Growing up: by the light of the moon

Tonight my baby boy woke up around 11:30 p.m., crying pretty hard.  I had just sat down for “my time” after getting things done around the house, and my husband had gone to bed about 30 minutes earlier.  As usual, on the rare occasion that Jenson wakes at this time, Lo went in to re-situate him in the crib, as he had scooted himself into the top corner and was “stuck”.  At nearly 11 months, he’s quite mobile and able to crawl and scootch around as he wishes, but when he’s sleeping, sometimes he just gets stuck in a corner of his crib and needs a little help.  On the camera, I saw Lo pick him up and I went back to browsing Facebook.  I noticed his cries getting harder and harder – and when they got to the gasping frantic cries, I headed up to help.  I turned on his turtle nightlight that projects stars and the moon on the ceiling and started stroking his head and talking to him, hoping that both of our voices would make him realize he was safe and that we were both there.

I’m not sure that he fully woke up, and he calmed a little, but it didn’t seem like his crying was going to end.  I whispered to Lo that I can just nurse him.  I hadn’t started my before-bed pumping, so the timing was fine.  Normally I try not to nurse him so soon after he’s gone to bed, as I know he probably isn’t hungry – that he just wants comfort – and he starts to wake at the same time out of habit night after night when I do nurse him at this time. But we think he’s getting his top teeth and has been clingy and in need of extra cuddles for the past two days, so I was happy to be able to make him more comfortable.

He sleeps through the night about 50% of the the time now, and while I’m grateful for those long stretches of sleep, I’m not sure that I feel any worse on those nights when he wakes once.  On the nights that he does wake, it’s usually between 2 – 5 a.m., which is unfortunately just a few hours after I choose to go to bed.  I often don’t get done with stuff around the house until almost 11 p.m., and want an hour or two as my free time to blog, check facebook, and edit photos.  But that’s my choice, and I certainly can’t blame my lack of sleep on Jenson.  Nevertheless, when I do nurse him in the night, I study his face while he nursing and while I’m rocking him gently in the glider rocker.  I’m always struck by how much older he looks in the dim of the nightlight.  Shadows thin out his chubby baby cheeks and adorable double chin, the crease at his wrists and elbows isn’t visible in the darkness, which makes him look longer and leaner.  He already has a lot of hair for his age, but it looks thicker and more filled in, and they way he sets his mouth while he’s sleeping always reminds me of his daddy.  Sometimes I feel like I know what he’ll look like at different ages by what he looks like in the darkness.  Some nights I see what he’ll look like as at age 10, other nights, just what he’ll look like next year.  Tonight he looked how I imagine he’ll look at age 4.  No longer a toddler, but a boy who is getting ready to go to kindergarten the next year…who is started to pull away from needing his mama as much…who is started to become independent and focused on boy things and on friends.

While it’s exciting to get a glimpse of what I think my beautiful boy will look like at those ages, it makes me sad that these times are going to be ending once he is no longer nursing over the next several months, or once he is sleeping through the night regularly.  I know he’s going to still need comfort here and there in the night, and that he’ll have bad nights when he’s sick or scared, but at those ages it’s likely that Lo will be able to comfort him just as well – or that he’ll just crawl in bed between us and we’ll barely wake up.  I know that it’ll be good for him to “cut the cord” so to speak, and that I’ll connect with him in other ways as he gets older, but it won’ t be quite the same connection as I get with him in these late night rocks in the glider when he needs me to nurse back to sleep, and I need the late night silent and still snuggles from a baby who is ever-increasingly on the go when he’s awake.

Sometimes Lo will ask me if Jenson got up during the night and I tell him that I don’t know.  The late late night feedings kind of blend together and I don’t remember if it was the previous night, or one earlier in the week when I got up with him.  I barely wake up for the ones that occur after I’ve already gone to sleep.  I stumble out of bed and into his room and nurse him until his falls back to sleep.  As soon as I decide that it’s safe to unlatch him, I do so and rock him for another minute or two, trying not to fall back to sleep myself.  I carefully lay him back in his crib, holding my breath that his sleep will “stick”, and I take two large steps out of his room into the hallway, trying to avoid the creaky floorboards between his crib and the doorway.  I hurry back to bed and am almost immediately back to sleep for just a few more precious hours.  And in the morning, I barely remember waking and going to him in the night. But on these nights when he wakes before I’ve even gone to bed, and I’m awake enough to study his face while I hold him, I’m not worried about missing out on “my time”, or about being tired for work in the morning.  I don’t rush to unlatch him or put him back in his crib…I take the time to enjoy watching him and connecting with him silently in the tiny bit of light.

