Tuesday, July 5, 2016

May July 4th be with you!

Hooray for Independence Day! Yesterday, we celebrated with good friends, sparkly sparklers, and way too much food! I think having enormous amounts of food on holidays must be an American tradition for just about every holiday. Or maybe it's just my family on every Sunday, er, holiday. 

I love having friends over on holidays because it gives me a chance to try out  new recipes. Cooking and baking are two things I really love doing but with working full-time, I usually only have time to experiment on weekends or holidays. So, yesterday, I made BBQ pulled chicken and pork sandwiches, Paula Deen's Southern Baked Beans, and the Smitten Kitchen's Pasta Salad with Roasted Tomatoes. Our friends brought over the most amazing corn on the cob (they have a secret ingredient they use to make it so tasty. Yes. An actual secret ingredient to making corn on the cob!), papaya, watermelon, hot dogs, Conecuh sausage (which our friends swear is the best sausage in the world and is only available at select markets across the US -  mostly in the South. I have to say, after my few dining experiences with this particular piece of meat, I am now a Conecuh fan) and a very festive, homemade ice cream cake. Everything turned out absolutely delicious. 

For the Smitten Kitchen's pasta salad, when slow roasting the tomatoes, my tomatoes went into the oven like this:

but then I lost track of time and scorched about a third of them. Instead of Gaeta olives, I used kalamata olives and they paired beautifully with the slow roasted tomatoes that I had left. For the cheese, I chose Queso Fresco just because I wanted to see how it would work with the salad. I knew feta cheese would have done wonderfully but so did the Queso Fresco. The salad had a very Mediterranean flavor to it which I really liked. My finished product, in my opinion, was just a little too heavy on the noodles but that was all my fault. Had I not scorched all of those tomatoes, I think I would have been hard pressed to find anything wrong with my dish. However, despite my mistakes, this is definitely a salad I would make again. 

Paula Deen's Baked Beans recipe, of course, turned out amazingly. We don't often cook many Paula Deen recipes anymore. Let's be honest. Mr. Rochester and are both in our mid-thirties now and we have to save the recipes cooked in bacon grease and/or a pound of butter for special occasions. Definitely not the perfect image of a healthy recipe but it sure was delicious. I doubled the recipe since her recipe only calls for a 16 ounce can of pork and beans and I was using a 28 ounce can. But even with doubling the recipe, there still wasn't much leftover afterwards. 

And that was our fourth! Usually, we sit on our back porch and the church behind our house puts on a great fireworks show but unfortunately for us, that was the first night in years they apparently decided not to do it. The kids still ran around with sparklers and we watched other parts of the sky light up with color. 

Just to leave you with one more bit of cuteness. Little Dorrit wore her first ponytail with a big bow to church on Sunday. She was so mad at me when I was putting it in her hair but, as soon she saw herself in the mirror, she was enamored with how she looked and just pranced around all day with that bow in her hair, never once trying to yank it out. It.was.adorable. Also, cheese sticks are a staple at our house these days. Little D. is still a very picky eater but one of the things she will eat, and asks for about 6 times a day, is a cheese stick. 
I posted this one on Instagram. She's talking on her phone (notice it's really a cheese stick). 

Notice, I didn't say anything about my two month hiatus away from the blog? I missed it! My computer was giving me issues and blogging on my phone or iPad just isn't the same. And, then I just got out of the habit, but I'm back again, and I'm actually thinking about migrating my site somewhere else. If I do though, I'll make sure to make it public knowledge so you know where I am. This little site has been my online home for so long but I'm considering shaking things up a bit. More to come on that (if I actually get motivated to do something about it). 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

House of Nerds

This week, Trotwood got his first pair of glasses! For the past few months, when we read stories together, Trotwood would hold the book just a few inches in front of his face to read. When I would ask him to hold the book in his lap, he said he couldn't see the words. Mr. Rochester and I both wear glasses so I knew it was only a matter of time before some sort of vision impairment manifested in Trotwood.

