Kaitlyn's First Halloween

We took Kaitlyn to the embassy for the Halloween party.
Have you ever seen a cuter ladybug?? Yea, me neither. :)


Girly Girl

Ron and I have gone back and forth on whether or not we should get Kaitlyn's ears pierced while she's this young.  In Miami (and Latin America in general) it's common for newborn girls to leave the hospital with earrings.  We knew we didn't want to be that drastic, but we considered doing it before she turned one.  We're still unsure.  Ron and I both like the idea of her being old enough to look forward to getting her ears pierced.  I vaguely remember getting mine done so I know I was a bit older.  On the other hand, I kind of want to do it before she developes a fear of the needle.  In the meantime, without earrings she's constantly being mistaken as a boy (mostly by locals here).  She could be dressed head-to-toe in pink and someone will ask me "How old is he?" or "What's his name?"  It drives me crazy!  Of course an easy way to fix that is to put a headband or bow in her hair. 

When she was very tiny I didn't like the idea of putting those elastic headbands on her because I thought they looked uncomfortable and silly.  It wasn't until my sister gave me a "Baby's 1st Fourth" outift that came with a thicker, cotton headband that I tried on Kaitlyn and thought she looked adorable (as seen here).  I have since looked for more headbands like that, but have found NOTHING.  My sister-in-law gave me a pink one when we were home last month and it looked just as cute:

Since I've had no luck finding more of these, I decided now that her hair is a bit longer maybe a barrette would work.  Again, I searched and searched and couldn't find the kind of barrette I needed...until yesterday!

I bought a box of multicolored barrettes and tried one on her last night when Daddy got home.  Before you look at the picture let me point out a few things:  a) this was just before bathtime so don't mind the food on her face b) I know her hair is a mess, I wasn't going for perfection on the first attempt c) It took a lot longer than I wanted to actually get her to sit still so I could clip the darn thing on. :)  So, it's not the most glamorous, but I think it will work.  She'll at least have more options than just her red or pink headband.

And now maybe people will stop calling our precious little girl a BOY!

All About Pumpkins!

I've been on a Pumpkin kick lately!  It wasn't until I was in my mid-20s that I actually started liking pumpkin.  All those years I passed on the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving...I'm making up for it now!  Now I love pumpkin in everything...bread, pasta, muffins, pancakes, lattes, etc.

I wanted to share some pumpkin recipes I've made recently.

Pumpkin Penne Pasta (from Parents Magazine)
As soon as I saw this recipe in this month's issue I knew I had to try it.  I just happened to have all most of the ingredients on hand so I made this last night.  It was delicioso!

1 12 oz box whole-wheat penne
1 Tbs olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped (You can use onion or 2 tsp. of onion powder instead)
1-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
1 15-oz can pumpkin
1/2 tsp pumpkin-pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Fresh parsley, chopped (I used dried parsley)
1-1/2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated

--Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot, cover to keep warm.
--While the pasta is cooking, in a sauce pan heat oil on medium heat. Add shallot/onion, cook and stir until tender about 3 minutes. Whisk in broth, evaporated milk, pumpkin, spice salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
--Toss pasta with sauce. Spoon into bowls and top with parsley and cheese. Makes 6 cups.

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream Cake (from High Heels and Sweatshirts)
I found this recipe last year while browsing through some blogs.  It is so quick and easy!  I made one last night to serve at a dinner party we're having tomorrow night.

1 can pumpkin
2 quart container of vanilla ice cream
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon each salt, cinammon, nutmeg, and ginger
2 pre-made graham cracker crusts

--Mix together the pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, cinammon, nutmeg and ginger.
--Sir in the ice cream until well blended.
--Pour the pumpkin mixture into the two graham cracker crusts, cover and place into the freezer overnight. The next day, you simply cut and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
See this post for pictures of the process.

Pumpkin Pie Cake
A friend gave me this recipe two years ago after she made it for Thanksgiving dinner.  This has to be my favorite pumpkin recipe (so far)!  I've already made one this season and I doubt it won't be the only I make before pumpkin season is over.

1 box yellow cake mix (reserve 1 cup for topping)
1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg

1 16 oz. can of pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup cream or milk
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup cake mix
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 chopped pecans

--Mix crust ingredients and press into 9x13 baking dish.
--Combine filling ingredients and pour over crust.
--Mix first three topping ingredients until crumbly and sprinkle over filling.  Put pecans on top.
--Bake at 350 degree for 40-45 minutes
--Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Enjoy and let me know if you try any of them!


Mommy Makes Kaitlyn Laugh

Two nights ago while I was getting Kaitlyn ready for dinner, she was in a silly mood.  Maybe because Mommy was being silly.  I quickly grabbed the video camera and got this great video of her cracking up at Mommy who was doing whatever she could to keep the laughs coming (off camera, of course).

Be prepared to smile.


