Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Shaking the Rattle

Here is a video of Connor learning to play with his rainbow rattle:

video

Shaking the Rattle

Connor is figuring out how some of his toys work:
 

The tough part is when you accidentally bang yourself in the head with your toy!
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Saturday, April 4, 2009

More Connor Pictures

Dana has been uploading some of pics of Connor to Picasa. The albums should be public so you can see them here:

http://picasaweb.google.com/danacvaughn/ConnorGrahamVaughnFirst10Days

and

http://picasaweb.google.com/danacvaughn/Connor4409

This is my favorite picture - definitely frame-worthy in my opinion:


I wish there was an easy way to include other Picasa pictures on this blog - I thought it would be all integrated since Blogger and Picasa are both operated by Google...but no - bad experience.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

OMG so cute

First Bath

This morning we gave Connor his first real tub bath. His umbilical cord fell off last night, so up until then, we had just been sponging him off. We were a little nervous, as we had heard mixed reviews of how babies feel about the first real bath. I would say it was a success! This time around it definitely took two of us to hold him up and get him clean. He seemed to really relax in the water, then was mad for a quick minute when he got out, and happy again as he was bundled into a cozy hooded towel. Some pics:



Connor Graham Vaughn!

We had our kid!


We haven't really talked too much about Dana's pregnancy on this blog, but it came to an end last Friday, March 20th at 3:37 am, after a 26-hour labor - Dana is a rock star! Here is a pic of early labor when we were still at home. Our doula took some pictures of the labor at the hospital but we haven't gotten those from her yet. When we do I really doubt they will end up on this blog!


Connor came out weighing 8 lbs 4 ozs and 20 inches long.

We've been home with him since Monday, and are finally starting to feel like we've adjusted to the new routines that come with a first child.


Expect to see a lot more of him here!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Zoo

We spent yesterday afternoon at the zoo with Tom and his parents. Dylan caught some great video of a rolling baby orangutan and some wrestling baby gorillas:

video


video

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pizza Perfected

I think we have finally come close to perfecting the art of pizza-making. We've been practicing for a few months, trying out different techniques, and finally last night the pizza was perfect. The things that I think made the difference for us:

1. A good pizza stone - it gets really hot in the oven and helps the pizza to form a crispy crust.

2. Very high oven temp - we can only go to 550 on ours, but it does a pretty good job. Our book recommends going up to 800 if you can.

3. Dylan's delicious homemade pizza dough.

4. We have an unusual technique for getting the pizza from the counter to the pizza stone. After a bunch of trial and error, we've found that it works best to form the pizza dough into a circle, flour all sides of it, then fold the circle into quarters. This is all while preheating the pizza stone in the oven. Then we pull the stone out of the oven, transfer the folded pizza dough to the corner of the stone, and carefully unfold it. We actually assemble the pizza right then and there, very quickly, while the dough is sitting on the sizzling hot stone. I think that because the stone is so hot, while we are assembling the pizza, the dough is getting cooked and crisped on the bottom. Then we throw the pizza in the oven for about 6 minutes. The technique helps us to avoid the messy business of transferring an assembled pizza from the counter to the stone. It works really well!

5. Extended cooking time - we have found that there is a point at which you may think the pizza is done, but if you wait another 30 seconds, something magical happens. The trick is pulling it out just before it starts to burn. There is a definite sweet spot when the pizza is just right, and usually it's later than we think.

Behold our beautiful pizza:


I was telling Dylan, it looked way more delectable in person. If I had a talent for photography, I may have been able to capture it. But there is no way that I could have captured the heavenly smell in the kitchen at the moment that the pizza came out of the oven!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dinner: Eggs, Spinach and Toast

Today we decided to make an easy dinner.  I baked bread today, a large ciabatta loaf using my Bread Maker's Apprentice recipe, but baking it in the dutch oven as I have tried once before with the 'No Knead Bread' - this loaf came out nicely...there weren't the large airholes that the last loaf had, but the taste was better:


We also had some eggs from last week left over and some new jam that we had bought, so this simple meal was created:

Garden: Goodbye Wong Bok!

Recently the wong bok in our square foot garden has gone a little wild.  After that impressive flowering display, a somewhat large storm rolled through San Diego and pretty much uprooted the plant.  I decided to rip it out:

Please excuse my outfit - I had just gotten back from spin class and Dana thought this was worthy of a picture.  

I am planning on transplanting some of the brussel sprout seedlings from the front yard to the new open spot.  The wong bok ended up in the compost pile.

