Thursday, June 28, 2012

Medicine Dropper Help

I am stumped. The medicine bottle for Wyatt's antibiotic is tall and the dropper is NOT tall and the medicine bottle opening is narrow and the dropper is NOT narrow.  How do I get 2.5mL of medicine into the dropper?   I tried tilting it horizontally. I tried overfilling it with lots of air and pushing out the excess. I tried jumping on one leg. I tried with my left hand. I even tried looking on the Internet.  Nobody has an answer (or I am using the wrong search words). The best solution I could come up with was to pour the medicine into a small tupperware so the syringe can get close enough.  Mamas, help me out.  Is there not a better way?

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Herb Garden

We are condo dwellers for now so will not be having a vegetable garden.  All of our citrus trees are back in San Antonio as well receiving attention and care from Jamison and Luiz.  We were able to create an herb garden to feel like we have our "plot of land".  We are currently growing Chives, Spearmint, Cilantro, Basil, and Parsley.  We are also growing a serrano plant (random).  Rosemary is my absolute favorite and I could not get that to grow from seed this season.  Maybe I will buy a starter plant.

So what am I using all of these for?  I shall tell you.

I have never been a huge fan of fresh parsley in an uncooked form in recipes.  It is too strong for me.  I have been really enjoying it in a cooked form in Italian food.  Add it to your meatballs, stir it into your ground beef, or marinate your chicken in oil, crushed red pepper, and parsley. You can also sprinkle the parsley on your garlic bread.  Parsley and I are becoming better friends.

I have never actually used real chives.  In almost every recipe that called for them, I substituted green onion.  Chives make your dish look beautiful and add a very mild onion flavor.  Chives are in many  of  Julia's Mastering the Art of French Cooking Cookbook.  I am enjoying using these mostly for the cool factor.

I love basil...almost as much as rosemary.  At Thai restaurants, I  order the Basil Bowl. I love to add fresh basil on top of pizza.  I love to stir it into pasta salad or cooked pasta.  I love to sprinkle it over mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, olive oil and salad vinegar.  The best tip I read was to pick your leaves from the top of the plant frequently.  This keeps your plant from going to seed and helps the plant to produce more leaves.  I have one plant that it about 6 inches tall and that is all I have needed.  I can literally strip it of almost all of its leaves and then the next week, the plant looks full and green again. 

Even though I drink large amounts of hot tea, iced tea, and fun drinks I never remember to put any mint in them.  Does anybody have any favorite recipes or recommendations for how to use our mint?

I am not sure I will ever be able to plant enough cilantro to sustain us continuously.  Luckily, this is one of the more affordable herbs to purchase from the grocery store.  I purchase this almost every time I go.  Cilantro goes in fresh salsa, steak marinades, Asian food, Mexican food.  I have no clue how I manage to use an entire clump of cilantro in a 2 week period, but I do!

What other herbs should I be growing?  How are you using the herbs that I am growing?  Do share!

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What's Cooking

Well folks.  I recorded 14 hours of work last week.  Not too shabby for a baby surgery week.  I am struggling with my new role.  Basically, I am the person that reminds you to do things you know you should do, but probably don't have time to do.  I am sure I will have lots of new best friends at work.

Our weekend was uneventful but fun as always.  We went to a local meat market and bought a freezer pack of meat for around $90.  They have a great selection that includes grass fed beef.  They also have a keg of beer sitting there to help yourself with.  Not surprisingly the store is always crowded.  We cooked some bone in 1 inch ribeyes on Sunday the America's Test Kitchen Way.  Heat a cast iron skillet to high.  Salt and pepper both sides of your meat. Allow the meat to cook on each side for about 5 minutes.  We then followed a recipe for a pan sauce with red wine, shallots, and fresh thyme.  Very tasty.  Anyone have any recipes they recommend that call for fresh thyme? I have mucho.

Mushrooms, sauteed spinach, ribeyes, and potatoes in the oven

This week I am feeling the urge to cook Cuban.  I made this Chicken Ropa Vieja with a side of oven baked plantains.  Wyatt loved the plantains.  I also plan to make these Cuban Pork Chops.  The plantains were so good and easy I am going to try a sweet recipe next.  And last, a great (non Cuban) tip from you guessed it, Annie.  Use your pita chip crumbs that are not good for dipping as croutons in your salad.  Fabulous! I put them on my salad today for lunch. 

