Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Rewind

I was looking back and last December the same thing happened, I got too busy to update my blog.  Christmas is so overwhelming, so much to do.  Each year, after its over I say the same thing “next year I am going to get all done early.”  Each year its like we rewind to the last and repeat the performance.  February maybe the shortest month, but December is the fastest! 

So here is our quick review of Christmas this year!

It started off at the town green for the tree lighting and Santa visit.  Emma wanted nothing to do with Santa that night but was very happy with the cookies.


The next day we had Christmas at the farm.  Emma wasn’t afraid of Santa that day..go figure!


What is Christmas without cookies?  We did our normal cookie exchange at Aunt Laurie's plus made some sugar cookies at home.  Tyler did great, he is very artistic!  Emma she was a mess!


The tradition continued again this year, as we went with the Hull’s to get our tree!




And then a few weeks later, Santa came!


It was a great Christmas!  Even if we had been Naughty and Nice this year!


Friday, December 30, 2011

The Szarek’s Run on Dunkin


Well I can not say it was an easy decision.  After Wyatt passed it was hard to decide what to do next.  I knew we needed another dog, but the thought of a puppy was, well, to be honest overwhelming.  If I had it my way we would of adopted 2 adult labs, however the kids and David won.  We went down the puppy road…{deep breath}

Puppy Power

A lady at work’s dog had puppies, so we decided that we were going to look at them without the kids.  In other words, we were going to pick one out. Lets be real, do you really think I could play with puppies and not get one?? – If you said yes you really don’t know the real me!

It was a hard decision, they had a female black lab, and the rest were male.  The males  were not dark as the female but not light chocolate like the one chocolate female (that was spoken for or she would have been mine!).  So how did we pick when I had 3 super cute puppies on my lap?  We picked the one that was the biggest, and I mean big, big head, big paws, big love!  Want to see what he looked like that night:


So cute isnt he?  Well we had to wait a few weeks till we could bring him home.  We didn’t tell the kids a thing but they almost found out.  We ran a facebook pole asking for name suggestions but not everyone read the part that it was a surprise for the kids!!

The Name Game

Speaking of his name!  We wanted a name that would match him, since he was going to be a big ole lab we didn’t want anything cute sounding.  It need to be a strong name, the same way that Wyatt was.  We had several name suggestions.  We tried to find names that were tied to the Adirondacks but nothing fit.  David really liked Bruin and so did I.  He means bear and he did look like I bear cub but I didn’t want people to think he was named after the Boston bruins hockey team.  Then Carla suggested Dunkin.  I think she said it jokingly but it stuck and that was his name!

One Saturday Morning

Then one Saturday morning I told the kids I was going to get milk and a surprise.  I think they expected either donuts or chocolate milk!  David had the kids standing by the island when I walked in.

It didn’t take long for everyone to fall for this little guy!


How can you not love him:


Big brother and sister

He adapted really well. He would cry for his mom and bothers/sisters the first few days but the kids would run right over to him.  They would pet or play with him and he would be fine.  He loved Tyler right away.  Here is Dunkin chasing Ty outside:

He didn’t know what to do with Emma (surprise surprise!). She was loud and bounces everywhere.  Eventually he got use to Emma.  He realized that she would throw his toys!  but she had to put a twist on it! listen to her telling him what to do:

480oz Dunkin to go!

He is growing fast.  That first week we brought him home (Nov 6th) he was about 10 pounds, he was over 30 pounds by Christmas. Here’s a quick timeline of photos

Nov. 20th


Nov 27th



Dec 10th

082 103

Dec 24th


A Lab is a Lab, is a duck dog

You can tell Dunkin is a lab, Rain and Snow do not stand in his way from being outside.  He loves to be outside, he loves to go with the kids to get eggs, he loves to attack my burning bush.  He is a nut job!  Any given morning from 5am to 7am I bet you he goes outside 6 times, 2 of them are for potty and 4 of them are to “fart around”!  David and Tyler want him to be a duck dog.  I have to admit this is pretty cute…..


