Friday, December 31, 2010

Foodie Friday: Look + Cook

As I mentioned recently, I bought myself Rachel Ray's Look + Cook Cookbook for Christmas. I love this book because each recipe has a full picture beside it. I like knowing what my food is supposed to end up looking like. And as we all know, we eat with our eyes before our stomachs, so sometimes having the appetizing visual makes me more likely to make it. I have tried out a few of the recipes over the past 2 weeks and so far it's a winner!

The first recipe I made was Chili Lime Fish Fry with Tex-Mex Peperonata and Corny Polenta. Adam and I both loved this recipe! The fish was spicy and crispy, and the creamly polenta was the perfect side dish.

Next up was Steakhouse Chili. I thought the flavor of this chili was great. I used Pancetta instead of bacon. We had friends over that night and the entire pot of chili got eaten, so I'd say this was a winner.

I made Cabbage and Hay Spaghetti on the 3rd night. I was excited to try this one because of the fun name and the fact that it called for fresh sage. (I love sage!) Unfortunately I was disappointed with this was too bland.

I ventured over to India next and made Almost Tandoori Chicken. I am not a big fan of Indian food, but I thought this sounded tasty. Unfortunately the flavors tasted a bit off to me, although Adam surprisingly liked it.

Finally I made a big pot of Midwinter Minestrone (minus the mushrooms). This was delicious! I loved the addition of the sundried tomatoes, and kale is one of my favorite veggies. Adam said it was one of the best soups I've ever made.
I'm going to keep trying recipes from this cookbook. I'm feeling very Julie + Julia-esque as I cook my way through this book. I already have a couple planned for next week's dinners. Yum!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Yes I Still Use gDiapers

I have been asked this question A LOT lately. Yes, Ryan is still wearing gDiapers and they are working out really well for us! I use the cloth inserts during the day, and use a disposable insert at night. I've found the disposable inserts seems to absorb a bit better and therefore Ryan can wear it longer. For the most part I try to use cloth all day, but I sometimes use the occasional Huggies or Pampers, such as during a long car ride.
The only issue I'm having lately is how to dispose of the poop, and how to keep the stink from taking over my house. Yes, I said poop. Now that Ryan is eating more solid foods, his poop has become, how shall I put this.......more "adult-like". I usually either rinse it down the shower drain or put it in the toilet. The cloth inserts themselves then get thrown in a bucket in the shower. I fill the bucket up with water and a little bit of vinegar to mask the scent. But lately it hasn't been working so great, and it's starting to smell like a frat house around here. The longest I ever wait in between baby laundry loads is 3 days, typically more like 2. But trust me, that's long enough for the smell to become problematic. Any suggestions from other cloth-diaper using mamas out there?

And yes, Ryan's thighs are quite strong. I know you were wondering.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ryan: 8 Months

My sweet 8-month old baby boy! You continued to grow and explore the world more than ever this month.

You currently have 6 teeth, but I have a feeling #7 is about to make it's debut. You have been crabby and drooly lately, and I think you may be sprouting a fang. What a toothy little guy you are!

Last month I was about to give up on you crawling, but right after you turned 7 months you started crawling! You are a pro at it now, and you seem to get speedier each day. Gone are the days of laying you down for "just one second". I learned my lesson when you crawled right off the side of the bed a few weeks ago.

Your new favorite hobby is standing up and letting go. You love to "surf" and try to balance yourself without any help. You have sturdy little legs, and I have no doubt you will be walking within a few months.

We bought a sound machine recently that plays white noise sounds. It seems to be helping you stay asleep for longer periods of time. I'm hoping this continues because I'm going to go crazy from lack of sleep!

You have been kind of indifferent about eating this month, both solids and breastmilk. You would rather play or practice your standing skills than be stuck in a highchair or mommy's arms. I continue to give you new foods, and your newest food is yogurt. You make a face at the coldness of it, but you seem to like it. Next up is cheese! If you are anything like your Daddy (and Mommy) you will love cheese.

Most days you are a pretty quiet, serious baby. You seem intelligent and aware of everything around you, but you don't react much verbally. I think you are taking everything in and thinking about it. I am beginning to see your little personality emerge, however. For example, when you get too close to the edge of the bed I say "no no no" in a singsong voice. You respond by looking up at me with a sly little smile and then proceeding to try and leap off the edge. It's frustrating but cute!

I love you baby boy!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all enjoyed the day and stopped to think about the reason for the holiday....the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Our Christmas was full of good food, family, church, Ryan, and of course presents. Oh and a cold. Yes, Santa brought me a present 2 days early of sinus pressure, a stuffy nose, and now a chest cough. To top that off, I think Ryan is cutting his 7th tooth. (a canine tooth!). The last 3 nights he has been up ALL night. At first I thought he was getting sick, but I'm pretty sure he's just teething. Which can be just as bad as being sick, I've heard.

