Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I know it has been a VERY long time since we posted but just a quick happy holidays post...I swear I am getting my Christmas cards out...they just might be New Years cards the way I am moving!

So here is just a sample to tide you over!

Happy Holidays to all!!!
The Barrys

Madelyn - Christmas 2008

Madelyn - Christmas 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Holidays Year Round

It has been quite warm here recently...I define quite warm as upper 90's to low 100's warm. It has been so hot and we have become so acclimated to the heat that on July 4th, when the nighttime air was a cool 75, Maddy and I wore jeans and fleeces!

You would think this kind of summer oppression would dissuade a 2 year old from having haunted fantasies and dreaming of white Christmases...nope! Madelyn spends a good part of each day dedicating her play to one of these holidays. We watch Christmas movies, we wear our Halloween costume, we play "dark and spooky forest" (her imaginary game involving haunted places, ghosts and witches), we watch "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" and we sing Christmas carols.

Her new favorite possessions are a pumpkin from Michaels (yes, Halloween is out at Michaels), a box from Hallmark that screams and plays haunted house noises when you open it (she stores her beloved piggy in this joyful box) and what we affectionately call "Spooky Snoopy". Spooky Snoopy is a stuffed Snoopy from Hallmark that is dressed as a mummy and mummy walks across the floor to "In the Hall of the Mountain King". Madelyn not only tells us that the song is by "Edvard Grieg" but she feels it is her duty to conduct Snoopy as walks across the floor as if she was standing in front of the Cleveland Orchestra. Here is a picture of Madelyn and her favorite Halloween things:

Here is a video clip of Conductor Madelyn and the Spooky Snoopy Orchestra:

Madelyn and Spooky Snoopy.

Besides Halloween, Madelyn also has an unseasonal obsession with Christmas. Her current interests are in a Christmas card from last year that plays "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and last year's Disney Christmas Special "Prep and Landing". We play with the card all day and watch Prep and Landing as our cool down routine before bath and bed. It's very festive around here.

Here is Madelyn and her Christmas "story", as she calls it:

Christmas in July.

I suppose we also have been doing some actual summer activities around here. We go to the pool all the time (Madelyn is sporting a better tan than me!), we try to play at the playground when the slides are not as hot as the surface of the sun, we saw fireworks on the 4th of July, we went to the beach and we have gone to Carowinds (our local amusement park) to practice riding rides for Disney.

Here is Madelyn's first fireworks...after the initial shock (and shut eyes), she really enjoyed them! She looked so festive in her Firework Finery!

Here is Madelyn's first ride on the cars, her first spinny ride (not her favorite as you can see) and Maddy meeting her idols, Snoopy and Woodstock (whom she tried to pry off the bench), at Carowinds:

We have also been doing a lot of playing with Grammy since Daddy has been out of town (I apparently get very boring). They like to get all dressed up and then watch movies and eat popcorn - it ranks pretty high on the Madelyn fun meter!

It has been an eventful summer so far and hopefully all of this holiday preparation will come in handy when the actual holidays roll around.

So for now Happy Halloween and Merry Christmas from the Barry's!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Some Good Old Fashioned Summer Time Fun!

Even though it is not quite summer yet, here in the south we have been feeling "summeresque" temperatures for quite some time. Recently, however, Madelyn has taken up some quintessentially summer activities for the first time and we thought we would share.

Here is Maddy at her second swimming lesson...she loves them! Our neighborhood pool opens this weekend so I am sure we will have more to post then!

Here is Maddy swimming in Grammy's hot tub...she loves her "swimmies" and her froggy inter tube!

Slip and Slide:
Our wonderful neighbors, Daniel and Monique, are just big such they own a slip and they have no children...yes I did say slip and slide. On Mothers Day it was so blazing hot that we thought it was only appropriate to christen it. Madelyn understood the concept straight away and dove right in...literally and figuratively. For the sake of everyone involved I will only be showing Madelyn slipping and sliding!

