Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Outtakes from baking with a toddler

Normally when I am in the kitchen baking, Bear is at my feet.  He's getting in my way and just in general making it harder for me to quickly complete the task at hand.  This time I decided if he was insisting on getting in my way, I would put him to work.  I measure and poured all the ingredients and even did a very quick initial mix.  I could give him the mixer and just let him be.


He did a fantastic job!  He listened and more importantly followed every instruction without whining.  It shocked the heck out of me for sure. 


Daddy thought Eve should get in on the action.  He sat her down on the counter to watch and that's when things went from just being cute to something I will always remember.  Bear appeared to be explaining to Eve what he was doing.  It came out more as incoherent babbling with a few "Me Mix" and "eep movin" (keep it moving) thrown in. 




Eve loved hearing Bear talk and watching him mix the cake.  We were there for all of 20 minutes.  I assumed the cake was going to be terribly over mixed at this point even though he was on a very low speed.  


Bear even asked to help pour it into the pan for baking.  Once his job was done he ran off to play with his trucks.  Every now and then he would come running back to see if it was done.  When the cake was cooked through, cooled and frosted, we all had a piece.  Sorry Eve, one day you will join in too!  I figured it would just be an OK cake.  I was very wrong.  That little boy helped make one delicious cake!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Dear EV (Jan 2017 - Six Months Old)





Dear EV,


This month has been pretty eventful for you growth and ability wise.  You are sitting up on your own.  I do still feel the need put the Boppy behind you just in case.  When you get very excited you tend to forget everything and topple over.  You have been getting around by rolling places and turning on your belly in a circle.  Its like watching a baby roomba.    



Much like I have said in previous months, your big personality is coming through more and more.  Eve, you are my smile baby.  That big grin you get when you see us or like something is melts my heart.  You have also decided that slapstick humor, excited puppies, and weird faces are funny to you.  If a camera comes out you are all about it.  Snapchat is basically a lifesaver.  If you are losing it the camera and filters can make you stop crying almost instantly.  I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not, but for now I will take it since it makes you happy.



OK onto your current stats:

Weight: 15 lbs 11 oz (birth weight: 6 lbs) 

Length: 25.5 inches (birth length: 19 in) 

 


Diaper size:  You are officially in size 2 diapers.  For cloth you fit perfectly in the charlie banana size small diapers.  You don't seem to have a preference in diapers thankfully.  I however think that cloth is a better fit on you.  The back gaps on the disposable so you are likely to leak out the back especially when you are playing with your feet.  

Clothing size:  Eve, you are in a mix of 3-6 mo and 6 mo clothing.  I suspect you will be in 6 mo clothing in the next 2 weeks if not sooner.  You are growing faster than I ever expected!  I'm sad every time I have to pack up clothes you barely wore because you outgrew it so quickly.  

Feedings/eating:  I moved you up to the larger size bottles and medium flow nipples.  This seemed to fix the problems you had when drinking.  You also started solid food this month. So far you have done rice cereal and oatmeal both made with formula.  Eating is preferred over a bottle!  I hope you stay that way.  There is only allowed to be 1 picky eater in this house at a time and your brother has that position filled!


Sleep:  Lately, you seem to protest sleep.  Napping for only short periods of time and waking up earlier than normal in the morning.  You are still, for the most part, your chipper self.  Though I don't know how much longer you can go on with these short naps.  The less sleep you get the grumpier you are.  This is clear a family trait.



Likes:  One of the top toys of the moment is a seahorse rattle toy that we use when we are out and about.  I believe that is because you can get a good grip on it unlike some of the other toys.  The mermaid set you got for Christmas is also big hit.  You like like the purse aspect most it would seem.  (You are clearly my child)  Solid food is one of the best things ever it would appear!  I can't wait to feed you more.  You also love the exersaucer.  I'm not surprised as you prefer to stand.  The exersaucer allows you to do that!


Dislikes:  You do not like it when your brother takes your toys away from you.  We are working on sharing.  The loud barks from the dogs can make you cry.  Water on your face is a sure fire way to tick you off.  This one makes baths just so much fun.  Above anything else you dislike being in your car seat without any movement.  If you are strapped into that its a matter of 2 minutes before you lose it.  I fear the day we end up in a traffic jam.  


Best moment(s):  The cutest moment by far this month was your brother coming over to play with you.  He sat there entertaining you for a full 15 minutes before he walked away.  You were laughing and giggling the whole time.  When Bear walked away you began to cry.  No one, but Bear could console you.  Eventually something else caught your attention, but it was sweet to see you show preference for your big brother.  