So when people as me when I’m going to stop nursing, I don’t have an answer.  I’m not planning on extended breastfeeding, or nursing through a future pregnancy as some do, but I’m not concerned planning for that time yet.  I’m just happy we’ve made it as long as we have, since some aren’t as fortunate.  When people ask me if he’s a good sleeper, or if he’s sleeping through the night yet, I don’t say no and complain about being tired or trying to get him on a schedule.  I just say that he sleeps through the night some, and other times he wakes once, and on occasion he wakes twice.  This isn’t to say that I don’t complain to Lo on occasion about having to get up several times on a particularly bad night, or that I don’t complain about being tired, but in general, I’m happy to be able to give him the comfort that he needs in the night while he’s going through all of the many first year leaps and changes. And I’m grateful that although he’s growing up so fast, too fast;  he’s not as old as he may appear in the light of the moon.

sleep

 

 

Loving Spry Mints and Gum

spry

This is not a paid post – I just love these Spry Mints.  We had a couple of packs of tic tacs a few weeks ago and I liked eating them in the car, even though the last time I’ve had them is probably when I was digging through my mom’s purse as a teen looking for gum or mints.  I even bought a giant container of tic tacs after that and then I decided that they probably are not very good for me (or my teeth) to be chowing on them as much as I was.  We also still had some Penguin mints, which are the caffeinated peppermints which kept me awake through the classes that I actually made it to in college (I surprisingly graduated with a decent gpa, considering my attendance record).  But they were kind of old and when I opened a new pack and tried them, they didn’t even taste like mint to me.  Lo said they were fine…he can have them.  I’m also trying to not have extra caffeine, so I could only have one at a time anyway.

I’ve bought Spry gum fairly often – it’s made with xylitol which isn’t sugar, but it tastes like sugar (not how artificial sweeteners don’t actually taste like sugar) and it actually helps to prevent tooth decay, so I never felt bad about chewing it.  Here’s a fact sheet about xylitol from the California Dental Assn – but be careful with gum or mints containing xylitol because even small amounts of xylitol can be deadly to dogs.

I saw Spry Gems Mints somewhere recently and picked them up to try and they kind of blew my mind!  I would eat them on my way too and from work mostly – helps when I’m a little sleepy on my boring traffic jam commute.  Once the pack on the left was gone, I decided I needed more so I turned to Amazon where they have BIG packs.  Except I didn’t have the container, so I didn’t realize the first pack were “Gems”.  The Spry Powermints are a little different, but I think they are just different shaped (round versus oval).  They are still awesome though and I’m still probably eating more than I need to.  I kind of love them though.  I’ve bought the gum at Whole Foods before, and I think I got the Spry Gem mints at Fresh Thyme Market, but other stores carry the brand I’m sure.  Amazon is definitely the best deal for the Powermints, but they don’t offer the Gem mints with free or Prime shipping.

 

*affiliate links included

PB Oat Balls, or Boobie Balls

boobie balls

I can’t believe I haven’t posted my recipe for Boobie Balls yet, considering I’ve sent it to everyone I know who is lactating, may be within the next year, or just likes snacks.  See, I call these Boobie Balls, but they aren’t going to make anyone lactate, rather they are good for supporting already occurring lactation (and hungry bellies and snacky husbands).  They are so quick to throw together and you don’t need to worry about measuring very accurately, so they fit into new parenthood pretty well.