Now, I am off to watch Olympic trials.  I am obsessed and seriously can't wait until the Olympics kick off.  I could watch any sport.  I love the stories.  The disappointments.  The successes.  Yeahhhh! It makes me want to be a better person.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Virtual 5K Complete

I was able to complete my first virtual race.  I participated in the Welcome to Summer Virtual Run 5K. We braved Tropical Depression Debby for this one.

Distance: 3.1 Miles
Time: 35:10
Pace :11:20
Average Heart Rate: 172 (I'm serious)
Winner: Wyatt by a stroller length

To anyone else participating, there is only one day left!  Now I am off to enjoy the rest of the weekend and brag about my not awesome pace.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Surgery Update

Thanks everybody for keeping us in mind.  We had an adventure yesterday, but everything worked out.  Seeing all of the other little patients at the hospital yesterday reminded me of how lucky we are to take Wyatt in for an optional surgery just to improve his quality of life.  So many other people were there hoping to make a life for their kiddo and the hospitals and surgeries are part of their day to day.

Waiting on the surgery.  They don't make gowns in size extra extra small.

As far as the details that may make everybody queasy and Wyatt will be embarrassed that I shared someday...he is fully circumcised now.  They were also able to see that there were issues down there.  In my terms, the hole was just too big so they had to make sure the tubes run to the end and stitch up the hole a bit tighter.  He is in a catheter for a week and that just means we double diaper.  Inner layer for poopie.  Outer layer for catheter drain.  Surprisingly easy and not scary. 

After surgery - in recovery.

Wyatt barely cried at all yesterday before the surgery even though we were in a strange place and he had not eaten for 7 hours!  The staff brought in a flow of toys and bubbles and he really just enjoyed playing with the fancy hospital crib/surgery bed.  They came in to ambush us and took him away as quick as possible.  I see their strategy.  Distract baby with toys.  Keep Mom from crying.  It worked.  They were going to cover his mouth with a mask so that he would breathe himself to sleep, and that is when they start the IV and anesthesia.  After surgery he was of course pathetic looking and upset.   I am sure it was a combination of confusion, pain, hunger, and tired.  We did not have our best night (but it wasn't our worst night either).  Jacque volunteered to let me borrow her rocking chair last night which was a big stress reliever for me.  Hunter humored me and went to pick it up without even making fun of me.  It is just so critical when they are hurting.  Today Wyatt is acting like he did not even have surgery.  What a miracle.  He is playing, eating, napping, and just a happy guy!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Surgery on Thursday

Wyatt is going in for a minor surgery on Thursday.  They couldn't finish his circumcision at birth because of a potential problem, and now they are going to finish the circumcision and decide if there is actually anything to repair.  They diagnosed him with a possible case of hypospadias.  If you  research this on the internet like I did, you will be horrified so I don't recommend it.  Luckily Wyatt has either a very mild case or no issue at all.

They have to put him under for the surgery. Eek!   I am stressed about:

  • Wyatt not being able to eat from 5:45 AM to 11:45 AM.  This might be a long trip to the hospital and we might be the loudest group at the hospital in the waiting area.
  • Wyatt having to be sent back to the strange operating room with strange people without his mommy.  For adult surgery, they give you a nice relaxer and you float off to la la land before you even get reeled back. Not sure if they do this for babies. 
  • Not knowing if they will have to do a repair or not. If they do, he will probably have a catheter for a week.  :(
  • The whole my baby is going under anesthesia stress.
  • My rocking chair popping and creaking so much as of today that I may not be wanting to use it for any potential sleepless nights or comforting sessions.  

Here is hoping Wyatt thinks its a big adventure with a long induced nap and just a teenie bit of pain when he wakes up.  Keep us in your thoughts and prayers! 

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mammaw's Salsa Recipe

Mammaw is Hunter's grandmother and Mammaw is the kind of grandmother that serves up an excellent set of traditional food on every trip.  In her younger years, a visit to her house meant a big breakfast with buttery eggs, bacon and biscuits, taco salad, fried fish, cobb salad, biscotti, cherry cheese pie, homemade chocolate sauce, and on and on and on.  You were also discouraged from eating just one plate. 

I have LOVED salsa since about 1997. I don't know how I even lived before then.  Mammaw's salsa is entirely different from any other salsa I have ever had.  It is excellent on chips, but is amazing on fried fish and taco salad.  I think the salad vinegar is the key reason that this salsa is stand out on the fish and salads.

