Monday, February 28, 2011
At 8.5 months old, you are WAY too little to be standing up. We are praying that the two times you pulled yourself up to standing by the bathtub tonight were just a fluke.
Mom and Dad
P.S. You are very tall when you stand!
P.P.S. Okay, mama looked it up and apparently your brother stood at 9 months, so it's not outside the realm of normal. Crazy! You seem way too little! Say it isn't so!
Seriously, y'all. I can't believe I didn't kill my garden. I rarely weed. I have it set up on an automatic water-timer, so I don't water it. Well, at the beginning I did actually water it myself every day for two months, but that was back in October. We also had a few days this winter of really frigid temperatures. My sweet peas didn't make it, but thanks to an old comforter, these little guys did.
I planted in October and just now pulled up my first itty bitty carrot today, along with this lettuce and some broccoli. It's not a ton, but enough for a little salad. I think I mentioned that last week I made a huge pot of collard greens. My collards plant is HUGE. My brussels sprouts plant has lots of little buds on it, so soon we'll have those, too. Gardening is so much fun! I need to plant some spring stuff in the next few weeks. I'm loving this!
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Eat your heart out, Bluebonnet Cafe...
Y'all, I MADE this pie. With the meringue!
For the record, I have only made two other pies in my life and neither was this intimidating. Unlike my mom, I cannot take credit for the crust, so I kind of cheated there, but baby steps. It was actually pretty easy to make; and, it was edible, if not delicious! My grandpa always loved butterscotch pie, so it made me especially happy when Michael picked out this recipe from Trisha Yearwood's cookbook for me to try out.
from Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen by Trisha Yearwood
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 T butter
4 T heavy cream
2 cups milk
3 T cornstarch
3 large eggs, separated
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 9 inch pie crust, prebaked as directed (I used Mrs. Smiths)
Preheat oven to 350.
In a medium saucepan, stir together the brown sugar, butter and cream. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a full boil, becoming thick and brown, about 5 minutes.
Separate your eggs. Get out two small cups and crack an egg up against the side of one cup so the shell is in two pieces. Carefully move the egg yolk back and forth between the two egg shell halves over one cup, so that you separate the egg white from the yolk as much as possible without breaking it and get as much white as you can in the cup. You will end up with one cup that's a yolk and the other which is all whites. Then repeat with the other two eggs. You need both the yolks and the whites, so don't get crazy throwing either out.
In a measuring cup, mix the milk, cornstarch, egg yolks and vanilla together. Add to the sugar mixture in the saucepan, stirring constantly over medium heat and scraping the bottom of the pan, until thick like pudding, about 7 minutes. If it's not getting thick, turn up the heat slightly and keep stirring. You want it thick. Pour the thickened filling into the prebaked pie crust.
Make the meringue by beating the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they begin to get stiff using a hand mixer or stand-up mixer. Add the granulated sugar and continue beating until the whites are stiff and hold peaks. Spread the meringue on top of the pie, taking care to spread it to the edges of the crust. Bake until light brown (maybe 6 or 7 minutes).
This tastes especially good watching the Oscars with a glass of prosecco with your honey when the kids are in bed. I would imagine it will also taste good watching the Bachelor with another glass of prosecco all alone this evening (the "mister" thinks the Bachelor is annoying. jeez!). Do you know why I don't bake? Because we eat this stuff when it's in the house! Off to the gym tomorrow....
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Saturday- Pioneer Woman Lemon Pasta (nom nom nom). I could eat this every day of the spring and summer (but, shouldn't :) and now that I've got italian parsley coming out of my ears in the garden, have a good excuse to. If you like lemon, check this one out!
Sunday- Real Simple Lamb Meatballs with Couscous and Feta (new, to us). Trisha Yearwood's Butterscotch Pie (my new thing is to try to bake once a week on Sunday. Wish me luck. You may recall I don't bake very well).
Monday- Tortellini Soup (new to us)
Tuesday- Crockpot Italian Beef Sandwiches (new to us). Can't wait. I'm buying provolone, hard rolls and pepperocinis and praying these taste like Portillos.
Wednesday- Slow-Cooker Chipotle Beef Tacos (new to us)
Friday- Pizza Kit-Sausage Pizza
Sunday-Peanut Noodles with Veggies (new to us)
Friday, February 25, 2011
It was my 7th half, I believe.
Having two small ones, it was hard making time to train (as previously mentioned).
Hence, I am proud of myself for getting out there.
Sadly, I must say, it was not a high moment of my running career in regard to time.
It was muggy.
I was slow.
