Friday, July 30, 2010

today

Ahh, finally... I thought it was going to be one of those all work and no play days! Roman and I started the day pretty late, waking up at about 10:30am. I know... it makes us sound pretty lazy, but this was after one of those nights. Roman decided that he didn't want his broccoli/acorn squash/sweet potato/b.milk puree. He opted for midnight, 4:30am, 6:30am snacks.
I ended up getting a lot of organizing done. However, after organizing my sewing and crocheting, doing all the laundry and dishes, sweeping the entire house, gathering items to be consigned and donating, and playing with Roman; I still feel like there are a million chores left undone and I have a list to prove it!

My list
  • Call Capital One (Did you know they charge an annual fee?!)
  • Copy two charts from The Vaccine Book (No need...they're on www.TheVaccineBook.com website)
  • order diapers
  • Ck. www.Etsy.com for bath products
  • research ingredients in bath products
  • Finish blog
  • Mail the mail
  • Make Roman a album
  • Finish sweater
  • Call to find out when Roman's dr. appt is (yes, I am that mom)
  • bookmark www.TheVaccineBook.com
  • bookmark www.CDC.com
  • clean house (for the most part)
  • finish diaper
  • buy yarn for sweater
Sometimes, I feel like the energizer bunny with some off brand batteries in.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"What cha doin' with ya heiney in the air?"

Diapering for Dumbies Needed
So, whoever thought what you put on a baby's butt could be so involving, so confusing, and so expensive?
As of now, we have used g diapers with prefold organic Birdseye and the flushable insert and both 7th Generation chlorine-free and Huggies Pure and Natural.
The g's never seem to fit him correctly. They were huge when he was born, then the little pouch never seemed to work right AND they're made so that they Velcro is in the back?! Yeah...
As for the Huggies, they were perfect when he was first born because they have a little umbilical cord cut-out. Then, they leaked. Now that he is a size 2 they fit well again. Apparently, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
We really like how the 7th Generation fit; it's just the price. They are about $10/40 diapers. We go through about 5-7 diapers a day. So, they last about a week. Which means that we spend $40 on diapers a month. That's $480/yr. and we could estimate that he will probably wear them for about a year and a half (at least). That's about $720 on diapers for Roman, alone! (Did I mention we are thinking of having about 5 children= $3,600 on diapers!)
In the past couple of weeks, we started trying out different things. We have tried the g's again- 'still hate them. We have tried organic Birdseye with plastic pants (both in size small and 2T). Needless to say, the first were too small and the second were too big.
Lastly, I have been crocheting a diaper cover for Roman. I waterproofed it with beeswax. We'll see how it does until we purchase a few different kinds next week.

No Baby-wipes for us- Well, occasionally I guess...
As for the bum wipes: we recently decided to go back to making our own wipey wash (with encouragement from a friend). I recently made one with Dr. Bronner's castile soap, lavender oil, and water. It seems to work very well and I can almost hear the money dropping back into Roman's little piggy bank.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Roman 4-Months

Adventures with Roman
Roman isn't really a road trip kind of guy. He normally gets really fussy when we put him in the car and will sometimes cry until we arrive at our destination and remove him from his torture device, I mean car seat. A couple of weeks ago, we decided to hook up a portable DVD player for him to watch Baby Einstein (on the way to his monthly well-baby check-up). He really enjoyed it. He watched some of the movie, then drifted off to sleep.
Roman's 4 Month Check-up
On the fifth, we took Roman to his (4) month checkup with his holistic pediatrician. We are proud to report that he is growing steadily and in the average range! He is 14lbs 3.5oz and measured 25in length. The doctor prescribed probiotics for his stomach and some food enzymes for me to take. These should also help with his digestive issues. On the way out of the parking lot, we saw a duck with her ducklings. There were about a dozen, still yellow with brown spots. I, of course had to get out and take pictures and video of them (for all to enjoy). The momma duck was so protective, nudging her ducklings along while hissing at me. I decided to feed her some crackers, that I had in the car. She pecked at them long enough for me to get a closer look at her precious babies.

After our pit stop, we headed off to run some errands. Roman was a bit irritable, so I ended up climbing into the backseat. (I know, really safe...) We stopped by a well known chicken restaurant and used some coupons that I had to get some free chicken sandwiches. Fabian had their new spicy chicken sandwich, which is SUPER SPICY; I had their chicken salad sandwich, which was pretty yummy! Then, we swung by the big box baby store to get some natural wipes and headed home to watch Sherlock Holmes (which was great)!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Motherhood-19 weeks

Today, Fabian came home early.
10-Minute Lunch
We lunched on bagel sandwiches, which consist of: wheat/everything bagels with bacon/chicken/turkey/whatever's in the fridge, melted cheese, sprouts, plain yogurt, brown mustard and are SO yummy.