Here is the recipe. 

1 to 2 jalapenos
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons of Heinz Salad Vinegar (not available in all stores, but sold in Wal Mart)
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Pulse all ingredients in a food processor, but leave the salsa a bit chunky.  You may want to throw the jalapenos in first and give them some extra pulses. Store the salsa in a Mason Jar with a plastic lid.  Hunter and I searched for the Mason Plastic Canning Lids for ages and finally found them in a Wal Mart in Florida.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to my Dad, my Dad-In-Law, and Hunter.  I hope all of them had a special day!

We made a trip to Jupiter Beach, FL this weekend, home of Tori Amos, Bryant Gumbel, Celine Dion, Michael Jordan, and Burt Reynolds (at least for some part of the year).  The waves were huge (I can't imagine what they look like in a hurricane) so we were able to see surfing, kite boarding, and Hunter tried a little boogie boarding.  We bought the Lightspeed Quick Shelter from Costco a few weeks ago and this little pop up half tent is perfect for the beach. 

For Sunday we cooked America's Test Kitchen Chicken Cobbler (like a pot pie), Emeril's Key Lime Pie, and these butterscotch cookies.  All were tasty. 

What did you cook for the special Dad in your life?

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

My First Virtual Run

I signed up for my first virtual run!  I know....I am late to the game, but better late than never.  Need more information about what a virtual run is?  Read this. To summarize, you pledge to run a certain distance by a certain date.  It is a great idea because there is no race day or starting time so this offers flexibility for someone such as a WFHM. 

I signed up for the Welcome to Summer Virtual Run 5K.  This one is free.  There are prizes.  You should sign up too.

Is anybody else registered for other virtual runs?  I would love to sign up for more. 

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Favorite Baby Product for Dining With Finger Foods

When your baby doesn't eat from a plate or bowl yet but is in the finger food business, you need a place to put the finger foods when you go out to eat.  The other option is holding the food in your hand and letting them pick from there but when does mama eat in this solution?

Mamas, you should buy this!

This is the Summer Infant Tiny Diner Placemat (sometimes referred to as Kiddopatamus too?).  This keeps the grodies from the table off of your baby and your baby's grody food and fingers off of the table.  It attaches with suction cups that I am sure Wyatt will be able to rip off at some point, but for now hold strong.  There is even a little scoop that hangs off of the end of the table to catch stray cheerios that didn't make it to the mouth. 

 For those peeps that like to watch home videos, here is a video of Wyatt waking up (rare that I am awake before he is to capture the moment).  This video is in no way related to my Tiny Diner recommendation, but I felt the need to include it because I think it is cute. :)

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Yogurt @ Home

I am serious...making your own yogurt is so easy.  Very minimal effort.  You should do it just to say you did.  And save money. The big yogurts are $7 to $10 a pop and milk is $2.50 a gallon.

Let me direct you to Annie's Eats DIY Greek Yogurt post with detailed instructions and pictures.  Here is her DIY Yogurt Mix-Ins post which I have not tried yet.

Now if you want to see my lame pictures and helpful hints, keep reading.  I am noooo Annie.  

1. Heat 2 cups of milk to 180 degrees.  I chose whole milk because I am trying to give Wyatt to put on some elll-beees (that's lbs).  Once the temperature is up to 180, remove from heat and let the temperature come down to 110-120 degrees. Bringing the temperature back down takes a while.  Have patience.  Don't do this step right before you want to go to bed like me.  Mix milk with 2 teaspoons of a store bought Greek yogurt.  I chose FAGE 2%.

2. Time to incubate. Turn on your oven for just a minute to get it warm but not hot.  Turn on your oven light to add a little more heat.  The goal is to keep the liquid in the 110 to 120 degree range for about 8 to 12 hours.  I had one of the Pyrex thermal totes with a little heater pack in it.  I heated the heater pack for half the time recommended and then poured the liquid into the pyrex dish, wrapped it up,  and let it sit.  The other option is wrapping a bowl in layers of thick towels.  Let the bacteria do its thing over night.  I let mine sit for 11 hours.

3. Find a way to drain your yogurt.  There will be a bunch of liquid on top of and in the yogurt.  I happened to have cheese cloths, but you can use papertowels or some thin dishcloths perhaps.  Allow the yogurt to drip dry in the fridge for about an hour and then give it a good squeeze.