When I was home on maternity leave, sometimes these were the only things I felt like I could manage to make.  They were perfect for that time though, as I was in need of snacks throughout the day and night since I wasn’t sleeping much, plus trying to establish a nursing supply.  Oats, flax, and molasses all can help support a healthy milk supply – and they also are very nutritious.  And sweet.  And I like sweet.boobie balls

I think about making these all of the time because they are so good.  I resist because I know I’ll just eat them because they taste so good, and then I end up eating crappy candy instead.  I’d be better off with these.  The recipe is for a single batch, but I always double it now (I learned my lesson after the first batch).  The ingredients can be kind of expensive, so you may want to try a single batch first to see if you want to tweak the recipe for your next batch.

PB Oat Balls, or Boobie Balls
 
Author:
Recipe type: snacks, gluten free
Cuisine: Gluten Free
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry oats
  • ½ cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • ½ cup ground flax seed
  • ⅓ cup honey or dark molasses, but can use anything sticky (maple syrup, etc). I like to mix honey and molasses because molasses is good for lactation, but it has a strong flavor
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (I just grab a handful and throw them in) You could also use dried fruit, seeds, and/or coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Roll into small balls and store in the fridge. If the mixture isn't sticking together well when rolling, add a touch more honey or peanut butter.
Notes
If you're really short on time, you can add the ingredients to the bowl put it in the fridge until you have time to roll into balls.

Again, I want to mention that these are appropriate for anyone to snack on.  They just have the extra benefit of helping milk production for nursing mothers.
boobie balls boobie balls

 

Feel Good Friday

There’s a lot of crap in the world, so let’s talk about things that made us feel good this week…because it’s Friday – and that’s reason enough.  It’s easy enough to focus on the things that aren’t perfect or on drama, but it’s not worth it.  So my feel good friday….

feel good friday

I (finally) planted stuff in our salad table last week and there are already lots of greens coming up.  It helped that we got a lot of rain for the first few days.  I felt like such a gardener failure this year, with our raised bed only producing veggies that volunteered (either from our compost or from last year’s planting), so the salad table makes me feel better about it.

I had a Norwex party and I was nervous about it because I didn’t want it to be boring or for people to feel like they had to buy anything.  It was really interesting (and convincing) though, and people actually wanted to buy stuff.  I kept reminding them that they didn’t have to buy anything.  Home parties always make you feel like you should buy stuff.  I just really like the Norwex stuff that I’ve already bought and can’t wait to get more.

I haven’t been getting road-ragey even thought traffic has been TERRIBLE now that OSU classes (and all schools) are in session.  I listen to blogs in the car using SoundGecko and it’s awesome because normally I’m so behind on the blogs I like to read.

We left Jenson with our neighbor for a little over an hour so we could sub on her husband’s volleyball team. She’s due in November (with a boy!) and has done lots of babysitting, so we weren’t worried that she couldn’t handle him, but we were really glad that it went so well.  They just hung out and played.  It was an iffy time of night for him (butting right up to his bedtime), so it could have gone either way.  It’s the first time we’ve left him with someone other than one of our family members (plus his sitter and Braxton’s mom, who are like family).

My co-worker reiterated how much he likes a new pair of pants that I have (he’s gay, so it’s not inappropriate).  He thought I was wearing them one day, and was disappointed when he realized they were those ones. Then it got weird because he said he thought to himself recently that he wished he looked like me – or that his pants looked as good as mine – or something like that.  It was a nice sentiment (and I knew what he meant), but I still told him it just got weird.

I’ve gone to the gym a few times this week.  That’s a big difference compared to other weeks!  I think I’ve done a plank every day, even when I don’t go to the gym.

Family naptime.  Jenson has been falling asleep when he nurses after I get home from work, and we all end up napping in the bed for a bit.  Extra baby snuggles is always good.

Lo got flowers for me – just because.  That’s always nice.

And him.

jenson

What made you feel good this week?  Did you reach out to someone?  Did someone reach out to you?

Photo Favorites : July 28 – August 3, 2014

The photos from this week include the last day at my parent’s house and back to a normal week, plus Lo’s first weekend away for his annual camping/car race at Mid-Ohio.  Jenson and I did well on our own, though we missed him.  We went to the Parade of Homes with Chuck and Kelley and then to Tanuki for sushi dinner (jenson had mango and avocado).  On Sunday we went for a walk at one of the metroparks with our friends and their babes.  I can’t believe I didn’t take any pictures of that! Fail!

