Monday, January 31, 2005

I'm Baaaaaaaaaack....

Mommy let me do some typing today and here I am. I've got lots to say too, so sit still and listen or you'll miss something.

We left our home in Texas where it was warm and drove for like eight days awhile ago. We slept in a hotel and ate in the car a lot. I even had my diaper changed in the front seat of Mommy's new car a few times. It wasn't the best, but I was a good girl. Then we stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Duck for a long time too. That was great because there were always hands to hold me and again, lots of "No-no's" to play with. I liked to take Grandma's picture frames off the table to look at them and I loved her Prevention magazines...just the right size for my hands.

Now we live in a nice big house. Lucky is here too. There's lots of snow here, which we didn't have in Texas, but it's kind of a bummer because EVERY time we leave the house we have to put on shoes, hats, mittens, coats and bring a blanket. It's kind of a lot of work, but Mommy says we have to.

Also, there are a lot of "Woofs" (dogs) that live in our neighborhood. No horses or chickens though. Anyway, these dogs are not nearly as smart as Apollo. I know this because they never come up to our door the way Apollo used to. If only they'd make the effort I know Mommy would feed them like she did with Apollo. He used to get sausage, turkey and the occasional piece of steak (which we aren't supposed to tell Daddy about) when Mommy cleaned out the fridge. Oh well, their loss.

Other than that, Mommy's belly button looks funny now and I like to check it out daily. She keeps saying there's a baby in there, but it just looks like she swallowed a beach ball so I'm not sure how she thinks it's a baby. I'm a baby and I'm not round. Whatever, I think the cold has gotten to her brain.

My last bit of news is that Mommy took all of my bottles away from me and now I only use Big Girl Sippy Cups. I was really pissed, I mean mad about that for a few nights. I screamed and cried but it didn't make the bottles come back so I gave up.

OK, that's it for today. I'm going to get Mommy to post some pictures soon so come back and see me. Oh, and my friend Sophie, back in Texas, has her own here and you can see her too. I miss her and Apollo and Ghost and Joe and the chickens a lot but maybe they'll come to visit someday. They can all stay in my room just like the gecko used to.

Miss Grace

Saturday, January 29, 2005

We're Big Time Now Baby!!!!

Woooooohooooo! We hit the 1,000 visitors mark today!!!!!!

Strap on the party hats, tap the keg, make a big cake, suck the helium out of the balloons, etc., etc.!!!!!

Thanks to all my visitors, I love your comments!

Cheers and huzzah!
Mama Duck

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

A Tale of Two Cities

So I guess it's official that I am a die-hard Health Nut. Yes, me. It was a shock to me as well, but all things considered, I see no other way around it. It's a label I am willing to accept. I have been on two walks in the last two days. This seems like no small feat but when you consider what this entails, I'm sure you'll agree with me. For your reference I have put together a small comparison list for you to peruse. With the elements I'm VOLUNTARILY facing, I must be a Health Nut.
AUSTIN: 3 minutes of preparation time (gather carrots for horses, corn for chickens) and 30 minutes of walking time

MADISON: 15 minutes and 20 lbs. of winter weather gear between Miss Grace and me (mittens, gloves, hats, scarf, boots, coats, blanket, space heater with extension cord...), 20 minutes of walking time before my legs freeze and I need to be oiled like the Tin Man

AUSTIN: rip off layers of clothes as the heat becomes unbearable

MADISON: rip the weatherman a new one for not mentioning just how cold 24 degrees actually is...a little warning would be nice

AUSTIN: battle with Grace to keep her sunhat and sunglasses on for protection

MADISON: (this is actually a pro, I suppose) Grace allows her hat to completely fall over her eyes and does not even make an attempt to move it...also leaves on ridiculously large mittens despite intense desire to tear them off

AUSTIN: enjoy popsicles after the long walk

MADISON: deal with snotsicles that have formed and are dangerously near to dripping on my nice new down jacket

AUSTIN: warding off vagrant, snarling dogs with buck knife

MADISON: (again I think this is a pro, but just for your reference) on the lookout for well-behaved city dogs to make "woof-woof" sounds at (for Grace's sake, really...)

