Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

* I have two other posts drafted but don't have the time to put much thought into them.  One is a sad post full of heavy material and I keep plugging along on it.  The other is a happy post about our anniversary but I just don't have 20 minutes to spend on a dedicated subject.  Posting sometimes gives me ADD.

* Oh my gosh Cal is walking all over the place.  It is INSANE!  He just took steps two weeks ago and now he's toddling everywhere.

* I am still going to knitting class and so far have finished two hats, started a new hat and almost completed one slipper sock.  I still have the finishing touches on the hats, like the ears, but I am at a standstill because I don't remember how to start the ears.  This next class will be what I need to kick start me into finishing.

* Jack is doing this new thing where he says "This is me Mama!".  It's like he is trying to announce his presence all the time.  It is super cute.

* Jason and I are probably going to do our annual Christmas shopping trip on Saturday.  I just have to sucker my in-laws into watching the boys and feeding them dinner.  We do this every year.  We usually go to the mall, pick up some gifts and then either go out to dinner or lunch after.  Last year I was hugely pregnant and we only went to a few stores before we called it a day.  The year before, we brought Jack in a stroller.  The year before that?  Also pregnant.

* I ordered the invitations for Cal's 1st Birthday last week.  I wanted to get them ordered so I had them in time to be able to mail well in advance.  Since his birthday is right after the holidays I want people to have enough time to decide if they want to come.  I am going with a Mickey Mouse theme since Cal loves Mickey.  I have a Pinterest board dedicated to my ideas.  I am not a crafty person so likely I will probably only make the food.  The decorations will be either store-bought or simple like balloons.  My best friend, who is an awesome pastry chef, has offered to make the cake and favors (probably Mickey cookies).

* I am struggling with some ideas for age appropriate toys for the boys for Christmas.  I think I am done for Jack, but what about Cal?  Everything either lights up, makes noise, sings, or is generally annoying.  Whatever happened to good old fashioned toys?  He doesn't need blocks, Legos or anything too babyish.  I need to head to Finnegan's, our cool toy store to see if anything catches my eye.

* Can I tell you how ridiculously excited I am about this year's holidays? I didn't take any time off last year but this year?  I am on vacation starting on December 17th all the way through the end of the year.  I fully plan on taking my boys to fun places and baking with my sister.

* Our Thanksgiving was awesome.  This girl didn't take a single picture of the day (oops) but Jack ate nothing and Cal ate everything.  Well, Jack did eat some apples and pumpkin pie but that's it.  And can I just brag on my kids?  Jack didn't have a nap that day and was seriously SO GOOD over at my aunt and uncle's.  He usually is a holy terror when he doesn't nap but he was great.  I was a proud mama.  The food was delicious, the company was even better and I didn't leave in a food coma.

* I am contemplating starting to run. As in, buying good running shoes and trying the Couch to 5K program. I need to get my butt in gear before I turn into a whale.  Who am I kidding?  I am already a whale.

That's it for now.  I keep saying that I will catch up on posts but we know how well that goes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

* We had such an awesome time for our anniversary weekend.  I will post about it another day.  Tons of rest, relaxation, good food and time together.

* Cal slept through the night for the second night in a row!  I honestly don't expect it to continue but it has been awfully nice.

* It feels like fall here in Oregon, which I LOVE.  Fall is my favorite season.  I love the cold, windy, rainy weather and everything that goes along with fall.  Christmas shopping, comfort food, warm clothes, fuzzy socks, flannel sheets.  Ahhhhhh.  Love it.

* I am making quite a few Christmas gifts this year and I think I have bit off more than I can chew.  None of them are particularly hard.  They will just take time and you know I have so much time to spare.

* I am still going to my knitting class.  I actually have one hat mostly done save for a couple of ear pieces (it's a mouse hat) and another hat started and about 75% done.  I saw an awesome pattern for slipper socks at the knitting store.  If it's easy, I might pick it up because clearly I don't have enough to do.

* I have cut back my pumping sessions to 4 times a day rather than 5.  This has given me a break as well as lined me up to start weaning from the pump at some point.  I have a great freezer stash and if I were to stop tomorrow, I would have enough milk to get Cal through 12 months.  I am not sure how to break the news to my donor moms that I am cutting back and weaning though.