I’m going to get caught up on these pictures…we were less busy in August, so I wasn’t taking 100′s of pictures each week like I do when we are around our families.

I was just happy to have our smiley baby back, now that his teeth weren’t bothering him.
bee jammie smiles

Photo Favorites: July 28 – August 3, 2014

1. Best part of waking up
2. Growth chart that I made for my mom’s house.  We didn’t get everyone on it yet, but almost everyone falls within 5 inches of each other.
3. Boof doing a Vogue magazine pose
4. Jenson showing off his non-crawling skills (at that time) to the Smith’s.  For some reason, the arms of his sleeper are ties behind his back.

at moms

5. She won’t give me Sophie!
6. Got her.
7. Teething and learning to crawl is frustrating
8. Cutie in cloth!

smile play cry

9. Jenson and his great-grandpa (I think that’s actually a smile – unusual for that weekend, but he liked his glasses and hat)
10. Max meeting his great-grandpa for the first time
11. Jenson and his Papap
12. Boof being jealous of Jenson and Papap.  (He’s HER Papap)

grandpa and dad with boys

More cuteness below (click read more if it’s not visible)
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Wake up with Butter Coffee (I’m serious)

I know, I know, butter coffee doesn’t sound very appealing….
I was laying in bed while Jenson was napping beside me one Saturday late morning, scrolling through my facebook feed when I saw a post about Bulletproof Coffee.  I read the article in the link and decided that it sounded gross, but I just had to try it because I was intrigued.  Salty, creamy, slightly sweet coffee sounded pretty good to me..but butter and coconut oil?  But I’m calling it butter coffee because I call a spade a spade (or a club because I get those mixed up sometimes).  I don’t think that butter is bad for you, and I think that coconut oil is good for you, so I can’t see the harm in having one cup of this a day.  Good fats (natural fats) are good.  It’s supposed to keep you fuller in the morning longer too, which is something that is appealing to me, because I get hungry early, but if I eat my breakfast too early, I need a second breakfast (if I actually work out at lunch).  And other times I’m too lazy to eat something early, but I’m hungry, so I just go hungry until I can’t wait any longer.  (pausing while I go get my breakfast because writing that sentence made me realize how hungry I am).

So that morning, I blended my large cup of coffee with a tablespoon-ish of butter and a tablespoon of coconut oil and it looked creamy and tasty.  I hesitantly took a sip and was surprised – it WAS salty, creamy, and slightly sweet!  I was really excited and wanted Lo to try it.  I don’t remember where he was or what he was doing, but I was disappointed he couldn’t try it right away.  Instead I made him a cup when he came into the kitchen – without telling him what I was doing because I assumed he wouldn’t be too thrilled with having butter and coconut oil added to his coffee (he doesn’t really like coconut).  He’s used to me sneaking things into food though, so when I handed it to him, hovered around, and told him to try it, he knew something was up.  He took a sip and asked what it was and I exclaimed (I really did exclaim) “BUTTER COFFEE!” “DO YOU LIKE IT?! {insert weird big smile}!)”.  I told him about it (not in all caps) and he said it was pretty good, but he wasn’t speaking in exclamations or all caps like I was – he probably still just thought it was weird.  He didn’t drink it very fast, and I’m not sure if he even finished it, but I know I asked him several times “did you like it?”.  I don’t know why I did that…it’s not like I needed his validation for some amazing new recipe that I created all by myself – or needed his approval to keep drinking it.  I think he just said “yeah, it was good” each time, instead of telling me to stop asking.  This article claims it will give you “one of the best mornings of your life”, so maybe I was just high on butter coffee?

butter coffee bulletproof coffee

I drew you the picture (above) so you could see how excited I was, and how normal Loren and Jenson looked while I was excited about it.  Drawing with a mouse is hard, but it wouldn’t have looked that much better if I drew it in pencil because I draw like a talentless 2nd grader.  I thought I was being sarcastic with that statement, so I drew it with a pen and I’m not sure which one actually is better.

butter coffee

I do know that I have a spatial issue, because I started drawing this assuming it would be centered in the post-it note, and it couldn’t be further from the center.  (I also cannot cut cake, if you remember)  I’m going to blame it on the fact that I’ve had eye surgery twice, and while I know that can’t be blamed, the fact that I needed it twice shows how crappy my eyes are.  Maybe they just aren’t connected to my brain correctly.

