 10-12 lbs.
2 cups of dry rub, buy it or make it, I have a good recipe if you need one.
3 cups mop sauce. It is easy to make. Find a recipe online that sounds good.
1 Large bag of Charcoal
1 Bag of wood chunks, not chips. I used Hickory. I hear Hickory and Oak are the best for brisket. I only used half a big bag. The bag was only like 4-5 dollars.
2-3 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce for serving. I made a couple different kinds. A sweet and a Honey Mustard, different people like different types. They are easy to make or if you are lazy, Sweet Baby Ray's is one of the better store bought sauces for brisket in my opinion.
Plastic Wrap, Tin Foil, oven thermometer, meat thermometer, brush for mop, insulated gloves (or leather).
*Most of all, a whole lot of patience.

Early the day before the barbeque go buy the brisket, all the ingredients and supplies. You want one that is untrimed. It should be around 10-12 lbs. Plan on one pound per adult male and allow for extras. Remember, a 10lb brisket is only about 7-8 pounds actual meat. The bigger it is, the longer you need to cook it, the greater chance of it getting dry. I am a wimp with heat and tend to cook cooler than i should. I am afraid of burning it. It took me 18 hours to cook a 14lb. brisket. That meant no sleep. Plan on about 1hour and 15min per pound. Obviously get a cut of meat that looks fresh. Red meat, not a managers special. Perhaps go to Marburgers or another butcher to ensure quality and freshness. Look for marbling in the meat. That is fat, it will melt and make it moist. It is a good thing. Rinse the meat off with water, trim the fat layer if needed to get it about 1/4-1/3in thick and score it to allow smoke to get to the meat. I did 1 inch strips when scoring, it worked for me. Be sure you do not cut the meat. Now put on a rub of your choice. Get it in everywhere, a lot will be lost with mopping and dripping juice. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.
Fire it up. Take the meat out of the fridge a couple hours before you put it on the grill. Never ever put cold meat on a hot grill. Drop some wood chunks in a bucket of water. Let them soak 1hour before putting them on the coals. Get your grill fired up and maintaining about 225. Remember, indirect heat. Put a oven thermometer next to the meat for accurate readings. Get your vents set up and ready for the meat. Make sure the smoke will flow over the meat and out, do not let the smoke stay on the meat, it should just pass by on the way out. If the smoke sits on the meat a chemical in the smoke can settle on the meat and ruin it, making it taste like crap. Set up a large drip pan under the brisket to catch oil, you do not want a flare up that will scorch and ruin your beef. Especially in Utah it is important to keep moisture in the pit. Get a pan of water and put it over the fire, this will allow the steam to keep the pit humid. I flavor the water with half a chopped up onion, you would be surprised how well the flavor transfers to the meat that way.
Put one large or two smaller chunks of wood directly on the coals. Check the smoke levels and vents, when everything looks right, unwrap the room temp meat and place on the grill. I put the fat side down for about 30 min. to get the juices flowing, then it is fat up the rest of the time. As the fat layer dissolves it will run over the meat and keep it wet.
Maintain. Every hour rotate the meat to prevent hot spots. Mop, or baste, the meat, replace wood and coals. It is a labor of love. After 5-8 hours, wrap the meat in tin foil to prevent drying out.
Enjoy. When the internal temp at the thickest spot reaches 175-180, its done. If the meat is done before guests arrive, wrap it in a few more layers of foil, then wrap it in some old towels and put it in a cooler. It will hold it's temp for a few hours that way and make it juicer I hear. Slice off the fat layer, slice the meat in 1/4 in thick strips against the grain. A pink smoke ring may be on the outer area of the meat. It is not undercooked meat, it is a chemical reaction and a source of pride to the pit boss. It is very important it is cut against the grain. The tip section has meat running a different direction. There is a fat layer seperating the two pieces of meat. Separate the two by following the fat line. Then you can cut both pieces correctly. Enjoy with your favorite BBQ sauce. Now take a long nap.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tata for now...

Gigi left today after a week long visit. We had a fun time (albeit lazy) and she is on her way to New York to start a new chapter of life. Good luck, Gigi! Niles misses you already.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Remington's future friend

Congrats to Tiffany, Shawn, Hollywood, and Georgia on their new addition! Hurray! Babies are just five weeks apart!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Featured Recipe: Mashed Red Potatoes With Garlic And Parmesan

This is a great standard mashed tater recipe, in honor of our little tater Remington. So easy because the potatoes boil faster than russets. Yum!

