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Who Burned The Muffins?
File under: Our House
Well apparently, all along it's been the oven's fault. We noticed that our oven seems to cook things faster than the directions usually call for, and sometimes we compensate for that with a shorter cooking time or a lower temperature. But today I bought us an oven thermometer, one that sits in your oven and reads the actual temperature inside. I had the oven set to 400? to cook our chicken nuggets. I peeked inside near the end of the cooking time, and expected that the thermometer might read as much as 425?, but no. It was 500?! WHAT!

So I thought okay, that's ridiculous, but maybe it's off by more when the oven is so hot. Let's turn it down to 200? and see what happens. That experiment turned out better, if you call being 50? off better. Before we did the experiment, Andy said that if it was more than 25-50? off we would get a new oven.

Anyone want to buy us an oven? TLC, the DIY Network, Food TV, do you hear us? We need a kitchen makeover! A girl has got to be able to bake herself some brownies!

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Little Swimmers
File under: Noelle Jordan
Click to see a larger photo Tonight we went to a pool party with our community group from church, and Noelle went swimming for the first time. I was really excited to see how she reacted to being in a pool. Plus, I've been wanting to go swimming since I was pregnant!

She started out a little apprehensive, as the water was cooler than the baths she is used to, but before long she was smiling and splashing around like a pro. She was splashing water all over her face and mine and got a total kick of out it. We put her in a pool float as well, and she immediately started kicking her legs and moving around the pool. She and I had a great time.

Daddy stayed out of the pool and took pictures. I hope to take Noelle swimming a lot more in the future! I think she really enjoyed it, and it seemed to tire her out as well. That is always a good thing!

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Escape Artist
File under: Noelle Jordan
Click to see a larger photo I left her on our bed just 10 minutes ago to take a nap. She was half asleep when I left her, but then she started screeching (her new language) so I went to check on her and this is what I found. When I left her, she was swaddled with both arms wrapped in the blanket, with her head up on the burp cloth. She's starting to move!

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Okay, I didn't mean I OWN you!
File under: Jaime
So the car seems to be rebelling against me saying that I now OWNED it. In the last week, I have had to go to the dealership twice for repairs, and had to call roadside assistance once.

The first time, I noticed water leaking onto the floor in the front and figured it was an a/c issue. Some condensation tube was blocked and had to be replaced, for $100.

Then on Sunday, we went to P.F. Chang's after church for lunch, and Andy went to get the car so Noelle and I wouldn't have to walk so far in the heat. After about 5 minutes I began to wonder where he was, and finally saw him walking towards us from where the car was parked. The car wouldn't start. Luckily we were right in front of Borders, because we were stuck there for about an hour waiting for someone to come jump the car.

Yesterday, the car was having a hard time starting up but finally made it, only to die at the first stop sign I came to. I got it started again and headed straight to the dealership. Turned out it was just the battery, but because I was at a dealership, there goes $120. Those kinds of things aren't covered under my warranty.

Very frustrating, but at least we had the money that we aren't spending on car payments anymore to pay for those two little repairs. So I take it back, Car, I don't own you. Now please start behaving again.

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The remains of a good, but scary looking meal
File under: General, Andy, Jaime
Click to see a larger photo I watched an episode of Good Eats wherein Alton Brown, the host, spoke of cooking artichokes. Having only ever had artichokes in that tasty concoction known as Artichoke dip, I decided to follow his lead and cook a whole artichoke for dinner.

A daunting process, I forged forward nonetheless. Stripping away the outer, somewhat brown leaves and cutting off the base, I boiled them in salted water until tender. While cooking, I prepared a dipping sauce of dijon mustard, mayo, cayenne, lemon juice and shredded parmesan cheese.

Once they were done, Jaime and I drained them and set about eating them, leaf by leaf until we had nothing left but a pile of empty husks.

All in all a satisfying meal, if a little scary looking. That hairy thing at the top is called the choke and is actually at the very center of the vegetable, right above the heart. Don't try to eat it, you'll poke yourself as it's sharp and pointy.

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Where's Noelle? THERE'S Noelle!
File under: General, Noelle Jordan
Jaime, Noelle and I were laying in bed this morning when I decided to drape Noelle's burp cloth over her face. I wasn't expecting much from it, other than for me to pull it off and see the expression on her face when I did so. But lo and behold, she pulled it off herself!

So I decided to try again to see what she'd do and each time I did, she pulled the burp cloth off of her face, looking straight at Jaime each time it was removed.

I know for those of you that aren't parents this might sound relatively trite but this is an important step in Noelle's development, the understanding of "space". She now knows that she's not alone in her space. She also knows that something was on her face that didn't belong there.

So yay!

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Shorts
File under: Noelle Jordan
Click to see a larger photo It's pretty hot around here, so we decided it was time for Noelle to get some shorts. She has tons of dresses that she wears a lot, but sometimes she needs to be more casual. Plus, she's been squealing a TON lately, and daddy contributes that to the dress wearing. She is being a total girl.

Doesn't she look like a little golfer in this outfit? It will make her Papaw proud.

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Car Owner
File under: General
Click to see a larger photo As of this week, my car is completely paid off! We made the final payment last week, and today in the mail I received the title which states that I am now the complete owner. Granted, it says Jaime Bartling, and it has my old address from when I lived at Trevecca, but still. It also says that the original lien holder is in Oralnd Park, IL instead of Orland. I will never understand how people in those types of jobs make errors like that. Anyway, we are so happy to have that paid off, and to not be spending that money every month anymore.

And apparently I overpaid, so they also sent me a refund check. It is for $0.06. Seriously? Not even worth the paper it's printed on. But I'm going to deposit it anyway! Maybe I should deposit it by itself. I wonder what they'd do at the bank. Crazy people.

Andy told me that I can use the money we aren't spending to pay off the car in this first month to buy myself some new clothes! He knows that I barely ever buy myself anything, so he's not giving me a dangerous offer.

This picture of me and my dad was taken by the Saturn sales team after I purchased the car. They take your picture and do a little cheer for you as you drive away. Very funny. It's a scanned polaroid, so it's not very clear.

It certainly feels good to wipe out a debt.

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The Best of Friends
File under: Friends
Click to see a larger photo This weekend, Noelle met a new friend named Ella Daugherty. Ella's mom and dad are friends of ours that were here in Nashville for the weekend interviewing and house hunting. I have known Heather since high school, and went to college with both Heather and Brad. Andy and I had dinner with them last year during our anniversary trip to New York/Boston, and both Heather and I were pregnant. Ever since then, we've been saying how great it would be if our girls could be friends. And now, there's a chance of that happening!

Andy and I watched Ella on Saturday while Brad and Heather scoured the neighborhood for houses, and we had a great time. Ella is 5 weeks older than Noelle, so it was also fun to see what kinds of things we have to look forward to in the near future. Like a baby that enjoys eating solids and can sit up on her own! And has hair.

We are excited at the possibility of having the Daugherty's living in our neighborhood. Reconnecting with friends is always such a blessing.

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