Sunday, January 26, 2014

Act 4; Scene 25: This Recipe Was a Hit!

Today, something wonderful happened.

(OK, let me back up and explain so you will "get" the wonderful...)

I am doing this 8 week health challenge with numerous daily goals, and one of the daily goals is to get in two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables every day. You see that, and you think, ok I'm probably not getting that right now but it won't be that big of a deal. That is FALSE. I didn't know how hard it would be to get 3 full veggie servings every day. That was a wake up call! Needless to say, I have been buying up a lot of fruit and vegetables at the store. 

Robert is totally a fan of my health challenge. Although he not so much a fan of many of the vegetable-enhanced entrees I have been serving. For instance, this morning I offered to make him scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast. He declined. After I had finished my delicious eggs-spinach-pepper jack cheese with a side of grapefruit breakfast (delicious!) Robert proceeded to cook his OWN eggs. So, you changed you mind? I ask--no, he didn't want me to make them because he knew I'd put spinach in them.

Enough said. 

Today, my dinner plan was interrupted by the treats I was making for neighbors taking way longer to cook in the oven than I had anticipated. So I decided to change plans and use up some fruits/veggies that were getting old in the fridge. I had a very squishy mango and a very squishy avacado, some cherry tomatoes that were starting to get wrinkly, half of a red onion that has been hanging out for a few weeks, and a lime. Doesn't that scream salsa to you?! I looked up a few mango/avacado salsa recipes and came up with my own idea for dinner. Here is the recipe:

1 can black beans
1 avacado
1 mango
about a cup of cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup of red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves
juice of one lime
dash of cayenne pepper
sea salt
fresh ground pepper

Put all of these ingredients into a bowl; mix; then chill in the fridge for about an hour.

Next--fry up some bacon! (also hanging out in my fridge...) when that is done, set aside and drain the grease from the pan (we're being healthy, right? So get as much out as you can!). Then put a corn tortilla on the bacon grease pan with some shredded pepper jack cheese on top and cook on medium until cheese is melted and corn tortilla is a bit bubbly. Then add a bunch of salsa and crunched up bacon.

Um, hello! This was absolutely delicious! And you know what? Robert loved it. I mean, he didn't even pick out the red onions. HE DIDN'T EVEN PICK OUT THE RED ONIONS, PEOPLE! And he even said before dinner that he didn't think it would be something he would like (remember--not a fan of random veggie and fruit plates I come up with). He ended up saying multiple times how good it was. He even told me to put it on the blog and then pin it. So here it is.

Sadly, I was not making this recipe to be "cool" so I didn't think to take any pictures. You'll just have to create the picture in your head. 

Also sadly, the ooey gooey butter bars I made (that took up so much time in the oven) came out tasting more like butter and egg and less like the decadent cream cheesiness I was imagining. Oh well--you win some, you lose some.

And here are some pictures of Tommy (because what is post without pictures, right?)

Just taking care of some business from the comfort of the couch

You will not put me to bed right now, Mom! May the force be with you!

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Act 4; Scene 24: Peanut Butter Playdough

I decided to be like my sister-in-law today.

She always has so many fun crafts and projects for her kids to do. It's pretty amazing. And I feel pretty amazing that I tried one today! Thomas has really been enjoying the texture of things lately, and I thought he would love play dough. But I also knew that inevitably (like crayons, pencils, paper, glue sticks...anything) he would try to eat it. So of course--edible peanut butter play dough!

Here's the recipe:

1 18 oz jar peanut butter
6 Tbs honey
about 1 cup of powdered milk

Just keep adding milk until the dough is workable with your fingers. If you want to save it, keep it in an air tight container.

I did about half of this, which was PLENTY for us.

One of Tommy's favorite parts was helping me make it!

Getting ready to mix the dough. Don't mind Tommy's favorite toy, the rice cooker, on the floor...

This was a hard one to mix...

Our creations!

When I said "Put your head down there and smile!"  

This was a fun project! Probably more fun for kids a little older, or maybe just different from Thomas? Once he figured out he could eat it, he just shoveled it in. I would hand him some and try to show him how to make it into a snake or a ball, and he would yank it out of my hands and shove it into his mouth. I did get him to place a few raisins and nuts on his piece. And then he proceeded to de-raisin and nut everything and shove the dough in his mouth.

Well, it was a very fun and entertaining snack time, at least!