Some pictures from Christmas:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Soup Baby

I love this picture. I know I'm biased, being his mom and all. But who knew he could be so cute, even with his eyes closed! =)

Ryan got called a girl twice yesterday. It doesn't bother me that much, because I personally think Ryan looks very "boy". And then today a woman told me he looks like the Campbell's soup boy, so I'll take that as a compliment. She also called him a "bomber".....not sure what that means. Anyone?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Blame the Baby

Ryan has been helping me wrap Christmas presents. You know, "helping" me eat the tape dispenser. That kind of help.
So if your present this year is torn, ripped, or covered in slobber, just blame it on the baby.

I feel like I do that a lot lately.

I'm running late? It's the baby's fault.
My house smells funny? Sorry, must be Ryan.
I forgot to call you back? Mommy brain.

But really, my bad gift-wrapping this year is Ryan's fault. Really.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Poker Face

Sober. Serious. Solemn. These are words that have been used a lot lately to describe Ryan. It's like he has forgotten how to smile! Ever since he was sick last month he hasn't been babbling as much, nor has he been smiling or laughing as often. He never really did it that often to begin with, but now Ryan has become a pretty serious little boy!I have been wondering if his personality at almost-8-months is any indication of what he will be like when he is older. Or is it just some baby phase?

This morning I gave Ryan a taste of my grapefruit. He went from solemn-faced to this:

Get me out of this highchair! What is this crazy woman feeding me?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lazy Saturday

We're having a lazy Saturday over here.....Ryan is still in his PJ's and I have a full day ahead of me of wrapping presents, cleaning the kitchen and addressing those last 2 or 3 Christmas cards.

The term "lazy", however, does not apply to Ryan. He is GO GO GO all the time these days!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Foodie Friday: Recipes

I rarely follow recipes. Instead of finding a recipe I like, buying the ingredients, and then preparing the meal, I work backwards. I tend to do my shopping and then try to assemble edible meals based on what I have in the pantry. I take a recipe and substitute here and there until the end result is nothing close to the original recipe. Do you do this or is it just me?

I've had quite a few flops lately in the kitchen and Adam has become quite suspicious of what I cook. A typical conversation around dinnertime involves Adam asking me what's for dinner. I tell him, and he then asks if he can order a pizza.

So I went out and bought myself an early Christmas present.

Rachael Ray's Look & Cook Cookbook. I LOVE cookbooks. I like to sit down on the couch and read through them like a regular book. So after reading through every recipe in this cook, I realized that about 75% of the meals look like something I might actually make! This is rare, as most cookbooks have pretty pictures, but they are foods I probably wouldn't ever cook. So my goal over the next few weeks is to cook as many recipes from this book as possible. I'm going to try my hardest to not go substitute-crazy with the ingredients, but rather to stick to what is listed. Because after all, it's a recipe for a reason. I will report back next week on what I have made. I'm excited!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Here is Ryan practicing his surfing skills. So far the longest he has stood up on his own without holding on to anything is only 15 seconds, but he's getting better at it every day!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bad Mommy

Just in case you didn't already think I was a bad mom for letting my son pull down the Christmas tree..........he fell off our bed last night.

Yes, my heart hurts a little just thinking about it. I certainly won't be getting an award for my Mommy skills yesterday.

I set Ryan in the middle of our King-size bed. I turned around, took 2 steps, grabbed a kleenex, and turned back around. It probably took me 5 seconds in total. When I turned back around, Ryan had crawled to the edge of the bed and dove off head-first. He flipped over in the air and landed flat on his back.

Of course I scopped him up immediately to comfort him. You know when a baby is hurt and their cry is silent at first? Like they open their mouth to cry and turn red, but they're in so much shock that no sound comes out? That's what Ryan did. Once the sound came out, though, it was really loud. Surprisingly he stopped crying after about a minute, and seems just fine today.

I guess it's a rite of passage into mommyhood. Having your baby fall off the bed. I wouldn't recommend it, though.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Baby's First Christmas

Ahhh the Christmas season. Such an exciting time for Ryan.

Helping Mommy and Daddy cut down the Christmas tree.

Watching Mommy make Christmas cookies.

Decorating the house with lights.

Going shopping for presents.

Helping Mommy wrap presents.

Visiting friends and family.

Singing Christmas songs in church.

Exchanging Christmas cards.

