Thursday, March 31, 2011

Climbing Mountains

I did something I've never done before this week. Indoor rock climbing! The women at my MOPS table got together Tuesday night for a "Mom's Night Out". I didn't think I'd be able to go but Adam got off work just in time and met me in the parking lot to take Ryan. I was so excited to try this and honestly wasn't nervous at all. Here I am before climbing up my first wall. (By the way, these walls are 40 feet tall!)Once I started up the first wall, something strange happened. I got REALLY scared. I'm not really afraid of heights but for some reason my nerves took over and I immediately wanted to get down.
But I kept going and made it to the top! After the first wall I found my courage and climbed 6 more walls. What a workout! I had to give up on one wall because my arms were trembling so badly.I love this last picture because you can actually see a muscle in my leg. Who knew I had calf muscles? Must be all that jazzercising I've been doing. Ha!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ryan: 11 Months

My how the time has flown by! In just one short month you will be an entire year old. But let's focus on you just being 11 months for now, shall we? This month was another fun one. You have started to babble and jabber a lot, and have said "Daddy" a few times now. I caught you saying "doggy" a couple times, and you love saying "yayayaya". You also like to yell, especially when you see a dog. I am excited that you have finally found your voice!
You still won't eat finger foods. (Except Gerber puffs, shredded cheese, graham crackers, and goldfish). Besides that it's still just pureed baby food. New foods this month included cranberries, tofu, grapes and whole milk. That's are now drinking the moo juice once a day with your lunch. You seem pretty indifferent about it so far.I can now officially call you a regular napper! You have pretty consistently been taking a morning and afternoon nap. The morning nap will generally last between 1 and 1.5 hours, and the afternoon is about 30 minutes. That is 2 glorious hours of napping! It doesn't happen everyday, but I sure do appreciate it when it does because it gives me a chance to either catch up on things or just relax. (Usually the former).
You cut 2 more teeth this week, bringing your total up to 8 teeth! I can already see your 9th wanting to come through, so I anticipate more sleepless nights in the near future. Teething seems to mostly bother you at night, which keeps not only you up but also Mommy and Daddy. Teething hurts everyone around here.
You are happiest when you are free to walk around. As long as you are not restrained, you are a happy boy. You love toddling around the house and opening and closing things, and just basically making a mess. Pulling things out of cupboards is your new hobby.

I love you Baby Boy!

Yes, the 11 month sticker was harmed in the taking of these photographs.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Starting Him Young

Ryan has recently developed an interest in Italian cuisine.
Wouldn't it be amazing if he grew up to be a chef?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Foodie Friday: Fancy Pants Food

I love when simple ingredients come together to make a delicious, fancy restaurant-worthy meal. This week I made two Rachael Ray recipes in one night that both turned out delicious. They were Lemon Risotto and Orange-Balsamic Glazed Chicken. Both recipes were out of her "Look + Cook" cookbook. The only substitution I made was with the chicken. I didn't have orange marmalade, so instead I used some pomegranite juice I had on hand, and just reduced it a bit to get a thicker consistency. Here are the humble ingredients. (Rosemary and Mint were both from my backyard!)

The finished product, including roasted asparagus.
What it was supposed to look like, according to the cookbook. Pretty close!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I was reading "What to Expect the First Year" this week and it said that at 10 months of age your baby is ready to be disciplined. Now I'm not talking about anything too serious, but rather a gentle "NO" when they are getting into something dangerous, or removing them from a situation if they are being naughty.

While I still feel like Ryan is a bit young for discipline, I have noticed that he seems to be understanding more of what I am saying. So maybe he does have the ability to grasp the meaning behind the word "No".

But honestly, I'm finding that Ryan is just too darn cute to discipline! When he's doing something wrong I often say "No No No" and he will stop and look at me. He'll make an expression like this....and then he will continue doing the naughty thing. He knows! He knows he's being naughty and he thinks it's fun! Probably because I can't help but laugh at his silly face. But come on. How do you say no to this?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Done with Whining

In an attempt to be more upbeat (and to make up for my recent whiny posts) I will list out what I am looking forward to right now.