After blogging (and after Roman's ridiculously long nap), we went to the pool for a quick swim.

Quick Dinner Idea
Then, we took a trip over to the grocery to pick up some milk, eggs, etc. Afterwards, we came home and made some pasta with some incredible pesto a friend had given us and some veggies (spinach, mushrooms [really a fungus], tomatoes [really a fruit], and garlic [an herb?]). (Laughing at myself)

Helpful Hint
For a really quick pasta dish, use a pasta like angel hair...the thinner the pasta, the faster it cooks, the sooner you eat!


While we were having dinner, we watched Leap Year. It was kind of cute, very sweet. I really like Amy Adams (also in Julie & Julia- great movie, a must-see). The main problem that I had with the movie was that it took forever to watch. We probably started watching it at about 7pm and didn't finish it until about 10:30pm, because Roman was so irritable and would not go to sleep... oh, well what do you do?!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday was a day devoted to shopping...
So, we headed out to the Gardens Mall. While we were there, Fabian redeemed his Aveda Birthday voucher... let me just say yum! I love that place. After that, we walked over to Banana, where I ended up getting a dress that I have been eyeing for months (for a fraction of the price)!



After our fun filled day of shopping, we swung by the health food store to pick up a few needed items. As I was limping by the deli area (due to the world's most uncomfortable shoes), I noticed a display of sweet potato stuffed acorn squash, and it looked very appetizing. So last night, we had baked brown mustard garlic chicken, buttery brussel sprouts (with bacon, garlic, and shallots), and sweet potato stuffed acorn squash. It all turned out pretty well, but I must say Greenwise is on to something.



Helpful Hint
If you are a working mother (or if you are unable to do anything for longer than 10 consecutive minutes due to the fact that your infant MUST be entertained at ALL times), this is an easy meal to prep beforehand.

10-Minute Dessert
For dessert, we had Raspberry Cream over Shortbread cookies with hot coffee.
I first warmed the cookies in the oven for about 5 minutes on 375 degrees. While the cookies were warming, I mixed together:
4oz cream cheese softened
1/3 cup whipped heavy whipping cream
3tbs organic brown sugar
(in that order)
I then added:
1/3 cup fresh raspberries
(It would have been a good idea to run them through the food processor and strain them to remove the seeds. I'll be sure to do that next time around)!



Original Recipe from http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/raspberry-cream-dessert/Detail.aspx

More Milestones
Roman also really enjoyed dinner! Yes, that's right...Roman ate both sweet potatoes and acorn squash! Afterwards, he slept for 6 straight hours, which was only confirmation that we had made a very good decision in letting him sample dinner! Roman has also begun to do other new things, like pushing upwards and scooting backwards and "crawling" about a foot on his quilt on the floor.




As for me
I have been working on a painting. It's gigantic, probably about 6ft in height and about 3ft wide. I'm not to sure what I am wanting it to transpose into. As for now, I am just enjoying taking the time out for myself with a glass of red and a paint brush.
I also have been crocheting both Christmas presents (potholders for stocking stuffers and other items for the children) and a sweater for myself.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Christmas in July

I am fortunate enough to have a very large family. Both my mother and father were previously married and each had two children when they met, got married, and had me. Therefore, I have three older sisters and one older brother. Each one has their own family, which gives me 7 nieces and nephews (and one soon to be nephew)! (And that's just on my side... Fabian also has a brother and sister and 7 nieces and nephews).



With such large families, holidays could potential be very expensive. So, my family decided a few years back to only do presents for the children and stocking stuffers and one dirty Santa gift for the adults.

Dirty Santa
If you are not familiar with the game, let me explain... A price range is decided upon by the players, host, etc. Then, each person buys a present in the range and brings it wrapped to the party. Each person draws a number out of a hat. The person who receives #1, picks a gift and opens it. #2 then decides to either "steal" #1's gift or to open another wrapped present. This continues until all players have a gift in their hand. *NOTE* Each gift can only be stolen twice. The third person to have the gift gets to keep it! At the end #1 gets to decide if he/she would like to steal a gift (but can only steal gift that have not been stolen more than once).
We have have a ton of fun playing this game and are sure you will also.
You can also theme this game (i.e. ornament parties, wine parties [personal favorite], etc).

Stocking Stuffers
We have instituted two rules concerning stocking stuffers: #1 They MUST be useful. #2 They have to be $5 or more. (Both of which we waive occasionally- Weren't rules made to be broken?)

So, you ask, "Why are we talking about Christmas when it is blistering hot out?"
Because, now is the perfect time to begin working on or buying Christmas gifts (or stocking stuffers in my case)!

