Tuesday, June 30, 2009
then, it's off to the bookshelf
enjoying the sprinklers at the farmers market last week
fun with blake and uncle joey at the reunion
czech out those cute baby boys
he is signing all the time! this is more... i guess all those months of doing it with no response made an impression! he started doing it a lot more when i would move his hands into the position when i said the word
We spent the weekend with about 60 of Mike's relatives at the H. reunion outside of Dallas. Between the cabins we stayed in on the large campus and the golf carts we drove, I actually had a pretty good time. For the most part everyone stayed in brand new cabins that had a king bed, a pull out couch and a loft and we were all pretty close in proximity. It was sort of like being at camp, but with much much more alcohol. Lots of pivo was enjoyed by the family poolside and in the dark at either the R. RV area or outside our little cul de sac. t was fun talking with people that I don't get to see very often and immediate family that I do. I ordered little "Czech Me Out" t-shirts with their names on the back for Blake and JM from neighborhoodies and they came out really cute. We had the big family meal on Saturday night and didn't end up eating until close to 9pm as the uncles had some problems with the meat preparation. JM stayed up the latest he ever has since he was a baby, 9:30, and seemed to do pretty well with it. He ran around the lodge in his squeaky shoes and flirted with all the aunts and uncles who proclaimed they could tell he is a "handful." Well, if you count doing things like trying to drink out of the pool hose and not being able to sit still, a handful then I suppose he is, but he is the sweetest little handful, I must say!
It blows my mind how quickly these little ones can enter a new phase. For example, since the weekend, JM is talking a lot more than he has been. He is all about identifying things we see and then trying to repeat when I name it. The past few days he has said: Grandpa (his first 2 syllable word!- go Grandpa H!), Mimi, Bear, Teddy Bear, Bunny, Umbrella (ell-la), Hi... Water and ball continue to be his favorite words, though. I have never noticed so many spherical objects in the world since knowing John Michael! I know that I've always enjoyed him, but am particularly delighting in him lately. His little personality is so funny. He loves to learn and is very curious. He also is still hugging all the time, which I love!
JM has a new tooth on the bottom since last week and his hair is growing out into these adorable little wisp curls behind his ears. He is almost to the point where I need to give him a little at home trim, but his little downy fluff is so cute that I am having a hard time cutting it. Don't worry, I will cut it before he looks weird, like Celine Dion's son.... I can see now, how that happens, though!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
this is another recipe from sandra middleton, the one southern belle in our iowa neighborhood circa 1983. these were a favorite in my household growing up. the sweet and salty flavors meld well with the mint. mmmm! i am making them for our reunion this weekend.
chocolate mint brownies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
•1 cup sugar
•4 eggs, beaten
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1 teaspoon vanilla
•1/2 cup butter
•1 cup flour
•1 cup Hershey's syrup (I used the whole can)
•2 cups powdered sugar
•2 tablespoons milk
•1/2 cup butter
•1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
•a few drops green food coloring
•1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted in a double boiler
•6 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix first seven ingredients. Bake for 30 minutes in a 9-by-13-inch greased pan.
Mix next five ingredients. Spread over brownies when cool and pop in the freezer for a while.
Mix remaining two ingredients together. When smooth, pour over green layer.
Store in refrigerator. Take out a half-hour before cutting. Cut in small squares to serve, as they are very rich!
Monday, June 22, 2009
the little ones take a snooze
dinner Saturday night with the other cousins
hammock time with his sexy dada for father's day
we ended the weekend with auntie lauren babysitting so we could go to the alamo ritz for their father's day/royal tenenbaums feast, which was awesome. great food, ambience and enjoyed the movie, too. what a great weekend! love my handsome boys
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Movement- JM is walking. Everywhere. He can even hold a sippy cup in one hand and a cup of snacks in the other whilst walking.
Eating- As previously mentioned, there really isn't much he won't eat. He eats a lot, like for example an entire peanut butter and honey sandwich. As long as he has food in front of him, he's happy. We have completely transitioned to sippy cups. He now only gets about 15 oz. of whole milk a day.
Talking- Still not saying a lot of words. He talks and sings all the time, but not too much coherent besides: mama, dada, bella, ba (ball), nana (for bunny, banana and my mom) and wa wa. He signs milk, more and eat (of course :).
Teeth- still 6.
