Monday, June 28, 2010

The Messy Cook Indeed!

It's days like these that earn me the title "the messy cook." Dinner prep was going along swimmingly until my dash to the pantry sent the blue, yes blue, potatoes flying out of the bag I was using to coat them (in olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, and garlic chives in case you're curious). You know it's bad when your husband consoles you by saying, "at least there's no fire this time!" In my defense, the fire only happened once, and I swiftly extinguished it with baking soda like the superwoman that I am. No harm done.

My mom actually donned the title upon me after cooking alongside each other for many years. I just keep earning it night after night.

Now in case you're wondering is it worth it? Why don't they order out? Why doesn't Eric cook? Everett even? Well, messy or not, we had a delicious dinner of ham and ricotta stuffed chicken, grilled okra, and the aforementioned blue potatoes. The potatoes and okra are from a local farm. I must share the recipe for grilled okra as we typically find it difficult to enjoy, but this was really excellent. Thank you Bobby Flay!

Thanks Eric for cleaning up while I cooked!!!!!!!

Grilled Okra
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp celery seed
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted, or olive oil
1 lb fresh okra

Preheat the grill to high. Place the salt, paprika, sugar, coriander, black pepper, cayenne, and celery seed in a plastic bag. Rinse the okra under cold running water and blot dry with paper towels. Trim the tips off the stem ends of the okra but do not cut into the pods. Place the okra in a large mixing bowl, add the butter and toss to coat. Then add the okra to the spice bag and shake it until the okra is all coated. Put on the grill (can use skewers) about 4-5 mins per side until browned all over.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Four Years!

Today marks four years of marriage for Eric and me. I am so happy life brought us both to work at Brackenridge hospital so that we could meet, fall in love, and start our family. Our home is full of love and laughter, especially since Everett's arrival. I am a lucky woman.

Everett gave us the most wonderful anniversary presents today. He has been making lots of different sounds, and we're starting to guess some of it has meaning. While on vacation earlier this week he looked right at me and said "ba" while we were talking about the bath. Maybe coincidence - who knows? He definitely had more intention in his face when he said it compared to when he babbles. He has not reproduced it though.

But today - oh man, TODAY - he looked at me and said very clearly, "mom"! Of course this brought happy tears to my eyes as it was so sweet on the ears. When Everett sees Eric now he says "dadadadadadada", and we think he is doing it purposefully.

So, first word we understand - bath? Second word - Mom? Hard to say at this point, but it appears to be so. If "dadadadada" is intentional, then that comes in first by far.

First Family Vacation!

Earlier this week we took advantage of Eric's here and there work schedule and vacationed in the "Texas Hill Country". This was for a couple reasons - to celebrate our 4 year anniversary (which is today!), to take our first family vacation, and to see what we can learn before we travel by plane to Wisconsin next month. We had a nice relaxing time, and probably caught up on our sleep from the last 7 months plus some. (Not that we're losing that much sleep these days. Thank you Everett for sleeping 13 hours straight at night - we love you very much.) Here are some pictures from our trip.

This is the view from our hotel room.
There's (almost) always big fun at bathtime.
We stopped at a beautiful park on our way.
The water was actually really pretty before stirring up the bottom.

Totally normal to do naked laps in the hotel before bathtime. Right?

There are more pictures in our picasa 7-8 month album here.

Baby's First Shiner

Learning to walk is not for the weak or faint of heart.

Don't worry! I'm ok!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Life is Just One Big Series of Stages

Nevermind all I said about not having a cuddle baby. The squirmy phase has given way to a cuddly, thumb-sucking, mommy love fest. Separation anxiety has replaced the previous social butterfly tendencies. For now.

I'm really learning that it all changes so fast. If there's something you love (or hate), you better cherish it (or endure it) because it's all so different before you realize it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Growing Up

Today we graduated to the Crawlers & Toddlers yoga class! We can still attend the postnatal classes, but it's really just me continually pulling Everett away from the other babies, some very new and fragile. Not so much fun. Not so much yoga.

This new class was just what we needed. Here he has the freedom to roam and explore the space and the other kids. It was a new experience for both of us, and it stirred in me some feelings of slight unease and sadness as I watched my baby crawl away from me. It was so interesting to see the personalities of the different kids. Some hanging out on their mom's lap, some tentatively watching the other kids, others totally uninterested in anything other than the safe space around mom. And then there's my child and two other boys that immediately travel toward the center of the room and "play" with each other (stare at each other and crawl in circles). As Everett traveled away from me without looking back I had visions of dropping him off at Kindergarten in 4.5 years. It made me sad!

Until after playing for awhile he looked back at me. His face showed a sudden realization that he was further from me than he thought. His sad little crying face peering around the child obscuring me from view was both a sweet and sad sight. So he still needs me after all.

p.s. In case you're curious, Everett's New Food Friday was Patty Pan Squash, which he loved. Good news as Texas' squash harvest is always in abundance!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Crawling Video Montage

Thanks to Apple and their MacBook, I am able to make a movie while knowing absolutely nothing about what I'm doing. And now Everett can be a star. Enjoy! I did! :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Being fed beets is a momentous occasion in a young person's life. Or is that just my family? Anyway, Everett really enjoys them, and from the looks of it, so did I. My baby pic is (of course) from long before the digital age; hence my half-lidded eyes. But I think my dad looks pretty darn cute. I have to include more than one of Everett's beet pictures because I find it hard to decide and find a lot of them quite funny. But I'm his mom. :)

Holy Phytochemicals Batman! It's the Joker!!!

Two Teeth!

Wearing Beets and a Bib with Confidence and Swagger.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"My what an active baby..."

That's what they said at Everett's ultrasound before he was born. And it continues to be true. He is constantly moving - squirming, crawling, jumping, pulling up on things, etc. He seems to express a significant amount of frustration when his desires for activity exceed his abilities. That's all preface to this...

I really love the cuddle time we get. As you can infer from above, it is short-lived and not terribly often. Right now, E is in the midst of a battle - him vs. his two front teeth. He has the same massive runny nose he experienced with the bottom two (along with other typical teething symptoms), so it's only a matter of time. While teething, he doesn't sleep as well, and I typically have to go feed him during the night. While it can be hard to see him hurting and hard to wake up when I don't want to, it is not hard to go relish in some cuddle time with my typically squirmy little man. This is just another one of those parenting moments that come with an assortment of emotion.