Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Working for a Picture

Sometimes with two boys, it takes a few tries to get the perfect shot.

Friday, January 30, 2015

We Love our Buddies

We just might have a deep and abiding love for our "buddies" around here.

Mr. 6 year old still carried Mickey and Podo (aka: Pluto) around the house... They are still his best buddies.

But, man, this kid loves all the rest of them too.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Totally Yummy Broccoli Salad

First off..... I'm no food stylist or food blogger. I love to cook and sharing my food with others..... all that to say, the picture I took at the bottom of the post..... well, it's not awesome. 

However, this salad is.

Back story- I recently joined a co-op for fruits and veggies & I love it. My sister-in-law has been on my case (lovingly!) about joining for months. I kept putting it off.... but, seriously.... now? I'm kicking myself for not joining sooner. I love it! It's making me cook and serve fresh fruits and veggies every single day.

I'm super lucky that the Husband and the 6 year old are not picky eaters. In fact, Jacob loves broccoli. So, when I saw the big bundles of fresh broccoli in my co-op basket, I knew I had to make something super yummy with it. As a bonus, there has been some super awesome weather here in north Texas & we've been rolling with the windows down & doing a lot of playing outside.

It's been the perfect weather for Broccoli Salad!
Now, I have to admit, I didn't measure much in the recipe. I knew I wanted the broccoli to be lightly "sauced" with the dressing. Here's an outline of a recipe- add more or less of the dressing ingredients to suit your taste!

Chilled Broccoli Salad

a couple of heads of fresh broccoli
4/5 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled (save some of the bacon grease)
1/4 cup of red onion- finely sliced or chopped
1/2 cup craisins (I wish I had added more- but we were out)
 shredded mild cheddar cheese

(these amounts are approximate. remember, you can add or use less to your taste)
1 cup (ish) of mayo
3-4 Tablespoons of white wine vinegar
2-3 Tablespoons of sugar
a little drizzle of the reserved bacon grease

To assemble the salad:
cut off the broccoli florets from the stem and through the florets into a bowl. Cook your bacon in a skillet, being careful not to burn it. Just get it nice and crispy. I chopped my bacon up before I cooked it, but you can totally crumble it up after. However you roll, that's cool. When your bacon is cooked, then drain it off & remember to save just a bit of the grease. Through the bacon into the bowl with your broccoli.

Add the craisins.
(I should add- the husband thought that some added chopped almonds or pecans or such would be great in this salad. If that's your thing, then add them now.)

It's time to make the dressing now.

In another bowl, add all the ingredients for the dressing & whisk away.
Now...... this part is totally an option. But. It's a tasty one. I added just a wee little bit of the bacon grease to the dressing.

I know. I know.
Not the healthiest salad in the world.
But, man, it was so good!

Add your cheese at this point and then cover and chill the salad for about 2 hours!
The longer you can let it set and chill, the better.
Serve to a grateful family!

Monday, January 26, 2015

He Can Do it Himself, He Thinks

A whole new world was opened up to the tiny one today!

He had his first actual, real life, for real, baby food moment at lunch today.

He's been showing quite a bit of interest in what the rest of the humans in the house are eating at different meal times. And, he's been known to try and steal sips out of whatever he sees other people drinking. (His father may have also slipped him a bite or 10 of avocado or guacamole here in the last month as well.) 

I had been going back and forth on when to start him on "real food" lately. He's been showing all the signs, but.... I didn't start his big brother on food until he was a WHOLE lot closer to 1 year old. But, if there's one thing that Luke has been showing me (over and over again) is that he's a very different kid than his big bro.

And, I'm hoping that adding some food to his tummy might help with his reflux issues. Ugh. I'm so over that. I haven't really written about that on the blog. Honestly, it's been a whuppin. He's been projectile with his vomit pretty much since he was born. We've tried everything. Sometimes, it's better... sometimes (mostly), he and I go through 12 changes of clothing a day. "Burp" cloths are like gold around this house.

Today, was the day. I sat him up in his highchair, slipped a wipe-able bib around his neck & introduced him to the wonders of squash.

He figured out the process pretty quickly. All at once, when I dipped the spoon into the squash and brought it up to his mouth, he started grabbing the spoon out of my hand and taking it the rest of the way.

He was into it.

And, when he was done, the spoon made an excellent teether! I'm going to go ahead and say that some squash with his lunch was right up his alley.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2014 Reflections

Well. Well. Well.

