Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Banana Pancakes

Fall is here and on a chilly cold day a fun and warm lunch is in order. So why not pancakes and to make them even tastier let's throw in a ripe banana! Yum! Yes, I cheated somewhat because I did use the ever faithful Bisquick... because well, it's quick! It was quite yummy. My son enjoyed his first taste of pancakes, although his second bite was far superior and well received, most likely due to the fact that it contained syrup that time! Yum!

Banana Pancakes Recipe
makes about 15 medium sized pancakes
2 cups of Bisquick
1.5 cups of milk*
2 eggs
1 ripe banana

* add more milk to make the pancakes thinner or a half cup less to have thicker pancakes.

As usual make sure your pancake bubbles throughout before flipping it otherwise you could have a mess on your hands.

Piggy Flu & Bonks

Ace and I are quite the travelers these days. We headed to California and then back again. Two trips on the airplane and all the while in the back of my mind I was worried about little piggys coming to infect us... or something like that. I'm not typically a germ-a-phobe and in fact I think most dirt and germs are good for my little boy to be exposed to, so that he can fight of the really bad germs. We are not an antibacterial every 10 minutes household, but on the same note I don't let him lick floors in public places.

All that to say him and I came home on a plane on Tuesday night; and by Wednesday night him and I both were running fevers. All day Wednesday I was chilled and feeling blah. I cancelled a business call I was supposed to have because my brain was mush... and Ace required a dose of baby drugs to curb his fever in the middle of the night. My fever broke in the middle of the night and in the morning felt as good as new (albeit, still extremely sleep deprived) Ace's fever was gone, but he still had a cough and a few sneezes.

The cough persisted through the weekend, so I thought I'd better take him in. I wasn't in the mood for repeat of June. When we arrived they handed me a mask... to put on Ace... hahaha right. I tried and the results were expected. So we were banished outside. Seriously. So we waited for 30 minutes outside and then we were called and a room was ready. Ace was met with nurses in duck masks (or at least they looked like a duck beak) and then by one nurse in a biohazard attire. Literally. She was draped like she was prepped to perform surgery with a welding mask over her duck mask to boot. Overkill? Maybe. She positioned me on the table with my son's head in my lap, with me holding his head and the other nurse holding his arms. Then biohazard nurse swabbed with a tiny mascara brush (or so it looked) the inside of each nostrils. The tears were big for my little guy. He didn't like it one bit.

The doctor came in to see him and within 10 minutes the biohazard nurse peeked her head in to annouce that the test was positive. Ace has H1N1. Dun dun DUN!!!!!!! So while I was not tested the doctor is pretty certain I too have now had it. So what does it mean?! It means neither of us will require the vaccine for H1N1 -- well that's good since I wasn't planning on getting it or giving it to my son, so we save ourselves disapproving looks from his medical care workers.

So how has the piggy flu affected our lives? Probably the best scenario you could have during the piggy flu season. We had a fever and for the most part that was the worst of it. We didn't see anyone on Thursday and you're only contageous 24 hours after the fever breaks (or so they think) and even today Ace's cough is gone. All is well in light of our brush with the piggy flu.

Yesterday though, after my stubborn boy refused to take an afternoon nap, was running (literally) ragged and ran head first from our sunken living room into the wood landing. Needless today he has his biggest welt to date on his noggin' - poor little guy. We kept him up for a bit, and checked on him every hour after that. It was a really big bump. :( Today it is a beautiful shade of purple.

Enjoy this picture, Ace's nose looks like it has a tad side effect of the piggy flu in this picture ;-) and his bump is quite visible as well - but he's as happy as ever... piggy nose and all. hehe

Monday, September 28, 2009

A night off

Every mother needs a night off from being "mommy". A night where you can put your wallet into a purse and out of the diaper bag and go out on the town. Wear heels knowing you won't need to chase down a mobile toddler. Don earrings knowing they won't be ripped out of your ears. Wear a shirt that doesn't require easy access to baby-milk. Every mother needs these nights of sanity.