Somehow, when I switched jobs last year, I managed to overlook signing up for vision insurance. Oops. I didn't think we should wait to get Trotwood's eyes examined so I looked into going to Sam's Club optical. Eye exams and glasses were very reasonably priced there and Trotwood had a good experience overall.

Wednesday, Trotwood picked up his glasses after school and Thursday was the first day he wore them to school. He was so excited about the glasses because they have skulls on them and he thinks the skulls just make the glasses so cool. After school on Thursday, Trotwood came home and said a little girl in his class called him a "nerd" because he was wearing glasses. I told him all the great things about nerds and how being a nerd is actually a compliment. And, I also confessed to him that his dad and I are nerds and proud to be called nerds. So, the next time someone calls him a nerd, he just needs to say, "Thanks." He seemed really happy after our discussion and honestly, he wasn't too distraught to begin with.

On Thursday after school, I took Trotwood to the library for an after school workshop on science experiments and he loved it! He was especially fascinated by the Jacob's ladder electrical experiment and the electrical arc it created. Here he is doing nerdy science:

For the past few years, Trotwood has said that he's wanted to be a scientist when he grows up. I hope this dream of his continues to grow with him as he gets older and that he embraces any nerdiness that comes with it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Longer days of sunshine

The weather here has been gorgeous lately so Trotwood had the brilliant idea that we go to the park tonight after dinner. I love love love when the days get longer and the weather gets warmer.

We met up with Trotwood's best school friend at the park and everyone just enjoyed being outside. Little Dorrit kept climbing up the slide at the park the wrong way so she could slide back down. It was actually pretty impressive to watch her!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Just another appointment

Little Miss had a hematology appointment today and we had a great talk with her hematologist. Little Dorrit still hasn't reached the 20 pound weight mark so she can't get a port yet. It's been over a year now since she had her surgery to place her central line and central lines aren't supposed to last forever. We are hoping that she will be able to get a port before she has to have the central line replaced, but we would love to explore the possibility of not having a port or a line. Ooh, twist!

Back in early February, something really exciting happened. A woman in Canada who has a young daughter with homozygous protein c deficiency found me on Instagram because I used #proteincdeficiency. She then commented on my blog and we started emailing each other. I can't tell you how excited I was to find someone else to talk to about this! Her daughter uses the same medication as ours but it is administered differently. And they only give her the medication every other day instead of twice a day like we do. Most interestingly, her daughter has never had a central line. Our hematologist is getting in touch with their hematologist in Canada to learn more about all of this and whether a treatment like this would be possible for us in the U.S. It was just so neat to finally connect with someone else about Little Dorrit's condition because I felt like I'd already scoured the Internet looking for this. And through the magic of social media, someone found me!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter

Happy Easter, everyone!

Unfortunately, I failed to capture a family photo of all of us in all our spring attire at church today so these photos will have to do. Next year, I'll have to remember to plan ahead some so we actually capture pictures before church. Foolishly, I had the idea we would take some pictures after church but that turned out to be a lofty goal indeed since I somehow forgot that our 18 month old barely makes it through the three hours of church and always falls asleep in the car on the way home every Sunday. And the first thing the six year old does each Sunday afternoon is shed his church clothes in exchange for an adult sized T-shirt which he prefers to run around the house in. I'm sure if we told him it actually looked like he was wearing a T-shirt dress, he might actually put some pants on because only girls wear dresses. But, it's the sweet little things like that and the way he mispronounces "calculator" (klak-a-lator) that remind me that he is still just a little boy.

I know it's been a few months since I've written on our blog. Ha! And I think something I wanted to do this year was to blog more. But I think I just got carried away with life. I do enjoy writing and many things have happened in these past few months. I will try to catch you all up in my next few posts. For now, I will just close by saying we are all healthy and happy. And today, I am grateful #becausehelives.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


My sweet, thoughtful sister sent us these beautiful flowers in remembrance of our oldest daughter who would be eight years old today. We feel so loved.

We miss her and love her so much.

Saturday, January 9, 2016


Happy birthday to our dear Betsey Trotwood. We love and miss you so much. Thanks to your younger sister, we now have medical answers to why you left us so early. We think of you often and wish you could be with us.