Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Never Grow Up

A new favorite song -- dedicated to my sweet, sweet baby!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Crispy Honey Dijon Chicken & Zucchini Rice

I enjoy cooking. I really do. Maybe not as much as I used to, but I do like it. Promise. My husband might beg to differ, only because lately I've been slacking in the kitchen. I guess lately cooking has felt more like a chore than anything else. And who likes chores? Perhaps it's the fact that we have a new baby, I'm back to work full-time and Bryan has a new job working wacky hours. I just have no desire to cook, let alone think about what to make when I get home. Well, I lose because we have to eat to survive, and we can't afford to eat out for every meal, so I have no other choice than to cook. I think the main issue is coming up with ideas of things to cook, thinking about it and preparing ahead of time (i.e. taking chicken or ground beef out of the freezer, picking up ingredients at the store). So, where else do I turn for help than to the internet!

Welcome to the 21st century - the wonderful world of internet and blogging! Thanks to the creation of blogs, I am regaining a love for cooking. First things first, I've been trying to meal plan a week out. I check to see what we have on hand that needs to be used and start there. I search for recipes that call for specific ingredients and build my grocery list of the remaining ingredients. This time, I started with chicken, dijon mustard and zucchini (thanks neighbor!) and here is what I found - Honey Dijon Chicken and Zucchini Rice.

Crispy Honey Dijon Chicken
2 chicken breasts, cleaned and cut into strips
1/4 cup dijon honey mustard
3 tbsp honey mustard
1 can Frenches Fried Onions (in the canned veggie aisle)

1. Preheat over to 400 degrees
2. Mix the mustards in a bowl. Crush fried onions in a baggie then pour into a seperate bowl.
3. Coat chicken in mustard, then roll in the onions.  Place on a wire rack over top a baking sheet - this helps prevent the onions getting mushy on the bottom.
*Tip - line baking sheet with tin foil -- this will help making clean up duty easier*
4. Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked.

Zucchini Rice
2 cups cooked white rice
1 tbsp butter
1 medium zucchini (I used summer squash)
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Cook rice according to directions.
2. Shred zucchini.
3. Mix cooked rice, butter and zucchini. Mix thoroughly and serve.

Sooooo yummy and super easy! And my favorite part about cooking dinner -- it's a rule in our house, that one person cooks, and the other person is on clean up duty! :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend Recap

So, I failed to plan the weekend -- not really, I just failed to blog about it. I had big plans for this weekend and big plans were accomplished.

Took the day off work :) Trees were scheduled to be delivered and installed and someone needed to be home to delegate where they went, etc.
Cleaned the house -- thanks to mom for her help and motivation
Costco run - the most expensive one ever, at that! Ended up buying 2 new chairs for the living room and am super happy with thm
Surprise 30th birthday party for a family friend
Yardwork -- and lots of it! We had to make some final touches to the patio, plus 8 trees were planted at our house on Friday afternoon/Saturday morning, which meant 8 trees needed some major TLC
Continue working on project for Easton's room
Dinner at mom and dad's
More yardwork - clean up around trees, weed, mulch
Trip to Angelo's and Home Depot
More yardwork
Family walk
Make dinner
Meal Plan - see side panel
Enjoy a glass of wine on the newly finished patio, finallllly!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Inside the Bag

Yes, I know, I'm breakin' the blogging law and posting an entry on Wordless Wednesday. I hope the blog police go easy on me. :) I will, however, defend myself and admit that the majority of this post was actually written last night.

