Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Day In The Life - Cute and Stinky

I was sitting on the couch tonight watching my son explore the living room and found it so funny that he finds something new about that room everyday. I seem to always see the same old mess but he on the other hand sees the world fresh everyday. He figured out that he could lift the cushions up and he found our warranty stickers under there. Ahhh the fun of stickers. 8 )
Just about the time I thought that there was nothing that wasn't cute about my son I took a deep breath and got a good wiff of what he was cooking up for me in his diaper.
Sorry guys, I am off to diaper duty.
A wonderful, fantastic, stinky day in the life of me.
I love it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hope everyone had a safe and Happy Halloween! We had so much fun. We went to the church for our annual Trunk-or-Treat and passed out candy to hundreds of kids from our community and then went to Judson's birthday party the next day. I have posted a slide show for you to enjoy. Isn't he the cutest clown ever?!?
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Saturday, October 25, 2008

We Voted!

It is early voting time!
We went to the library this Wednesday, the early voting location in our town, and cast our vote. As an American I believe that each of us has a responsibility to educate ourselves and then take advantage of our costly right to vote. So... No matter which side your political beliefs fall get your Red, White and Blue booties out there and vote! And do it while the lines are short. Early Vote! Make sure you are counted. Sullivan did!
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Friday, October 24, 2008

In The News - A Success Story

A couple of months ago I received a phone call from Sullivan's Glaucoma specialist, Dr. Karen Joos. I was nervous at first as I have never received a personal phone call from her before and we had been the O.R. just a few days prior for Sullivan's eye exam.
Nothing to worry about, she just wanted our permission to give our information to the Hospital Newspaper. She said that Sullivan and his treatments were a great success story and when she has a story like this she likes to show it off a bit.
Do what you want Doc! You just called us a success story!
We were contacted a couple of days later and within a week an interview was conducted and a photo shoot as well. Above are two of the photos that were taken in the exam room at Vanderbilt Eye Institute and of course a link to the story for your reading pleasure.
8 )

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Recipe of the Week - Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole

OK, This one saved my life after vacation so I am passing this fantastic little secret on.

We came home to an absolutely empty kitchen. Shredded cheese was about the only thing left in the fridge. So I headed to the canned and dry goods. Eureka, Cream of Chicken Soup! Who doesn't have a can of this in the cupboard? I remembered a recipe I had used off of a label a long time ago and went searching for it. The website is easy to use and has hundreds of great recipes. It even has a recipe box to store your favorites in.

I had everything in either the freezer or the cupboard. This one is a great one to use on the eve of a much needed grocery shopping trip.

Campbell's® Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole From: Campbell's Kitchen

Prep: 5 minutes

Bake: 50 minutes

Stand: 10 minutes

Serves: 4


1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)

1 1/3 cups water

3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts halves

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


Heat the oven to 375°F. Stir the soup, water, rice, onion powder, black pepper and vegetables in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Top with the chicken. Season the chicken as desired. Cover the baking dish.Bake for 50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender. Top with the cheese. Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes. Stir the rice before serving.Tip: To try it Alfredo, substitute broccoli florets for the vegetables and substitute 1/4 cup grated Parmesan for the Cheddar cheese. Add 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese with the soup. Top the chicken with the remaining Parmesan cheese.

Notes from Tracy:

I prefer this one without the veggies included and it is really good with the chicken cut up in tiny pieces instead. The whole pieces of chicken can be a bit dry. I also like to cover the whole thing in shredded cheddar... what can I say, I like cheese! 8 ) Enjoy!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We're Back!