Butter coffee is paleo-friendly, though I don’t follow a Paleo diet, I see the benefit in it and follow a lot of Paleo blogs because they are also gluten-free (which I DO follow).  Obviously butter coffee has lots of fat (and thus calories), but I don’t think calories are the issue.  I can’t bring myself to ever count calories, and I feel like if you are mostly eating good, unprocessed food (veggies, protein, limited grain), you probably don’t need to count calories to lose weight.  I love cheese and sugar, so I don’t really know if this is true, but I suspect it is.  I’m sure it’s much better for you than 50% of the starbucks drinks – or adding any sugar to your coffee.  Sugar is probably pretty close to the devil, in terms of food and health…though I do love it so – and eat WAY more than I should.  But I don’t like sugar in my coffee and mostly don’t like milk in it either.  Surprisingly so, I actually DO like butter and coconut oil in my coffee!  I was definitely fuller longer too – I don’t remember what I ate for breakfast, but it was the same amount I’d normally eat, and I was actually too full for part of the day.  Next time I have this, I’ll plan to not eat for a couple of hours.

There’s no “real” recipe for this, but this is what I did:

Butter Coffee
Large cup of hot coffee
1 T. unsalted butter (grassfed is best) some people use 2 T.
1 T. coconut oil

Put butter and oil in blender, add hot coffee.  Blend until frothy.  Always be careful when blending hot liquids and carefully open the lid.  I used the big blender rather than my single-serve bullet thing because it seemed safer and less chance that hot steam would blow the lid.

butter coffee

That said, it’s much more work to blend up your coffee in the morning rather than grab the travel cup that your husband poured and set out for you, so I haven’t had it since that first day.  I know you still think it’s gross and that you’d never try it…but aren’t you just curious?

Jenson update: 10 months old

This was a big month for Jenson.  He finally got his first two teeth, became mobile through by scooting around on his belly, crawling backwards, and constantly rolling back and forth, and says “dada” all of the time (and seems to know what it means).  It was a busy month with lots of visits with all of our family on many occasions.  He’s always very quiet when he’s around more than a few people, but he warms up after awhile.  He’s started to get a little stranger-danger sometimes and will cry if someone tries to talk to him when he’s not “ready”, but he warms up eventually.  He now sleeps on his side or tummy usually, and goes back and forth between sleeping well and not.  I’m trying to treasure every moment of his babyhood because it’s going SO fast.
10 months

