Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New things

Don't we all like new things (except when they are changes that we aren't ready to deal with)?

Some new things from my son:

Baby hugs! When I pick him up, quite often J will cling to my neck just like he's giving me a hug. Makes me want to put him down and pick him up all the time!

Continued interest in a brand new world! While technically not a "new" thing, J is constantly seeing and experiencing things that are new to him. His appreciation and curiosity and enjoyment of the wonders of life bring new joy to Mommy as well.

Problems sleeping at night or for naps. I don't know if it is that he simply does not want to sleep because there is so much going on that he is missing, or that he is now into the "attachment" phase and just does not want to be separate from Mommy but this is a struggle. I have a book from a friend I need to read call "The No Cry Sleep Solution" and I'm hoping to get some ideas from that as to how to help him.

Sitting! Yes, my little boy is sitting on his own for minutes at a time! This is exciting and somewhat scary and wonderful! This means he can sit in his pack'n play and play with a toy while Mommy eats lunch or does dishes or writes on her blog. This also means, I am told, that crawling and walking and climbing and running are not too far away (hence the scary part)!

He is starting to understand me! Oh my goodness. I asked him the other day if he was ready to "eat" and he practically dove into my chest. I am pretty sure he understands what eat means, and I think he's got or getting the concept of "diaper" as well. It is so fun being able to communicate with my little one!

Speaking of, he is letting me know in no uncertain terms that he is getting hungry and tired. Off to try this napping thing again!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


If you like peanut butter, and chocolate, and the happiness of life you need to make these cookies. I came across them by accident yesterday when reading a blog that I frequent and knew they had to happen. I was only planning to make regular chocolate chip cookies yesterday. The shame. I can never make regular chocolate chip cookies again.


Anyway, here is the link. Please, please try them. You will see things in a whole new way. Hopefully through the bottom of a glass of milk.

Hugs and love,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"That Mom"

Have you seen the jewelry ads about "That Guy"?  "That Guy" does such and such but since you can't be that great get your girl this necklace instead?  They annoy my husband to no end, in part because he is "That Guy".  The guy who makes dinner for his bride, spends time with her, and in general does good like he promised he would, etc (also, he's not into buying a lot of jewelry).  My husband is awesome.  

I also take issue with those ads.  Now more than ever.  Why?

Because I am not "That Mom".  I don't always have everything together.  I don't always know what is the right thing to do when my child screams.  I don't always know how to keep him entertained, or help him physically develop, or how to stimulate his mind so he doesn't grow up dumb (just my thought process).  I get frustrated, and freaked out, and depressed.

But that's not the end of the story.  My friends support me and tell me I'm a great mom for J.  My family comes over to babysit so I can have a break or do dishes or just have someone to commiserate with.  My husband loves me and helps change diapers and says he thinks I'm wonderful.  And the Bible tells me God loves me and gave me life and will never let me go no matter what.

I can't stay freaked out.  I know I'm not everything I need to be, but I know I'm growing into who I'm supposed to be.  And I think that's all anyone can expect of themselves.  Grow.  Gain.  Continue to get better but remember that it doesn't happen overnight, it happens slowly, one day at a time.  I may not be "That Mom", but by God's grace I will strive to be the best mom for J that I can be.

Monday, January 16, 2012


You don't truly appreciate something until you are forced to do without it.  A couple of months ago it was our freezer that was on the fritz; this weekend it was our washing machine.  Now, normally I could do just fine without washing clothes for 2 days (my son hasn't gotten to the messy toddler stage yet).  But I really needed my washer.

You see, we use cloth diapers.  One of these days I will tout the wonders of these new fashioned old fashioned baby wraps, but not today.  Today I have to tell you that when you use cloth diapers you REALLY want a working washing machine!

Friday morning I put in a load of diapers (as I do every 2 days).  I set the dials and pulled the timer/start one.  Nothing happened.  Pushed it in, pulled it out, called my hubby.  Hubby supposed the pipes might be frozen (our "laundry room" is our cold, cold garage).  But since hubby was 45 minutes away at work there was not much he could do for me at the time.  So I did what any girl would do in the situation: I called my dad.  Dad thought there might be something wrong with the dial, so he came over and messed with it, finally deciding that our pipes were frozen.

Score 1 for hubby.

Who then came home sick and slept most of the afternoon and evening and was still too sick Sat to do anything about my washer.  Which was still full of dirty diapers.

Fortunately we are the type of people who keep disposable diapers around in case of emergency (which this was!), so J was in disposables all weekend.  Yeah, I definitely prefer cloth diapers - hubby and I both decided that disposable stink.

Sun was a gorgeous, beautiful, sunny day.  I wish I could have been out to enjoy the weather more, it was so nice.  Which meant that my pipes unfroze!  I was able to wash the diapers and do 2 more loads of laundry as the hubby and a friend attempted to weatherproof that icky, cold garage.  I am hopeful that not only will this be a success, but also that the church who owns this house will reimburse us (or take it off our rent) for the supplies.