So we are home and have been for a bit now but I have been wiped out. I am working on a slide show of the pictures for those of you who are requesting them (some of you are like stalkers, you know who you are!) It should be up today.
We had a wonderful time.
It was 6 long days of park hopping and bus rides which Tyson thrives on, and about 3 days of down time, visiting and pool time which I thrive on. Sullivan thrives on sleep so we did our best to accommodate him. We were at the parks pretty late at night so we let Sullivan be our alarm clock. We shared a room with him so when he awoke each morning he would pop his head up and squawk at us to rise and shine just like a rooster. It was a joy to wake up to his smiling face. He thinks we are great and we intend to soak that up for as long as it lasts. I have heard we have about 9 years, by 10 they are over you. 8 )

My Favorite Vacation Moment
Swimming at the hotel with my family

My Favorite Disney Moment
The Pirate Princesses

Lasting Disney Memory
My son's expressions while riding Small World (His favorite ride. He loved the clock!)

Funniest Vacation Memory
Sullivan being bashful with Princess Aurora after she kissed him. Back off Princess! He is mine for at least another 20 years. Right????? (Notice the lipstick on his cheek?!?)

Home Videos! Daddy learns to dance - Baby learns to play.

A much requested video of our little boy dancing away is now here for your viewing pleasure. 8) It is a bit long but some of you will enjoy that. There is a bit of S dancing, a bit of him crawling and cruising and a bit of a guitar lesson as well - not sure who is teaching who.


(BTW - The stacks of clothing in the background would be my maternity clothes ready for the attic! Yea Me!)

P.S. Sorry about the vocal stylings of the videographer. Not my best work. 8 )

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm Going To Disney World!

We are off to Disney World today! This will be our very first family vacation and Sullivan's first trip to Disney. We are very excited. Tyson's whole family will be there and they are all looking forward to their time with Sully.

They always get really excited about family trips especially ones that include Disney. We all have matching shirts and sweatshirts that the sisters made and embroidered. They are really nice so I will be sure to post pics of our giant matching clan when I can.

Included in our itenerary are the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Disney's Studios MGM. A couple of rest days are scheduled in as well. Goodness knows we will need them. Tyson has been very helpful getting ready and is so excited that I think I might be able to get the child rate for him at the door. 8 )

I will keep you guys "posted!"

M I C - See you real soon!

K E Y - Why? Because we like you!


Tracy & the Boys

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Recipe of the Week - Easy Almond Rocha

This week is a request of Mom's. With the holidays right around the corner I thought it was a good one too. I was given this recipe by a dear friend back home, Linda Baker. It is sooooo easy and very yummy!
Hope you enjoy.
Easy Almond Rocha

2 1/2 Cups Blanched and Slivered Almonds
1/2 lb Butter (2 cubes)
1 T Corn Syrup
1 Cup Granulated White Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Milk Chocolate Chips
1/4 Cup Water

In a heavy skliiet combine sugar, water, syrup, butter and almonds. Stirring constantly, cook to hard crack or until the almonds are toasted light to medium light brown.
Pour into a greased jelly roll pan. (smaller cookie sheet with sides)
While warm, sprinkle the milk chocolate chips over the mixture and spread when softened. If you like you can sprinkle almonds on top too. Makes it pretty. 8 )
Let cool, remove from pan and break into pieces.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Kitchen Towell Bandit - Reward For Capture

There is a Bandit loose in our home and the reward for capture is HUGE! Everytime I go to dry my hands or the dishes in the kitchen the towells are missing. If any of you have seen this Kitchen Towell Bandit be careful. Do not be fooled by his charming smile or his adorable face. He is dangerous! Just look at him!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One Pearly White

Every morning at about 6:30 our little guy wakes up squawking and singing in his crib. Mommy stretches, greets the dawn and makes her way up to recieve her morning blessing. He is always so happy. We play peek a boo for a bit between the slats in the crib and now that he is pulling up on his own he likes to peek over the top and laugh at me. When we have had our fill of that game and our diaper is fresh we head downstairs and kick Daddy out of bed. While Daddy gets his shower and gets ready for work we eat breakfast.
A couple of days ago Sullivan noticed something new. He nearly pulled himself out of his highchair trying to see what Daddy was up to and what that funny noise was. It was the sound of teeth getting a good scrubbing and Sullivan wanted in on that action! We thought it was only appropriate as he is now the proud owner of one adorable baby tooth.
I put him on the kitchen floor and he scurried over to Tyson, pulled up on his jeans and begged to be included. The following pictures are the scene that unfolded with Daddy, Sullivan and his infant finger toothbrush.