Dinner: Steak, Potatoes, and Brussel Sprouts

Just loaded some pictures off of the camera, so get ready for some quick short posts :).  Below is a dinner from about a week ago.  Dana got some nice looking steaks at Trader Joe's and I grilled them up.  Dana also made her excellent twice-baked potatoes and we roasted some brussel sprouts.  Lately we've been roasting our sprouts, either halved or whole, with some olive oil and salt and pepper.  They are excellent that way and very easy.  Also, the outer leaves of the sprouts tend to fall off and get very crispy and are a great little pre-dinner snack for as soon as you take the sprouts out of the oven.  These 'brussel sprout chips' are so good that I am planning on experimenting with making just the chips....stay tuned for that.

The dinner:


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Garden: Flowering Wong Bok

We recently pulled up some of our first generation of plants from our SFG and planted some more leafy veggies.  We left the Wong Bok, Chard, and Basil.  The Wong Bok has been going through a pretty interesting transition the last week or so.  It has grown about three feet straight up in that time and is flowering - pretty cool!



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dinner: Steaks, Sweet Potato Fries, Collard Greens

So we read in one of our pregnancy books that in the last few months it is good to get some cholesterol in your diet - I don't remember why exactly but I didn't press it. Trying to meet that goal we decided to have some steaks. This was also to be our return to grilling outside since our propane had been out for a few months and we actually motivated to get it filled - more on that to come however...

I made some sweet potato fries - we've been having this quite a bit recently. This time I think I made too many and they didn't get as crispy as normal :(.

We also had some collard greens from the farmers market:

The steaks had been marinating in olive oil and seasonings overnight:

The plan was to throw them on the grill outside. HOWEVER, after I started the grill I discovered that even tho the propane tank was now full, the flame was very weak and tiny. I think something is screwed up with our grill, probably due to the fact that I never cover it after using it and it had been exposed to the elements for a few years now. Anyways, we had to abort on the outside grill and come up with a new plan. I decided to try to sear them a little on the stove-top in butter and then bake them in the oven to finish them off:

It worked out pretty well - the steak was tender and well-cooked.

Baking: Layered Lemon Cake

So recently Dana and I went to dinner at a friend's house. We were charged with providing dessert. We had been looking for an excuse to make this great layered lemon cake that we had made last year for a birthday, so jumped at the chance. We started with making the frosting and the lemon curd:

We then baked a couple of pretty standard yellow cakes and cut them in half horizontally - layering them on top of each other alternating curd and frosting:


After assembly, cover the cake with frosting...:


And then decorate!:

The end result? Very tasty. We had half the cake at dinner and were able to convince the guests to all take a little home. We love baking but aren't that into the leftovers - do you want to be our friends? ;)

Knitting: Cabled Baby Hat

So I think I mentioned a while ago that I have taking up knitting in hopes of curing my Rubik's Cube addition. With mixed emotions I have to report that I am still working on the cube. However, I have also been knitting. I made a scarf for a Christmas gift and I have made a few simple baby hats. Here is my latest attempt - my first time doing cabling!

It is currently being worn by a grapefruit.

This was practice, but I did go to the yarn store last weekend to get some 'real' yarn which is more boy colored (Merino wool - very soft). Does anyone want this hat? It's newborn size...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mustard Mahi Mahi and Spicy Peanut Tofu

Dylan has been the master chef of a few yummy dinners recently. I had a bad cold last week, so was not very much help in the kitchen. It was kind of fun to not be a part of the prep, but to get to enjoy the meal - I think I got spoiled. First was Mustard Mahi Mahi, a delicious broiled mahi topped with a mustardy cream sauce that I think contained Dijon mustard and creme fraiche, maybe some lemon. It was really excellent, and only took a few minutes to prep:


A few nights later was pan-fried tofu with spicy peanut chili sauce. The tofu was nice and crisp on the outside, soft on the inside and the sauce was very spicy. Knocked that cold right out of me, I think! The sweet potato fries were fun as a side dish, based a great recipe we found on the web.


It looks like the only veggie we eat is broccoli! That's not true - we have some killer bok choy in the crisper drawer of our fridge, ready to be devoured tomorrow night.

Streak at Work

Streak has been helping Dylan with a very important work project on his laptop...

Really, I think it was the warmest place in the house on a recent cold morning. She almost IM'd me with her chin!

Update: Dylan has just found a bunch of junk files on his desktop, created by Streak.