Friday, May 20, 2011

1st Birthday

Well, we are about 2 weeks away from celebrating Anders' 1st Birthday (um...when did this happen???), and I am completely ready for it. We will not be having a "traditional" 1st Birthday party since we really don't know enough people with kiddos out here to make it worth it. Instead, we are flying back to Vermont for a week to celebrate with our families.

As the standard "spoiled" first grandkid, Anders will have 2 parties, one with each side of the family, and we just cannot wait to see everyone! While we are there we will also be closing the sale of our Vermont home, which S and I are extremely excited about. In going back "home" for A's birthday, I have given all creative license to my Mom and Mother-In-Law to do as they with for the celebrations. Honestly, the "events" will be more focused around seeing all of our friends and family rather than a kid's birthday party.

If someone had told me 2 years ago that I would not be planning or really throwing a birthday party for my child's 1st birthday I would have laughed. While I do think that many people go way overboard in planning a party, I had never anticipated that I would not be the one hosting our friends and family for a simple get together to celebrate our child. Realistically, it makes no sense to try and host something here for our families-too many people, too many flights, only grandparents could come, but sometimes I do wish we were celebrating our child in our home. We considered having a few friends over, but most people we know out here do not have children and we are still developing our friendships with them. Even if we had a "no gifts" party, I still feel like it would seem gift-grabby and awkward to host a kid's party with a bunch of 20-40ish adults with maybe 2 kids thrown in.

This is simply one more "first" we are going through living here. S and I will celebrate Anders' first year with him on the 4th, and I'm sure it will be the prefect celebration that we need at this point in our lives, but there is still a part of me that wishes for invitations, party favors and piles of dirty dishes.

Friday, May 6, 2011

end hiatus???

Obviously, I have taken some a lot of time off from blogging. I could say "it's been busy" but really, I just haven't had a whole heck of a lot to write about. Of course, things have been busy: we replanted a major flower bed in our backyard (one that had been neglected for about 15 years), we switched to cloth diapering, we remodeled yet another part of or first floor, we stopped napping (well, Anders did), and we became thoroughly overwhelmed with life.

There's a lot to be said for support, and S and I have learned a whole new way of supporting each other over the past 2 years. We made some major life changes: getting married, a major cross-country move, and welcoming Anders into our lives; and because of all of this, we have learned how to lean on each other. While we no longer face the every-day challenges of figuring out how to get around our new geographical location, we still face the challenge of coming to terms with our distance from family and old friends.

No, this is not meant to be a "oh poor me" post, but it's more of a "huh, I thought we would be in a different state of mind by now" post. Simply put, we both thought that after a year things would feel less isolating.

But, on a lighter note, I'm hoping to renew this blog. There has been a ton of changes over the past few months, and as we draw in on Anders FIRST BIRTHDAY (what????) I'm thinking it's time to put on my writers cap and start documenting/sharing our lives with the e-world. Plus, I totally feel like I need a blog do-over...I need to revamp the look of this sucker...

And in closing, here's a picture of Anders at about 10 months, munching away on his sweet potato bites that he loves!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Just call me Grace

In standard fashion, I decided to end January with a bang, just not a very fun one.

Sunday night I tripped while going up the stairs to our master-wood with carpeted treads-and carrying a wine glass. First, there was a moment of mourning for the Cabernet and the Schott wine glass that died in this incident. Second, I promptly realized that I had glass sticking out of my hand, elbow and knee and two baseball size bruises on both shins. After a good 20 minutes of glass removal by me, and clean up by S, we decided we were golden and headed off to bed. My assessed damages on Sunday were: 2 monster shin bruises, 2 puncture wounds on my right hand and a good 1/2 inch slice to my pointer lots of little pin pricks from glass shards on my left elbow, both hands and left knee.

Welcome Monday morning...where my entire body feels like it has been beaten. I'm not sure how I did it, but every single muscle in my upper body screamed at my every move as I tried to pick up A and get dressed for work. Bonus: I also discovered glass shards in my feet, a few tiny ones in my hand and a decent size chunk in my pointer finger. Needless to say, I called in to work and planned to spend the day "quietly" at the house with A and the pups. A decided to take one of the fabled 3 hour naps he occasionally takes at daycare, so I got to try and relax with some pain meds, yeah, no such luck.

In the end, S came home at noon, I took some pain pills and we spent the afternoon watching movies with A and the pups in our bed. End result: I am covered in bandaids, my left shoulder is almost immovable and my legs are varying shades of purple. Thankfully, we get to chill in bed all day tomorrow thanks to the "snowstorm" (5 inches is not quite a storm in my opinion....) that has closed A's daycare-sans S who has to be at the office for a lovely 11 hour day tomorrow...

Overall, no matter how much everything hurt today, it's tough to be grumpy when you get to spend the day with this:

Yes, that's both dogs...not just one realllly long one

Yes, this is a rambling post, thank you pain medication and exhaustion

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


So much for trying to keep the blog more up-to-date....