As a new mom, choosing a diaper bag was a big deal to me - I had many things to consider. First and foremost, it was bound to become my right-hand shoulder man, and therefore it needed to be stylish. I wanted a diaper bag that was gender neutral -- not only because we opted to not find out the sex of our baby, but because if I had any hope of Bryan carrying it, it couldn't be feminine. I know how my husband feels about holding my purse, therefore knew he would not be caught dead carrying a pink, flowery diaper bag. Aside from the look, it had to be practical, with a spot for everything, pockets for all the little odds n' ends, and big enough, yet as small as possible. And of course, it had to match our black stroller. After talking to friends, and shopping around, I ended up with Vera Bradley's Baby Bag in Baroque and I love it!
Now, I believe you can tell a lot about a mom by looking at their diaper bag. The contents of a diaper bag varies from baby-to-baby and mom-to-mom. What I have in Easton's diaper bag, doesn't necessarily mean it's what other people should/will have in theirs and vice versa. It's what works for us! And when I said that the diaper bag needed to be big enough, yet as small as possible - this cuts it! It's the perfect size - big enough to hold everything I need it to hold, but not so big that it ends up with unnecessary items. The diaper bag often doubles as a purse and I find myself tossing my keys, sunglasses, phone and a credit card into one of the many side pockets for easy access, so I'm not stuck lugging a baby, diaper bag, purse, stroller, etc. everywhere I go.

The contents:
1. Diapers  - duh!
2. Bibs - yes, multiple!
3. Little giraffe blanky
4. Giraffe toy
5. Wipes
6. Paci clip and extra paci(s)
7. Extra outfit or 2
8. Camera and video camera - gotta be ready for those kodak moments
9. Arm n' Hammer dirty diaper bags
10. Sophie the Giraffe - a favorite!
11. Gas drops and Tylenol, plus a thermometer
12. Butt Paste
13. Aveeno lotion - mainly for me
14. A WubbaNub, giraffe of course
15. Burp clothes - multiple, again!
16. Changing pad - for between those nasty, germy changing tables and my precious baby
17. Hand sanitizer and chapstick - again, for me
18. Time killers - rattle, rings and teether

What am I forgetting?

It continues to amaze me how much this diaper bag holds for it's size and that everything truly has a place inside. On any given day, you could find a few additional, non-everyday items including a hat, baby sunglasses and perhaps some formula and bottle for backup. But other than that, it's pretty standard and doesn't require much daily repacking/reorganizing. My only struggle when it comes to the diaper bag is remembering to restock the diapers!

I think it will be fun to check in periodically and see how the contents have changed overtime as Easton gets older.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend Recap

Monday already? *yawn* I really need to learn to go to bed earlier on Sunday nights because Monday mornings just comes way to fast! Here's a quick recap of what our weekend consisted of. (green - done, red - not done, blue - added to list)

Go to the nursery and finalize our tree order - this got done on Saturday morning instead
Hopefully squeeze in a pedi - a much needed one to say the least!
Pick up Easton and have dinner at my parents

Prepare snacks and pack for tailgate
Pack Easton (& Cooper) for sleepover at Grandma and Papa's

Go to the nursery and finalize our tree order
Drop off the boys
Tailgate and Kenny Chesney concert!!!

Sleep in! - 8:30am is considered sleeping in when you have a baby, but not sure it counts as sleeping in when you don't go to bed til 3am :/
Go pick up Easton and Coop

Spend some time at my parents and work on a project for Easton's room
Meal plan/grocery shop - meal planning is a little challenging these days, as Bryan has a new job and wacky schedule so it's hard to know whether or not he'll be around for dinner -- therefore, meal planning will consist of things that we can eat on our own. This week I'll be trying to use up some stuff we have in the house.
Change sheets
Go for a walk
Hula-Hoop - this is my newest form of exercise :)
Blog 4 month update

Here's what's cookin' this week:
Sunday: Chinese
Monday: Leftovers and salad
Tuesday: Brats and orzo salad
Wednesday: Chili and salad
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Party
Saturday: Chicken a-la something

Here are a few snapshots from our day of kid-free fun!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Holy FOUR!

14lbs 6oz, 25 inches long

You are a summer baby! You love everything that has to do with the outdoors, aside from the sun in your eyes, but that's what baby sunglasses are for. You enjoy spending time outside doing anything from hanging with the neighbors, helping mommy do yardwork, and going for walks. You do especially well in the Baby Bjorn which allows mommy to be hands-free. You went for your first boat ride at Grandma and Papa’s and although you slept through a majority of it, you seemed pretty content during the time you were awake.