2 1/2 lbs red potatoes, unpeeled,quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Put potatoes and garlic in large pot.
2. Cover with water.
3. Bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
5. Drain well.
6. Mash with the butter, milk, and salt.
7. Stir in the parmesan cheese.

Newsletter: Month One



Dear little Remington,
Today today you turn 5 weeks old. It has been a wild ride so far. Here are a few highlights:
You weighed a full 2 pounds less than anticipated.
You were born by emergency C-Section after your heart rate drastically slowed while in the birth canal.
During the first 3 weeks you were nearly IMPOSSIBLE to wake up.
In the first month, you only cried for the following reasons: hungry, need diaper change, need swaddled.
Your fingernails were so long when you were born that they curled around your fingertips.
Your left ear was flat when you were born and your pinky toes are long enough to be fingers. Also, you have huge feet.
You had a stubborn case of jaundice that required you to be on phototherapy for over a week. You also had to get blood drawn from your heel about 10 times (and you only cried for 2 of them)
You keep your hands in tight little fists and keep a fist next to your ear.
You have a nice head of hair.
Daddy cut off your hanging umbilical cord with a pair of nail clippers.
First injury inflicted by Dad: he cut your thumb with nail clippers.
First injury inflicted by Mama: I dropped a camera on your stomach.
You have met 4 aunts (Dani, Katie, Gigi, Callie), two grandmas (Beth and Shellie) and a grandpa (Frank) from Utah.
Your longest stretch of sleep has been 6 hours.
You have already been to the beach.
You love being snuggled.
You fart a TON.
You love your blue binki.
Just like dad you sleep with your mouth open.
You scowl at me a lot.
You have not once spit up.
You love car rides.
You take a bottle like a champ, even if it is cold.
You grunt and sigh very sweetly when you sleep.
You love bath time and getting your hair washed.
You can roll from you stomach to your side.
I have never had to use the nasal aspirator on you.
You love stroller rides.
You are an awesome baby. We love you!
Love,
Mama

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Visitors

We have been having a great time with a stream of helpers and visitors over the past couple weeks. Guests have included Keith's mom, sister Katie, my mom and sis Dani, followed by both my sisters Callie and Gigi with Keith's dad Frank thrown right in between. We have also hosted my two uncles and their families for dinner two nights in a row, so needless to say we have been busy! I have loved the company and all the help. I have been completely spoiled and now I am scared to get back to reality!
Remington is still deciding if he wants to be a bad baby or a good one. Just kidding, he is great. Very patient and easy, just rolls with whatever we are doing. But if he has a dirty diaper, watch out! He will definitely let you know he is unhappy about it. He just celebrated turning a month old and we marked the occasion by buying yet another 80 pack of newborn sized diapers. The doc says he gained an once a day last week, and it seems he is in the clear as far as the jaundice is concerned. Keith says he can tell R is gaining weight, but it is harder for me because I see him everyday.
Here are a few highlights from the last few weeks:

Mom and Dani in front of the old town post office:


Callie getting eaten by an alligator in Old Town Spring (I highly reccomend the fried twinkies)


New plants and flowers complements of Callie (awesome job on yardwork, BTW)


Callie the snuggler


And of course, one of the cutie:

Friday, April 4, 2008

A different kind of bath time

video

This was just a another first in the world of baby bath times. We'll try it again tonight. It seems to be his favorite so far.

Happy Birthday Danielle!


Oh, Dano. Today you turn the big 1-2 . That means Keith has known you since you were 4! We used to have such fun when you were little. Everything from you throwing up down my face on the trampoline, to wearing your toddler coat while you wore my 'sugar' sweatshirt. I remember watching Redwall and Arthur on PBS with you and how sad you were the day I officially moved out of the house. We had a great time baking this chocolate cake. You did a fantastic job on the frosting. Sorry we only had tool candles for you to blow out! You just left but I already miss ya!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Baby Bath Progression

Last night was R's first real bath after Keith pinched off his dangling cord. R really liked being in the bath, getting out...not so much.