* I have to go to a client site on Thursday and am stressing about what to wear.  I have black pants and plenty of tops but I am still stressed.  I will find something but it's always fun to get new stuff.  I don't need new stuff though.  Dilemmas!

* I have been putting off making a couple of doctor's appointments but I finally bit the bullet.  I am going to the eye doctor next week and the dermatologist in December.  My eye visit is just a routine one.  I need new contacts and I was running out so it was time.  The dermatologist?  I am dreading it.  It's a necessary evil though.  It's for a routine mole check.  I have a couple of questionable looking ones and it's always important just to get your moles looked at.  That sounds gross doesn't it?  Moles.  Ew.

Did I really just start most of these bullet points with "I"?  I promise I am not this self-absorbed.  Geez, there I go again.

Monday, November 12, 2012

10 Months Old!

I am two days late posting this update since Jason and I were out of town for our anniversary.

There are lots of exciting things going on with Calvin the past couple of weeks.  Here are some important noteables:

* Cal has two teeth!  Both his top teeth have popped through.  Oh my goodness how grown up does he look!  So stinkin' cute.

* HE IS WALKING!  We went away for the weekend and came back to a toddling baby.  He took three unassisted steps over at Nana's this weekend.  He has been trying but we have never seen him actually walk.  Now he is taking steps all over the house.  I give him about two weeks and he will be full on walking.

* Someone slept through the night last night.  Cal went down to sleep at 7:30 and didn't wake up until 5:30.  That is 10 hours of silence.  He woke up at 5:30, drank his bottle and then went back down to sleep until 6:45.  Yahooo!  I don't expect him to do this all the time but boy was it nice.

* You spent your first night away from Mom and Dad this past weekend.  Not only was it one night, but two!  You did great over at Nana and Papa's and slept in their Pack N Play.

* He loves food.  LOVES.  If you are eating something and he wants a bite, he will bounce up and down on his feet until you give him a bite.  He has actually started crying when you don't give him a bite fast enough.  It would be pretty hysterical if it wasn't so pathetic.  I promise we feed him.  As you can see in the picture of the month, he is trying to steal what Jack is eating.  We often hum the Jaws theme when Cal starts prowling around for food.

* Cal's favorite foods are anything fruit related (especially pears and peaches), Ritz crackers and peanut butter sandwiches.  We try to feed him what we are eating so I don't have to prepare multiple meals.  He loves feeding himself and we love to be able to eat without sticking a spoon in his mouth every second.

* Speaking of spoons, I gave you a spoon and a dish of Greek yogurt the other day so you could try and feed yourself.  Amazingly enough, you did pretty well.  I had you stripped down to just a diaper and a bib and a tablecloth under your highchair.  I am super duper behind on having you learn with utensils and sippy cups (second child syndrome) so this was good practice.

* He is solidly in 12 month clothing.  Since Jack was still in 9 month clothing at 10 months, a lot of Cal's stuff isn't really seasonally appropriate.  Example: He wears Christmas pajamas most nights since his 12 month sleepers were all used by Jack around the holidays.

* Your favorite toys are pretty much anything that Jack is playing with.  However, you do like "reading" which means pulling all the books off the shelf and flipping through them.  I try to read to you but your attention span is really short.  Maybe you will love books more as you get older.  You also love putting things in things and opening and closing doors and drawers.  You are happy to open and close the door on the play kitchen for minutes on end.

* You typically take a short morning nap and then a longer afternoon nap.  If we time it right, you usually go down right after lunch and sleep until 3:00.  You are certainly a better sleeper as you get older.

* As always, you are a super happy baby.  Even when teething and not feeling well you still put on a smile. You are never too tired or grumpy to laugh or hand out smiles.

* Bathtime might be your favorite time of the day.  Whether it's taking a bath by yourself or with big brother, you love it.  You splash around, crawl in the tub and don't even mind getting your head wet.  It's funny because you stand up against the side of the tub and get cold because you immediately sit back down.  You repeat this several times and think it's hysterically funny.  After bath you get either nakey time or diaper time where you play for a few minutes in the buff or in a diaper.  You love this.