Blowing Bubbles:
One of our favorite hot day past times is blowing bubbles. Mainly because Mommy can stand in the shade and blow bubbles and Maddy can run like crazy to catch them...and then take a really good nap!

Strawberry Picking:
Yesterday Madelyn, Mommy, Daddy and Grammy went to Springs Farms to pick strawberries. It must be in Maddy's blood because Aunt Amanda and I went strawberry picking in the same place when I was about 36 weeks pregnant...Madelyn has loved it since she was in utero and yesterday was no different!
Hunt for berries...

Selecting the perfect berry...

Giving it a little try...

Maybe one more, got to make sure they are good... have to try these...

Look at all the "Barry's" in that car! Ok...I couldn't resist...I tried...

To close, here is Madelyn, Brutus (her Ohio State yard gnome) and Grammy surveying the back yard for the next fun thing to do.

Have a great week...we will be here just having fun!
Kristin and Madelyn

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Garden Therapy

In recent years (and especially after I have stayed home with Madelyn), I have taken to gardening as a way to release stress and focus my once overworked brain into something productive and useful (Facebook is not usually considered useful!) I have not taken any pictures of the gardens in previous years because they were starter gardens and not very photogenic. This year, though, I think I have mastered the basics enough to share a few pictures!

Here is an early shot of the garden (taken 4/21/10). The first two triangular trellises house snow peas and sugar snap peas. These will be the first producers of the garden and will be the first to fade with summer's heat so these were planted at the very beginning of April.

Here are the peas today, quite a bit bigger and flowers which tell me delicious peas are coming soon!

The next section in this raised bed is the cucumbers. We have 6 cucumbers: 4 slicing (like English cucumbers- Burpless Hybrids to be exact) and 2 pickling. The supports are tomato cages turned upside down with a bamboo stake in the center for extra climbing support.

The next section houses our lettuce collection...OK, it is not really a collection, it is all Butter (or Boston Bibb) lettuce. These are really expensive at the store so they are much cheaper to grow at home...almost picking time for a few of these. When the lettuce comes out in a week or so the green beans will get planted here.

The last section of this raised bed is herbs and peppers.

Starting on the far left and back of the bed and moving forward, there is Thyme (which I use all the pun intended...not really at least), Chives, Texas Tarragon (Mexican Mint Marigold) which is a great substitute for French Tarragon, and the little one at the front is French Tarragon (it is finicky in my garden so the Texas Tarragon does much better for my purposes).

The next row to the right (with bamboo stakes) is peppers. At the back is hot banana, middle is jalapeno, the front is sweet banana.

The next row to the right is herbs again. The back is basil and the front (bush-like herb) is flat-leaf parsley.

Along the back of the bed, against the wall, are leeks. These are a new one for me so we will see how this goes!

In this picture you can see the bed I just described along with the second bed (way at the back of the picture near the deck):

The second raised bed in my little garden plot houses all of the tomatoes (except one renegade tomato but I will get to that later). Here they are today. Some have fruit already, all have flowers and they are growing fast like the delicious weeds that they are!

From left to right there are:
Early Girl (normal red globe tomatoes)
Sweet 100 (red cherry tomatoes)
Yellow Pear (small yellow pear-shaped fruit)
German Johnson (large dark crimson tomatoes)
Juliet Roma (red grape tomatoes)
Purple Cherokee (dark purple/black globes)
Mexican Midget(orange cherry tomatoes)
Pineapple Hawaiian (yellow globes with red striped skin and cool!)
and two Amish Paste (roma tomatoes that produce fruit all season instead of the usual romas that produce all of their fruit at once).

Here is the renegade tomato I mentioned had to be planted in bed #1 by the peas because I saw it and wanted it and had no room in the tomato bed for it (I swore I would only buy 10 tomatoes this we have 11)! This is a Green Zebra- it is way cool. He has green globe fruit with dark green stripes on him...totally cool, right?

So I figure my salsa and tomato salads will have red, yellow, orange, purple, crimson, yellow/red striped and green in them...a fiesta for the eyes I tell you! Maybe this will entice Madelyn to eat them all!