I needed this night of sanity. It had been a while since I had been out - sans my son - in a long time. With a trip to Cali with Ace in my care 24-7 "free time" was non-existent unless he was compliantly unconscious; and while that did exist between 10pm-2am consistently, my social circle during those hours was minimal at best. So after a long two weeks I finally cashed in on my husband's insistence to get out of the house! It didn't take too much twisting of the arm... especially since getting Ace to sleep these days has been a challenge (and THAT is the biggest understatement of the year, FYI!)

I had planned to see a movie with a group of friends, but that fizzled into nothing and I was left this afternoon thinking that I was once again stuck at home. Damn. I'm not a HUGE fan of going out by myself... and while I do find shopping to be a solo experience that is enjoyable it wasn't really in the budget. In the end it worked out that two of my friends after a long day of packing were game to go to the Purple Cafe, a wine bar! What a DELIGHTFUL turn of events that turned out to be.

We headed there around 7 and closed the restaurant down. We sat at the bar and enjoyed yummy food and delicious flights of wine. Our bartender, the same one we've had previously on our adventures to Purple was as helpful, informative and fun as ever. It was a wonderful evening with yummy food and delicious wine. The restaurant closed at 9; and we left at 9:45 after enjoying several sample glasses tastes of various bottles the staff was finishing off. We might just return there at about the same time next week ;-)

Overall I found it to be a perfect way to regroup my non-mommy side of myself. It's what I needed to regain some sanity, and just to unwind. And it was a ton of fun as well. I very much did enjoy my night off.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thirteen Months Old

Ace started off his second year of life with a great start. More firsts for Ace included: his first happy meal, his first trip to the library.

Ace's language skills are improving on a regular basis. He now says "nigh nigh" on occasion when he is ready to go to sleep. Sometimes that proves to be a false statement on his behalf causing mommy 90 minute nigh-nigh routines until he finally gives up the wiggle-worm fight and drifts off to slumber land. He waves 'bye bye' to people when it is time to go nigh-nigh. The other day he pointed to a book and said 'book' there was a witness, so I wasn't crazy, but he has yet to repeat this verbal identification. He does regularly refer to me as momma now, not just when he's hungry, sleepy, or cranky - so that's nice. :)

Ace's motor skills also are expanding on a regular basis. His latest venture in mobility has been testing out his toes. Yes, Ace is enjoying discovering his tippie-toes. He continues to stand on them and every now and again we see him trying to jump. It's only a matter of time before he's jumping off the ground - quickly followed by jumping off the furniture which he has mastered climbing. :)

Ace also is recognizing and understand more and more. He understands 'On and Off' and 'In and Out' (we utilize this often for picking up all those ball that he enjoys playing with so much) and also he recognizes characters. Nemo of course has been ingrained in his memory bank for some time now. However, now he's expanded into Buzz and Woody. Yes we are quite the Pixar family around here. He is doing wonderful with his listening and understanding and deciphering what people say to him. We are all thrilled with his comprehension levels.

A week ago Ace enjoyed his fifth trip on a plane. The first time since he's been truly mobile, so it present a bit of a challenge for mommy. While we did have the seat next to us empty, it wasn't known until boarding was complete and therefore not enough time to get his carseat up and into the seat before takeoff. So while we had the extra space, we had plenty of wiggling and squirming to do. Overall he did wonderfully. The gentleman on the aisle seat was happy to utilize his legs as a wall and didn't mind Ace running into him and back and forth. The flight home was easier as we knew ahead of time the availability of a free seat and so we just loaded Ace straight onto the plane in his seat. That flight was treated just as a car ride and Ace did great.

He also had an other great trip to California and had a good time seeing lots of Aunties, Grandma and even extra Grandmas :) He did great while mommy helped host a bridal shower, and also did wonderful while we dragged him all over the place doing other bridal type things. He was a great traveler. I hope the trend continues.

According to Grandma's scale Ace weighs 19.5lbs and from the looks of things has grown a bit taller, although no official measurement has been taken since his 12th month appointment.

Ace is doing wonderful and is a very happy boy. Pictures will be added soon come back later to see!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Aged Spices

Found while cleaning out my grandmother's pantry a few tins of spices.

MOH - The Bridal Shower

Where have I been? Oh well you see - I am in California. Why? For the second most anticipated event of wedding festivities: the bridal shower. As the Matron of Honor it is my duty honor to throw the bride, my best friend, her bridal shower and today we did just that. Yes together with the Mother of the Bride, we planned the bride a very exciting shower. With 35 guest attending, there were games, laughs, presents and Cold Stone ice cream cake! I created the guest favors: little bags with tea and candy - and made the bride a towel cake with some silk flower decor.