Another great moment happened when attempting to bake a cake with your brother.  You daddy brought you over to get in on the action.  Bear started to talk to you about what he was doing.  You seemed very captivated by whatever he was saying.  It was a sweet moment I won't soon forget.  


Doctors Appointments: You have not had your check up yet, but I'm assuming it's going to be pretty standard. 

*Update after appointment - you are in track so we only need to bring you in again at 9month old for a well baby check up.  Yay!  


Looking Forward:  I am looking forward to you getting your ears pierced!  We have pretty earrings for you.  




Love, 
Mama



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Eve's First food


Two weeks ago, I decided to give Eve her first taste of baby food.  
Rice cereal counts as food to me, though I know others don't.  
I feel like it is a good (and cheap) starting point for my little one.



She did not seem thrilled with this idea at first.  Hardly any stayed in her mouth.  Once you got a good taste of it she seemed eager to try more.  I would be loading up the spoon and her mouth would already be open with arms flapping in excitement.  I used this as an opportunity to reinforce some baby signs like "more", "eat", "YAY/celebrations".

 

It was hit with her!  She enjoys eating real food and not just total liquid.  Every day since she has gotten super excited whenever I come near her with a brightly colored bowl in my hand.  After her 6 month checkup at the end of this week I plan to kick it up a bit.  Since she doesn't seem to have any of issues with feeding in general, I am thinking of starting with pumpkin.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Out with the old...


There is something about a move that makes you acutely aware of just how much stuff that you own.  The closet in the hall that you never open because eighteen blankets may topple onto you.  That kitchen cabinet of stuff you never use anymore.  The bookshelf that is teeming with books you already read or the baskets of odds and ends that belong else where.  They all begin to frustrate you more and more like an itchy sweater.  It needs to be addressed, but where do you start?

Knowing that we are moving in a few short months to we don't know where yet, the urge to toss out half my house has gotten me off my butt and moving.  Today I started with the three baskets in the bedroom.  I consider them my version of a junk drawer.  Everything seems to find its way into them.  Receipts, loose change, three packs of crayons, and dozens of buttons are just the tip of the iceberg.  




Oh why did I let it get this bad?

Most of the stuff got tossed out and the rest got put where it belongs.  I spent the following 10 minutes running around the house pulling the buttons out of the bags and putting them in the sewing kit.  The crayons went back into the craft cabinet.  The matchbox cars went back into Bears' case.  Things were getting cleaning, but the more places I looked at the more overwhelmed I got.


Why are there loose crayons and empty boxes in the craft cabinet?

Does this child really need that many cars?

We may need new baskets if these ones don't survive their 5th move.

I just dusted that last week.  How is it dirty already?

Is that really another f@#king matchbox car?


I did managed to resist the urge to jump from project to project when putting the stuff away.  It did help that I finished the baskets completely and then put the items where they belonged.  Normally, I put them where they go once I have a handful of stuff for one spot, get distracted and clean something else.  Doing it all at the end kept me from bouncing around from task to task.  Since I had extra time at the end I was able to pick up the loose crayons and even take out the trash.  That is one small to do item that got crossed off the ever growing long list of things to go through.  My craft closet may be next.  I'm already cringing thinking about it.  If you have any extra cleaning fairies please send them my way!  

Monday, January 23, 2017

Hubs does Meal Prep

This week Hubs wanted to try his hand at meal planning / meal prep.  We are taking our health a bit more seriously lately and have both been doing two meal replacement shakes a day with one actual meal.  Relax people I can feel the emails already.  We have talked with medical professionals that see nothing wrong with doing this.  That said an average day includes two shakes, some fruit and veggies for snacking on, and one healthy meal.  The meal is eaten whenever we want.  Some days it's lunch, but more often its a early dinner.  


via
 We use these for our shakes.  Its pretty on par with the fitness brand versions only we get this from the PX with coupons for a much more reasonable price.  


Poor hubby did have some limitations.  I needed to use the 10 chicken breasts in the freezer meaning we would be eating them for every meal that week.  This doesn't bother us.  It is an added bonus that Hubs is doing this too because then I can add more variety to what is made.  The other stipulation was that he needed to try to use up a decent amount of whats in the pantry.  

On to what he made...


 He marinated eight of the chicken breasts in different homemade marinades several hours before cooking.  Then cooking them all on the same try at the same time.  While the chicken was cooking he steamed the green beans then the Broccoli.  He made the stuffing and then the chicken rice-a-roni.  



 I thought the juices would run way more than they did.  



 The marinates are listed on the picture, but they look delicious.  He sliced the chicken while I plated the sides.  



 an overview of the meals



These are the larger 6 cup Pyrex storage containers.  We could use the 3 cup sizes we have, but we like extra veggies as well as allowing for extra space for better reheating.   