However, I really want a mamas boy!  I hate the idea of wet mucky dog smell of a duck dog. I want a house dog that lays on my feet and keeps them warm!  that follows me around!  I guess I still miss my old chocolate love, Wyatt.  Dunkin is good, he loves attention! He isn't that much of a jumper so far! I hope that doesn’t change!  He does get jealous of the kids on my lap!!  And he thinks its funny to be walking by my foot and attack it.  The boys may take him rabbit hunting this weekend.  We will see how he does, maybe I will bribe him with treats to stay home with me and Emma!

Foot print on our heart

So there you have our new addition Dunkin.  He has left a big footprint on our heart, mainly because his feet are bigger than Emma's!  No because he is cute, loving and 100% lab. He is not Wyatt (and we didn’t expect him to be) but he a definite keeper


Camo Brownie Bombs

You can find more details about Tyler's Army Party here. I wanted to break down the desserts in another post.
Brownie Bombs
You need:
  • Brownie mix and ingredients listed on package (yes I took a major short cut)
  • 1 container of Vanilla or cream cheese frosting
  • Melting Chocolates in white, green and dark chocolate
So simple.
1) You prepare the brownies as instructed on the packaging (or from scratch).- I usually follow the cake like instructions (and I use store brand)
2) Bake and let cool
3) In a food processor, chop up the brownies into brownie crumbs!
4) Add the Frosting to the food processor and pulsate till everything is blended
5) Roll into bite size balls and place on wax paper covered baking sheet
6) Let the Brownie balls (yes I said BALLS) cool and set in a fridge or freezer
5) Melt white chocolate in double boiler and dip each ball into the chocolate
6) after the white chocolate is set, melt the dark chocolate, using a spoon or fork drizzle each ball with dark chocolate
7) repeat step 6 with Green chocolate
8) let the chocolate set and then enjoy!
*For the dark chocolate and green chocolate you will only need about 1/4 of the bag melted
**I said balls several times in this posting!

General’s Star for Army Party


You can find more details about Tyler's Army Party here.  I wanted to break down the desserts in another post.

General’s Star

You need:

  • Sugar cookie Mix and ingredients listed on package (yes I took a major short cut)
  • Star cookie cut
  • Melting Chocolates in white, green and dark chocolate

So simple.

1) You prepare the cookies as instructed on the packaging (or from scratch). 

2) Cut them into stars and bake!

3) After they are cooled, melt the white chocolate.  Dip the front of each cookie in the white chocolate and let set up.

4) Melt 1/4-1/2 of a bag of the dark chocolate.  Dip a fork into the chocolate and drizzle it over the cookies

5) repeat step 4 with Green chocolate

5) let the chocolate set and then enjoy!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

“6th infantry” Army Birthday Party

I really expected Tyler to have a pirate birthday party this year.  He was really into Jake and the Neverland pirate this spring.  In the middle of October he told me he wanted an Army Party.  We had already booked Rough N tumble for the kids party.  I waited a few weeks before buying anything to make sure it wasn’t just a random thing.  Well sure enough it stuck.

I quickly searched on Pinterest for ideas, when I found this blog.  I loved it. I really wanted to make the cake but I didn’t have time and I knew I would have enough food with the other ideas I came up with. But you have to admit it’s a genius cake!!

Since we were having kids with allergies attending the party I had to rule out anything with egg, peanuts and red die.  So what do you serve?  I decided on Tyler's dirty battlefield cakes:


Super Simple!  pudding, Cool whip, Crushed Oreos!  I topped each one with Army guys,  Tyler wanted gummy worms in them.  He’s the bday guy!

To go along around the dirt cakes, we made Brownie Bombs (left in the photo below) and the General’s Star (right in the photo below)


The favor bags were super simple. Just brown lunch bags, sealed with an Army sticker.  I wrote on each one “Tyler’s Army; MRE.”

  Each guest’s bag labeled with there name as Sgt. Emma or Sgt Tyler.003

The favor bags had just basic favors from Hobby lobby (who is stocking Army theme party supplies!) 

Since the party was at Rough n Tumble,  We didn’t do any real decorating. I did get camo bowls for the tables and used camo napkins


Everyone seemed to have a good time and were super tired from running around!