The festivities got started with the first game of how well does the bride know the groom. For every answer she got wrong she was decorated with more colorful excitement turning her into a beautifully colored bride-to-be. She got 14 questions right out of 32. Not too shabby, some of them were nearly impossible. It was quite amusing.

Then of course the traditional toilet paper bride game had to be played. It was great fun! The shortest bride one. The bride may or may not be biased as this is her (soon-to-be) step-daughter.

Of course there were presents to be had, some for the home, some for the bedroom in the home ;-) and then of course there were other things occurring while she opened her gifts. The bouquet was made and the notations made of what she said after she opened each gift. hehe. Of course when the list of her reactions to presents was read, they of course were revealed that these were things Becky would say on her wedding night! It was amusing!

On the invitations that I made, I requested that everyone bring an item or two to help stock the bride and groom's new pantry and what a blessing - the guest delivered! They are set!

And then of course there was ice cream cake, and my best friend and I being silly. I am so glad she had such a good time. She deserves only the best.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fall is coming

The leaves are turning, the weather is cooling (occasionally), and the feel in the air is that fall is on the way. Fall is my favorite season of the year. While Christmas is my favorite time of year, my favorite season bar-none is fall. I love all the colors, I love to watch how God paints a masterpiece of reds, oranges, yellows, and browns. I love to decorate for fall; and Labor Day weekend I did just that.

This weekend, I redesigned my blog for fall. I used pictures I took in my backyard of the leaves for my header and sides (if you do not have a wide screen monitor you cannot see the side leaf pictures apparently.) I just love fall. So enjoy the tour around my humble abode while I share my fall decor with you.

By the way, if you like this wreath,
you can buy one from The Ravenna Girls

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A trip to the library

Ace enjoys reading and although getting through a WHOLE book is a total crap-shoot, he does enjoy reading a few pages before toddling off to do something new and exciting. For a boy and being 12.5 months old, he has a decent attention span. I'll take it. He always is so excited to see new things and so today, I decided that a fun outing on a unseasonably warm day would be to go to our public library. A location I have not set into since studying for the bar and the last time I owned a library card was 1995. It's been a while. In fact the last book I checked out... I still have.
I am not a good library participant. However, for the sake of my son, I signed myself up for another library card. And a lot has changed since 1995, now I'm subject to the government checking out my reading list. I hope those secret service, CIA or FBI dudes enjoy breaking down the hidden meaning behind my book lists which include titles such as: The Three Bears, Baby Animals of the Northwest, or The Bernstein Bears. I'm sure there's some hidden twist with animals that is a violation of national security. I digress.

We ventured into our local library and Ace was in awe, so many books! We went into the children's section and he got to running around. He focused on a few books that I said no thank you to such as the "Dinosaurs Get Divorced Too" or "Father Sky & Mother Earth" he moved quickly on and found a few more. And yes, I have no issue with censorship with my one year old, who doesn't yet even understand the concept of most books and I certainly don't want to read about divorcing dinos or personified nature. Ace went on to find others and one was in spanish, and I figured oh what the heck. The librarian checking us out double checked and I said sure why not. :)

Ace also found the very bright and exciting keyboard and computer. Doesn't he look so cute with those headphones on? He enjoyed watching the different things on the computer, but he was a tad rough on the keys. After checking out we went to the park immediately next to the library and Ace had fun running around. Ace had a great time and now we have more books to read!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Happy Meal

They say whatever you eat in excess when you are pregnant will be one of the first foods that your child takes a liking to. Well, I ate my weight and then 40+ pounds of McDonald's french fries while I was pregnant. Now I've always been a McDonald's fan, but when I was pregnant I wanted it for every meal. It was nearly an epidimic - and let's not discuss how many Monopoly pieces I gathered during October. Needless to say Ace ate a lot of french fries. So it was no surprise to me when he took to enjoying our fries. We also recently have started getting him some chicken nuggets when we go. So the other day when I met my friend there I decided to get Ace his very first happy meal. His consumption of fries to nugget ratio was subpar on the nutritional value but he certainly enjoyed himself. He also enjoyed his first taste of cows milk. As McDonald's is not in the habit carrying goat's milk as on option. He enjoyed it all and when he was starting to interrupt mommy's conversation mostly done I gave him his toy. He had a blast with it. After we finished eating Ace got to play in the play area. It was pretty empty and he had himself a good time.