His first meal was chicken with fajita mix and Texas caviar (onions, black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, minus the cilantro) with chips.  Yes, chips.  



 This second meal was teriyaki chicken with steamed broccoli over white rice.  He prefers the rice to be cooked the day of.  I personally don't mind reheating it.



 The third meal is ranch chicken, steamed green beans, and chicken flavored rice-a-roni.  It's an easy meal that used up some pantry and freezer veggies.



 For his fourth meal he seasoned the chicken with adobo, steamed broccoli, and make stuffing.  It didn't come as fluffy as he wanted but he tasted delicious.  



The final dinner happened to be the meal we were eating that night.  Some things just taste better when made fresh.  Any breaded chicken tastes better fresh.  Hubs made a pretzel crusted chicken over left over romaine lettuce and a bag of iceberg lettuce mix (cabbage, dried cranberries, sesame seeds, and pomegranate vinaigrette).   


Bear has food from each of the meals pulled aside for him.  He can pick and choose what he wants to eat each day from that or I make him his own meal if needed.  We do try to eat as a family at the kitchen table even if we are all eating different meals.  The older he gets the less likely we are to be doing meals this way, but for now it works for us.


Do you meal prep or meal plan?  What are your go to meals?

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Mary Berry Cookbook (Review)

Absolute Favourites by Mary Berry



My love for all things Mary Berry is well documented on here and when this cookbook came out I had to have it!  Much of what I love about her previous books also applies to this one.  She gives clear directions, uses easy to find ingredients, and has a good variety of dishes from appetizers through desserts.  Mary even includes standard measurements as well as metric which is a nice added feature.  Some highlights are her sections on fish and (obviously) tea time.  She has a variety of tradition and reinvented recipes.  

If I'm nitpicking here, her section on poultry and game could have been much better.  It was predominantly chicken recipes.  While they are delicious looking and sounding, she could have included more than one venison and couple of pheasant dishes.  I just feel she had an opportunity to show off some grouse, duck, or hare recipes to enhance the "game" section.  

Overall, I love this cookbook!  The few recipes I have tried to were delicious.    Ones I will use again and again and again.




This was delicious!





Mary Berry always looks like she is having a good time.

This was also delicious!!!
I love a book that looks pretty without the dust cover.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Favorites on Friday

Friday is upon us and here are a few of my favorite things...(I just sang that last part in my head as I typed it.)


Pretty thank you cards - sure plenty of places sell cheap thank you cards, but Target seems to make super cute ones!  I found these stashed away and had to get them.  Yes, I still hand write thank you notes.  I think it's a shame more people don't! 


Cutthroat kitchen and Camp Cutthroat - I love this show mainly for Alton Browns response or reactions to what they are cooking along with the hysterical situations they get put in.  


Packing up the pump - EV is totally done getting any more boob juice from me.  The freezer supply is gone and my supply has almost completely dried up.  The pumped served its purpose, but I am physically and mentally done with all of that.  Boxing up the pump and parts up was a huge relief.  For now it will stay in storage until we figure out what we are doing or what I want to do with it.  

Thoughtful gifts - My in laws are very thoughtful when it comes to gift giving.  This year for Christmas they gave us a Tabasco gumbo bowls and a bottle of white wine to go with it.  We don't need any dishes, but pretty ones I will never turn down.  These have already been used on two separate occasions since we got them.  We tried their recipe and it was good.  I think we will stick with the recipe we acquired while in Louisiana.  As far as the bowls go, they were the perfect size for me.  Even if I did have to go back for seconds.
They suggest a California Chardonnay.

Snow - I love the winter not just for the cold weather.  I really love the winter for the snow.  There is just something about that every time it snows I become a little kid again.  The excitement hits and I want to run outside.  I don't even mind shoveling it.  Now that I have kids I feel like I have an excuse for acting like goof.  




Thursday, January 19, 2017

Summer Sausage Kit



In an effort to clean out the pantry, Hubs decided to use the kit I got him for his birthday to make summer sausage.  He picked up some meat from the store then took over my kitchen.

He chopped the Beef and Pork up.


Emptied the bowl so he could do the first grind into it


This was how it came out.


Once he finished grinding all the meat he hand mixed in the two packets.
(following the directions obviously!)


The mixture then goes back through the grinder once again.


We wanted to do some smaller ones so hubby cut the casing in half and crimped the ends.


They sat in the fridge for a while before going into the oven the next day.  


It took longer than expected to get the internal temp just right.


After cooking naturally for a while on the counter we packaged them up in the vacuum seal bags.


They came out much better than expected!


This is one we will definitely buy and make again!