Socializing- he is pretty independent. he loves being around other kids, but is way too curious to sit still while i try to talk to other moms, for example.
we went to to the sprinkler park the other day for the first time with the Nest ladies and it is pretty much the coolest place ever for a one year old. He loved it and showed no fear whatsoever, which left me chasing him through the falling water and getting VERY wet.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
this is a frequent scene in our house lately. jm trying very hard to pull his bookshelf out of the wall in an effort to get books down. he loves being read to and "reading" by himself (pretty much him pointing at pictures, reading books sometimes upside down and trying to rip the pages).
this is another common scene. this sweet little bunny has become jm's constant companion and sometimes dust rag. he will many times use bunny to dust the floor. poor bunny.
isn't he sweet? he looks so big in this picture. i really delight in him and still can't stop kissing his sweet smelling little head all the time. oh, he has a new word: nana, as in the fruit. :) i am completely in awe of how much food he is eating. we went to a farmers stand at the lake and got zucchini and yellow squash. last night and tonight, he has pretty much eaten a squash of his own, downing it like it was candy. tonight, this is on top of a gerber graduates pasta container, some salmon, blueberries AND sweet potatoes. he just keeps motioning for more and acting hungry. i've never seen a baby eat a whole squash! well, if he wants to stuff himself on squash and sweet potatoes on my watch, i am not going to stop him! seriously?! it is already hotter than hades here. we went to the pool again, today. being inside all day, even with such a sweet muffin, drives me nuts!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Originally uploaded by our "nut" house
I fear we are entering toddler-dom.
Case in point, John Michael.
Good news: He is walking all over the place like a drunken mad man. It is the weirdest thing. Last week he could only walk a few steps. Now he has got it and is walking ev.ery.where. If you leave the room, sometimes he will follow you! It's really weird.
Bad news: If you try to pick him up to take him home, he will sometimes scream and shriek in protest, such as outside the cupcake place today when he was practice walking and I decided it was time to go (meltdown #1).
Good news: He loves the pool! It's really fun to take him. Today we went to Brentwood Park and he walked around and around and around and around the edge of the circular kiddie pool (and was coincidentally dog tired tonight (meltdown number 2 today- who is this child? :).
Bad news: He hated swimming lessons at the Y. Having to be "held" by me for 45 minutes for class did not go over well. We dropped out, as it was a ridiculous wrestling match with way too much protest crying for something that was supposed to be a fun mother-son experience.
Good news: He loves to drink water and is quite hydrated in this summer heat.
Bad news: If "you" are drinking water, he wants it and gets very upset if you don't share. And by share, he means give it to him.
Mike had guitar lessons and then went to the movies with the guys tonight. JM and I had a special date night and went out for pizza. I have such respect for single mothers. Chasing that little guy around the pool 20 times wiped me out, too!
give me the wa wa!
mama son love
walk on, brother. heeeeey! raise the roof.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
"What are you doing?!" questioned Mike at 7:30 this morning as I was sauteeing vegetables in my pajamas. Seeing the wine bottle at my side, obviously he thought I was one step closer to the Betty. Little did he know that I was doing the prep work for this delicious spaghetti sauce. I love the Crock Pot more than a lot of things. There is something wonderful about putting all the ingredients in in the morning and then having it all done at dinner time. I am a morning person, so I love having one less thing to think about when I am fried at the end of the day.
I digress. This is a rich meat sauce that because of the deglazing adds a wine flavor that reminds me of one that my mom used to make when I was little (and coincidentally that we used to complain about... i.e. "Ewwww....Betsy's mom makes Prego!)" It smelled great cooking all day in my house. Once again, I was thrilled to use basil from the garden.
All-Day Tomato Sauce with Beef
source: Mrs. Sac's Purple Kitchen via Food a la Puttanesca
1 lb ground beef
28 oz crushed tomatoes
28 oz tomato puree
14.5 oz diced tomatoes with juices
about 1/2 cup water
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, grated
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1.5 cups Baby Bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
1.5 tsp kosher salt or to taste
1 tsp freshly ground pepper or to taste
2 tsp dried parsley
1 bay leaf
1.5 tsp dried oregano
splash of red wine
1 tbsp EVOO (more if necessary)
1-3 cup fresh basil, torn, plus more for garnish
Preparation- this part takes a good 30 minutes
Cook beef in a skillet on medium-high heat until brown. Drain grease from beef and rinse. Put beef in crock pot.
Add all the tomatoes and water to the crock pot and set on high, cover.
In the same skillet as the beef was in, over medium heat add in a little EVOO if necessary and add the celery, carrot and onions. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes. De glaze the pan with a splash of wine and continue to cook veggies till softened.
Remove, add to crock pot, and add all remaining herbs and seasonings. Turn down to low, and cook for 7-8 hours, tasting a couple of times and adjusting seasonings if necessary and stir in basil with about 20 minutes left. Garnish with more fresh basil before serving. Serve with your favorite pasta shape.
Sunday, June 07, 2009
First off, I want to applaud us for doing something we never do on Friday.
