Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday thoughts

Can we first talk about this picture? Braided bangs, color blocking and a tiny guitar print jumper. I felt a lot more stylish than I think I actually looked... forgetting that I ditched the strapless bra for my oh-so-matronly nursing bra after lunch and a trip to the splash pad. Let's not miss that super sexy black thumbnail that is threatening to hang around, like, forever. Add to the fact that Bryan snapped this picture while he was putting together his own Father's Day present and I am the picture of a stylish, helpful, mother of the year... yeah, not so much.

Sometimes I look at pictures of my babes sitting in my lap like this and think, that kid used to be inside of my body. Now that is crazy.

Pouring one out today for our old Black and Decker blender. It was a wedding gift and I used it to make all of Sophie's baby food, some healthy toddler and mommy smoothies and a few batches of Tucker baby food, and it finally bit the dust on Monday (that sent butternut squash sailing across my kitchen, I might add). Currently in search of the next best thing that won't break the bank.

My hair is falling out in mass quantity again. I forget this fun part of post-partum.

I made my Change Your Life Brussels Sprouts yesterday and grabbed the 400 degree pan with bare fingers.

Sophie finally said "I want you to hold me" today instead of my favorite Sophie-ism ever: "I wanna hold you." Wahhhh. Stop growing up, already.

Finally, school is out for summer and I have yet to make any sort of weekly plans for the kids because I can't stop reading these damn Hunger Games books.

Friday, May 25, 2012

This will change your life

I've got this friend that writes a really sassy foody blog. She's been taking a hiatus to birth her first baby - a baby who is perfect and beautiful and happens to have really cool parents. So while my blogroll has been bereft of her must-try recipes, I dug into the archives for one of my favorites, brussels sprouts.

These brussels sprouts will change your life.

I usually save this blog to share baby fun, baby photos, baby recipes, organic baby, healthy natural baby and mommy-isms. Disclaimer: this recipe is none of the above. If your kid eats it, then it becomes a win-win. Sophie ate three bites, but without the Cholula. The other disclaimer is that I shop at Costco, but you can cut down the recipe if you don't think your household can eat two pounds of baby cabbages.

Change Your Life Brussels Sprouts

2lb fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1lb bacon
2 Tablespoons Cholula
Juice of 2 large limes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Brown chopped bacon in skillet, remove with slotted spoon, set aside. Throw a handful of bacon in the dog's dish (you're welcome Maddox and Cooper). In hot pan with bacon fat remaining, add brussels sprouts that have been trimmed of the stem and tough outer leaves removed. Small ones I left whole, large ones I cut in half lengthwise. (And don't get over zealous when trimming stems or ALL of the leaves will start to fall off and you're left with pea-sized sprouts.) Saute about 6 minutes.

Put entire pan into 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, give them a good stir trying to flip most of them over, and return to oven for another 10 minutes.

Remove from oven, and please cover the skillet handle so you don't inadvertently grab said 400 degree pan handle and singlehandedly ruin your weekend. Add bacon crumbles that you saved, Cholula hot sauce, lime juice, salt and pepper. Eat. And then come back here and tell me how these changed your life.

Change Your Life Brussels Sprouts

Love this stuff.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

As she grows

My sweet, spunky, smart darling of a two year old is finished with her first year of preschool. She has changed in so many ways, made some new friends and has learned so many things under the careful watch and guidance of her dear teachers.

Will you stay this young, sweet and innocent forever, dear Sophie? Will you please always be my baby? I don't care right now if you always eat your peas, but I do want you to stay hopeful and energetic and curious and happy - always. I love you!

First day of school. 
Last day of school.

My sweet girl.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Best $10

The best ten bucks I've spent in the last month was actually a Groupon purchase.

This Bikram Yoga is NO JOKE. It's unlike anything I've ever done. I hate it and love it at the same time. The lights are on, no music, no relaxing, lots of talking by the instructor. Oh, and the temperature is somewhere between 105 and 110 degrees. They actually call the classroom the "torture room." Leanbackfallbackwaybackbackbend! And release. Doesn't sound very zen, does it?

I get excited to go to class and excited when I'm walking back to the car (sometimes simply trying not to pass out). During the class I'm just trying not to look like a fool. There are lots of beginners - probably from the Groupon deal - and we all hang in the back of the room together.

The deal of the day was $20 for 20 Bikram Yoga 90 minute classes in Crestwood. I had $10 in Groupon bucks, so only had to pay $10 out of pocket. Not a bad deal for a stay at home mom that needs a little time away!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Six months old

We are over the moon excited that the "weight issue" is past us, at least for now. At Tucker's six month well baby visit today, he rang in at 14lb 7oz, which is in the 4th percentile. Watch out, we're climbing the charts! This is largely due to supplementing breast milk with some formula and adding in solids at least twice a day. His palate is ever-expanding and so far includes:

Green beans
Sweet potato
Brown rice

He is sitting up for short periods of time and pushing up with strong arms when he's on his belly. He's started with "ba-ba-ba" and other short syllable sounds in just the last few days. He loves watching Sophie run around and dance and jump for him - she even helps sing him to sleep with her favorite Twinkle Stars. He's just a little love bug all around and I'm lucky to be his Mom. I love you, Buddy!

Some pictures from last weekend for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Teacher gifts!

We are in the last week of Sophie's first year of preschool. Hard to believe.

It is truly difficult to thank her room full of teachers (five of them!) for fostering her creativity, curiosity and sense of adventure. They have made our first year in Louisville memorable, for sure. Feeling a little crafty, I made some gifts for the end of the year!

I spray painted the lids of some old spaghetti sauce mason jars and cleaned the jars really well. Inside, I made Sophie's favorite "Grammala" bars (Chocolate chip granola bars adapted from this recipe). Outside, I downloaded a free printable for bookplates and personalized them with the help of a friend with all of her teachers' names. I printed the bookplates on 8 1/2 x 11 shipping labels and cut down to size, wrapped in plastic and tied with string to the large mason jars.

Grammala Bars
4 Cups rolled oats
1/4 Cup whole wheat flour
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1/2 Cup plus 2 T canola oil
1/2 Cup plus 2 T honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 Cups chocolate chips

Bake 325 degrees on parchment paper (spread into large rectangle about 1/2in thick) for 40 min. Let cool, but not completely, before cutting into squares (or rectangles... whatever floats your boat).

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Big days

Friends! Been a while. At least you know what I've been up to from the previous post. 

We have a big few days ahead of us. Tucker's weigh-in is tomorrow to see if we've been able to gain a few ounces. (Now that I think about it, would have been interesting if doctor had actually quantified  our goal in ounces.) Saturday I have date day with Bryan. We've surrendered to the fact that we are no longer night owls - last date night we pulled in the driveway at 9:15pm and I had four blisters on my feet from high heels that hadn't been worn in ages. 

And Sunday is Mother's Day. Let me say that I do not need a national holiday to make me feel appreciated and supported as a mother. Bryan makes me feel this way all.the.time. And although my children may not know all that I do for them until they're having babies of their own, I get gratitude and satisfaction from seeing them happy and healthy (plus or minus a pound or two).

Happy early Mother's Day to all the mothers and mothers-to be out there :)

I'm so lucky to be this guy's mom.

I'm so lucky to have this little family.
(The kids' first 5k; a race sponsored by Bryan's company.
Here he is with kids and one of his doctors.)

I'm so lucky to be this guy's main squeeze.
(The first picture Sophie has taken with mommy's big camera.)