You've discovered your toes and apparently think they taste pretty good. You also found your voice and enjoy making high pitched squeals and laughing. You are extremely ticklish and your laugh is BEYOND contagious! You never stop talking and love telling us all sorts of stories.
Mommy returned to work full-time on August 1st. You have continued to make this transition back to work easy easier by cooperating with the morning routine. You are getting used to your new schedule and I think Miss Dawn and Leah really enjoy spending their days with you. We are super lucky that Grandma wants to spend extra time with you and helps out with daycare when she can.

You experienced several 'firsts' this month. We pulled out your Bumbo seat early this month, as you were getting bored of the activity mat - swing rotation. You have great neck control (Grandma calls you a turtle) so we knew you'd do well in this. It's nice to have you join us at the dinner table too. ;) We introduced you to your jumperoo, and although your legs aren't quite long enough to reach the ground, you sure are enjoying it! There are lots of colors and new gadgets to stimulate you. After lots and lots of practice, you filled rolled over back to front, just shy of your 4 month birthday. Thankfully Grandma got it on video to make up for mommy and daddy not being there to see it. 
Current likes:
* bumbo seat
* jumparoo
* playing the 'drums' with mommy
* Cooper - you must think he's silly the way you smile and laugh at him
* speaking of laugh, you looove to laugh
* rolling from back to front

& dislikes:
* when Cooper barks – it startles you
* sitting in a dirty diaper
* being on your tummy, which is a problem b/c you love to roll back to front, but are not as big of a fan of rolling front to back

Here's a few shots from your 4 month photo shoot:
Easton, you are SUCH a good, happy and enjoyable (and of course, handsome) baby, and are overall, pretty easy to please. It's not often that you cry without having a reason, which makes mommy and daddy very grateful. We feel so blessed to have you for our son!

I love you!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Weekend Planning

Hello Friday, so nice to see you! You are by far my favorite day of the week -- a nice, short, easy, fun, relaxing day at the office, followed by 2 whole days with my favorite boys, yes, all 3 of them. ;)

Go to the nursery and finalize our tree order
Hopefully squeeze in a pedi

Prepare snacks and pack for tailgate
Pack Easton (& Cooper) for sleepover at Grandma and Papa's
Drop off the boys
Tailgate and Kenny Chesney concert!!!

Sleep in!
Go pick up Easton and Coop
Meal plan/grocery shop
Change sheets
Blog 4 month update

Happy weekend to you!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jalapeno Chicken

So, we have these awesome neighbors.....and they have an awesome garden!! There was actually a short period of time which I considered starting a garden, but changed my mind when I started reaping the benefits of theirs. :) It started with zucchini, which led to me needing their zucchini bread recipe and even a few of their ingredients. Next came peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce and yes, more zucchini. We have really made out pretty well, and soon, Easton will get to sample some of their goods! Most recently, Greg canned jalapenos -- 18 jars to be exact -- and lucky for us, he wanted us to have some. So jalapeno recipes I went a searching......

* 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts - sliced in half (the hamburger way)
* Italian dressing to marinade
* Sliced jalapenos
* Appx 3 oz cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat)
* 2 slices bacon 
* Toothpicks
1. Place chicken breasts in a dish with the dressing. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator - I only did 20 minutes and that was fine.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
3. Spread the cream cheese inside each chicken breast and add in jalapenos. Wrap chicken with bacon and secure with toothpick.
4. Cook for 20-25 minutes, turning frequently, or until bacon is browned and the chicken juices run clear.

Chinese Chicken Salad

My sister introduced me to this salad some time ago, and I almost forget how awesome it is until I make it. It's SO easy, and SO good! We had this for dinner tonight and I can't wait to have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. The nice thing about this salad, is that the only measuring I really do is for the dressing -- I just eyeball the salad itself depending how much I want to make.

2 chicken breast cooked, shredded
8 cups mixed greens
3-4 green onions thinly sliced
3 ounces chow mein noodles
4 ounces silvered almonds
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
Mix everything together

4T sugar
2t salt
1/2t pepper
4T cider vinegar
1/2c vegetable oil
Combine and shake.  Pour over salad.
*note that leftovers are better if the dressing is not poured over the entire salad

Beef Taco Skillet

This probably isn't the healthiest, but it's a quick n' easy, tasty dish. I usually have all the ingredients on hand so it works well for a brainless meal.