AUSTIN: avoid horse paddies, and random frog and chicken carcasses in the road

MADISON: turn on the stroller's 4WD to maneuver through snow, ice, and water puddles on the sidewalk
As you'll see below, Grace enjoys our trips too. So much so that she doesn't even THINK about ripping that damn hat off her head no matter how much she hates it!

Cheers and love!

After our walks Miss Grace looks forward to removing her winter weather apparel and being able to put her arms down again. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Lucky you...I had a banner week at Target, so you get to see all of my wonderful finds! First off is Grace's new reading beanbag...a ladybug beanbag for my little Ladybug! Couldn't resist it!!!Posted by Hello

I've a bit of time on my hands today, so here are some recent pics. First and foremost I found this sight to be fascinating. This is Brandon participating in the snow removal ritual in our driveway. Hmmmmm, we didn't do this in Texas!!! Posted by Hello

Ummmm, I don't think these fit, Mommy.... Posted by Hello

One of Grace's favorite pasttimes is feeding Daddy at the dinner table! Here they are enjoying beef stew. Posted by Hello

We now have two of these down throws by Woolrich. They are faux suede on one side and uber warm and comfy to snuggle with. Posted by Hello

Spaghetti...yummmm! The slightly concerned look is because the rooter guys were in the basement. It only took a bit of time before she was totally flirting with one of them though! Posted by Hello

Monday, January 24, 2005

New Commenting System

Hello all!

Just a quick note...I added a new method of commenting that makes it even easier...sadly I see it's wiped away the old comments that I did have. Such is life...

Anyway, now just click on Comment and type 'til your little heart's content. You can fill in your name and additional information or use an "incognito" name if you'd like!

Cheers! :)

Equally Guilty!

Last August, long before I knew I'd be ripped from my happy little home, I sat sewing in the kitchen in Austin. Suddenly it occurred to me that I couldn't remember when our anniversary was. So, I called out to DH in the living room, "Honey, I know if you asked this there would be all kinds of hell to pay, but is our anniversary January 27th?" Snickers and an air of smugness began to emerge. "Really, I don't remember," I pleaded.

"This is totally a Get Out of Jail Free Card for me in the future," replied loving husband certain that he knew the answer. "Our anniversary is January 23rd."

"Are you sure?" I volleyed back, not convinced that was the date either. "Maybe we'd better look it up."

We pulled out our scrapbook, which has collected dust since Grace was born, and found our marriage certificate from the Travis County Clerk...sure enough...our anniversary is January 24.

No Get Out of Jail Free Card for DH. And he's still kind of in trouble for last year's anniversary when he said so sincerely, "Gosh, I can't believe it's already been two years."

Well honey, that's because it was only one year, but I'm glad that I enrich your life so much that you feel as if you've had two wonderful years with me! Now it's official's two years today!

Love to all and thank you all for your kind thoughts and wishes!

Sunday, January 23, 2005 update

NOTE: Ummmm, I notice a lot of you lurking around and not commenting on anything. Just because you don't post anything doesn't mean you weren't here. The first step to overcoming an addiction (checking out the site) is admitting it and the second step is posting a comment!!!! All you have to do is click on Comments and then once that window comes up click on Post a Comment. You can post annonymously without creating an account, just sign your name to your comment. Really, it need not be anything intelligent or deep. It will make me feel more loved and special. Perhaps I can stop my therapy then. Thank read on for the exciting adventures of Mama Duck's Kitchen Follies!!!

Well, it’s been almost a week since my pathetic cry for recipes and I thought you all deserved to hear about my endeavors. I’ve learned quickly that the best time to cook is the time when Grace is conveniently MIA. She has an extreme interest in anything going on in the kitchen as both of her grandmothers can testify to after our stay in Batavia. It is not enough to simply observe from the safety of her highchair, she must be held and overseeing everything that happens on the stove and in the oven (last night she and Daddy sat on the floor watching the cheese on the frozen pizza bake…not much of a plot, but hey, it kept her happy).

This weekend I worked on two recipes that I received. Saturday morning was Cousin Brittany’s what I’ll call “Diner Eggs and Potatoes.” The ingredients and directions were simple to follow and the outcome was delicious and nutritious. Basically the meal consisted of diced potatoes, eggs, some ham, onion and melted cheese. Brandon and Grace were both impressed (although I think that Brandon would have been more so had I not roused him from his slumber to assist in the final stages as I had a bit of a casualty with the slicer/shredder disk for the food processor in post production…glad to say my finger is still intact) and we will definitely make this one again!