All that to say: I love my washing machine.  I am grateful for my washing machine.  And I'm sticking with cloth diapers, no matter what! (Stay tuned for how well I hold onto that resolution as baby poo begins to turn into toddler poo!)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Doing some experimenting with Photoshop...what do you think?

My baby is weird

I think all babies are weird though. It's part of being human.

J is 5 months old now. Want to hear some of the weird/new things he's doing now?

He eats cloth. Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. Anything that comes to hand goes to mouth. Recently, however, the child seems to prefer chewing on cloth things. His bib. The long legged stuffed frog from my sister's mother-in-law. My shoulder. Does this mean he's teething? Or that he is simply developing early his taste in clothes?

There is less immediate fussing when I put him on his tummy. He still does not see a purpose in being there, but if I stay down on the floor with him and make sure he has things to see and play with we don't get the instant screaming we had for a while there. He does roll over, but that is still inconsistent.

He is SO CLOSE to sitting on his own! He can sit supported, and for short periods can hold himself up, but leave him for too long and he sllllliiiides down. Or falls sideways. Which can be humorous when you are on the bed but not very fun anywhere else.

"Talking" has become a BIG part of our lives now. Talking and yelling. I'm working on signing with him to aid in communication but he's not at the point yet where he can sign back. Trust me, you will hear ALL about it when he does start signing or saying actual words!

This child is too cool. I love my Jonathan :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Corn and shrimp chowder

This will be my first foray into showing you a recipe through photographs. Please let me know what you think.

This week I made corn and shrimp chowder. I have never made chowder before. I have not made very many soups in fact, mainly preferring my potato soup over all others. Remind me to make that for you sometime. Anyway, I noticed that I had several cans of corn in my cupboard and since I had been making noises about trying chowder for some time now my husband suggested I put the corn to good use in that way. Also, shrimp was suggested but I do not remember by who (whom?). I used this recipe as the basis and then modified it as I saw fit.

First off is an onion. I have to say, this was a big deal for me - I hate onions. But I had a way to get around that, as you will see. So, one small onion gets peeled and chopped.
 Also, a couple of cloves of garlic. I like garlic. Normally I would say they need to be minced but as you will see in a minute, I have a plan for that.
Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a large pot and toss in the onions.
They will start out looking like this:
And then begin turning translucent and soft:
Once they get to this point you can toss in the garlic. Do not saute the garlic for more than a minute or so or it will burn and be gross. Next comes my way of dealing with onions in my soup - I pureed them.
I'm sorry if you think this is gross. Deal.
Where am I? Right, yes. The onions go back into the pot along with 2 cans of corn.
Cook this around a bit, then add in a couple of tablespoons of flour (or skip to the next step, realize you forgot the flour and add in some cornstarch mixed with water. This may or may not have the thickening effect you desire so I will show you another trick to deal with that later).
At this point if you have some chicken broth/stock you may add that in but I didn't have any so I used chicken bullion (that word looks so odd) to make my own "broth". I used 2 1/2 cups approximately (1 bullion cube per 1 cup of water). A little more or less is not a big deal.
While this was going on my wonderful husband was detailing the shrimp for me (because I did not realize until I had started that this was something that needed to be done).
Doesn't he have nice hands?
While that was going on I was measuring out cheese. I'm not too strict about my cheese measurements, but I put in about 2 cups. If I had had mozzarella I would have used that but I did what I could.
 Get that shrimp in to heat up. I used cooked shrimp which made my life just that much easier.
The heat should be on lowish by now. As you can see in the above picture I have already added in 2 cups of milk. Where is that photo? I have absolutely no idea. Sorry, still working on this photo recipe thing. Anyway.
Give things a stir and see how it's going.
 Pour in cheese, stirring between cups to make sure it melts.
Realize the cornstarch was not enough to thicken soup. So remember a wonderful trick your mother taught you and do this:
Mashed potato flakes. Wonderful invention for thickening soup. I never make instant potatoes, but I always keep a box on hand for situations like this.
Add salt and pepper to taste. My dear hubby added paprika to his.
And you have just made corn and shrimp chowder!

 I was rather proud of myself for this. New things are exciting :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Adding up

This holiday season by the numbers, Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Years:

·         1 Present I forgot to give
·         2 Presents I have not yet had opportunity to give
·         3 Thanksgiving meals consumed
·         4 Christmases celebrated
·         5 States traversed
·         6 Meringues eaten (in 2 days)
·         7 New recipes tried
·         8 Snowflakes created
·         9 Games played
·         10 Books given
·         12 Days I read my Bible successfully (this number MUST go up!)
·         14 Days spent traveling (4 flights and 21(at least!) car hours logged with an infant)
·         22(?) Baby milestones reached
·         29 Books received by my little family of 3
·         70 Cookies baked
·         100 Cups of coffee drunk (this number is approximate, and to be fair much of it was decaf)
·         1,958 Pictures taken
·         Approximately 5,000 hugs, smiles and laughs shared with family and friends