Overall, I felt okay out there, not like I was going to die or anything, but certainly not my best self. It was about 20 degrees warmer than I would have liked.
And, that hill on 15th St. at mile 12 is brutal.
Anyway, I must say that I created quite the playlist thanks to FB recommendations from people.
I've blocked out a lot, but do remember that I was listening to The Killers- Human at the beginning, It's Like That by Jason Nevins-Run DMC and Let's Get Married running up that long 3 mile Congress hill. Glee/Gwyneth Paltrow's Forget You kind of made me happy, too. Yes, it wouldn't be me, if it weren't random.
Anyway, woo hoo! I did it! Done! Back to Zumba I go...
Thursday, February 24, 2011
I'm not sure what I've been doing, but I'm busy and tired.
Noah is putting up his arms; like to be held and it's adorable.
I'm back doing cloth diapering.
I've been cooking up a storm and making some fine meals, if I do say so myself. Sweet Michael told me my fried chicken tasted better than Popeyes. I'm going through a Southern cooking phase. Our collard greens plant in the garden is gigantic, so I even made collards. Trisha Yearwood's cookbook is amazing. There is a reason she and Garth Brooks are on the round side.
Overall, I'm just holding on tight and trying to stay sane in this crazy existence. Cooking makes me happy. I'm also doing things like filling up our daily water bottles first thing in the morning, so I don't forget for both JM and I to drink water all morning in the rush of things. We're getting $1 breakfast tacos from the taco stand down the street about once a week so I don't have to cook breakfast (LOVE!). I'm cutting vegetables and doing dinner prep work while the kids are napping, which sometimes means I'm making dinner salads at 2pm, but come 5:30 when everyone's grumpy and hungry, I appreciate it. I'm getting up early to go to the gym and having quiet time by myself before they wake up. I'm trying to make my bed every day. I'm trying to put on makeup every day. I'm trying not to leave a room without straightening it. Overall, I pretty much repeat to myself all day long "keep it simple, stupid" and "be grateful."
Moms, what are your tricks for keeping your household running smoothly so that you're not stressed? I feel like I'm learning and getting more skilled at this, but still have a long way to go (e.g. I hate making lunch. I know I should just make my lunch when I pack lunches for Mike and JM, but I never do this). I'd love to hear your comments.
Monday, February 21, 2011
It all started last week. Suddenly Noah was doing the downward dog. Over the weekend, we saw him add some knees and push himself to get to something. This morning, he's using his knees to get across the floor. How on earth did that happen so fast? He's crawling! It took a while before JM was fully crawling. He did an army crawl for a long time. With Noah, the light came on and he added some knees and now can go across the room. This video shows him going about 5 feet to get to something interesting. In a related note, I totally forgot how babies love to chew on electrical cords. Time to re-baby proof around, here!
It's so funny. With your first baby, you are so eager for them to crawl. With the second, I have to admit, I'm a little sad. It was nice being able to just plop him somewhere and have him be happy. Don't get me wrong; I am thrilled that he's meeting developmental milestones, but I'm bummed that now that he can move, I know there's no turning back! He'll be standing soon and walking before we know it. Little stinker!
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Generally, I like this age. I got to volunteer in JM's classroom last week and listening to all the little two almost threes talk to each other was hilarious! These two girls were sitting next to each other at lunch saying, "I love you" and the other one said, "I love you. This much!" and held out her arms (her parents must have the Guess How Much I Love You? book). Then they hugged. Ah, if life were that uncomplicated for adults. JM says the funniest things and I need to do a better job of writing them down. This morning, for example, he was in his carseat and said, "What's the deal with this?" referring to his seatbelt buckle, which has somehow gotten turned around. "What's the deal?" is so something I'd say. It cracks me up when he uses an expression that is so Mike or I. The little sponge soaks up everything we say, so we have to be on good behavior!
In that same regard, he is pretty much potty trained and wearing big boy underwear all the time during the day now. This has led to a lot of discussion about tee tee and poo poo. For some reason the other day I thought it would be a good idea to teach him the real name for his tee tee. So now, he talks about his penis all the time, and his pure childlike sweetness in using sentences such as at lunchtime yesterday when he randomly said, "my penis is under my Thomas underwear" cracks me up in a real immature 6th grade humor kind of way. I have to try hard not to laugh. I'm so mature. He also loves talking about his bodily functions as they are happening "Do you hear it coming out, mama?" and "cow doons" which are the flushable wipes Kandoos (the best thing evah, mamas!).