I have begun working on some stuffers (as of yesterday). I am very excited about mine this year. I am incorporating a newly improved skill to create something that I think will be pretty useful for my family members. AND I must admit they are kind of pretty! I'm making crocheted potholders for stocking stuffers this year. (So, all family members who follow: Put in your order for what color you'd like!)



*A personal thank you to Karen Z. for the great idea, along with all the yarn she gifted me!*


Since we are talking about Christmas, and because I keep my house on about 50 in the summer... I thought I would bake something for breakfast this morning. I had a bit of a craving for carrot cake, but decided to put a spin on my favorite recipe (CARROT CAKE III, which you can find at http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/carrot-cake-iii/Detail.aspx ), and make it into muffins!


I used:
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup (organic) brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large grated carrots
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Cream Cheese Glaze
1/4 cup butter
1/4 pound cream cheese
1 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350
First, you mix your brown sugar, oil, vanilla, eggs, cinnamon, salt, baking soda & powder. Then you put your yogurt and carrots in the blender and set it to grate.
After that, you will mix in the yogurt/carrot mixture. Lastly, you will add your nuts, then flour.
You will then fill your greased muffin pan (or ramekins), and bake for about 30 minutes. After they have cooled you can add the cream cheese glaze.
Glaze directions
Combine soften cream cheese and soften butter. Then, add confectioners' sugar.
ENJOY!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Walk Around My Complex

At the beginning of our walk, we found a squirrel who preformed some acrobatics for us.





















I created a mobile for Roman to remember our walk.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

In the Kitchen
Last night, we had a couple and their baby over for dinner. We had hamburgers with Chilean potato salad and chocolate molten cake for dessert.

Hamburgers
We spice up our hamburgers a bit by adding finely diced onions, bell peppers, and some minced garlic; along with salt, pepper, fresh basil, eggs, and bread crumbs or saltines (in which case we don't add salt).
Then, we add cheese (Swiss, muenster, cheddar, goat... whatever we have in the fridge at the time. If you like a really spicy burger, I recommend adding pepper jack!). Once the burger is pulled off the grill, you can top it off with lettuce, tomato and sauteed mushrooms. We don't particularly like catsup, so you'll have to do without at our house. However, we do have mayonnaise and a organic brown mustard. I just can't make myself like the yellow stuff! We also are a bit funky in the fact that we use toasted wheat bread for our "buns." And (how did I almost forget)... BACON, we add lots of yummy baked bacon to our burgers!!! Yes, I did say baked bacon...

Helpful Hint
One of my close friends suggested to me to bake my bacon. You do so at 400 degrees. That way, you don't have all the bacon grease popping on you and your clean stove. I decided to make it on a piece of aluminium foil. This makes clean-up a breeze!
Sometimes, I will reuse the bacon grease if I'm cooking something that would benefit from some bacon flavor (which is almost anything).


Chilean Potato Salad
Boil (4) wedged medium potatoes with their skin (that's where the nutrients are)and about a cup of sliced baby carrots. Once cooked, I add in a Tbs. of freshly minced garlic (that cuts the intensity of the garlic). You can then strain the water. Let cool; then add 3 Tbs of mayonnaise, some chopped dill, 1/2 tsp salt.

Helpful Tools
I have a great little vegetable scrubber that my sister gave all of my family members for a stocking stuffer one year. It makes cooking so much easier!

Good knives make all the difference, in the kitchen! They don't have to necessarily be expensive. You just need a few sharp ones.
I also received a knife sharpener as a stocking stuffer one year. If you don't have one, don't fret. You can use aluminum foil to sharpen them. (This works for scissors, also. Just cut a piece a few times, wash and watch out for your fingers).

Molten Cake

First, melt (by double boiling) 1 stick of butter and 6 oz semi sweet chocolate.
Then, mix 4 eggs and 1/3 cup of (organic) unbleached or brown sugar.
After that, you will mix the chocolate mixture with the egg mixture, and add 4 Tbs of unbleached flour.
Then, you can pour it into either a greased (with butter) cupcake pan or individual greased glass containers. (You will want to fill them up 2/3 of the way.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. The inside should be firm, but it will not look cooked!
I then add some extra chocolate morsels and serve with homemade whipped cream and raspberries.

This recipe is derived from another recipe I found online:
http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/molten-chocolate-cakes-with-sugar-coated-raspberries/Detail.aspx


Helpful Hint
When preparing the whipped cream, open the whipping cream carton all the way. Pour the contents into the blender. You may sweeten it, if you would like. Use the whip setting until the cream thickens. Then drop the bottom out of your blender and let the whip fall into the open container below.