1) Starting a Bunco group with my friends!
2) Adam's 30th Birthday on April 11th.
3) Baby "Sprinkle" in early April.
4) Nephew's lacrosse game in early April.
5) Ryan's Birthday Party!!
6) Indoor rock-climbing next week with MOPS girls.
7) Planning a trip in the Fall for 5-year anniversary.
8) Lunch with my old co-workers next week.
9) Helping coordinate MOPS rummage sale in May.
10) My Birthday in July.

Aren't I blessed?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bloody Nose

I have no idea why the picture is so small. But if you look really really closely you will see evidence of Ryan's first ever bloody nose. He tripped and hit his nose on one of his large toys earlier tonight. He wouldn't let me wipe off the blood so I took care of it in the bath tub. But then he fell in the tub and got water up his nose. He immediately started crying, poor baby. Oh, the trials of raising a baby....especially a boy! I am convinced they hurt themselves more than girls .

Having a Blah Day

I don't have any ideas for a post today, yet I feel like I should write something. Ryan is napping, the kitchen is clean, laundry is done, and lunch has been made. It feels strange to be all caught up on everything and to actually feel a little...dare I say it....bored! We have lots of fun events coming up during the next month or so, but for this week, nothing. Ryan and I have been staying close to home ever since the rain started last week. He doesn't seem to mind but I have noticed that lately I get a bit stir-crazy if I don't have somewhere to go each day.Life with a baby can be a bit isolating at times. I think it will get better as Ryan gets older and the weather gets warmer. But for now, I'm just feeling kind of "blah". And that makes for boring blog posts. Sorry about that. Is anyone out there even reading this anymore? No comments lately!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


On Adam's To-Do list this weekend is installing these. We really should have baby-proofed weeks ago, or even before Ryan started walking.Or before he got into my spice cupboard and dumped cumin on his head. Or before he pulled out my REALLY heavy dutch oven pot and dropped it on the floor, chipping off part of it.
Must baby-proof immediately!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Foodie Friday: Healthy Eats on a Budget

I get kind of frustrated when I hear people say they can't afford to eat a healthy diet. I think people use this as an excuse to do what's convenient junk food. Eating healthier might require a bit more effort, but I don't think it should require you to spend your entire paycheck at the grocery store. (Unless you're shopping at Whole Foods of course....that's another story)

Here are a few easy ideas I have. Let me know what else you can think of!

1) Eat more beans. Beans are a great source of protein and fiber and they are CHEAP! If you have the time, you can buy them dried and cook them from scratch in a big batch and then freeze leftovers. But canned beans are still pretty cheap (I try to buy them at 80 cents per can). Rather than eating meat or chicken every night, use beans as your protein a couple nights a week. It will definitely save you money! Some of my favorite meals using beans are burritos, hummus, falafel, lentil soup, split pea soup, vegetable & bean minestrone soup.

2) Buy produce at Farmer's Markets. I have found that prices at farmer's markets are less than those in the grocery store because you are buying directly from the farmer. You can get even better deals if you go towards the end of the day when they are trying to get rid of excess produce. (Newpark Mall Farmer's Market is open Sundays from 9am - 1pm)
3) Eat at home. This one is obvious. It is always cheaper to pack your lunch or cook dinner at home than it is to eat out at a restaurant.

4) As a follow-up to number 3, you need to plan ahead! If you run out to the grocery store just to buy the ingredients for one meal, chances are you will spend a lot. If you plan your meals for the week ahead of time and shop the sales, you can plan on incorporating leftovers into subsequent meals and really stretch your money.

5) Look for discount meat. OK I know this one sounds strange, but I got this great idea from my sister. Many stores cut prices on beef/chicken/pork right before they are about to expire. Safeway has a designated area where you can look through discounted meat, and it is often between 30% and 50% off. As long as you use or freeze it right away you should be fine...just be sure it looks good and that the expiration date is still at least 1 or 2 days out. Just the other day I got some boneless beef ribs 50% off and they were absolutely delicious!

I do believe there are a few things worth spending the extra money on, especially when it comes to what you are putting into your body. One example is the "dirty dozen". These are the 12 fruits and vegetables that have the highest pesticide levels, and therefore it is smart to buy the organic version. They are:

Bell Peppers

Hopefully some of those tips were helpful. I love talking about this kind of stuff! Planning meals and living on a budget are fun challenge for me. I will admit that eating healthfully takes some extra effort and thought. But ultimately I think it is worth it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

When Baby is Quiet......

