Category Archives: baby

Merry Christmas Cookies!

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 Sam’s second playdate was a success!  Our friends Jess (the mama) and Cayden came over this afternoon.  First order of business: lunch!  The boys had quite a feast- eggplant fries courtesy of Jess- yum!, cheese, chicken, roast acorn squash, and tofu- the mom’s had sandwiches!

Sam was in awe of Cayden’s ability to walk- he’s so close to crawling!

See!  Crawling is so close, yet so far- finally getting that belly off the ground.  Go Sammy, go!

Then they played pass the pacifier (ew, but funny) and tease the doggie!

Next up- tissue paper shredding!  Who knew we had so many fun things to play with at our house?  They were so sweet with each other- Sam definitely needs to hang out with other kiddos more often.  Mama is old news- other babies are so fun to poke and be poked by!

While the boys crawled, cruised, walked, and fell over, Jess and I got busy decorating!  I’ve mentioned my 1st edition Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book before- I still love it.  It’s just so…of the times.  It suggests broiled grapefruit, peanut butter-bacon canapes, and jellied bouillon for appetizers and has a three page spread on table service.

Considering how much I enjoy keeping house, I think I was born in the wrong era.    Though I’m pretty sure my Where the Wild Things Are t-shirt would not have been considered appropriate mommy attire for a playdate…or ever.

I followed the recipe for the light dough:
1/3 cup soft shortening (I used unsalted butter)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
2/3 cup honey (I used half honey, half maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour (I used King Arthur White Whole Wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Mix together thoroughly: shortening/butter, sugar, egg, honey, and vanilla.  Sift together and stir in: flour, baking soda, and salt.
Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes (I baked for 8 minutes and they came out perfect!)
These have a definite honey taste and are super sweet, but isn’t that what you want in a iced sugar cookie?  Besides, I think people who say things are “too sweet” are bonkers.  
Rather than dealing with homemade frosting, I bought the Betty Crocker cookie icing.  It worked perfectly and was pretty much mess free- love!  The taste isn’t half bad either…I love how I’m being so non-committal about the taste- I’ve eaten like 7 cookies!  They are delicious. 
Must give them all away NOW.   
 

This one is clearly my favorite- that white blob would be a shout out to my hometown!


A race to remember

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I missed running.  After running a half marathon last year, I lost my drive.  Burn out is totally real, plus I had pretty much crippled my hips with poor training.  
Then I got pregnant and had the perfect excuse to stick to walking.  Running with a basketball attached to your front is awkward and ya know, I didn’t want the baby to fall out.  
After Sam was born all I wanted to do was get out of the house, but my stupid c-section benched me for 6 weeks.  Around week 4 I decided to throw caution to the wind and walk the dog.  I didn’t die.  At week 8, I ran my first mile and I’ve been trying to get my groove back ever since.
But then I had another excuse- I was SO tired.  There is a reason sleep deprivation is used as torture- after weeks of no sleep, I would have confessed to pretty much anything just to get some shut eye.
I signed up for the Memphis Soul 5K BBQ run in the midst of my postpartum haze.  I  figured it would motivate me to get in shape.
It didn’t. 
And then…out of nowhere…a miracle happened.  Sam slept through the night.  12 beautiful hours of peace and quiet.  Then, he did it again.  And again.  A whole week of glorious sleep- I was beyond thrilled.  

My cheer squad!

Any race that starts at a bar has got to be a good time.

This would be my pace- what up, slow folks?  The 10 minute pace group was HUGE and likely full of a more than a few liars.  10 minute miles are no joke. 

I finished in 36:27 which would be a 11:44 minute mile- booyeah!

And then I came home and made bread.  I know, I know- not the best way to cool down, but so, so worth it.  Plus, since I didn’t buy bread this week, Nick’s sandwiches would have been very sad without it.

I followed this recipe from TheKitchn to the letter and it was wonderful! The tutorials were also super helpful.

Sometimes I like to pretend that I’m one of those fancy bloggers who gets everything all set up and pretty and uses a light box to get the perfect shot….then I stop being polite and start getting real.  Please note the giant stuffed carrot in the background. 

Does anyone else think that sea monkeys and yeast are the same thing?  Alive, yet not alive…and 100% weird.

Kneading is seriously so much fun.

My first rise was in the oven with just the light on.  This provides just enough warmth to get the dough puffing.

Check out that crumb!!!          

If only I had a video of the bread happy dance I did after this came out of the oven…I probably wouldn’t post it, but I would watch it on bad days and remember how completely awesome I am.

Finally, a PSA for you, good readers- don’t start making bread at 6:45 PM.  You will be up LATE. 

Comfort food

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August 14, 2012

It’s hard to remember now that Sam wasn’t always the happy kid he is now.  And even harder to remember that Nick and I weren’t always as content as we are today.  Pretty much from week 28 of my pregnancy (when Sam was mis-diagnosed with brain abnormalities-boo to overreacting doctors) to the day he was born (a month early) until he was almost 10 weeks old, there were lots of tears in this household.  From all of us.

After he was born, there were breastfeeding issues, his acid reflux, sleep deprivation, and post-partum depression. I was a mess.  I remember looking at Nick one night after Sam had finally drifted off to sleep on my chest and saying I felt like a shell of my former self.

April 9, 2012

I was so sad.  The overwhelming joy I felt when I held Sam for the first time had faded into a fog. 