Pulling down the Christmas tree.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Silly Boy

That looks like a good spot for that. Don't you think so Daddy?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New Kicks

Ryan got his very first pair of shoes this week! He had an infected toe about a month ago that wouldn't go away. He ended up on antibiotics, and the Dr. recommended we get shoes to prevent this from happening again. When babies start to crawl and walk, I guess they pull up on their toes a lot, which can lead to ingrown toenails. So Ryan got to go to the mall this week and pick out a pair of shoes. Actually, they only had 2 styles available in his size. (4 wide). We chose the brown.
So far he likes them. I have only caught him trying to eat them once or twice.However, he doesn't like it when I try to make him sit still and pose for the camera in his new shoes.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Foodie Friday: Ice Cream!

Adam said a funny thing to me the other day.

I had just sat down with my nightly bowl of ice cream and he said "I never noticed it before, but you sure do eat a lot of ice cream".

What's that you say? It's not normal to eat ice cream every day?

OK so maybe I don't eat it every day. But if we have ice cream in the house, chances are I will eat a small bowl of it after dinner. In my mind, I rationalize that eating a small amount at a time doesn't really count. But I guess it does if you add it all up......

Right now there are lots of fun seasonal flavors in the stores. A friend of mine mentioned cinnamon ice cream the other day and ever since then I have been craving it! I haven't found it yet, but I did purchase this:
YUM. The ice cream tastes very cinnamony and it has big chunks of gingerbread cookies in it.

Speaking of yummy ice cream, go here to enter to win a coupon for some free holiday ice cream. Good luck and happy ice cream eating!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad/Grandpa!

Today is my Dad's birthday! Ryan and I would like to take this moment to wish him a great big Happy Birthday! Thanks for being such a great Dad and a terrific Grandpa.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tubby Time

Ryan absolutely loves tubby time. He splashes around so much now that we have officially moved him to the big bathtub. Well actually he is still in his baby bath, only we put it inside the regular bathtub to help contain the splashzone.He cries every single time I take him out of the tub, and for a while I thought it was because he was cold. But now I think he just really loves taking baths and hates getting out.
He is so irresistably cute in his towel with his wet hair and soft baby skin. Nothing better than a clean and happy baby.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gross vs Fine Motor Skills

So I know I've been saying this a lot lately, but my little boy is growing up so fast! He is growing into a little boy right before my eyes. This month and past week have specifically been full of big changes in terms of his gross motor skills.

Ryan is now crawling. He's still perfecting it. Sometimes he switches back and forth from his knees to his feet, like he's not sure if he wants to crawl or stand up. When he's not crawling or climbing, Ryan is standing up. And he's becoming fearless! He likes to pull himself up to standing, and then let go. The longest he has stood without holding on to anything is somewhere around 10 seconds. He was so proud of himself afterwards.

So I think it's obvious Ryan is mastering his gross motor skills. But now I think it's important for him to start working on more fine motor skills, like using his fingers. I recently bought him these:

I thought they would be good for Ryan because he can learn how to pick them up with his fingers. They are pretty small and supposedly melt in your mouth, so they are not a choking hazard. Ryan has a hard time grasping them between 2 far he just grabs them with his fist. The only problem is that he gags whenever he gets a tiny piece in his mouth. I know it isn't choking him but it still scares me, so I may wait a little longer to give him these.

I already mentioned it on here, but I think it's worth repeating. Ryan now has 5 teeth, and it working on cutting his 6th tooth. Wow! I feel like he's so young to have that many teeth. He likes crunching the little puffs with his front teeth.

So what do you think? Is it normal for a baby to learn the "big" gross motor skills first? Or maybe it's just a boy thing?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Cards

I am so behind this year! I have not started my Christmas shopping and although I have thought a lot about my Christmas cards, I haven't actually sent any out. I tell you, having a baby makes everything more difficult! (And fun).

But I'm not worried about my cards because Shutterfly is giving away 50 free photo cards this year to bloggers. You can check out their card selection here. Here are some of my favorite designs:

OK so obviously those people aren't my family. Just imagine Ryan smiling at you from the card. They also have party invitations that I love. Kind of makes me want to throw a Christmas party! Hmm maybe I should be planning Ryan's 1st birthday party soon. They have a variety of other invitations and stationary.

So now I just need to pick a card design. Hopefully your card will arrive from us before Christmas! If not, it's Ryan's fault.

2 Christmas Trees

We went to get a Christmas tree for my parents' house the day after Thanksgiving. Adam had to work, so it was just myself, my Dad, my sister, and her 5 kids. As you can see we spent more time taking pictures than actually looking for a tree. A few days later Adam and I went searching for our own tree.
Once we got it home Ryan "helped" us decorate it.