1 pound ground beef
1 can Tomato Soup
1/2 cup Salsa
1/2 cup water
6 flour tortillas (6-inch), cut/torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Cook the beef in a skillet over medium-high heat until well browned, stirring often to separate meat.  Pour off any fat.
  • Stir the soup, salsa, water and tortillas in the skillet and heat to a boil.   Reduce the heat to low.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Stir the beef mixture.  Top with the cheese. Enjoy!

Keep on Rollin'

Look out folks, we've got a roller on our hands!! Easton rolled front to back at just 20 days old, and back to front just a few days shy of 4 months old. Now that he has learned some new tricks, he just won't stop! :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekend Recap

Seriously, where do the weekends go? I think the fact that I'm always so busy doesn't help. Time just seems to fly! Here's a recap of our weekend. (green = done, red = not done, blue = added to list)

* Birthday/engagement celebration for a family friend
* Sleepover with my nephew, Cash - sooo fun!

* Milford Memories with my mom - Coll and the boys and Dad tagged along. It was fun, until the rain came pouring down.
* Wedding shower for Britt
* Beer tent at Milford Memories - Easton with be with Grandma and Papa :)

* Breast Cancer 3-Day cheering station to see Auntie Jessie
* Out to breakfast with Meghan and Sarah, and of course Easton
* Go to the nursery to pick out and order trees - nursery closed on Sundays
* Create a daily cleaning schedule - starting with today!
* Meal plan for the week/grocery shop
* Squeeze in a walk - played with the neighbors instead
* Wash and prepare bottles for daycare on Monday 

A pretty successful weekend if you ask me.  I really need to step it up with my cleaning though. Here's to hoping I can get my new cleaning schedule underway. My goal is to divvy up the housework so that I do a little big each day throughout the week and that will make my weekends much more enjoyable. Here is what I'm thinking -- fingers crossed I can at least have a successful first week!

vacuum hardwood floors and wipe down kitchen counters

clean half bath, vacuum and dust den, and living room

dust and vacuum office, guest bedroom, Easton's room and master bedroom

clean Easton's bathroom and master bath

Did I forget anything?

Sticking to my meal plan will be another challenge. I've made a meal plan before, and following is where I always fail. It's not that I don't have the ingredients, it's just that something else always seems easier, quicker, etc. But this weeks meal plan looks delicious and I really hope I can stick it out. 

What's on the Menu:
Sunday: Miscellaneous - Bryan went golfing so we did our own thing
Monday: Jalapeno Chicken
Tuesday: Shepherds Pie
Wednesday: Couscous Stuffed Peppers
Thursday: Balsamic Chicken
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: snacks for Kenny Chesney - Salsa Wraps and Fiesta Orzo Salad??

A couple photos from the weekend:

Have a great week!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Weekend Planning Blog Hop

Hellllllo Friday, it's so good to see you! Here's what on our schedule for the weekend.

* Birthday/engagement celebration for a family friend
* Sleepover with my nephew, Cash

* Milford Memories with my mom
* Wedding shower for Britt
* Beer tent at Milford Memories - Easton with be with Grandma and Papa :)

* Breast Cancer 3-Day cheering station to see Auntie Jessie
* Go to the nursery to pick out and order trees
* Create a daily cleaning schedule - starting with today!
* Meal plan for the week/grocery shop
* Squeeze in a walk
* Wash and prepare bottles for daycare on Monday

Bring on the weekend!!!

What are YOU doing this weekend?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tres Meses

12lbs, 23 ½ inches long (rough estimate)

Month 3 came and went. It's crazy how fast time flies -- I now understand what people mean when they say "enjoy it while they are little because they get big so fast"!

This month we celebrated daddy's first Father's Day. We spent the hot, sweaty day at Aunt Carol and Uncle Tim's house with the family. Daddy loved his new golf bag, too!

Mommy and daddy left you for a weekend for the first time this month to attend Auntie Jen's wedding up north. It was much harder on mommy than it was on you. You stayed with grandma and papa and they said you were great -- we expected nothing less!