Run as quickly as possible to them! They will most likely be doing something naughty and/or dangerous. This afternoon Ryan was playing in "baby jail" while I prepped dinner.
I suddenly noticed he was being totally quiet. No babbling or banging of toys. I walked over and saw he was chewing something. I found this in his mouth.I am so glad I checked on him when I did! Otherwise I might be at the ER with him right now, because I'm pretty sure he could have swallowed this. Thank you God!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Clap Clap Clap

It was just a few minutes ago and I wasn't at my best. I get pretty stressed out between 5 and 6 most nights because Ryan is grumpy from no afternoon nap, I'm trying to cook dinner, unload and reload the dishwasher, fix Ryan's meal and feed the dog. Ryan was in his exersaucer and just about to lose it. I asked him if he could clap for me. I've been trying to teach him this skill by showing him how I clap, and then taking his little hands and making them clap together. Until now he hadn't shown any signs of understanding. So tonight when I said the word "clap" he clapped! I was so shocked, not just because he learned how to clap, but that he knows how to do it just from hearing the word!

Who knew something as simple as clapping could make me forget all about my worries?

Sunday, March 13, 2011


This little guy brings me so much joy. I am so blessed to be his Mommy.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Foodie Friday: Low and Slow

I love my crock pot. Food that has been cooked at a low temperature for a long time just tastes really good and homey. This is what my crock pot looks like right now...filled with my Mom's Beef Stew.By 8am this morning my dinner for tonight was already cooking! But the thing is, this is the only recipe I use my crock pot for. I am in need of more low and slow recipes! Do you have any you can give me? (Bear in mind that Adam doesn't eat the following: pork, fruit, sour cream, ranch, cream cheese, mushrooms, wine-flavored foods, asian-flavored foods, sausage, meatloaf......)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another Baby?

Yesterday Ryan and I were bored, so we did two very exciting things. (said with a bit of sarcasm). The first, and more exciting for me, was to give Ryan some cow's milk! He made a face but drank it, so I may start offering it to him once a day just to get him used to it.
Secondly I decided to clean Ryan's room. It wasn't too messy, but I needed to pack away from of his baby clothes/toys he no longer uses.
Here is the room mid-cleaning.
And the finished product:In this bin are all of Ryan's too-small baby clothes, from newborn through 9 months. I can't believe that pretty soon Ryan won't even be considered a baby anymore! (At what point is he a toddler? He definitely does a lot of toddling around these days!) I must admit that it was a bit difficult to look through all Ryan's baby clothes and remember him as a tiny infant. As difficult and tiring as that stage was, I have realized that I do want another some point. Did you get excited when you read my title? No I am not pregnant. =)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Adam has been really sick with the flu since Friday. By the grace of God, Ryan and I are still healthy. (We also got flu shots and Adam did not. I think perhaps he has learned his lesson). So this means I have been a single parent these past few days, as I will not let Adam within a 5-foot radius of the baby. I am terrified of his germs. As a result, I have been spending 24 hours per day with Ryan, as opposed to my usual 23.5 hours. (I'm only half joking). Yes it has been hard to not have Adam's help, but I have really been enjoying my extra time with my sweet little boy.
He has been doing this weird smile lately where he scrunches his nose and purses his lips. My mom calls it his "prissy" look. I call it his stinky face.Of course he still does a lot of this:And every once in a while he gives me this:Ryan and I have been trying to get out of the house as much as possible lately to avoid the germs. We've visited my Grandma, ran lots of errands, and played with a new friend from MOPS (Hi Jessica!). However, I am starting to run out of ideas. What kind of activities can you do with a 10-month old? There is only so much grocery shopping a mom can do. And I really don't want to clean the bathroom. I'm thinking of organizing his closet, but that won't take long. Any ideas? We're bored!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Baby Pingers and Ticky Toes

My vocabulary has greatly expanded since having a baby.
For example, these are what we call "ticky toes" because when I tickle Ryan's feet I say "ticky ticky ticky".
These are baby pingers.And that? Well that's just cute baby chub.