4.  Move the yogurt to a bowl and wisk it until nice and smooth.  Add your mix ins,  fruit, granola, honey, agave, vanilla, etc.  For me, I chose almond extract and honey.  I learned that almond extract in smoothies makes the smoothie taste like candy.  The same is true for yogurt.  Wyatt had his yogurt straight up and he REALLY LOVED IT.

I really do think I will repeat this recipe. Wouldn't it be fun to make home-made frozen yogurt from home-made yogurt?  I think so.

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New Food Faves

These are my favorite food splurges right now...mostly from Costco. 

Tassos Green Olives Double Stuffed with Garlic and Jalapeno - I loved olives as a kid, hated them when I got older, fell back in love with black olives, and now these green olives stuffed with 2 of my faves are reeling me back in. 

Terra Crinkles Sweet Potato Sea Salt Chips - I am of the mind set that sweet potato fries / chips are not the real thing (although they are tasty).  These kinda change my mind.

ZICO Chocoloate - I really wanted to like coconut water because I love coconut and I love fun drinks, but all the flavors I tried were a flop.  Enter Chocolate coconut.  Winner, winner.  These are expensive so I will not buy frequently.

In an effort to help fatten up Wyatt and do something fun in the kitchen, I am going to try making Annie's Eats DIY yogurt with whole milk.  Wish me luck! It looks so easy. 

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

9 Months

9 months old
16 lbs&13oz - He did not gain as much as he probably should have this checkup. The Dr. isn't worried but asked us to really work on packing on the pounds.  I am of course over analyzing everything and feeling like a bad momsy. He seems to eat pretty good...3 meals a day. Am I exercising too much and messing up my milk supply? Am I not being patient enough at meal times?
2 bottom teeth, 3 top teeth
Size 4 diapers
Clothes size 6, 9, and 12 month. Going to pack up the 6 month clothes because they are starting to get too hard to button

Eating three meals a day.
Nursing 4 times a day and sometimes 1 additional time at night
Loves bagels, Naan, cheerios, quinoa, rice pasta
Had his first taste of cheese. Love at first bite.
Still prefers veggies to fruits
Sometimes goes on solid food strike.  I can't tell if it is teething or frustration about not being able to feed himself.  He much prefers finger foods.

Two naps a day around an hour and a half. We read about 3 books and then hum twinkle twinkle before laying down.
Bedtime is from 7:30 PM to 6:00 AM. Wakes up around 4:30 AM every night right now.

Pointing at things in the books that we read him.
Turning pages in his books although he prefers to read from the end to the beginning.
Standing by himself when he is really distracted with a toy.  He has even taken a few steps when the toy is really amazing.  I still think he is far from walking.
Making a special sound when he is trying to get attention from his dad.  He saves this sound for Hunter only. 
Wyatt has a mean pincher grab. Excellent for eating, but even better for picking up the tiniest grodies off of the floor and shoving them into his mouth.

Diaper changes (aka laying still on back)
Being in the stroller for even one second after we come back in the house

Exploring the house. He just realized there is a whole other world outside of the living room.
Walks and runs in the stroller...FINALLY! :)
Watching big kids play
Music and dancing
Peek a boo
Chewing on his crib rails :(
Trying new things.  Almost every new experience makes him happy right now.

Eating a puff
More puff bribery
Man, those puffs are good

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Time For Another Life Update

Wyatt has his 9 month Dr. appointment shots!

Today is my first day of work, but I probably won't be able to login yet.  No VPN.  Guess I will enjoy my last day(s) of freedom.

Lisa and I are on day 4 of P90X, the lean version. Work it, work it.

Hunter made some amazing waffles this weekend.  We had them with this smoothie.

Hunter was feeling a little sickly so we had lots of soup and sandwich meals including our famous (to us) tortilla soup.

I got my haircut because I was having to fix it again...unacceptable!

Wyatt has managed to stay in the church nursery for two entire Sundays!  I guess separation anxiety has departed...for now.

I am now a board member of one of the Mom clubs I am in.  Not because I am cool...just because they are desperate.  Secretary right here!

That's all folks.  Happy Monday.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Lazy Smoothies

I am still on my smoothie kick.  I am also spending all week thinking about how much less time I will have since my job title will be changing from SAHM (stay at home mom) to WFHM (work from home mom).  20 hours a week is going to be a serious adjustment! Still, I look forward to it. 