I wasn't great about taking pictures this past month, but here is a cute one of you in action.  It was after bath and you were enjoying diaper time and trying to steal Jack's juice pop.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

All About Food

Here is a catch up of recipes I have made lately.  Enjoy the delicious looking food and ignore my terrible picture skills.

Overnight Blueberry Stuffed French Toast

So my picture doesn't look nearly as good as the cover picture but this was amaze-balls!  I loved that I was able to prepare it early in the morning and have it hang out in the fridge until it was time to bake.

The only thing I would do differently would be to get the cream cheese soft and spread it between the layers rather than cube it and drop it in.  I used a combination of day old French bread and older wheat bread.  I for sure thought Jack would gobble this right up since he is a huge fan of blueberries.  Alas, he wouldn't even try it.  I served this as a dinner item along with some breakfast sausage.  Brinner for the win!

Slow Cooker Pork and Green Chile Stew

Soooooooo sooooooooo good.  I will be making this again for sure.  I swear everything I have made off of the Skinny Taste website has been awesome.  This had the perfect amount of heat.  I cooked up some rice to serve alongside.

My grocery store didn't have a 1 pound pork loin so I bought two pounds and cut it in half.  Also, the only thing I did a little differently was thicken up our stew a bit.  It seemed too thin to me so I made up a little cornstarch slurry and added that to the pot and let some of the liquid cook off.  


Mini Pumpkin Spice Muffins with a Spiced Glaze

I needed to make a dessert for our grandmother's 80th birthday and it needed to be easy.  Cue the easiest muffin recipe ever.  I have made this before and it is two ingredients:  A boxed cake mix and a can of pumpkin.  The end.

Aren't these cute?

Mix the cake mix of your choice (I used a spice cake mix) with a small can of pumpkin puree.  Bake per the directions on the box.  I made a glaze to jazz these up a bit.  Add some powdered sugar to a bowl, stir in milk to the desired consistency.  Then add whatever spices you want.  I used a teeny bit of ginger, some nutmeg and some cinnamon.

These were a huge hit.  I brought zero muffins home and I know for sure other people had leftovers of their desserts.

Spaghetti with Quick Turkey Chili

This was a recipe from the Food Network Magazine.  It was quick and it was easy.  Even better, it's healthy!  Even healthier if you use whole wheat pasta.

I made a couple of tweaks to this but it was simply out of substitutions.  I used ground chicken since I had that on hand.  My scallions had gone dead in the refrigerator so I used a regular yellow onion instead.  Oh, and I upped the hot sauce.  We like things spicy!

I may or may not have eaten two servings of this (there goes the whole healthy thing).

Butternut Squash Mac n' Cheese with Caramelized Onions, Bacon and Apple

Sorry for such the long title.  But you just can't leave out an ingredient you know?  I will disclaim that I was the sole member of the household that liked this.  My husband hates squash and if he knows that squash is in something (even if you can't taste it), he assumes he will hate it.  Jack didn't eat it because even though it was macaroni and cheese, it looked different than he was used to.

Whatever, more leftovers for me.

I used my own butternut squash puree.  I bought a squash and roasted it and scooped out the flesh and it took a spin in the food processor.  What wasn't used in my recipe was given to Cal mixed in with some cereal.  He appreciated the handouts.

I am lazy and used store bought precooked bacon.  I also hate cooking bacon so there's that.  Yummy!

Fall Snack Mix

No recipe needed here.  Just mix up whatever fun fall candy you like with other fun crunchy stuff.  My mix contained pretzels, mini Teddy grahams, candy corn, and two kinds of M&Ms.  You could add nuts, dry cereal or anything your fancy strikes you.  

I don't find all my recipes off the internet.  This one was actually from a library book I checked out.  Rather than type out the recipe, I found a link. 

This was pretty good.  It definitely needed more spice - story of my life, tee hee. 

I LOVED the polenta though.  My goodness.  I have never made polenta like this before and it was easy and tasty.