Happy snacking!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Act 4; Scene 23: Ahhhhhhhh Naps

We’ve been having some nap problems at our house. Let me tell you, there is something about nap problems that puts me over the edge—I can handle a lot of trouble, but when naps are missed/shortened/interrupted—I flip a lid. Sometimes I think Tommy’s lack of daytime sleep affects me more than it affects him.

Anyway, like I said, we have been having some nap problems at our house. For a while now, the babe will wake up about an hour into his afternoon nap. I will rush upstairs and hold him for about a minute, after which he will close his bleary eyes and I will put him down to finish up his nap. I know, I know—this is a bad habit. But it is just so easy to hold him for one or two minutes rather than go through a week of listening to him cry for an hour to figure it out.

BUT! I have been thinking about the day that I need to just let him figure out how to go back to sleep on his own. It will be good for him, and good for me. I won’t have to be sure that the cookies aren’t in the oven when he’s about to wake up (etc etc). I was thinking just these thoughts when I heard the familiar cry (right in the middle of making bread, of course) and walked up the stairs thinking that this would be the last time (maybe) and that I needed to put my foot down about this particular nap problem. He needs to get over me holding him every day to help him back to sleep.

And then I held him and rocked him by his crib. He almost immediately closed his eyes in sleep. I looked at his perfect skin. I looked at his pink cheeks, and his lips slightly puckered. I looked at the wrinkle lines on his neck from his toddler chub. I felt his steady breathing in and out. I felt him relax in my arms and lean in to my chest. And I thought, you know? What is the problem with my little boy needing a little extra comfort from his mom to help him sleep peacefully? He will not always want me to cradle him in my arms to make him feel better. In that moment I had a distinct feeling that all too soon I will remember these interrupted nap snuggles with fondness.

So I stood there and held my perfect, sleeping boy and thought about how great it is that he wants his mom to hold him for a few minutes every day.

unrelated...just cute

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Act 4; Scene 22: Enjoying Christmas Gifts

Thomas was quite taken with his basketball hoop from Santa:

He has since decided that indoor basketball is just too boring for him. We hope he takes it up again soon!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Act 4; Scene 21: 2014 New Year Resolutions

It's no secret, I LOVE resolutions, goal setting, list making, and evaluating.

This is one reason I love New Year's so much. 

What a great opportunity to chuck old habits and start fresh with bold ambition and clarity for a great new year. But the only way to make a goal is to have some sort of a formal check set up for yourself. So here I am, publicly placing my resolutions to help me have more motivation to succeed and reflect on my progress the next year.

I was reviewing last year's resolutions, and first of all was impressed by the insights I had written there. Really, I think I hit it spot on for myself. It was good to review and think about where I was last year and where I am now, even if much of it is the same. I definitely have learned to chill and enjoy my baby, much more than I did last year. There was a time that I was eating many more fruits and veggies during the year, but that has sadly regressed over the past two months (darn you fall and holidays!). I'll still count it as a success since two months out of twelve isn't too bad :-). Not sure how well I made our home a place we want to come home to. I can think of days of success and days of failure for that one. But I have taken more time to ponder since I've changed my scripture reading to during nap instead of at night. I think that could use more improvement too, however. I said to Robert as I reviewed the post, "this is why journal writing is so important! Things you write a year ago can resound with you when you read them again the next year!" And with that came the first on my list of resolutions...

1. Write in my journal at least twice a week.

2. Not talk so much about money; how expensive something is, how much it cost, what deals I found, etc.

3. Eat more fruits and vegetables every day.

4. Focus on making our home a Christ centered home; specifically by decreasing my own temper tantrums (seriously a toddler's are enough; we don't need mommy meltdowns daily as well)

Robert and I again discussed our family resolution for this year. Last year our goal was to do more family history. And we have! We have found more names, and taken some to the temple. We have also found more stories and insights. Of course, we can always do more! Our goal this year is gutsy. It will be very hard for us, and we hope very rewarding. Our goal is this:

1. Go to the temple twice a month.

That might not seem very challenging to some, but our days and weeks and months get so crazy full that I know it will be for us. We will have to really stick to the plan and prepare to be able to accomplish this one, especially when working around Thomas. I am so excited for this family goal. I am excited to make temple worship at the forefront of our family.

Hope you made some resolutions for yourself this year. And hey, it's only January 2nd--you still have time!

Happy New Year!