This has now altered our morning routine. The minute he hears the water running in the bathroom sink he scrambles to his daddy's feet to polish his one impressive pearly white.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Favorite Things - Part 2

My Scavenger

My Little Crawler

My Escapee

My Ten Little Piggies

My Boys

My Motzart

My Mess Maker

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Recipe Of The Week - Chicken Tetrazinni

Allright folks, we are starting a new family blog tradition. Each week we are going to share one of our family favorite recipes. It might be one we have loved for a long time and enjoyed eating that week, it might be something new and fun that we found in a magazine or stole from a friend. (I will be sure to give credit where credit is due!)

This week is one passed along from Mom and is definatly a new favorite. It is really easy to make for a small dinner get together, a friend in need of a meal or even dinner for two with some really yummy leftovers as Tyson and I have figured out.

I chose this one because I made it for Angie a couple of weeks ago and then Christa last week and they have already asked for the recipe. I swapped broccoli for the mushrooms for the Price's version and they say it was yummy that way too.

Please comment if you try it and tell me what you think!

Chicken Tetrazinni
3 to 4 cups cooked chicken (I use 4 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts out of the package)
salt & pepper
8 oz. angel hair pasta
6 T butter
8 oz. sliced mushrooms (I double this every time)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup light cream or half & half
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup cooking sherry, dry if possible (the sherry is the key ingredient)
1 1/2 or 2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese (as much as you like really)
Paprika (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in skillet, melt 2 T butterover med/low heat. Add sliced mushrooms and saute until golden. (I like to add a little sherry to the mushrooms as they saute) In a saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter, stir in flour and 1/2 t salt and stir until smooth. Add chicken broth and cream and cook, stirring until sauce is thickened. Add chicken, cooked mushrooms and sherry and heat through. Place cooked pasta in buttered 9X13 baking dish then pour chicken/mushroom/sauce mixture on top. Top with Parmesan cheeseand sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
Serves 8

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monkeys belong in the Zoo!

Well, we took our chances on Sunday and took our little monkey to the zoo. We went to church in the morning and after the service we took him home for a preparatory nap. While he slept the storm came in. We thought our plans might be doomed but the rain stopped and we decided to grab the umbrella and throw caution to the wind.

Apparently the Sabertooth Tiger exhibit had been precariously left open because look who we ran into before we even got to the entrance...

That would be "Gnash" the mascot for the Nashville Predators. Cool huh?

Tyson happens to know the man behind the mask and we exchanged greetings in appropriate mascot language. (Miming) He was so supprised to see Sullivan had gotten so big. As we said goodbye I felt a little silly as I hollered in his direction "It was good to see you again!"
Two reasons;
1) I have never really "seen"the guy so as far as I know he really does have a blue face and very large teeth.
2) All the other moms gave me a wierd look as they walked away.

Come on guys! Gnash and I go waaaaay back! 8 )

We had a great time just the 3 of us and here are a couple of pics from our excursion.

As you can see the Meerkats are our favorite.

We weren't sure they would let us go home. As you know...

...Monkeys belong in the zoo!

Mommy Monkey

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Teeth! Yikes!

We have them folks. Remind me again why we need these awful things. 8 )

Sullivan has cut one tooth so far on the bottom. You can't see it too clearly yet but it is there and reaking havoc on our household. As soon as it is clearly visable you will be getting a picture of the nasty little culprit.

Anyone out there in blogger land have any miracle advice for teething babies? Feel free to comment. We are desperate.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Jeepers Creepers - An update on Sully's Peepers

(Stole this from Mom's blog - Precious huh?)