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

Another Food Network Magazine recipe.  Yummy yummy!  Very easy and very tasty and relatively inexpensive.  My chicken got a wee bit brown in the oven but it was still very good.  I hardly ever cook chicken that still has the skin on and bone in but now I see why it's necessary.  Super juicy and super tasty.

I really liked that you also roasted the peppers.  It was a veggie side that you cooked along with the protein which made my life easier.  Add some rice and a green salad and the world is good.

I have a couple of new recipes to try in the coming days.  I have been trying new things but don't necessarily need a recipe such as stir-fry.  Can you believe that I never make stir-fry?  It seems intimidating to me.

That's it for this time!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fir Point Farm 2012

Rain or shine!  We made the trek to Fir Point Farm a few weekends ago.  I brought Jack last year and he absolutely loved it.  This is definitely a tradition that our family will keep.

It was pouring rain as Lynn (my mother-in-law), Jack, Cal and I made the trip down to Hubbard, Oregon.  It's only a 25 minute drive so it wasn't terrible.  When we pulled up to Fir Point, the rain had slowed to a drizzle.  We came prepared and I bundled up the kiddos in coats, hats, gloves and boots for Jack.  I even wore my super cool tomato hat.

With Cal in the Ergo and Jack holding hands with Nana, off we went.  The rain had stopped by the time we sloshed through the paths to see the animals.

We saw goats, bunnies, chickens and pigs.  Jack had a blast feeding the goats and wanted to keep throwing food their way.  The sheeps' names were Shrek and Fiona.  Jack was very confused because he knows what the real Shrek looks like and it isn't like the dude below.

Cal enjoyed the view over my shoulder.  He just sat content and happy the entire visit.

Last year, Jack was afraid of Hazel's Nut House.  It's a little log cabin with the floor filled with hazelnuts.  They are a good 6 inches deep.  This year?  He loved it!  We all climbed in and tromped around and had a blast.

There weren't pony rides this year.  The farm is under new ownership so a few things had changed.  Last year Jack's favorite activity was sliding down the big slide over and over and over and over........This year?  Not so much.  He was afraid of how high it was even with help and he wouldn't slide down.

Instead we enjoyed a lovely hayride.  We enjoyed each other, the views of the pumpkin fields and samples of the fresh apple cider donuts.

This child couldn't stuff donuts in his mouth fast enough.

Among the highlights of the trip in Jack's opinion were the giant Noah's Ark and the bounce house!  A little running off of some energy is always good.

After a trip to the farm store for some donuts to take home, we drove back towards the city.  We stopped for lunch at McDonald's where Jack proceeded to get stuck in the Play Place.  He was scared to climb back down and just stayed there.  Since there were no other kids around to help, guess who had to climb their fat butt into the structure?  I kept praying it wouldn't collapse under my weight.

We had a great time at Fir Point Farm and will definitely be going back next year.  I just hope they bring back the pumpkin donuts next time!  


Better late than never!  Jack was so so SO excited for Halloween this year.  He kept asking about it, kept practicing saying Trick or Treat and would jump for joy when we told him he would be getting candy.

Jack dressed up as a fireman and was able to wear his costume to school that day as well.  Cal dressed up as a pumpkin.

We headed to my in-laws in the late afternoon.  The plan was to trick or treat in their neighborhood because they live in a nicer area and that way, we could have dinner together and they could see the kiddos dressed up.

Jack was so dang cute while we were out and about.  At one point he tried stepping into someone's house so he could have a better chance to snag some candy.  The video posted below is evidence of my little grabby-pants.

Cal wasn't sure what was going on.  We just carried him and he enjoyed watching people answer their doors.  Plus, he loves watching his big brother, a.k.a. His Idol.

Here are some pictures or our evening.  Jack ended up with quite the haul of candy for only going to 10 or so houses.  We are mean parents and have been rationing it so he doesn't end up in a sugar coma every day.

Obligatory costume shot.  Jack's reflector tape really worked!  Can you tell?

Walking up to a house.  Getting ready to yell "Kick o teet!"

Cute pumpkin!

Blurry shot but Jack was just so excited!

The video proof that my kiddo is trying to weasel his way into other people's homes for candy.