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Tyler


6 Years ago today I was sent to the hospital for an unscheduled C-section. I remember telling the doctor your cry sounded like a duck!  Now 6 years later you are a little duck commander!


You have grown so much this year.  From a preschooler to a preschool graduate to a kindergartener.  You are super smart and even out smart mommy!  Your classmates look up to you as a leader, keep learning little man you will go places!

We love you Tyler!  Have a great Birthday and another amazing year!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wyatt Szarek 2002-2011



This big pile of chocolate love is Wyatt.  He was a textbook lab and more! Loyal, loving, great with kids, and protective.  Wyatt was born on January 2, 2002 in a little of 9 chocolate labs.  We picked him because he winked at David!!   We brought him on Valentines day of that year – in a snow storm!  He was so tiny only 12 pounds – but he quickly grew to 100 pounds!

When David and I were engaged we knew we wanted a lab – we just didn’t know what color. Okay – really I wanted one of each color!! David was watching a hunting show and they were training some labs owned by Kevin Costner. The big one was named Wyatt. We loved the movie Wyatt Earp staring Costner! right then and there we knew we would name our lab Wyatt. We new our lab need to be a big strong Lab with a noticable presence.  Wyatt was all that..Big feet, stocky built and a big block head.


Like normal young labs he was full of energy, after dinner each night we would walk him to the back hill to get some of the energy out.  He loved going in the truck especially when it took us camping.  He climbed Bald Mountain more times then I can count and Rocky Mtn twice. 

the boys have a snack

While camping – Wyatt earned the name “Brown Dog”  that was really what we wanted…a brown dog. Do you remember the Chevy Chase movie – I think it was called funny farm – where they were trying to sell the house and the wife purchased him a big old yellow dog that just slept?  In the end that was how he was but early on he was nuts.  Chasing ducks, digging out stumps and coming out of the woods with a log instead of a stick like another dog would do.

Wyatt was great with the kids!  Tyler practically rode him like a horse.  From the time Tyler was little till just this week, it was nothing to see Tyler laying on Wyatt like a pillow.  They were best buds!  Both kids used Wyatt to climb up onto the couch and to eat their food of their plate that they didn't like.  Emma made a game of it!  In recent months the game at our house each night was the kids each getting milk bones and running down the hall to hide them.  Then Wyatt would sniff them out.


Wyatt passed on Friday Night – it was so painful for us.  He ate a rock, something he has always done.  But this one became stuck in my intestines, he ended up tearing 15 feet of intestines that were not repairable because the found cancer in him.  David and I took it the hardest.  Emma is just to little to really understand, and tyler had a lot of questions.  For David and I , its heartache.  Wyatt was our first born!!  We babied him, spoiled him, loved him and took his role in our life for granted.


Wyatt has slept on our bed since he was a few months old.  He was the best foot and bed warmer I know.  I loved coming home to the sound of his tail almost breaking the molding on my door frames!!  Wyatt could not stand it if I was out of his reach.  He would be find if David was in the Garden but if I walked down there he would bark and bark till I returned.  When I would run at night on the treadmill he would lay there till I was done.  He loved that even though I was running and not really paying any attention him it was his “Me time with mommy!” 

One time David was putting up a tree stand in the woods behind our house and I needed him to come home.  He didn’t take his cell phone.  So I hooked a walkie talkie to his collar and told Wyatt to find daddy.  He sniffed him right out!!  Wyatt was better then Lassie.  In September 2007 it was unseasonably hot, I had worked sick hours at work and passed out in my kitchen late at night (11pm).  David was sleeping and didn’t hear me crash into the counter, cabinets and floor.  Wyatt nudged me, whined and stood with me till I woke up.  I can not account for over 20 minutes of my life that night.  Thankfully my loyal buddy was right there with me.  He was like my shadow when I was pregnant with the kids.

szareks 2011

The house is not the same without Wyatt.  Sometimes I forget he is gone.  I told Emma to pick something up before Wyatt ate it today,  When I walked in, I waited for him to greet me at the door.  Its like part of my life is missing. 

We will always miss Wyatt, and we will never be able to replace him.


We love you brown dog, we miss you…..thank you for being part of our lives!