I am so sorry that I forgot to post this much earlier. Please forgive me. 8 )

As you know, Sullivan has regular eye exams scheduled every 3 months with Dr. Joos. These exams, for an adult, would normally be all that are necessary to check the status of the glaucoma. However, because Sullivan is little and squirmy, we have to schedule an EUA (exam under anesthesia) after every other visit. An EUA allows Dr. Joos to do all the tests and measuring she needs to do to make sure we have healthy eyeballs. We will do this about every 4 or 5 months until he is old enough to sit still in the exam room. Dr. Joos says they are pretty bribe able around 3. 8 )

The plan of action with these exams is always the same; if the glaucoma is presenting active symptoms then Dr. Joos will perform a surgery to install an implant in the eye, one at a time, to control the pressure. It is kind of like a pressure valve. Basically, they perform the exam and come and report to us what they found. If it is good news we go to the recovery room and wake up our precious baby to go home, if it is bad news they go back and perform the surgery while he is out. Due to the nature of the disease you never really know what to expect.

A couple days after we returned from California we had an EUA scheduled for Sullivan. While I was gone I had to stop the drops we were administering to Sullivan's left eye twice a day in order to get an accurate reading of the health of that eye. I was so nervous doing that. Sometimes having something to do helps you feel like you are in control but the truth is that we are not in control, He is. So I asked God to take my fear and to continually remind me to release Sullivan to Him. He is the one person in this world who loves him more than I do so those hands are more qualified anyway.

Thankfully as you have already read, Paige was there to sit with me and help me out. She was great to have along because she is really supportive and positive. Thank you Paigee!
Tyson would have been there but we have spent just about all of his vacation hours on Sullivan's prior surgeries. We both had a good feeling about the outcome so he decided to sit this one out. To be honest, if this is going to be our routine until he is 3 I really need to get used to going alone.
Sullivan did great. It was different this time because as he is getting older he is getting wiser too. He is starting to get a bit of separation anxiety and knows something fishy is going on. He didn't like the little sensor that they put on his toe or getting his temp taken but he did okay. The nurses said that around 1 year is when they start having to give "Pre-Meds" to them to calm them down prior to surgery. We'll see. It was early morning so he didn't have to go hungry for too long and once you give him a cute nurse to flirt with gets preoccupied. 8 )

After about an hour and 15 Dr. Joos and her assistant came back to tell us that Sullivan's eyes are doing great and that we can take him off of all meds. Soooooo Awesome!!!! His optical nerves look healthy and the left eye is slightly less far sighted than the right which means that when his eyes are fully developed he may be slightly nearsighted in that eye.

Soooo, at this point we have no symptoms of glaucoma! Yeah!

Friday, September 5, 2008

I'll Call You Squirt Too

I have called my sissy Paige "Squirt" for as long as I can remember and I don't think she even notices anymore. I don't really notice to be honest. I think that if I used her actual name she might think I was upset or something. It is the fondest in terms of endearment as far as I am concerned. I am not sure that there is any one else in the world quite like her. She is quite possibly my favorite person in the whole world.
Having said all of that, I have to admit that my life has come to include a "Second Squirt". Sullivan Shawn has captured my heart and undoubtedly the heart of the first "Squirt" as well. I had so much fun watching Paige enjoy her time with her "Sully Wully Bonker Head" as she has named him.

We got to see quite a bit of her while we were in CA but stole some TN time with her too. Such a treat! She flew home with us making for a very fun flight for all three of us. When Paige visits we like to relax and hang out. Not much planned activity. It makes for good quality time. Which we have recently learned is one of her love languages. I think that I am beginning to truly realize and appreciate the the beautiful woman God has created in her and I am so proud of her.

Her sense of humor is one of the many things I love about her and she has been dating a really neat guy named Thomas who has a great sense of humor too. He came to visit while Paige was here and we had a great time getting to know him. They got out to see the sights of Nashville and ran into this crazy guy! ----->
They were pretty excited as you can tell.

Thomas & Tyson babysat for me and Paige so that we could go to a women's praise and worship event at the church and the boys really impressed us. Not only did I get to enjoy the whole event, Sullivan was fast asleep when we got home. Ahhhhhhhhh. So nice. Way to go guys!

I think Thomas and Paige had fun with Sully and we enjoyed every minute of their visit too. We miss you guys!