Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Trumpets and Fanfare...

The "secret" is finally out! Baby #2 is on the way, due to arrive in very early June. So... here we go again!

Pregnancy Update

How far along: 14 weeks

Maternity clothes: Just Blanqi support tanks to help ease the ligament pains.

Sleep: Probably in need of a bit more considering how very tired I've been.

Best moment this week: Seeing Smalls on the ultrasound, dancing up a storm!

Missing anything: Unrestricted coffee.

Movement: Nothing discernible yet.

Cravings: Lime Jello - what?! I am NOT a Jello person, but maybe Smalls is?

Anything making you queasy or sick: Everything when the morning sickness started, but currently being kept in check by the recommended B6 combo.

Gender: Too early :(

Labor signs: A few Braxton Hicks when I forgot to drink much water.

Symptoms: Tired! And nauseated when not taking the magic combo.

Happy or moody: The emotions are running wild on this one. I cried during the Hunger Games. I can't even remember the last time I cried during a movie.

Looking forward to: feeling some of those internal acrobatics!

Funny moments: Nothing that stands out...

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Summer Recap: Still Here, Just Busy!

I have tried to start a new post so many times in the past few months, and ended up with exactly zero time to follow through! It seems to be the story of my life lately. I picked up some additional work commitments recently, so it's been back to the drawing board on finding a new balance between child, household, and business tasks. It's not perfect (but when is it ever going to be?), but we're getting there.

*If you're interested in an example - just Friday to Monday last weekend included meal planning, a Costco trip, grocery shopping, deep cleaning the utility room, a trip to the dog park, laundry, vacuuming, dusting, a trip to the farm to say goodbye to my poor old doggie of 14 years (Jake and Zoe are still going strong), and toddler fun-and-shenanigans in between whipping up (from scratch) banana muffins, blueberry muffins, zucchini muffins, mini meatloaves, mini pot pies, squash-quinoa stew, and mason jar fajita bowls as well as chopping/freezing strawberries, cleaning/reorganizing the fridge and freezer, and prepping fruit and veggie snacks for the week in addition to all of the usual business tasks.

We're finally starting to move past the "must-put-everything-in-the-mouth" phase, so we've been able to start branching out on development activities. Cloud dough (5 parts flour to 1 part vegetable oil) wasn't a huge success. Jr takes after me in not wanting stuff to stick to his hands - the exact reason I never make bread by hand. Blech! Painting with water, however, was a hit! Container + water + cheap paintbrush. Can it get any easier? He liked it so much that he started pretending to paint with any container/brush combo he could find. Pretty much anything involving water is a good time for him these days. An edible sand sensory bin (cornmeal + beach toys) did not go over particularly well. We're making progress, but he's still getting hung up on the stuff sticking to his hands. Play Dough has been moderately well received and he is really starting to enjoy coloring!

Summer Highlights:

We took Jr. to the beach and aquarium at the beginning of the summer. It's fascinating to see an old favorite through new eyes when you have a little one in tow! His favorites were the seals and the bright fish in the shark area.

His first haircut went well, the only tears were from me!

We managed to sneak in a midweek trip to the Oregon Brewer's Festival while it was running, which was quite pleasant. Having attended on the weekend in previous years, I was happily surprised by how family-friendly it was on weekdays. Not much in the way of crowds, an improved layout, and a nice breeze to balance out the afternoon warmth.

Jr's first visit to the zoo was fantastic! A beautiful day, quite a few of the animals were active, and the crowds were moderate. The only (minor) disappointment was the new elephant exhibit. I had heard it was 85% complete - which in my head was going to be amazing, and in reality was the least interesting 85%. We still had fun though!

Our trip to the State Fair was a bit of a whirlwind as Jr. was/is still working on transitioning to one nap per day. We saw the animals, listened to some music, looked through some exhibits, and let Jr. ride a pony.

The look on his face when he realized he was sitting on an actual animal made the $7 price tag worthwhile!

Overall it was a busy, pleasant summer with adventures and lots of time outdoors when it wasn't 90+ degrees!

The dogs have learned that Jr is a never-ending source of tummy rubs.

The cat is decidedly less enthused about petting, but tolerates it now that Jr has learned how to feed him.

"To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring."
George Santayana

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Have a Bite of...

Easy Beef Stroganoff
It isn't exactly pretty (or more accurately, I don't have the skills to make it pretty), but it's pretty delicious! At the almost one year mark, we are branching out on solid foods for Jr. now that he is consistently interested in eating. This was the first real food he would happily eat, and it has been in our daily rotation for the past month! The two things I love about this dish are that it is a one-pot meal, and that it makes a lovely sauce without needing flour.

Easy Beef Stroganoff
adapted from Taste and Tell

2 Tbs olive oil, divided
16 oz mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1.5 - 2 Tbs garlic paste
1 lb ground beef
2 Tbs paprika
2 Tbs beef base
1 cup hot water
4 cups organic beef broth
12 oz gluten free rotini
1/2 cup sour cream

In large skillet, heat 1 Tbs olive oil. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté, flipping/stirring the mushrooms after 2 minutes, until just starting to brown. Place mushrooms in bowl, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Heat remaining olive oil, add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent. Add garlic paste and stir to combine. Add ground beef and cook until browned, breaking up chunks as you go.