Here's a quick recap of the past 15 days (or so) while I try and get Anders down for his much needed nap...

A) S's parents visited for a long weekend. Yay! It was great to see family again and show off how much Anders has grown. Even though we live 1500+ miles away from ANY family member, we have been very lucky to be able to see one side of the family or the other about very 6 weeks.

B)  I am in the process of "building" a composter. I cannot seem to find one I like around here that fits my "low cost" we are building one.

C) We are making our dog food....Our dog, Bogey, has started thinning out, a lot, for no apparent reason. He eats a ton of food every day, and despite switching his food, vet visits, tests, etc... the only thing we can chalk it up to is his crazy energy level and high metaboism. So, after talking to our vet, we started making the dogs their own food, and it seems to have worked! We have gotten about 2 lbs on Bogey, which is huge!

D) Anders has decided that sitting is fun, but standing is AWESOME. 90% of the time we have to get him standing a soon a we put him down or he will squeal like some prehistoric dino. And, when we stand hm up, he stomps his feet like he is trying to walk.

E) Wee man, Anders, is still sleeping 12-15 hours a night solid, but naps are going out the window. We ae currently getting about 2 20 minute naps/day.

Alright,the kiddo is awake, surprise surprise! Hopefully some pictures this weekend!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Baby Food

This is a post about all things pureed. And cooking the living daylights out of steak for Anders...a feat that almost had S and I, as Medium Rare steak lovers, almost in tears.

We, and by that I mean I, decided early on that we really wanted to make all of Anders' baby food. S and I eat a mostly organic diet, and we wanted to do the same with A. When we started looking a organic baby food options in our area we were not impressed with the selection or the price. For example, I can buy 1 container of Earth's Best peas for $0.89 (on average) which is a 2 oz container; or I can buy 1 bag of organic frozen peas at Whole Foods for $1.69 and make 18-20 ounces of food. For my "frugal' lifestyle it was a no-brainer.

When we started to look into what we would need for baby food making we looked into the Beaba Babycook and ultimately decided against it-the main reason being that it makes very small volumes of food. We had recently gotten a Kitchenaid Food Processor for our wedding (which feels like it was ages ago....not just 1.5 years back) and we have a ton of these steamer baskets already.

Here's what we do:
1) prep veggies/fruit
2) steam them until very soft
3) process until desired smoothness is attained
4) pour into ice cube trays
5) freeze
6) store in labeled ziploc freezer bags

With chicken we simply poach it and them puree. Steak, we cook until well done. And, Anders favorite of them all, tofu is simply pureed.

Here's one of his favorite recipes:
Chicken with Apples and Carrots:
1) Peel and chop 10 medium carrots and 4 Apples
2) Steam carrots for 5 minutes then add apples (or steam seperately) and steam until very soft
3) While steaming, cut 2 chicken breasts into 1 inch chunks.
4) Place chicken into 8 cups boiling water and poach until cooked through.
5) Drain carrots and apples and reserve liquid.
6) Add poached chicken, carrots and apples to your food processor.
7) Process using a pulse setting until desired texture is achieved. Add reserved water from carrots and apples as needed for thinning.
8) Pour into ice cube trays and pop into freezer when cooled.
9) Once frozen, pop cubes into labeled ziploc bag, defrost cubes as needed.

My favorite food processor in action

Ready to freeze.

Anders loves this "recipe" and S and I really like it too-we try everything we make for Anders.

Enjoy, more recipes to come....

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years "Resolutions"

1) Blog more

2) Grow my cooking repertoire to include more challenging and unique foods, and actually BLOG about what we cook

3) Start a raised bed garden in our backyard...which admittedly, our whole back yard is the size of the garden I grew up with. Oh how I love city living.

4) Continue to explore making our own dog food.

5) Finally finish all of our planned major home projects (we should be done these by February), and to tackle any new projects in a timely manner.

6) Remodel our wine cellar. The previous owners installed it "upside down", ie: corks up, and it needs some serious TLC. Let me also note, that it also needs to be's so hard to keep a bottle in it!

7) Enjoy every moment, both challenging and easy, with Anders. 

8) Take more pictures!

9) Laugh more. 2010 was a rough year for us all. It's time to enjoy life and take things in stride.

10) Focus on that which is important and ignore that which is not.

Happy New Year!
S, M and A

Christmas 2010

This Christmas was our first in Nebraska and it brought quite a few changes. We celebrated Christmas with S's family in Florida in early December, and my parents came out to NE for 10 days to celebrate with us. Traditionally, we spend the day, and Christmas Eve, running around to different homes to meet up with all of our family, and cook a huge meal to enjoy with everyone. This was our first year "offically" hosting Christmas for our family, and it was very calm, quiet and different.

We did not do a good job taking pictures, but, thankfully, my parents did. More pictures to come as they settle back into their lives in Vermont!