You have started regressing in your sleep habits and mommy and daddy are not fond of this. We are hoping it’s just a growth spurt and are working on increasing your feedings. Let’s hope this helps! It appears that you could be starting to teeth as you’re hands are constantly in your month and you’re producing a lot of drool. This could also be playing a role in your late-night wakeups

You celebrated your first 4th of July this month. We started out the day by attending the Milford parade and then headed to Grandma and Papa’s house for a bbq with the extended family. We took the traditional ‘baby boys photo’ and it’s so fun so see how you are all growing. 
You had your first experience in the lake and to no surprise; you seemed to like it – that is, until a big wave came!

*ceiling fans
*looking in the mirror – it's a guaranteed smile
*naps – you’ve started letting us know when you’re ready for a nap
*your hands - you're determined to get both fists in your mouth at the same time

Dislikes: (this list continues to be rather short, however I'm not going to complain)
*sitting in a dirty diaper
*any loud, sudden noises that startle you

And your 3 month photos:
I love you.

Rattle Fun!

Easton is growing by leaps and bounds! Everyday it amazes us what he is capable of doing. Enjoy this short video of his first interaction with a rattle, just shy of 2 months old. :)

And while you're at it, this one melts my heart everytime I watch it. Cash is such an awesome big cousin! :) Easton was just a few days old here.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Weekend Recap

The weekend just goes by way too fast! :(  Here's a quick recap of what we accomplished.
(green = done, red = not done, blue = added to list)

* Attend the funeral of a college friend who passed unexpectedly :(
* Lunch and reminiscing with a great group of college friends
* Out to dinner with the girls for one of my best friend's birthday

* Go for a walk
* Run the vacuum throughout the house - I didn't make it very far -- just the foyer :(
* Buy a hula-hoop -I submitted my order!
* Engagement party for one of Bryan's best friends
* weed, preen and dead-head flowers
* Easton's 4 month photos

* Do at least 1 load of laundry - thanks hubby!
* Change sheets on beds - actually did this on Saturday
* Meal plan for the week - here's to hoping I can follow thru with it
* Squeeze in a walk
* Attempt to make another batch of baby food for the freezer - carrots, yay!!!
* Wash and prepare bottles for daycare on Monday - as of 10:45pm on Sunday, I have yet to do this, but bottles are washed and the milk is in the fridge ready to go and it will definitely be done by 8am tomorrow so that's all that matters
* A quick visit with grandma and papa
* A little family nap :)

I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with all the green, and even some blue!! I hope you had a great weekend, too. And here's to hoping this week flies by!!!  A quick peek at our 4 month photos to tide you over until I get caught up on my monthly recaps.

Two months, Too fast!

10lbs 13oz, 22 ¾ inches long

The second month went even faster than the first! I hope time slows down or you’re going to be in college without giving us time to save up for it!

You have been very busy. We started the month off with your first 5k. Auntie Jessie carried you the entire way while I pushed an empty stroller. Post-race, we ate bagels and bananas and you enjoyed a tasty bottle.

You helped mommy celebrate her very first Mother's Day. We went to IHOP for brunch with the family -- your first trip to a restaurant and you did great! After brunch, we went to grandma and papa's and spent the day at the lake.

Next was your baptism. Pastor Steinbrenner preformed your baptism and Uncle Jim and Aunt Coll served as your sponsors. You did great in church and we had a luncheon at our house following the service. You slept through pretty much the whole thing.

And how could we forget the birth of your new cousin! Zain Joseph Warren joined us 3 weeks early on May 18th, exactly 6 weeks after you. You were at the hospital for his birth but due to hospital restrictions, you weren't allowed to see him until he returned home. You guys are going to be great friends, I just know it!

The new family of 5!


You slept through the night for the first time on May 24th and mommy and daddy were very thankful for that!!

Mommy returned to work part-time when you were just 8 weeks old. Believe me, this was not easy for her and she was only looking out for your best interest (ok, and hers too!) You helped make this easier by cooperating and tolerating daycare. You of course, love your days with Grandma, too!

*going on walks
*being in your "adventure seat" - daddy renamed your carseat due to the fact that we were always on the go
*you love baths!
*your activity mat

*being hungry (I have a feeling this is going be on the list repeatedly)
*being paci-less

And your 2 month photos:

I love you.