Add paprika, beef base, and hot water. Stir until combined, then add beef broth and rotini. Bring to a boil, cover the pan, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove pan from heat, add the sour cream, and stir until incorporated. Add the cooked mushrooms, stir, and serve! (This makes approximately six dinner servings. I usually get four lunches for myself and eight meals for Jr from one pot.)

More please!

This is Jr's favorite food* and he usually powers through it for two meals a day. Now that we've established his taste for it, I've taken to adding various steamed vegetables* just prior to serving since he doesn't like to eat them plain. So far we've had relatively good luck with green beans, peas, carrots, and corn.
*always cut into age appropriate, bite-sized pieces

May Snapshots
1) View
Berries as far as the eye can see!

2) Happy
Park + Perfect Fetching Stick = Happy Pup!

3) Balance
Am I doing this right, Mommy?

4) Wear
"Cause all the cool kids they seem to get it..."

5) Love
Doesn't everyone sneak around taking pictures of their family?
Just me? Oh, ok...

6) Everyday
He's actually starting to seek out books, with Dear Zoo being his current favorite.

7) Eat
Farm fresh berries dropped off at my door by my thoughtful Dad.

8) Project
Nursery art - finished only 9 months after moving in!

9) Habit
Nice weather means we get to spend more time in the yard!

10) Favorite
Good grief, I love him.

"The best things in life are not only free, they require less assembly."
Robert Brault

Friday, May 1, 2015

And Suddenly It Was May...

I'm not really sure what happened to April.

But moving along: here is a very late set of March snapshots, and a decidedly prompt set of April snapshots. This means we can be friends again, right?

1) View
A beautiful day on the farm.

2) Happy
Such a happy bear.

3) Balance
Some days we just need some extra snuggles.

4) Wear
Or in this case, not wearing.

5) Love
He's starting to get the general idea of books.

6) Everyday
Taking my suggestion of playing in the cabinet literally.

7) Eat
Reusable pouches, so handy!

8) Project
Just a little trim around the ears :(

9) Habit
Finally getting back to reading for fun again.

10) Favorite
Mr. Active!

1) View
Our first legit hike as a family!

2) Happy
A blankie, a bear, and an empty soda bottle to play with. What more could a kid want?

3) Balance
I picked up a new advertising contract, so Jr and I have been spending more time in the office.
Luckily, he finds looking out the window while perched atop a yoga block quite entertaining.

4) Wear

5) Love
That face.

6) Everyday
Hanging with the punkin, who is handling car rides SO much better!

7) Eat
I've been on a tuna salad kick again, but this time there is more fish than pickles.

8) Project
I've been trying to get more done while Jr is awake instead of relying on naps.
So far, so good.

9) Habit
We read together every day. Also, how amazing is it that they have Pantone board books?!

10) Favorite
Weekend snuggles!

"You are the universe, expressing itself as a human for a little while."
Eckhart Tolle

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Little Slice of Heaven

You guys! No lie, I just had the best night of sleep I've had in at least a month.*
*Full disclosure: it still involved being up three times during the night, but it was amazing regardless.

And to top it off, Jr. SLEPT IN. So not only was I well rested and in a fabulous mood, but he was as well. And THAT hasn't happened in a while since we've been going through a reflux-flare-up-growth-spurt-and-mobility-leap thing.

AND THEN he ate really well and napped for almost an hour, which meant I had time to pump, feed the pets, make an iced coffee, shower, put makeup on, and almost finish my hair before he was up again. So we were out the door for grocery shopping at 9:30am. 

After we got back I was able to prep dinner and put it in the crockpot, we both had breakfast (gluten free toast with avocado for me, Plum Organics and prune juice for him), the kitchen was wiped down, I did some vacuuming, and spent 15 minutes trying to find the sock that magically disappeared from Jr's foot while we were playing - all before his 11am nap.

After weeks of fussiness, this morning was a balm for my weary soul. Bonus: At 11:30am I had a sleeping baby, a humming washing machine, and few minutes to blog for the first time in a month.

February Snapshots

1) View
Everyday Obscurity Monthly Snapshots
Jr was too busy chewing to look, but it was a beautiful day at the park.

2) Happy
Everyday Obscurity Monthly Snapshots
We retired our wooden coffee table for now; this leather number will mean fewer bruises for Jr.

3) Balance
Everyday Obscurity Monthly Snapshots
Don't worry, Mom. I'm just going to stand on these books so I can reach the table better.

4) Wear
Everyday Obscurity Monthly Snapshots
My mom made this fox hat for Jr, which is quite possibly one of my favorite things ever.

5) Love
Everyday Obscurity Monthly Snapshots
Weekend beverages and father-son time.

6) Everyday
Everyday Obscurity Monthly Snapshots
All the transitions meant there were plenty of sad baby snuggles.

Everyday Obscurity Monthly Snapshots
Lots of sad baby snuggles.
7) Eat
Everyday Obscurity Monthly Snapshots
I don't eat them, but apparently I have a knack for making omelettes.

8) Project
Everyday Obscurity Monthly Snapshots
The first piece of art for the nursery!

9) Habit
Everyday Obscurity Monthly Snapshots
Champagne Thursday may or may not have saved my sanity last month.

10) Favorite
Everyday Obscurity Monthly Snapshots
So sleepy.

"How simple it is to see that we can only be happy now, and there will never be a time when it is not now."
Gerald Jampolsky