Here is my lazy smoothie tip for you.  After you make dinner, and after you do the dishes, and while you still have all of your cutting boards and knives handy, and while you have energy, make your smoothie.  Make a bunch of smoothies.  All of the recipes you want to try.  This helps to use up your produce that might be going bad soon.  After you make each batch, pour the smoothie into a freezer bag and throw it in the freezer.  The night before you will want a breakfast smoothie, throw the bag into the fridge and it will be mostly thawed in the morning.  Depending on how thick the smoothie is, you may have to do some good stirring or you may have to zap it in the microwave for 15 seconds.  Taa daaa!  Lazy smoothie.

So far my favorite smoothies are the green ones.  Spinach, apples, pears, pineapples, mangoes and either orange juice or yogurt.  Good stuff!  I am not ready to buy a Ninja or a Vitamix or anything like that, but I am enjoying this brief obsession. 

One last tip that most people have probably already thought of.  I always throw the whole banana into the freezer when its not going to survive another day and I am not ready to eat it yet.  Then I have to go through all kinds of effort to use the banana (peel, mush, scrape, blah!).  Peel the banana, chop it into pieces, and then freeze it. Hooray! Much easier.

Happy Lazy Smoothie.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

National Running Day

June 6th is National Running Day. Be sure to run a few miles, a few laps, or a few down and backs between the couch and the fridge.

In honor of the day, here are a few running links for you to enjoy. -  Have a hard time remembering the races you signed up for and your completion times?  This site allows you to search race results published online and claim your results.  If the race you competed in is not in their database, you can submit a request to update it by providing a link to the race results.  This covers all kind of races (triathlon, running, adventure race). My race results are here (for those who care). I am hoping to get back on the board soon. Training - I have talked about Hal Higdon's training programs before, but I have to mention it again.  He has training programs for beginner, intermediate, and advanced and he covers triathlons, marathons, 5Ks and all sorts of other distances / situations.  I really like these plans.  The only other training plans I have tried are ones from Nike Plus and ones from the fitness center at the gym I used to attend.  I always liked Hal's best. 

Runner's World What to Wear - This little application is great for when you aren't sure how to dress for the weather.  I once ran a 12 mile race in 15 degree weather.  Ugh! So hard to stand around and wait for the race to start.  My toes were numb for the first 2 miles.  I don't think I will have that problem in sunny Florida!

Now get out there and RUN! Or Walk. Or Jane Fonda. Or Sweat to the Oldies.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Healthy Orange Bubbly With Cherry - Drink Recipe

Here is another healthyish drink recipe making use of my obsession with sparkling water. 

Crushed Ice
Orange Juice (1/3 Cup)
Maraschino Cherries
Your favorite overpriced carbonated mineral water

Fill your glass halfway up with crushed ice.  Pour orange juice in the bottom.  Fill your glass with sparkling mineral water.   I usually go for a pint sized glass.  Dump in 2 maraschino cherries and a teaspoon or two of the juice.  Stir.  Drink with a straw (very important).

Missed out on my healthy cherry limeade recipe?  Find it here.

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Peanut, Peanut Butter

I really do love peanut butter.  Nom nom.  I am not a huge dessert person aside from ice cream and desserts that are heavy on fruit or peanut butter.  On one of my strolls through the grocery store, I spotted Peanut Butter & Co Dark Chocolate Dreams

The description from their website reads, "Our all natural peanut butter blended with rich dark chocolate. It's like a peanut butter cup in a jar! Great on a sandwich, but just as wonderful spooned over ice cream, spread on fruits, or simply eaten out of the jar. It's equally delicious as an ingredient in your all-time favorite baked goodies like chocolate cake and bread pudding."

I have been having a glass of almond milk and a spoonful of this spread on whatever I can find (bread, crackers, apple, pear, my finger) after my runs.   Strange combo? Probably so, but it IS what I do.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Photo a Day May

By popular request (aka 1 person named Laura), I am showing off my Fat Mum Slim Photo a Day May pictures in case you don't follow me on Instagram.  Please keep in mind the following when viewing my pictures.

I have no creative skills
I took all these on my iPhone 4 and not an iPhone 4S with its fancier camera
I used a combination of Camera+ and Instagram to edit the pictures

Here is a Flash slideshow version of my photos for all those people not viewing on an iPhone:

Here is a link to the album for those people viewing on an iPhone:
May 2012 Photo A Day Challenge

Are you up for trying the June challenge?  I think I am taking the month of.

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