Tonight we tried Kerry and Parker’s Beef Stew. A bit more prep work this time which included me learning that you can actually buy stew beef that is not pre-cut for a much more reasonable price that the pre-cut stuff, purchasing of oregano and basil (still need to buy a spice rack!!!!) and a lot of cutting of veggies (none of which included any digits being carved!). Once the meat was browned and all of the ingredients were added to the pot it was a simple 1.5 hours of simmering. Another hit! Grace loved it and was a complete red mess by the time she was done eating and Brandon even wiped his bowl clean with the bread we had!

This week’s attempts will include Dan and Jenny’s Chicken and a Spinach Lasagna recipe I received for my wedding shower from my first marriage…no, I haven’t even TRIED it and it’s been in my recipe box since 1998. I told you…I’m now making an honest effort to get this cooking thing going!

Please feel free to continue to mail ( or post recipes in the Comment section…I love them! I promise this whole blog won’t be dedicated to cooking, but I thought I’d give you my progress report for the first week.

Cheers and love-

Friday, January 21, 2005

Grace has been all kinds of helpful lately! Here she is "organizing" the canned goods in the pantry! Posted by Hello

Here she is lending a hand with the recycling, which is very important for the environment you know... Posted by Hello

Daddy and Grace at her Christening  Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Someone's in the kitchen with Mommy...

So I've been good about cooking this week. Nothing extravagant, one night it was ham (I bought some ham...first time ever...a bit confused in the grocery about it, but it came out OK other than B flipping out when he saw the pricetag on it!!!) with mashed potatoes, and applesauce, another night we had sausage, mac and cheese (a Grace approved favorite!) and peas and carrots and tonight was my mom's Chicken Marinara with spaghetti.

As I was cutting the fat off the chicken breasts, freezing my little hands in the water, there was a screeching one year-old in the kitchen with me. It began to become a bit apparent to me as to why I haven't made more progress in the kitchen in the last year. First of all, she wanted to see what I was doing. So, I put her in her highchair with some Kix and Velcroed wooden fruit to "cut" up. That was only fun for about 7 minutes. Suddenly Kix were being launched onto the tile floor at a maddening pace and then...she then began to scream like a Teradactyl. Out of the highchair she went. The second her tooties hit the floor she was raising her hands to be picked up to see what was going on the stove. Lift the chicken lid...oh, yes, cooking chicken. Lift the pasta lid...water coming to a boil. This went on and on and on while I cooked the chicken, added the sauce, cooked the spaghetti noodles, etc., etc. I'm quite sure Emeril doesn't have this kind of challenge when he's cooking. Neither does Wolfgang Puck.

I've gotten some great recipes so far (am VERY excited about trying beef stew with the Winter Weather Advisory we have coming up for the weekend!) and will keep you update...please send along anymore that you might come across!

Cheers and love-
Mama Duck

Monday, January 17, 2005

Recipe Call Out

Alright, I've been staying home now for nearly a year. In that time I've learned that I'm not much of a housekeeper and I can't cook. I can however make one mean pillow slipcover if need be. This, however does not feed my growing and increasingly hungry family. Also, I now have a nice, big gourmet kitchen begging to have something other than Macaroni and Cheese cooked in it.

For those of you who know me personally, you know if it doesn't come out of a box, bag or can, it doesn't get made. The other night I thawed out ground turkey for Hamburger Helper (yuck, I know, but at least it's a meal that's not McD's...) and decided that was NOT what I wanted. After living with my MIL for three weeks, I figured I'd better get on the ball. She's like the MacGyver of the kitchen. Give her a bag of pinto beans, a turkey breast and a few apples and she's got a seven course, healthy and delicious meal. Anyway, back to the ground turkey. It's cold here (as I've mentioned a few times) and meatloaf sounded warm and nutritious. So I pulled out my three cookbooks to find a recipe. Turns out, after consulting about five recipes contained in these books that I had the meat, bread crumbs and eggs needed, but lacked onions, random spices (which I contribute to my lack of spice rack...LNT trip needed, I think!) and a variety of other things.