It's been quite a few days since I logged into this poor corner of the internet. My apologies. It's been a wild and crazy fall and December. A brief recap... every single member of my sweet little family has been battling some kind of illness since August. It's been insane. And, then, just when I thought I had finally gotten everyone well..... we were all struck down by the Flu. Yup. Mr. Husband. Me. The 6 year old & the baby. The four of us have been to the doctors' office more in the last 5 or 6 months than should be legal. We've also been to the pharmacy more than I would like.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
I bought a house with Mr. Husband!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I really don't make resolutions. I try to make goals. My goals for last year were to read more books and lose baby weight after Luke was born. Sigh. I did neither. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Me!!! Little Luke was born in June!
My cousin gave birth to a long awaited little boy!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My beloved Grandmother Winnie passed away November 1st.
If I'm being honest, I'll admit that I'm still struggling with that.

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
More money at the end of the year. I'd really like to make some good strides in saving. 
Also, I'd like to be back in my pre-pregnancy clothing.... 

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The night we found out we were going to be able to buy our home.
The day in June when Luke was born. Without a doubt.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I felt like this was the year our family really started to gel. We worked through a lot of kinks and came together. The relationships between all the people in this house have grown and stretched & become stronger. There's been a whole lotta love. That's been fantastic.

 9. What was your biggest failure?
I feel a bit that not being able to continue with homeschooling Jacob was a failure on my part. I'm not sure it's a realistic perception, but it's one that I have. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Well, I gave birth almost 4 weeks early & ended up almost bleeding out on the operating table. (Just a side note: keeping your iron levels up when you are pregnant is a VERY good idea! Otherwise, you end up very, very anemic & require a couple of bags of blood!)
I also hurt my knee in July. Ugh.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our house. Without question. It's been one of the greatest blessings for our family.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Our house & our new addition.
13. What did you get really excited about?
Because I'm a nerd, buying a house. 
This is the first house the husband and I have ever owned. It's been so amazing to have this space that belongs to us.

14. What song will always remind you of 2014?
This is going to sound super silly. But, the song that will remind me of 2014 isn't a song that even played on most radio stations in 2014. I sang/played this song A LOT while I was preggo. And, when Luke was born, I played and sang it even more.

'Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by IZ

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? I'd say... happier.
– thinner or fatter? Uh, fatter. Way fatter.
– richer or poorer? poorer.
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Live in the moment.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

18. How did you spend Christmas?
We got together with my side of the family Christmas Eve night, just like every year. This year, however, there was a bit of a melancholy note. Christmas Eve was my grandmother's birthday & this 1st of 1sts was a little hard.
On Christmas Day, we woke up to see what Santa had left us and then we piled into the car and went out to the husband's side of the family. There were about 25 people crammed into that house! Afterwards, we headed back to my parent's house for my birthday cake and presents!

19. What was your favorite TV program?
I haven't watched a lot of tv this year. I've been too busy.
I did, however, catch (most of) the final season of Sons of Anarchy.

I will stop & watch (aka: keep on in the background....)-
Property Brothers
Restaurant Impossible
Cutthroat Kitchen
Pioneer Woman
$10 Meals
Big Bang Theory
Once Upon a Time

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
I've pretty much sucked at reading actual books this year.
The one book that stands out that I read was,
"The Antelope in the Living Room" by Melanie Shankle
(I have, however, challenged myself to read 52 books in this 2015 year. More on that later!)

21. What was your favorite music from this year?
I don't know that I had a favorite music this year. I'm pretty much all over the dial when it comes to music.

22. What was your favorite film of the year?
Probably XMen. We saw it through Redbox (love you, Redbox!)
We've been pretty fond of Redbox and Netflix this past year.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I celebrated Christmas! My birthday is Christmas Day. And I'm now 34 years old!!

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I can't think of anything off the top of my hand. 2014 was a stress-filled year, to be sure. However, it was full of love and family. Laughter, along with tears. It was a year of great joy.
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Uh, seasonally appropriate Mom.
In the summer, it's shorts/tank tops/flip flops with a swim suit cover sundress thrown in for good measure.
In the winter, it's skinny jeans/Uggs knockoffs & cute blouses/shirts & my trusty black or cream sweater wrap. 
And jewelry. Love the bling.
And I must, at all times, have a bag that would rival Mary Poppins.

26. What kept you sane?
Music. Blogging. Snuggling with the short one. Family dinners. Mama's Nights Out. 

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
There can be times when amazing joy balances out great fear and pain. 
This year saw the start of a new life... and the end of another. 
Every moment counts in life. Whatever you are doing- something deeply serious or fantastically silly... it's all meaningful. So, give it everything you have. Live deeply.