I also have a raspberry bed but they are not very showy right now as they are just getting their flowers and little fruits that you can't really see- these are new this year too and I am very excited about eating fresh picked berries- if the deer and birds and wild turkeys don't get them first!

Thanks for letting me ramble on about my current obsession. Madelyn and I love to check on everything every morning- she knows what each plant will make, she waters things to the point of drowning, she picks off caterpillars and puts them back in the "jungle" and she lovingly scoops dirt onto's a start right? Maybe she will have more talent out of the gates than I, at least I can hope. The only trouble I see with my plan to garden rather than drink to relieve stress and frustration is it keeps making me want to eat food that pairs so nicely with wine and margaritas...drat!

To close here are the beautiful azaleas in bloom...not so much a kitchen garden but it is food for my eyes and soul!


Saturday, April 24, 2010

A New Favorite Past Time

Here is Madelyn and her new favorite past time. She loves to go to the putting green at Patrick's office to "do golfing" as she likes to say (like her plaid golfing shorts?). Madelyn spends her weekdays practicing her new skills with a golf club set that Grandma bought her- it has 3 clubs, and 3 balls and two holes to putt into. She uses these honed skills to beat Daddy at the office putting green on the weekends. That is where Daddy and Madelyn are this morning...golfing...and giving me a morning off...I like this new past time.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Weekend of Easter Festivities

Madelyn had a very busy holiday weekend...we are still recovering from the excitement!

First, we went to Aunt Andrea's to make Easter cookies with Aunt Andrea, Aunt Courtney, "Cole Bear" (as Madelyn has taken to calling him...just like Aunt Andrea) and Raegan. Andrea decided that we need more Easter traditions so we made cookies, lots of cookies. Cole Bear was not thrilled with Madelyn's presence since she is quite loud and he is loud-noise averse right now (vacuums, mixers, packing tape...Madelyn) but Madelyn and Raegan had a great time running around while the mommies decorated the much for an Easter tradition for the children...maybe next year! Here are some of the fruits of our labor...I don't think we are starting a cookie business anytime soon but they sure tasted good!

Here is Maddy in Aunt Courtney's shoes watching Little Einsteins...still not decorating cookies...

Then, Madelyn the baker moved on to baking cakes with Grandma. Grandma was trying out a new cake recipe...Pink Lemonade Cake with Lemonade Buttercream. We give the buttercream an A+++++ but we liked Grandma's old lemon cake recipe better. Here is Madelyn sampling some...err a lot...of the icing, I guess she agrees that it is really good too!

Madelyn, being the Easter artist that she has been this week, then moved on to egg decorating. Mommy and Grandma would dip the eggs in the color/water/vinegar mixture and then Maddy would help paint on the glue and glitter. I think she liked the paintbrush more than the painting...

Here are our finished glittered eggs in their basket:

On Easter Sunday, Madelyn got all prettified in her Easter dress and we went out hunting eggs. Now if you remember from our last post, Maddy was not a fan of egg hunting. Apparently that only applies to when other kids are vying for her eggs because she seemed to really enjoy collecting the eggs in the backyard. Before the egg hunt, she stopped for a photo or two for Daddy:

Then she took the high ground on her slide to assess her strategy for egg collection:

Then she began collecting:

With a stop to define all of these eggs as Maddy's eggs:

All the egg hunting really tired her the Piggy pillow?

Then, our Easter Diva stopped to take a quick photo or two with Mom and Dad:

Easter Dinner (after waking up Uncle Jeffrey...he had been on a lot of fire calls the night before so he was really tired...but nobody sleeps when Maddy is around) was ham, baked beans, cauliflower gratin, marinated asparagus salad, jello mold (a Rasmussen/Barry family holiday staple), rolls and pineapple-coconut cream pie. Madelyn had a full plate of all of the goodies and she ate....rolls...I just gave up...rolls it was...Happy Easter to Maddy!

And finally some Easter basket treasure hunting before bed:

Wow- that really was a wonderful, busy weekend! Maybe this weekend will not be so eventful!

Have a great week!
Kristin and Madelyn