Monthly Jenson update:  July 7 – August 6, 2014

  • Age:  10 months old (posting late)
  • Weight:  approx. probably 19-20 lbs
  • Length:  27 or so inches
  • Size:  He’s wearing 9 and 12 month clothing, size 3 diapers
  • Diapers:  Cloth diapers, except at night.  Not much change here.  He’s gone back and forth with diaper rash, but I think it’s related to trying new foods
  • Hair and Eyes: His hair is SO long…time for a cut because it hangs over his eyes and ears most of the time.  His eyes are more grayish blue now, and so big and bright.
    plaid shirt
  • Teeth: His first bottom tooth came through on July 16 and he got his second bottom tooth on July 26.  He wasn’t terribly fussy, but just wasn’t his happy and smiley self, and was more clingy. He enjoyed frozen yogurt drops and cold fruit in the mesh feeder to make his gums feel better.  We just tried to give him lots of cold
    teething toys.  He can see little tooth buds in this picture.
    tooth
  • Sleeping: His sleeping went back and forth this month.  He slept through the night a few times and then his teeth came in and that was the end of it for another few weeks.  He would wake 1-2 times at night, usually just once, and then again between 6 – 7 a.m.  On workdays I nurse him in bed and we bring him downstairs to his sitter.  On weekends we bring him to our bed and we all sleep for another couple of hours.  He snuggles up in my armpit happily – it makes me happy too.  He naps twice a day for 45 minutes – 2.5 hours.  He seems to prefer sleeping on his side or stomach.  I always lay him on his back and eventually he rolls to the position he prefers.  It’s still scary to see him on his tummy, but I know he’s old enough to sleep safely like that.  Plus, we still wear his breathing monitor on him.  Someday he’s going to be the only 14 year old still wearing a Snuza, lol.
    sleep
  • Eating:  Jenson is so distracted when he’s nursing that it’s like a wrestling match unless he’s really tired or really hungry.  I’ve resorted to nursing him laying on the bed 90% of the time.  He can take his breaks and roll around and then come back.  It’s not convenient, but it’s what works for us.  I just try to see it as extra time I get to relax with him.  Nursing in public is pretty much out of the question, so if I think he’s going to need to eat, I just bring a bottle.  Towards the end of this month, we switched him to eating 3 meals a day.  He was eating enough at each meal that it just made sense.  With it being harder to give him a bottle (see distractions), adding in breakfast just made sense.  He usually has eggs or oatmeal mixed with fruit for breakfast, which he loves. For the rest of his meals, he mostly just eats small pieces of whatever we are eating.  He doesn’t really refuse anything at this point, but some of his favorites are guacamole, all fruits, beans, meat, and carrots.  He loved a breakfast hash that I made with shredded potatoes, eggs, and ground sausage too.  He absolutely loves frozen yogurt bites – just dollops of frozen yogurt (sometimes mixed with fruit).  He’s mastered his pincher grasp, so he can get everything to his mouth on his own.  When he’s done with his meal (and gets really fussy) and we are trying to get him cleaned up before taking him out of his chair, a few of these buys us some time.  He still takes 4-5 bottles while I’m at work, but we’ve started reducing them from 4 oz – 3.5 oz because he wasn’t finishing them easily now that he’s eating breakfast and lunch.
    eating
  • Movement:  Once he mastered rolling back to front, he started rolling back and forth constantly.  He didn’t usually use rolling to get anywhere, but would just happily go back and forth.  He started scooting around on his stomach too – it wasn’t even obvious – he’d just end up facing a different direction suddenly.  He’d turn like that when he was sitting too.  He started “crawling” backwards by the end of July too and could get places by sitting and then going to his hands and knees, and then sitting up again in a different spot.  He would often go to his hands and knees from sitting, but he’d keep his “safety foot” in place in front of his other knee so he could easily go back to sitting.  He just wasn’t ready to take the plunge.  We really thought he may just skip traditional crawling (but has since started crawling for real).
    He also started sitting up in his crib when he woke up and scooting backwards.  I woke up one morning to him making noise and when I looked at the monitor, he was just sitting in his crib looking at the camera.  He eventually crawled backwards and got his legs stuck out of the crib rails so I had to rescue him.  We had to lower the crib mattress too because he was trying to pull himself up.
    sitting in crib
    He’s gotten much stronger at standing up against things and can hold himself there pretty well.  He’s also very into throwing things and has started playing much more purposely with his toys.
  • Words & Sounds:
    Lots and lots of Dadada this month, both in relation to Lo and randomly.  Right around the end of the month he started making mmmm noises and possibly a few mummums (by now it’s definitely mama).  He also started saying Boof as “B-ff”. He loves babbling and cracks up when you imitate a noise he makes.  He’ll go back and forth like that.
  • Milestones:
    - Sits up from laying
    - Crawls backwards
    - First tooth (bottom right) on July 16 and second bottom tooth on July 26
    - Met a few more family members who live out of state
    - Daddy’s first night away (for an annual camping/race at Mid-Ohio)
    - Discovered the weekly/monthly sticker that I put on his onesie for his pics and tries to take it off constantly during our photo shoots
    sticker
  • Favorite Toys/Activities:
    - Chewing on things (those teeth!)
    - Loves kisses (giving and receiving) and having his face stroked
    - Looking at himself in the mirror
    mirror
    - After work “family time” on our bed – he just rolls around and plays and nurses.
    - Likes playing with blocks, rings, and ballsblocks
    - Loves his security blanket
    - Taking books off the shelf
    books
    - His “toothbrush”
    toothbrush
    - Rocking and playing in the exersaucer
    - Playing outside on a blanket
    - Watching Boof and trying to get her toys
    - Watching and playing with Braxton
    - His haystack.  He loves this haystack block and we aren’t sure why.  There used to be two, but we can’t find the other
    haystack
  • Dislikes:
    - Getting his hair washed and rinsed – he tries to climb out of the tub
    - Getting stuck on his stomach when he’s sleeping.  Even though he can roll, he seems to get stuck or forgets when he’s sleeping.  He’s not really awake, but just fussing.

