Thursday, June 28, 2012

Munchkin Meals

Breakfast: oatmeal with maple syrup, bluerberries, bananas, organic whole milk

This weekend we went on our first road trip as a family of four. Even though I tried to keep healthy snacks on hand we still ate junk. No sleep, long hours in the car with a 2 year-old and 8 week-old, plus junk food makes one feel kinda, well, yucky. So since we got back on Sunday I have been craving all sorts of veggies and fruit. I just assume my toddler did too. :)

Morning Snack: seedless watermelon and organic colby cheese

I have been eating kale chips, and more kale chips, and more... I am convinced it's all in how you word things to a toddler. Call it a chip? Put some parmeasean cheese on it? My toddler will eat it.

Lunch: egg scramble with broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, and garlic scapes, parmeasean kale chips, organic ketchup for dipping

He definitely still dug out every piece of broccoli from those eggs. He really used to love broccoli. I even tried the "Mommy is going to eat your broccoli!" but it didn't even lure him in!

After nap snack: smoothie or "juice" with-get ready-strawberries, banana, raspberry, pineapple, spinach, avacado, plain yogurt, ground flax seed, and milk

I saved some extra smoothie for the hubby and he asked sarcastically "Is that it?" when I listed what was in it that day.  Hey, I've got to get all this stuff in a toddler, ad he loves these so let's pile it on buddy!

Dinner: pasta and cheese - again! With spinach, broccoli, and mushrooms
I have to admit that we had a repeat of lunch for dinner since when the hubby called to check in he seemed really excited about an egg scramble.  So when given the choice Asher wanted the leftover pasta from the night before. I thought about snapping a picture from another dinner but why not tell it like it is? Sometimes lunch is worth having again for dinner. :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Road Trip

My hubby is in a wonderful men's choir that travels through different churches usually in the summer and fall. He loves it, I love it.

Ready to go

So last weekend we traveled to Syracuse, NY with two boys. (you didn't think I was going to announce it that I was leaving ahead of time so you could come break in and steal things did you? you know - cloth diapers, strawberry jam, those things get quite a pretty penny on the streets...)

Me too!
We broke up the trip by taking an extra day on Friday and visiting Niagra Falls. What fun to see Asher making a waterfall in the bathtub the night before we left and the look on his face when he saw the real thing. He was amazed!

Overlooking the rapids 
 We drove to Syracuse first thing Saturday morning and I took the boys to the hotel while Brad was at practice.  It's hard work keeping a two-year old happy in a small hotel room, but we enjoyed dinner at church and making new friends during the program. 

He spotted the camera
One day, I will be able to attend the program again and not spend it holding a baby or playing with cars in the playroom. For now, this is the norm, and that's OK! 

Daddy took this shot, it freaks me out!

Asher had not had great sleep the days leading up to the trip overnight or at naptime so we had prepared ourselves for a meltdown.  Afterall, we were asking a lot of car time and unfamiliar places from a two year-old.

We were so pleased however with how both of them did in the car with frequent stops to as Asher says "get my wiggles out". It helped that there was a lot of construction going on and therefore lots of construction vehicles to see.

Me and the boys

Sadly, we learned a lesson about pushing a toddler too far when he woke up Saturday night inconsolable. It went on for two hours in a thin-walled hotel room before we decided the best thing to do would be to call it quits. We left at 3 AM and drove straight home. He finally fell asleep on the road and crashed that night, barely making it through dinner awake!

Enjoying his first hotel stay

Honestly, the story is a bit more dramatic than that, but let's just leave this as more of a pleasant memory than not.  Also, we can't blame him for how he reacted to the whole thing. He did so well with what we gave him.

Showing his doggy what was outside

Overall we learned that we should still travel at night as long as we have Littles for longer trips and that breaking it up to include lugging everything into and out of hotel rooms might not be the best solution.

Good morning!
Road trips have a way of making you appreciate home a little more.  We have been basking in the joys of our all week. I have enjoyed fresh foods, being able to be as loud as we want, and of course sleeping in our own comfy beds. Wea re looking forward to a couple more trips this year, although at least one of them we will be leaving the Littles with Nana. :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

CSA weeks 5 & 6

Week 5

So in my rush to get in the door last week and get dinner started with 2 Littles running (OK, only one runs) rampant I forgot to get an awesome picture of our produce this week!  So instead I have a list and can tell you what we had for dinner with it.

Basil - Pasta with pesto
Kale - Quinoa and Kale Mini Quiches
Beets - Roasted beets
Green onion - I am going to attempt freezing these since I can use them up fast enough
Tarragon - Haven't used it, have some suggestions?
Lettuce - Lettuce wraps, BLTs, Taco salads for lunch and one dinner. (I had lots and lots of a black bean dish I made so I just kept making it into new dishes using all that lettuce!)
Garlic Scapes - haven't used these this week yet either!