My humble request, is that if you have a fabulous meal that you make and your family loves, please either post the recipe here as a comment or e-mail me at My family's welfare may just depend on it! Thanks in advance and I'll post about my cooking attempts to keep you updated!

Lots of love-
Mama Duck

Friday, January 14, 2005

Greetings from the North!!! Here were are all bundled up and ready to face the cold! Enjoy the following pictures of Grace, the house and my belly! :) Posted by Hello

Here was Grace's first encounter with the snow and cold. The sledding experience lasted all of about 35 seconds! Posted by Hello

Chasing Lucky in the playroom! I think Grace might be trying to share her beads for Mardi Gras! Posted by Hello

My personal favorite...the kitchen! Posted by Hello

Grace's toy haven, otherwise known as the formal dining room. The brightly colored curtain leads to a large room of four sliding glass doors...great for summer entertaining, not so good for these cold, cold days! Posted by Hello

Here's Peanut at 28 weeks in our new house. We're still not in maternity, but I'm sure it won't be long now! Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Mad City

Hello from Mad City (as Madison is referred to...)-

We're all settled into the house and enjoying it quite a bit! Most of the boxes have been unpacked and it almost looks like a home. Grace and I took a walk around the block today and it lasted 10 minutes. It was about all the two of us could handle, but I guess it's good that we got out today because I see that the
weather is about to take a dive. According to the temperature gauge on the stroller it was a balmy 35 degrees compared to the single digits it's about to swoop down to. We'll see what I'm really made of when that time comes.

As for Grace, she's loving the new house. The formal dining room is her toy haven and her bedroom is about twice the size of the once she had back in Texas. Disproving, I guess, the theory that "Everything is bigger in Texas."

I'm hoping that soon I'll get some new pictures up. The house, a belly shot (I've "popped" in the last two weeks!!!), and of course, some cute ones of Miss Grace.

Cheers and love-
The TX (n/k/a WI) Ducks

Thursday, January 06, 2005

No Pictures for Awhile Longer

Hi all!

We had a short but nice time out in the snow yesterday. Grace took a ride on her new sled with Grandpa Duck. It lasted all of about 35 seconds before she started yelling and crying about the cold and snow. Hmmmm, wonder where she gets that from? Anyway, I'll post some pictures of it when we arrive in Madison as I don't have the application to post it from

A fabulous new game has emerged whilst staying at the Maison De Duck...I pull Lucky out of her cage leaving the door closed and release Hurricane Grace and Lucky into the basement. Grace LOVES chasing Lucky in an attempt to pet her and Lucky sometimes even gives in. Mostly though it's great exercise for the both of them as Lucky can't just retreat to her cage for an escape.

For those of you new to the blog...Lucky is my geriatric and crotchety Albino New Zealand rabbit. She weighs in at about 10+ pounds and has survived three cross-country moves. Although she is the senior of my two "girls" she has a bad temperament and is frequently confined to her cage for molesting the carpeting and various wooden furniture pieces. According to my DH she is also always "skating on thin ice" and has been threatened with the following on many occasions: being turned into a pair of fur-lined gloves, release back into the wild, or being cooked for dinner.

That's it for now, Hurricane Grace is running out of things to check out down here, time to head back up to Toyland on the main floor.
Love and cheers to all!

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Hello Again!

Hi from the road!

We're in Batavia for another week on our long and seemingly never-ending trip to our new home in Madison. We did go up for a visit the other day. The house that Brandon has chosen is lovely and I think we will feel at home there. I won't go into details about the breakdown I had while we were driving around, but over time I'm sure I'll see how everyone else thinks Madison is "just like Austin." For now though I'm having a hard time seeing the forest through the to speak.

I'm adjusting to the cold and even bought a winter coat the other day. It's warm and stylish, which were both important criteria in choosing new outerwear. I'm still working on the shoe situation though. Grace on the other hand doesn't seem to even really notice that we've left our warmer home, or she doesn't understand the permanence of the situation. She enjoyed running around the new house and checking out all the nooks and crannies.

Lucky is still plugging along. She's a bit disgruntled about having to live in the basement, but again, doesn't understand that the other option (according to Brandon) was being set free in our backyard in Austin.

Alright, that's the news for now. Hope everyone's holidays were smashing and that you've all survived!
Cheers and love-