1 month2 months 3 months 4 months jenson 5 months 6 months 7 months8 monthsDSC_161510 months

 

Feel Good Friday

I decided to post for Feel Good Friday again…because it feels good.  I can’t say I’ll remember to do it every week, considering I’m weeks behind on weekly updates, and 1/2 month behind on his 10 month update, but I’ll try when I remember.

There’s a lot of crap in the world, so let’s talk about things that made us feel good this week…because it’s Friday – and that’s reason enough.  It’s easy enough to focus on the things that aren’t perfect or on drama, but it’s not worth it.  Let me know what made you feel good this week!  It doesn’t have to be something YOU did or said…it can be something that someone did or said to you…

feel good friday

What made me feel good this week:

  • Jenson crawled on my birthday for the first time!  He’s been able to get around, but not in any traditional way, or consistently.
    crawling
  • Having a fairly free weekend with these guys
    jenson and loren
  • I donated another bag full of extra breastmilk that I’ve pumped.  I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to give Jenson breastmilk this whole time, but some parents aren’t so lucky so I donate some every month or so from the deep freezer that I know we’ll never get through.  It goes to a baby whose mama passed away, and her dad works so hard to pick up donor milk all over the area, as that was the mother’s wishes.  This is in addition to his full-time job, toddler twins, and teenaged son.  He deserves every bit of help that he gets.
  • ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Challenged and completed.

What do you feel good about this Friday?

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Accepted!

als ice bucket challengeIf you’re on social media, you’ve seen videos the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  It was spreading so quickly through my friends that I knew it was coming for us soon.  While at dinner with my friend tonight she said she was glad she hasn’t been nominated yet (I mean, who wants to pour ice water on their heads).  She said (as I mentioned in the video), I won’t nominate you, if you don’t nominate me.  Lo and I hadn’t even pulled out of the parking lot after dinner when she called.  She said she just got nominated and she’s going back on her word and nominating us!  I yelled at her, but accepted my fate, assuming that she’d do the challenge tomorrow, and then I’d be able to do it on Saturday – maybe it’ll be hot and sunny (within 24 hours).  Shortly after we got home, she and her husband did their videos and challenged us…so we had until Friday night to do ours.  And we had plans after work on Friday.  So we went out in the cold (72 degrees), dark night to dump ice water on our head (poor us).  We will also be donating to alsa.org, but the website was down tonight – which means they are getting lots of traffic/donations!

I read a biography about Lou Gehrig when I was in elementary or middle school and remember it really making an impression on me – how scary it must be to lose control of your body slowly, but permanently.  It’s been 73 years since he died, and while there’s been some progress in treatments, it’s just not enough.  And other than people thinking of it as “Lou Gehrig’s disease”, you just don’t hear much about it.  As silly as this challenge seems, it’s working – over $41.8 million has been donated so far, and there’s so much more awareness – with whole families completing the challenge.  Hopefully there’s lots of of dinner table dialogue about the disease…maybe one of the kids or teens who does the challenge will someday be instrumental in finding a cure.  While I hope the cure comes more quickly, it’s probably going to take more time, but all of this money and awareness is going to certainly help.

I nominated all of my sisters…hopefully they’ll all take part – even if they are pissed about it!