He love, love, loves school. My mom is an early childhood teacher and really poo pooed (can't get away from the potty talk, I'm afraid), the idea of sending JM to school at two. "It's pretty much day care," she said, "so don't expect that he's going to learn that much." (Not that kids don't learn at day care. She just sees it more as babysitting). I think Nana was wrong. JM's school is play-based and he has learned SO much just by playing with the other kids. His school has the neatest activities. They have play washing machines and hospitals, post offices, gas stations and supermarkets. They also have an awesome playground and a concrete slab with tons of riding toys. That's way more fun that at home! He gets so excited when we go and runs all the way up this walkway every morning. I'm so glad that I sent him this year. Although it is a break for me, it is also a break for him in a really positive way.
Speaking of play, in the past month or so, all of a sudden he wants to play with "friends." He somehow learned the word play date, although I swear I've only used the term once or twice and now wants to have playdates all the time. He is currently obsessed with his older cousin Lucian, whom he bonded with at Christmas playing "fireman". We had a playdate with them yesterday and JM was literally shrieking with glee seeing Lucian and had a tough time waiting until after nap to see him.
He isn't wearing his fire hat and boots quite as much as before, but his favorite things to play remain fire fighter and construction man. He still loves green. One of the parent's in JM's class came up to me at the fundraiser Friday night and told me about how their daughter always talks about JM and his love of green. "John Michael loves green" apparently goes along with any discussion they have of colors. He also still loves to play with his stuffed froggies. He gets them all his frogs in his bed and play "frog party" where it's Froggy's birthday and we all eat "fly cake" and sing "Deck the hall with lots of froggies (frog a la la la la la la la.)
JM is overall pretty easygoing. He definitely has his days of "my way or the highway" and mornings where he wakes up Mr. Grumpypants, but overall he is pretty sweet. He is a lot sweeter when he takes a nap (probably once or twice a week, he resists), when we get outside to play and when we are around other people. He loves variety.
He is also getting quite independent. He can put himself on the potty and wants no part of the little potty or the potty seat, anymore. He can put on his clothes by himself and also his shoes (usually he needs a little straightening, as the shoes are sometimes on the wrong feet or undies on backwards, but generally the right idea.)
Anyway, my sweet boy, I can't believe you are almost three! You are so precious to us. We both love and hate watching you grow up!
(P.S. Can you believe these pictures of my boys in shorts? It's been in the high 70s the past few days and so wonderful and spring-like! Last week we didn't make it out of the 20s a few days. Crazy!)
Monday, February 14, 2011
Here we are, again, little Noah. 8 months! Your grumpiness of week's past has ended and you are back to your happy self. This is one of my favorite ages. You are sleeping through the night (7:30 to 7:30. Right after 7 months you stopped the 5am feeding, thank Jesus). You take two long naps. You are quite content to just sit and observe the world. Oh, and you can't move, yet. :)
You are getting close, though. I call this your "downward dog."
And, you are chunking up quite a bit, too. It may have something to do with the fact that you really don't like to be spoon fed purees. You'd much rather feed yourself, so you've quickly moved into finger foods. You seem so young for it, but you are pretty dang good at getting the food in and down, leading you to all sorts of fun discoveries like strawberries, pancakes, black beans, avocados, and ehem, Papa Johns pizza. Yes, you are the second child. We would have never given your brother pizza. Last week, you went crazy over some tortellinis with pesto sauce. We couldn't keep them on the tray and we thought for sure they had fallen into your bib, but sure enough you ate an adult-sized portion! When the rest of us are eating dinner, you are quite content to sit in your high chair and gnaw on a frozen bagel half. It is a great trick for keeping a teething child busy. Speaking of, you have your two bottom teeth, so far. Really you are just content, overall. You love to babble and coo and say "ma ma ma" and "da da da" and put everything in your mouth. We love you so much! Happy 8 months!
Friday, February 11, 2011
I say all this, because I am running a half marathon next week. If not for the looming threat that I might not finish it, I can totally see how I could completely miss working out for weeks on end. Although I must say, the fear of the pretzel M&Ms (JM's current poo poo treat) making their way onto my rear end is a major motivator. As a mom, you have to really really WANT to work out to get there. This morning, thanks to my AWESOME spouse, I woke up at 5:45 and ran 10 icy boring miles. It was 26 degrees. Brrrr... But I did it! Watch out, Austin, because this girl is going out BOTH NIGHTS this weekend! We have a fundraiser at JM's school tonight and tomorrow I have a bachelorette party for an old work friend. Bring it!