Week 6

Lettuce - More, yikes!
Swiss Chard
Beets - Seriously, the best beets ever! We got these last night and we had them for lunch.
Garlic Scapes - OK, I've had enough of these!

The beets the last two weeks were so awesome I was having a craving for them after our weekend road trip. Can you sat too much eating out? Yuck! However, the beet selection at the local Kroger store just didn't cut it. Sigh.

And for those of you who have asked, I learned how to roast beets from my momma - wash and trim the tops (greens) and bottoms (long root) and toss in some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I line my baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up and bake at 400 degrees for approximately 50-60 minutes.  These are not your pickled or canned beets people! Try it! The smaller the beets, the sweeter they will be.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A few Munchkin Meals

So this is the first time I've done a link party but I loved the topic.

What are YOUR Littles eating?

I am excited to link with other moms because really, who couldn't use a little extra inspiration at meal time? It's difficult to stay creative!

These meals are for Asher who is 24 months old.  He was exclusively breastfed for the first 4 months and was breastfed in addition to food until he weaned himself at 14 months (I had become pregnant). I know now I was misreading his signals for hunger at 4 months when he was just trying to up my milk supply.  I made all of his food besides his first cereal and some prunes when he went a while without, well... you know. :)

Micah, now almost 8 weeks is breastfed and will be exclusively (pending unforeseen circumstances) until at least 6 months when I can make his cereal.  I love the book Super Baby Foods for making your own baby cereal and follow her timetable for introducing new foods.

So here's a typical sort of day at our house:

Breakfast : Cinnamon toast on homemade bread

Lunch: Natural peanut butter and honey rolled into a tortilla, organic banana slices, and some leftover peas.

Dinner: Barilla's PLUS spaghetti with Parmesan cheese (This was leftover from the previous nights pasta with homemade pesto but once this child spots pasta in the fridge - that's it! Plus we were having venison and he's not big on meat...), 1/4 baked potato, organic roasted beets, organic steamed carrots.

We stick with water and organic whole milk for beverages unless we are having what Asher calls "juice", a smoothie I can sneak spinach and avacados into, which we have as an after nap snack 2 or 3 days a week.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Finding God in a Strawberry Field

This past Saturday I had my first opportunity to take a "mom break" from BOTH boys.  It was scary and stressful and I got lost (3 times), and I called Brad crying not sure if I could do this and enjoy myself (3 times). 

You see, I am a breast feeder.  With both my children I gave birth not thinking I would be heading back to work, so we don't have many bottles lying around the house.  Yes, I know this is crazy and whatnot but I just honestly find it easier to not deal with bottles.  I mean come on, half of what I need to leave the house is attached to me! I do love my pump and used is everyday for over a year with my first child, but when number 2 came along it has suddenly seemed like a very difficult task to do.  Or to do anything else for that matter.

Before you go thinking I am absolutely nutso, I have gotten out by myself a few times in the last 6 weeks since Micah was born but I am always rushed.  As in Brad is frantically trying to keep up with me at Whole Foods, because I have to by some milk, find that awesome dehydrated kale my sister gave me, find something to eat since I haven't eaten in 7 hours, AND we have to go pick up that double stroller at Babies R Us.  All in 90 minutes because that's when Micah SHOULD want to eat again.  Sound relaxing? Right.  Or that *one time* I got to go out to eat lunch with Brad while both boys were napping.  I'm sure he enjoyed that I kept checking the time, kept asking him the time, and was ready to go when he was halfway through his burger.

Thank God when Asher fell and needed stitches we were at my mom's who just happened to still have a bag of frozen milk in her freezer AND a bottle in her cupboard.  So by complete accident Uncle Mike got to feed his nephew his first bottle, and I was shocked that he took it, and without incident.  Add this new discovery with the fact that we have had the most UNhealthy 3 weeks ever and I started itching to take a little alone time.

Luckily it's strawberry season! I love strawberries, I love to be outdoors, and I love the drive to the strawberry patch.  Score!

I like to do a little preserving every year and strawberry jam is at the top of the list.  It's easy and tastes way better than store bought.  So this was the goal, to pick 12 quarts of strawberries to get enough to make jam. 

It took me a while to relax after getting lost so many times and then feeling like my time meter was running out (yes, I had left milk for Brad).  But man, I'm telling you, the outdoors is definitely my place. 

Once I got into the grove of picking I realized it was an opportunity to just pray.  I had been missing my time with God lately and I could feel that need to be in His presence.  I found myself telling God I missed Him too, but I knew quite well it wasn't HIM that was skimping on our time together.  It was me.  My days had suddenly started beginning at 530 and went until 10.  And you had better believe that if both boys were napping in the afternoon, I was passed out too!  I am a nightime devotion person (story for another post) and when the second child barely makes it in bed by 10, I can barely eek out a verse from exhaustion. 