Sorry for the longest delay ever on announcing the winner of this giveaway! The winner of the NoThrow is: #3

Jenn @ Beautiful Calling said...

and I follow in reader...
August 9, 2009 8:15 PM
Stop by and congratulate Jenn! Thanks for everyone who has participated in my giveaways recently. Due to the lack of participation I am taking a hiatus from giveaways for the time being. I'll reassess the idea after the new year. Until then enjoy my other posts about my adorable son and all his antics!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Always Remember

... for those of us who lived through these events,
the only marker we’ll ever need is the tick of a clock
at the 46th minute of the eighth hour of the 11th day.
President George W. Bush

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ricotta Ravioli with Tomato Basil Sauce

I never liked ravioli much growing up. I found the mushy cheese to be overpowering and NOT in a good way. They were often too mushy or I wasn't even willing to try it. However, I've gotten slightly more adventurous in my eating and so ravioli has entered into the rotation of my meal planning menus. Especially when you can buy 2 packs of spinach and ricotta ravioli at Costco for uber cheap!

I was a tad nervous freezing them, even though it clearly states that you can. Just because you CAN do something, doesn't always mean you SHOULD. Well, it turned out pretty well. There were a few that ended up mush rather than cheesy goodness, but a few duds isn't a reason to abandon a repeat dinner anytime soon in this household.

I used a jar sauce: Wild Harvest Organic tomato basil pasta sauce; simply heated on the stove while the ravioli boiled. Drain the ravioli, pour some sauce on top and wala a very good dinner that is filling and only causes 2 pans to be dirty. Well three for me since I had to thaw them in the microwave first before I could boil them. Not too shabby. So I'll happily make this dish again!

Another dish that from frozen to the table took less then 30 minutes to make! If they were fresh it only would take about 15!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

She's Here!

I'm an auntie!!! We are all super excited that Kaylee has made her appearance (3 weeks early!) Please say a prayer for Derek, Jen & Kaylee. Kaylee is in the NICU being monitored and getting her blood sugar regulated. She's improving wonderfully. Jen still has not been able to hold Kaylee, as she herself is still recovering from the C-Section and getting a small blood transfusion to make up for what she lost during delivery. They are all in good spirits and it looks like Jen will be able to leave on Sunday or Friday at the earliest. Kaylee will be ready to go about the same time.
I've set up a blog for the new family of three here. More pictures are posted there!

Kaylee Lynn
September 8, 2009 at 11:17pm CST
10lbs 14oz and 21.75" long

Monday, September 7, 2009

Quick Meal - Chicken Lo Mein

I'm always looking for a quick meal, something that doesn't involve a lot of chopping, prepping, etc. Because honestly if it isn't quick we aren't going to eat it. I often cannot start cooking until my husband is home from work because my helper is not so much a helper in the cooking department at the ripe ol' age of 1 - so finding recipes that are speedy are best so that we are not eating at 9pm or yet again eating out.

I found this chicken lo mein recipe from Kraft, as usual I was able adapt the recipe for what we had in the kitchen and our taste, below is my altered recipe.

1/2 lb. spaghetti,
1/4 cup KRAFT Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen bell pepper
1/2 of an onion cut into strips
1/2 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup lite soy sauce

It took less than 30 minutes from start to finish and was on the table to be photographed eaten very quickly. It was pretty yummy too!

Happy Labor Day!

It's one of those holidays that's slightly ranks above Arbor Day and Flag Day because you get a day off, but a day that most people have not a clue what it means. Honestly, I had to look it up to get a good understanding. It's a worthy cause, but I'd like to stick with a more mommy-centric view of the matter and (pictorially) discuss labor, you see my labor delivered me this:

And then he became mobile and started to learn to crawl and my labor produced this:

And as the first year of my labor wrapped up and running full steam ahead into year two we have this loving, squirming, 'don't kiss me' little boy.

Happy Labor Day, everyone!