The Connolly Family

The Adventures of Matt, Shannon, Liam & Paige

Month: August 2009 (page 1 of 3)

Mini Saturday Roundup

It’s taken him 20 months of diligent work, but he’s finally figured out how to work the sliding door to the bonus room.  He’s thrilled.  We’re bummed.



Closed (except for the tiny hand between the door and doorjamb):




Really open:


More monkey love:



Liam loves to dance these days.  He basically reinacts a Jennifer Beals routine until he looks like he’s about to (or actually does) run into a wall .  It’s fabulous.







Matt:  Liam, stop doing that with your arms.  I don’t know why you won’t stop.  Seriously, what’s up?

Liam:  My arms, Dad.


Empty diaper wipe boxes make the best hats:





Puzzle break:




Saturday Splurge

We had another splurge meal tonight.  And by splurge I mean a meal that was on the list for a regular-weeknight meal until I was sick for a week from caffeine withdrawal and other ailments and fell behind on our scheduled meals.  So technically it was a Cooking Light recipe (which doesn’t really follow splurge guidelines) but instead of the fat free evaporated milk it called for I used lowfat, so that’s kind of a splurge, don’t you think?  It’s called Cajun Chicken Pasta and technical splurge or not, it was fantastic (and ready at 8pm when Liam went down instead of 10:15pm like last week).

In process:


Finished product:




Mini Tidbits and Mini Roundup

1:  I think Liam reads the blog.  He just started eating the crusty, fried cheese off his sandwiches yesterday but today he moved on to not only eating the fried cheese off the edges but refusing to eat anything not attached to the fried cheese on the outside.  He spent a good twenty minutes pulling cheese from between the pieces of bread (until it no longer pulled out into cool cheese strings and began to just break off).

2:  Matt read somewhere recently that Liam is supposed to be able to drink from a regular cup at this point.  This idea was terrifying to me (I immediately pictured my entire house doused with milk from floor to ceiling) but I knew it had to happen sometime so I gave him a plastic cup filled with yogurt smoothie at lunch today.  He immediately put his hands on either side of the cup, picked it up, and drank it like he’d been doing it his whole life (as is usually the case with developmental activities that he hasn’t mastered because his parents were too stupid (or scared of potential repercussions) to allow him to try).  I said “Liam, I’m very impressed!”  He has been walking around saying “Mama ‘pressed” for the past half an hour.  Of course I had the camera handy for the momentous occasion:

Look Ma, no lid!








Mmmmm, Smoothie!


Maybe she’ll put down that camera if I can hide from her…


If I just concentrate hard enough, I’m sure I can will this smoothie into my mouth:


The power of positive thinking:



Monkey love:


Monkey hug:


Monkey kiss:


Nothing Better

There is nothing better in this world than to have your child come running out of his room screaming “Mama Kiss, Mama Kiss, Mama Kiss” and then plant a big one right on you.  Absolutely nothing.

ETA:  He just looked at me unprompted and said “Love you, Mama!” Maybe he wants a pony?  He’s definitely getting one if he keeps this up.


1:  Liam now loves the crust of fried cheese that forms on the edge of a grilled cheese sandwich.  He used to refuse it.  I’m very sad about this because it’s my favorite part.

2:  Liam is going through something where he wants to be carried everywhere.  “Mama, carry” is uttered constantly.  I usually oblige unless I’m in the middle of something or my hands are full.  The last time I picked him up I said “Liam, Mama is a sucker.”  Now he walks around saying “Mama, sucker.”

3:   Liam says “Saaaa” anytime he does something he knows he’s not supposed to do.  I used to think he was saying “sorry” but now I’m beginning to wonder if he’s advanced to a more adolescent response and is actually saying “Soooo?”

4:  Watching Liam be rebuffed by other kids is actually more painful than watching him get physically hurt.  His little face crumples and he comes to me with outstretched arms and then wonders (I’m sure) why Mama can’t fix everything.  I wish that I could.

Mini Tuesday Roundup

There’s a monkey on my shirt?  If I can just puff my stomach out far enough…


I can see it!


Monkey in the (dirty) mirror:


Boys and their toys:




Trip to Greatmama and Greatdaddy’s house



Yay!  I did it!


Snake or bee-bo book?


Still deciding…






I need to figure out how everything works…so what’s this thing do?


So you say that birds take their baths in that, Gran?


Does Hide-n-Seek work the same here too?


Can he see me or what?


He can!


At least the snake unlocks things here, just like at home…








More reading:


Saturday Splurge

This week we made Paula Deen’s Chicken Pot Pie.  It tasted fantastic, but the experience was a total disaster.  It went a little like this:

5:30pm: Matt suggests that we start putting things together for the meal and Shannon thinks that this is a great idea (and that maybe Liam will get to eat some with us if we finish quickly enough).  Matt pulls all the meat off the rotisserie chicken we used (somehow I doubt Paula Deen would have batted an eye at the fact that I didn’t actually buy and roast an entire chicken, but who knows) while I pull together the ingredients for the crust (which I felt shamed into making because of the number of times I’ve caught it from Lynne over the fact that I’ve never made a pie crust).  I start going through drawers looking for my pastry blender only to find I don’t have one (apparently what I was picturing was my mother’s- oops).  We decide that we’ll just make a quick trip to the Publix to pick up “real” cream of celery soup (apparently I committed a faux pas by purchasing the 98% fat free version) a pastry blender and a pastry cutter (which according to Matt is what makes the edges look pretty–but I’ve never seen one before so I just trust him and off we go).

5:45pm: Leave for Publix.

6:08pm: Discover that Publix has neither the pastry blender nor the pastry cutter.

6:10pm: Leave Publix for Kroger to try again.

6:25pm: Discover that Kroger doesn’t have cutters or blenders either.