You know what though? God will meet you wherever you are and picking my strawberries in a row far removed from others, there He was.  It was like I was being cleansed.  The sun, the sweat, the quiet.  I had all sorts of epiphanies I am embarrased to share.  Cheesy ones like "You have to work to find the best strawberries" and then relating that to life.  Or, "these flies that are distracting me from praying are like the distractions of life".  God knows me well because if they had been mosquitoes, I would have been OUT of there!

After and hour and a half, 12 quarts of strawberries, and a slight burning of my shoulders I felt awesome again.  It has carried me through the week (up until yesterday when over 3 hours of screaming between 2 boys did me in) and has sort of "reset" my God time.  I am still going all day from sun up to sun down but I haven't let the craziness of the day distract me from that prayer time.  I realized that yes, I want to sit and spend quiet time with Him, but at this time in my life I need to make it an all day thing, during mealtimes, in the car, during tantrums, ALL of the time.

Now to work on that jam...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Community Supported Agriculture Weeks 1-3

We decided to join a CSA this year due to our second child being, well, due.

Community Supported Agriculture (what I refer to as the CSA) is basically when members of the community pay a farmer to do the work and we all share in the "profits". We each get a share of crops once a week. This year we began 3 weeks ago in May and will hopefully make it all the way to Thanksgiving which should include some storage crops such as potatoes, onions, and squash.  There is also risk associated with this as if the farmers don't do well because of unforeseen issues such as weather we don't get our money back.  It's a give and take.

From previous experience, having a child toward the beginning of May makes it very difficult to get the garden weeded, tilled, planted, and kept up. So we started looking for other alternatives as we prefer homegrown to picked-way-too-early-shipped-from-Chile produce (Will I eat it if it's the only thing available and I want strawberries? Sure.) We normally have a variety of crops in our larger backyard garden but this year only planted broccoli for freezing and Roma tomatoes for canning.  Oh, and don't forget the seemingly endless supply of thistles I am battling...

So I found two options here in smallish-town, USA. Although the one was already out of business I found a great one just within the limits of where we were willing to drive. The Sippel Family Farm
seemed like a great fit for us. 

I wish I would have thought of this three weeks ago but I have decided I wanted to keep track of the produce to see how we fare at the end of the year. I will take photos of the rest of the weeks, but for today I will have to just write it down. Baby brain makes you do things like this sometimes...

May 16th, 2012

Green Garlic
Lettuce - Mesclun Mix

May 23rd, 2012

Lettuce - Mesclun Mix

May 30th, 2012

Lettuce - Green Leaf - 2 Heads

I have really enjoyed the challenge of using all of the produce in the week.  So far I have only wasted a bit of lettuce because there has been a LOT! It has also really limited my grocery bill and time spent shopping.  Score!

We are looking forward to see what the rest of the season has in store for us.

Friday, June 1, 2012

1 Month - MBB

Oh little Micah, we are so glad you are here!

Or should I call you big Micah? You came into this world a heavy (for me) 7 pounds 8 ounces and 21.5 inches long.  You are now at a very large 10 pounds 14.5 ounces and 23 inches.  I have been calling you my big boy this entire month, and apparently for good reason!

Micah is/has been that lesson that every child is different.  Asher was gassy, Micah is so uncomfortable that I broke down and gave him gas drops (it helps!).  Asher put himself on a schedule I thought by this time at almost 5 weeks, Micah has no hint of a schedule whatsoever. None.  Asher smiled at 6 weeks, we are already getting purposeful grins out of Micah!

I keep telling myself that Micah will come around to his own schedule ANY DAY now.  I also promised myself that I would write down that he HAS NOT so that if there is another Beer Baby, I will remember this time.  All I wrote in Asher's baby book was a bunch of mushy-we-love-you-and-you-are-awesome stuff that sleep deprived parents like to write. Also, he grunts constantly.  Well, anytime he is awake, or waking up, or falling asleep.  You get the idea.

Micah is a calm baby and by that I mean when you hold him he just has a calming presence.  He does however has a temper.  A bad one.  And he is LOUD, but only when hungry so I'll take it! He is our sweet boy and is seemingly so patient with Asher, and us for that matter.  I love kissing his little (or chunky) cheeks!

I also forgot how intoxicating it is to have a little baby asleep on your chest.  And I will admit that although sometimes when I've been holding him for hours and he won't let me put him down and I need someone to take over for a bit, I do like having a momma's boy again, even though I know it will only last until he realizes how fun daddy is!