Kaitlyn Loves Snacks

In the last week, Kaitlyn has started to eat some finger foods and a bit of table food.  She finally got the hang of the Gerber puffs and also enjoys the Gerber toasts.  She likes American cheese and has tasted pizza (dough).  Here's a video of her eating the puffs:


New Look, New Name

As you may have noticed (unless you are reading this in Google Reader or email), the blog has changed. I have recently decided to purchase a domain name for the blog and unfortunately, Happily Ever After was not available. Besides, although we are living happily ever after, the title just didn't fit anymore. We are no longer the newlyweds who just moved out of the U.S. to start their lives together. We are now a family of three...living happiily ever after. :)
You can now access the blog by going to http://www.inourownworld.com/.  For now the old address will still work, as well.  I hope to make some more updates and changes soon. 

And because a post is no good without pictures, here are a couple of Kaitlyn taken in the last few days.  (I'm not sure why the quality is so poor.)


Kaitlyn & Daddy playing

On a typical weekday, Ron gets home from work and can't wait to play with Kaitlyn. This is video of them playing yesterday. Kaitlyn got a kick out of Daddy acting like a lion.


What's Kaitlyn Been Up To?

Kaitlyn has really gotten the hang of crawling and she has now moved onto standing up...on anything and everything she can get her hands on! This is how we often find her first thing in the morning or after a nap:When we're in the front living room, she loves to grab onto the coffee table:She really likes the busy box we bought her when we were home. She hasn't mastered all of the switches to make the animals pop up, but she loves to close them all:This morning Kaitlyn was crawling around and when she sat up, she was stuck. I guess her pajamas are a little big (mind you, they are size 3-6 months).
Here's some video of Kaitlyn standing up:


New Camera Strap

I just finished my first sewing project (since college) and I'm happy to say that it was a success. Not perfect, but a success nonetheless.

From the moment I bought my Canon Rebel camera, I knew I wanted to get a fun, new camera strap cover for it. The standard strap cover is nice, but kind of boring. I checked out etsy.com and found some I really liked, I just couldn't see spending $35+ dollars for a new camera strap.

(Photo credit: etsy seller bonecalinda)

I decided to look online for some tutorials and I found quite a few. The best tutorial I found was on a site Made by Petchy. I recently bought some fabric online and decided tonight I would give it a try. As I was working on the project, a few 4 letter words may have slipped out of my mouth and at one point, I thought for sure I had messed up and it wasn't going to work at all. I decided to keep going and see if I could make it work. Once the sewing was finished, I slipped the cover on and it actually fit!!! I couldn't believe it. Again, it's not perfect and could actually classify as "sloppy", but it will work for now. And for my first project I'm calling it a success. :) Here's what a sample of a standard camera strap (I forgot to take a before picture):

And here's my new strap:

I love it!! :)


Guess Who's Crawling?

Kaitlyn is officially mobile! On her 8 month post (just 4 days ago), I reported that she was moving...not yet crawling, but getting around. Well as of yesterday, she is officially a crawling little girl! She's got it mastered and boy is she keeping Mommy busy! Here's video of her in action:


Why I Love Fall

I'm so excited that Fall has actually arrived. Although, I've never actually experienced a leaves-changing-color, sudden-cool-crisp-in-the-air, bust-out-the-sweaters kind of fall, I still love it! The day after we arrived back in Quito, I got out the fall decorations. We don't have much, but I love the warmth they bring to the apartment.
Our table in our entryway.I absolutely love this wonderful smelling pumpkin spice candle.A "harvesty" centerpiece on the dining room table.Mr. & Mrs. Jack-O-Lantern on our coffee table.And this cute flickering votive holder on the shelf.

Other reasons why I love fall:

  • Football season. I know, the Noles haven't exactly been the stellar team I always remember them being this season, but I still love them. Football season in general is just fun! I so wish we could be enjoy tailgating and game-watching parties in Miami.

  • Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes. YUM! I love these. Luckily, when we were home I was able to indulge in my Starbucks addiction and the Pumpkin Spice line was already out, so I enjoyed one or two of these. Over the past few years I've learned to enjoy all things pumpkin.

  • Fall TV. My favorite shows are back and Ron and I will once again have a full DVR every night! A new show we are loving: Modern Family on ABC. It is pure hilarity!


Kaitlyn is 8 months old!

At 8 months old, Kaitlyn:
  • weighs approximately 15 lbs. 2 oz.
  • is wearing size 6-9 month clothes.
  • is still in size 2 diapers, but will move up to 3 soon.
  • took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Galapagos Islands.
  • has started waving.
  • will clap sporadically, not quite on cue yet.
  • is moving, moving, moving. She hasn't quite mastered crawling yet, but can definitely get around.
  • can go from laying on her belly to sitting up on her own.
  • can pull herself up to a standing position. She loves to stand!
  • started eating meats...chicken, turkey and beef and loves it!
  • has discovered a new pitch to her voice and likes to use it. (Loud squeal) Mommy and Daddy don't think it's as cute.
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