6:30pm: Pull in our driveway as Liam yells out “Garage! Garage!”

6:32pm: After a brief discussion in the car we head out to the Target to try one more time to find the cutter and the blender. Liam is confused.

6:50pm: Discover that Target has both a pastry cutter and blender!

7:00pm: Pull in the driveway again–this time victorious.

7:07pm: I pull out the flour to begin what has become a slightly intimidating pastry recipe.  Here I am (notice the smile–which was to be short-lived):


Then I looked inside:


In case you wondered–no–those flecks in the flour aren’t because it’s whole grain.  We had worms.  In the flour.

7:13pm:  I make yet another trip to the Publix while Matt feeds Liam an exceptionally late dinner.

7:35pm:  I return home from the Publix with a fresh bag of flour.  In case you’re keeping track: we’re now 2 hours into making dinner and have yet to actually make anything.

7:40pm:  I start sifting the ingredients for the crust together in what turns out is the world’s WORST sifter.  It’s not a hand crank like my mom’s, it’s the kind where you pull the grip repeatedly to (supposedly) sift everything out the bottom.

7:45pm:  I hand the sifter over to Matt hoping that he’ll have better luck since in five minutes I’ve sifted out approximately 2 TBS worth of the 3 cups of flour that are inside.

7:53pm:  Matt begins to curse and I pull out the mesh colander to finish the job (which works pretty well, actually) while he tries to extract what’s left of the flour, salt, and baking powder mixture out of the Sifter Of Death.

8:00pm:  We finally finish sifting and removing ingredients from the crappy sifter and Matt goes to get Liam ready for bed while I begin to blend the Crisco into the flour mixture.

8:13pm:  Matt returns from putting Liam down and I’m still trying to achieve the “small-pea-sized” pellets that are supposed to form in what one would assume would be a reasonable amount of time.

8:14pm: My arm is tired and my patience is worn down and I declare that I am not (as I suspected all along) a pastry maker.  I hand the bowl over to Matt and I begin to chop and mix the other ingredients together in the saucepan.

8:30pm:  I’m finished with the mixing and Matt is at the rolling out stage of the pastry making process.

8:31pm:  I pull out the goat cheese to soften and pour the wine as it had become very clear that we are going to need to have an appetizer if we intend to make it to the end of this recipe without passing out from sheer hunger.

8:32pm:  Matt begins by flouring the counter and rolling pin and he’s off to the races.

8:45pm:  Matt has two nearly-perfect rectangles ready to make the bottom and top of the pot pie.

8:46pm:  Matt attempts to remove the first pastry rectangle from the counter.  It’s stuck.

8:47pm:  He thinks maybe he can salvage it by being very careful.  It’s really stuck.

8:48pm:  Matt re-flours the counter and begins the process again.

9:15pm:  The pot pie is finally ready to go in the oven:


(and yes–that is MY husband’s beautiful lattice work!)

9:16pm:  The pot pie is in the oven and we head downstairs to watch Project Runway while eating goat cheese for the 45 minutes it takes to bake.

10:01pm:  The timer goes off.  We run upstairs to look at our creation.  It’s supposed to be golden brown but even after turning up the temperature on our terrible, horrible, no good, very bad oven it’s clearly not golden brown.  It’s not pork, though, so we have hope and set the timer for 5 more minutes and head back downstairs.

10:06pm:  We come back upstairs.  We’re very hopeful.  The pastry is still depressingly pale.  We set the timer for another 5 minutes and turn the oven up another 15 degrees and go downstairs again.

10:11pm:  Back upstairs.  Pastry’s still mostly pale.  We give up and decide that we need to learn to accept the pot pie’s imperfections and love it as it is:


Matt, full of pride and pastry prowess:


We’re finally finished!  Hey–it’s a reasonable dinner time on the West Coast…


The pot pie was absolutely delicious.  Next week our recipe will be a bit less involved (and I’ll check for all necessary implements and make sure there are no worms in the ingredients…).

Mini Monday Roundup

Today I thought I had major re-entry depression issues until Matt came home and we were talking and I realized that I’d only had 3 sips of half-caff coffee this morning and have been in withdrawal all day.  I’m taking it as a sign that I need to go off the junk (again) cold-turkey: there’s no time like the present, so we’ll see.  I know that no one comes to this site to read about my addiction issues, so here’re some pictures from the last couple of days:

He’s comin’ to get YOU!


Linus lives:




Visit with Gangee and Pop:










Diaper check:








Saturday Splurge

After seeing “Julie and Julia” we were inspired to begin cooking a meal together on as many Saturdays as possible with taste being the only deciding factor (Hello, Butter.  My how we’ve missed you!).  We decided to ease into things this Saturday since we had just arrived back in town so we made an Alfredo sauce with spaghetti, peas, and a chopped up rotisserie chicken.  It was delicious and I think we’re both looking forward to making it a regular occurrence.




1.  Liam pointed to his Superman onesie yesterday and said “Superman” without any prompting or reminders.  Matt couldn’t be any more proud.

2.  Liam got stung by a bee at the pool party this morning.  In the pool.  Underwater.  Seriously.

3.  All of a sudden Liam is speaking in sentences.  This morning he looked at us and said: “Bye, bye pool.  Go home.”  This afternoon it was “Da Da roof.  Up ladder, please…?”

4.  A few minutes ago I heard Matt let out an “Ahhh, Liam” from the hall bathroom (which is never a good sign).  Then I heard “Liam, George doesn’t like to swim” and went in to find a completely soaked Curious George.  Why do all the interesting tidbits in this house seem to involve the bathroom?

Poor George:


5.  Whenever Matt has golf on the TV and Liam hears the polite crowd claps he claps himself and says “Yay, Tiger!” emphatically, regardless of who is actually playing.

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