Here’s the video…

Kitchen failures #87

I had a doozy of a night in the kitchen on Tuesday with multiple kitchen failures.  I decided to be “on top of things” and throw together some ingredients to prep a casserole to cook after work today.  I had cooked chicken and some broccoli and kale that needed cooked, so I figured I’d make up a simple chicken, broccoli, and quinoa casserole.

I cut up the broccoli and started it in a steamer pot.  I grabbed the quinoa (in a plastic bag because it was purchased from the bulk bins) and started it on the stove with some water.  I shredded up the chicken and put it in a casserole dish, and then went to stir the quinoa.  It hadn’t been on the stove for long, but it felt like it was sticking to the bottom and sides.  I checked to make sure I didn’t have the heat too high (I didn’t), stirred it some more, and then realized that the water was really thick and gel-like.  Umm….that’s not quinoa. It took just a couple of seconds to realize that I’d just cooked flaxseeds instead of quinoa.

cooked flaxseeds

After laughing pretty hard about it and telling Lo, I grabbed the bag of black quinoa (also in a baggie from bulk bins) to use instead.  And then I had my doubts.  What if this wasn’t quinoa?  I forgot that I bought the flaxseeds…maybe these were chia seeds?!  I’d only written the bulk bin number on the tag for the bag, so I had no way of knowing for sure.  I buy red quinoa sometimes, but don’t remember buying black.  I googled pictures of chia seeds, ate some raw, and still couldn’t really tell.  I figured the only way to tell is by trying to cook some.  I was pretty convinced that they were chia, so I also put on a pan of white quinoa (from a labeled box), since I still needed it for the recipe.  Meanwhile, I overcooked the broccoli.  Thank goodness it was going in a casserole anyway. After cooking a couple about a tablespoon of black seeds for 10 minutes, I realized that they were in fact quinoa, so I put the rest of them in a container and LABELED it.

Also during this process, I went to cut Loren and I pieces of the leftover birthday cake that he made me on Sunday (oh yeah, I had a birthday).  It was a squarish shaped cake because after he was baking it in a 9×12 pan, I told him I wanted a double layer cake (we always do double layer – twice the frosting!), so he cut it in half and stacked it.  Anyway, I was looking at the cake trying to decide how to cut the rest of it when he walked through. I asked him if the remainder should be cut in 4 or 6 pieces – four seemed like they’d be too big.  He said 6 so I started making the cuts.  Not until I was finished the LAST cut, did I realize I did this. (note that our two pieces were already removed when I took the picture).cake

It’s been said many, many times that I shouldn’t be in charge of cutting things, but especially baked goods.  I have no perception of what are equal pieces, and am apparently still terrible at geometry.  And shapes, I guess.  Not only did I cut 9 pieces, they are ridiculously uneven.  And I was even trying to do it right!

In the end, I still got the casserole thrown together (though it took an extra 20+ minutes and lots of confusion) and was able to whip up a cheese sauce for it after work today while Jenson was eating dinner.  AND we have plenty of cake left since I cut it in more pieces.  AND I have a container of flaxseed gel (that I don’t really know what to do with, but hated to throw it out).

This night of kitchen failures was pretty mild compared to some others.  Like when Lo dropped a pizza in the bottom of the oven and it caught on fire.  He rushed to open the window and I rushed to turn off the fire alarm…before either of us addressed the pizza issue.  Or the time when I lived with a friend of mine and I had a mini wine bottle that I wanted to use as a bud vase.  It had a screw on cap which left a metal ring around the bottle neck that I wanted to pry off.  I grabbed a knife and starting prying and twisting the knife against the ring with the bottle leveraged against my stomach – it was really difficult so I was pushing pretty hard.  Of course when the ring snapped, the knife kept going and stabbed into my thumb that was holding the bottle.  I was so grateful that it caught my thumb, because otherwise I would have stabbed myself in the stomach.  And based on how hard it went against/into my thumb, there’s no doubt I would have been going to the hospital (my thumb probably could have used stitches anyway).  I still shudder when I think about how close that was.  Incidentally, THAT WEEKEND I was scheduled to take a knife skills class with my friend!  So I had to go to the knife skills class with my thumb all bandaged up from stabbing it with a knife.  So kitchen failures can always be worse…