April 16, 2012

I’m grateful that I had Nick to rely on to feed me and comfort me during those days.  There were many nights that he came home from work to find me in the rocking chair trying desperately to soothe our fussy baby while the white noise machine blared crashing waves and seagulls crying.  Dark days, my friends, dark days.  Knowing that a hot meal was waiting for me made the endless shushing bearable.

Though I learned a lot during the first three months of my life as a mom, I’ll focus on the most edible.  My husband can really cook.

Pasta with peas, eggs, and cheese.
Grilled steak and onions with olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
 

Portuguese fish stew with mussels, clams, shrimp, and King crab legs.  Fun fact- I’m allergic to crab.  Found this out after devouring more than half of this bowl.  Itchy palms=run to CVS for benadryl  
Farewell, my spiny friend.
Nick also made some stellar stuffed mussels with spinach that are unpictured because we ate them too quickly.  I *heart* muscles. 
I’m lucky that my issues weren’t anything that Lexapro and good food couldn’t cure.  To all new moms and dads out there- be kind to yourselves.

Beach day

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A few weeks ago we headed up to Gloucester for the day.  It’s such a quaint beach town, perfect for a hot summer day.  
Sam’s not a huge fan of his carseat these days, probably because it gets so dang hot.  What is it about carseats that makes them baby ovens??   We have a Chicco KeyFit30 and Sam comes out of it sweaty every time.  Maybe it’ll keep him warm in the winter?  Anyway, due to Sam’s transportation preferences, I wore him in the Ergo all day.  He stayed comfy and happy and I ended the day with a baby-shaped sweat stain on the front of my dress.  And no, there are no pictures of that.  It was gross.
 We got there around 11 and decided to have an early lunch at the Cape Ann Brewery

 A honey pilsner & a lobster roll for Nick and a pale ale & a giant bowl of clams for me.  No pictures of the food because it was housed.  Seafood=summer.

After lunch we wandered around the town center.  Stopped in a few antique shops and toy stores.  Cannot wait to buy so many toys for me Sam to play with!
A pit stop at Cape Ann Olive Oil Co. netted us a bottle of Chipotle olive oil.  So flavorful and a nice finishing touch on any Mexican dish.  I sampled entirely too much oil and vinegar and left SO thirsty- the espresso balsamic vinegar was surprisingly drinkable.  Would’ve bought a bottle, but how exactly does one use espresso vinegar?  I can only eat so many salads.  

 Last stop was Hammond Castle.  This modern medieval castle is a gem.  “The Father of the Remote Control” John Hays Hammond Jr. built this for his wife as a wedding present.  Pretty sure I just got a pair of earrings from my husband to be…nice ones, but still…

Don’t be jealous of my awesome floppy hat. 

 The castle sits right on the water’s edge with pristine views of the Atlantic.

Time to burp.

Sam got a great view of all the interesting ceilings at the castle, as he required a bottle while we were there.  Nick and I traded off carrying Sam and feeding him at the same time.  I’m getting some amazing triceps caring for this kid.

Our first full day out with the wee one went quite well- no true meltdowns from any of us.  High five, family!

Remember that time…

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When our son came 4 weeks early?

Samuel came to see us April 9 at 8:35 am.  He weighed in at 6 lbs. 11 oz.- not too bad for a month early!  He was in perfect shape- didn’t need oxygen or time in the nursery at all.  Guess he was just done cooking.

I think I can say with certainty that he is the best thing I’ve ever baked.

The Baby Rodeo

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I spent the beginning of February visiting my family in Texas. While my trips home are always special (mostly because they’re so rare), this one had a special twist!

A baby shower! (Surprise- his name is Samuel!)

My mom and sister have been such a huge support to me throughout my entire pregnancy and they were sweet enough to throw me a cowboy-themed shower. Even though I’ve been in Massachusetts for the last decade (seriously, when did 10 years fly by?), I’m still a Texan at heart. I can’t wait to teach my cowpoke all about his Lonestar roots!

From the decorations to the cake, this shower was pure country.

Baby boots filled with bluebonnets! My mom’s boss has saved her children’s cowboy boots since they were small and she has quite the collection. For her son’s graduation party, her sisters filled them with flowers to use as centerpieces. She was kind enough to loan us these adorable decorations.

Don’t squat with your spurs on!

Everyone’s favorite cartoon cowboy, Woody!


I was blown away by the cake- this boot cake was the end-all, be-all of cakes. It was a monster- I’m guessing it was cut from at least a half-sheet cake. A&J Bakery on Oaklawn in Dallas made this yellow-cake and chocolate-frosted dream come true. I’m not ashamed to say I ate three pieces.

Because it was a book shower, my friends and family generously gave us copies of their favorite children’s books. Sam has quite the library now! We got the Berenstain Bears, several Sandra Boynton classics, the full set of Boxcar Children books, and so many more. I already read one of the Hardy Boys books- quite an adventure! Everyone was so sweet explaining why they gave us each book- many were favorites of the shower guests or their children. I’m a huge book lover, so this was the perfect way to celebrate my sweet boy. Link




In true Betty-fashion, I completely forgot to take pictures of myself with any of my guests. I think my mom may have a few stashed on her camera.

As much fun as I had swapping stories with my friends and family, the real star of the show woke up from her nap half way through.

Isabella is going to be the best cousin ever!