10 miles by myself was oh.em, goodness, so hard this morning! The miles just went on and on and on. Thanks to the frigid temps, few people were out running that could distract me. When I get bored, I like to try to send out shout outs to people in my mind to pass the time. This morning I was thinking a lot about my friend Michele, whose baby daughter has RSV and our friends Adam and Mel, who lost their first daughter to Trisomy 18 and now are having a second scary pregnancy, as she went into labor last week at 27 weeks and lost some amniotic fluid and is on bedrest. I also was thanking my body for letting me have the ability to run, by myself, after three kids and amidst the craziness that is my life right now. I'm so glad I am running, again. I feel pretty strong thinking about next week's race and happy that we're doing it. It's still crazy to me to think that I used to smoke cigarettes in high school and college, when running is such a big part of my life, now. Being healthy in mind and in body feels pretty amazing. Running is totally worth getting out of bed at 5:45 in the morning.
Happy weekend, all!
Monday, February 07, 2011
I never thought I was the kind of person to buy a "baby in the bathtub" type photo from a photography studio.....but doesn't he look so stinkin cute? I even went for the "free collage" (of adorableness) they offered me. Never say never, people! Especially as a parent! :)
And, just to prove that I'm still me, I got this, too. I'm calling these Noah's 6 month-ish shots, because technically he was 7 months when we took them, but they didn't happen at Christmastime, so hence, 6 months-ish. Love my little smiley 6ish month Noah! Going to pick them up was totally worth the major meltdown that older brother had in Babies R Us which required me to carry him screaming out of the store under one arm and with the baby carrier in the other arm!
Saturday, February 05, 2011
Friday, February 04, 2011
Thursday, February 03, 2011
This is the one shot I have of myself running the Austin Marathon. I didn't buy the professional race pics and I wish I would have to forever memorialize the fact that I ran 26.2 miles. If you can't tell, I am crying in this picture. Despite doing a good deal of training, I tanked on race day and hated pretty much every minute after mile 17 or so. I didn't even want the free beer that they were offering at mile 23.
Ah, memories. Notice how happy Mike is, the little stinker. He was so patient with me, talking me through the last miles when I dreadfully wanted and needed to stop running when I kept saying that I was never, and I mean never, going to do that again. I'm hoping that the Austin Half Marathon in a few weeks is a much better experience! I've been doing a lot better with my training, but slacking this week because of the frigid temperatures. I hate the treadmill!
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
This one spoke to me. This goes out to all the weary mamas out there. I feel this
Written by Samantha Bennett.
And as you stand there
Because you forgot to allow time to park
And the elevator was slow
And you left 10 minutes late to begin with
With your shoes that pinch
And your pants that are a little too small
Since you started eating white bread again
And as you paw through your bag
Looking for the suite number
That you’re not sure you wrote down to begin with
Let us now praise you.
You, the untidy.
You, the careless.
You, the easily distracted by sparkly things.
The money you spend on late fees alone
Could feed a family in Africa –
Which reminds you that you meant to send in the kids’ Unicef money and
And that despite your best efforts,
You rarely eat a square meal,
You almost never get enough sleep
And exercise seems like a word that magazines have developed
Just to make you feel bad about yourself.
But you are good and brave.
You, flying by the seat of your pants
Making it work
Putting out fires
Saying your prayers
And dancing your dance of now and later and maybe and
As innocent as each morning’s sunrise,
You are a fount of good intentions.
Your good humor is as graceful as a baby giraffe,
Even if that joke you were trying to make to the hotel clerk fell flat
And your toast at the wedding came out sounding a little….funny.
But you have gifts that no one knows about.
You have the strength to bend in the wind
You have the joyful spirit that loves a good belly laugh,
You have the wisdom to understand that everything will all come out all right in the end and
You have the faith to light a candle rather than curse the darkness.
That is, if you could find the book of matches from that romantic restaurant that you went to for your anniversary but since you didn’t have a reservation they made you wait at the bar for half an hour during which you had two appletinis and the rest of the night is a bit of a blur.
So much for the overpriced lingerie.
You are beautiful.
You are beautiful.
Frazzled and overworked and underpaid
You are the one who forgot your wallet
And forgot your receipt for the dry cleaners
And forgot your keys which you just set down five seconds ago, so where could they possibly have gone?
But you never forget to say, “I love you”
And you never forget to give a big smile to that nice parking guy
And you never fail to show endless patience when the
Too-tightly wrapped and overly-conscientious start to offer their
Oh-so-helpful suggestions about how you might feel better if you would just learn to alphabetize your spice rack.
You are beautiful.
So, wear the lingerie on Monday for no reason.
And why not just refuse to participate in the bake sale this year?
And give yourself a compliment for something you did well today.
Because you are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known.
© 2009 Samantha Bennett