We took JM to the J's for dinner and instead of trying to rush home so he could be in bed at 7, we put him in their pack and play and didn't leave until close to 10.
I was skeptical, but this actually worked for us and he was no worse for wear. He took a little longer to wind down than usual, but not too bad. He also woke up a little on the way home, but went right back to sleep when he got in his crib. Hopefully he'll still get into college.
I made some pesto from the basil in my garden on Friday so we had chicken pesto pizza Saturday... and also made some green salsa using Meg's recipe with a jalapeno from the garden so we had that on our eggs for breakfast this morning. Making recipes using vegetables from the garden really makes me happy and I LOVE Meg's salsa recipe.
meg's green salsa
1 ½ to 2 lbs. Tomatillos
1 clove of garlic, peeled
2 Tbs Knorr Suiza Caldo de Pollo con sabor de pollo (Mexican chicken bouillon powder)
1 Tsp Salt
Fresh cilantro (1/4 of bunch)
Remove skins from tomatillos and rinse well. Cut tomatillos into quarters.
Put about ¼ of the tomatillos in the blender with the onion, jalapeno, garlic, chicken bouillon, salt and cilantro and blend. Add the remaining tomatillos and blend until smooth. (Test the sauce for heat to determine if you want to add more jalapeno). Once it is all mixed and you are happy with the flavor, add the avacodo and blend until smooth. Add the avocado pit to the sauce to help it from turning dark. Add jalapeno to taste. Lasts 3-4 days in the fridge
So far, I am loving this age. JM is super snuggly and hugs me all the time and it is killing me I cherish it so much. He will let me sing to him before nap time again and lays his head on my shoulder. I think a switch went off yesterday and suddenly he is walking a lot more than he has been the last day.
We took him to Zilker Park this afternoon and he was walking all over the place. I must say the lad is lucky to have landed parents like us. We went on the Zephyr train and I brought a roast beef sandwich and some raisins and goldfish to share, which we ate in our own little dining car. We let him have quite a bit of our ice cream cones afterwards. We played for a long time on the playscape. He loves going down the little slide by himself. If I were a kid, that would be my idea of a good day. I am glad as a big kid, that I get to be witness to it.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Since he's been such a great sleeper the past few months, we were hoping that he'd do well in the outdoors, but I will admit I was nervous nelly about this trip! Mostly nervous that our camping neighbors were going to hate us something fierce if our son was crying all night. We even had a contingency plan that if he couldn't sleep, that we'd pack up and drive to the lake house.
Contingency was not needed. JM did great and we stayed for two nights. He slept in his Pack N Play and during the day we used it as a playpen to corral him. Joe and Pam let us borrow a 3 bedroom tent, so he had his own little "room" and couldn't see us at night. We also brought a car battery hookup and hooked up a fan to it for white noise/circulation. Kim and Chad let us borrow this booster seat with a tray which was perfect for eating. Our BOB stroller was also really nice to have for hiking and coralling JM. We brought some toys, but JM was mostly entertained by tooling around in the tent, cruising around the picnic table and the grass outside our tent and watching the flora, fauna and campsite neighbors. It was actually a pretty fun experience! He got pretty dirty, so we definitely needed a lot of changes of clothes and he needed a bath every night (Mike took him in the camp shower no problem). We kept his milk in the cooler. He ate what we ate. It was pretty much like being at home, but hotter and dirtier. The first night it took him a while to go to sleep, but other than that, he adapted pretty easily to the new setting. Yay! It was cool at night for sleeping, but got a little hot in the afternoons, so I don't think we'll be going out anytime again soon (unless a cold front comes in), but we'd love to go again! Maybe in the fall...
I am so proud of us!
Hiking up "the Rock"
Our camp set up
Such a cute little outdoorsman
Enjoying a picnic lunch (and an ice cold brew...and some crazy hair) on our hike
Originally uploaded by our "nut" house
Well if anyone is reading this blog and worried about weight gain for their infant, we are official proof that babies grow at different rates.
Case in point, John Michael.
At 6 months, 13lb 11oz (3rd percentile weight), 26 1/4 inches (45th percentile height).
At 12 months, 23lb 15 oz (70th percentile weight), 30 1/2 inches (75th percentile height).
Yes, sire definitely likes his solid food. Can you believe that he's gained 10 pounds in 6 months? Crazy. Well, as I have to lug him around, I can. We had his wellness visit today and he's pretty much a textbook baby. We got the all clear for whole milk (even though he's been drinking it the past 2 weeks) and peanut butter. Isn't it weird that all these previously taboo things like strawberries and peanut butter all of a sudden are okay at 12 months?
Anyway, I am extremely thankful to no longer have to worry about weight gain for this guy!