Monday, September 30, 2013

Happy Monday


                        

Hello! How was your weekend? We had swim class on Saturday morning (Forrest got to come with us and swim around too!) and then a lot of weekend chores and errands. Normally, that would be a kind of depressing weekend (excluding swim class, of course), but the chores and errands were in preparation for the very special visit of Grams and Poppy! Later on this week we also get to see Farmor and Farfar! What a special week for this almost one year old.


                        

We're very excited about it.


I'm sorry the pictures are so low quality. We are hoping that more and better pictures will be taken at actual swim class next week. Considering that both sets of grandparents will be there, I'd say chances are pretty good for a slew of new pictures.


How cute is her bathing suit? I bought it at a children's thrift store here in town, and I think the little tummy cut out is pretty adorable. Can you also see the annoying plastic pants sticking out? 

Today I keep thinking about what I was doing last year at this time. It is 2:33 as I write this, so last year at this time I was either laying in bed watching Parenthood on Netflix while my mom timed my contractions or taking one of many walks around the neighborhood. 

My goal is to post Juniper's birth story tomorrow, so keep an eye out! 

I hope your weekend was lovely and that your week is even more so!

Love,
Elizabeth 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Happy Weekend


Happy weekend!

What are your plans? We have swim class tomorrow morning (Forrest gets to come, yay!), and then I am getting everything ready for Juniper's birthday next week and the arrival of both sets of grandparents. We can't wait!

If you are in a reading or clicking mood, here are a few things that have caught my eye this week.

See you Monday!

I can totally relate with this mom about all the parenting advice. The video made me laugh out loud.

I read this article earlier in the week and I keep thinking about it. Especially #8. Oh, and don't let the title fool you.

Six words to say to your child. Brilliant.

I think most ingredients taste better when they are in a pie.

Scary. Makes sense why America is so unhealthy.

I just finished J. K. Rowling's latest and actually really loved it. Have you read it? Will you?

Love,
Elizabeth




Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review: Healthy Cookie Bites

I love to make cookies. I always have.

I remember when one of my dear childhood friends would come over to play that we would, more often than not, choose to bake.

It was either that or instigate a mud war with my younger brother and his friends.

Despite our great love of baking, the results were not always...well...edible.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review: Poison by Bridget Zinn

Poison
by: Bridget Zinn
Hyperion Books
2013
Ages: 12 & up

The best potions master in the kingdom is sixteen-year-old Kyra. Incidentally, she also happens to be the kingdom's most wanted criminal. It might sound crazy, but Kyra knows the kingdom is on the brink of destruction and the only way to save it is to...well...kill her best friend, the Princess Ariana. Kyra attempted to kill her with a poisonous dart, but she missed. She never misses! Now she is friendless, homeless and still desperate to save the kingdom.

Despite serious misgivings, Kyra pays a visit to the kingdom's worst criminal - well, other than herself of course - to get his help. He gives her an unlikely gift - a pig named Rosie who will help Kyra find the Princess. As Kyra follows the pig, she meets another unlikely traveling companion. Unfortunately, she meets him - a beautiful and funny him called Fred- in the most embarrassing way possible. So it is with Rosie the pig and Fred that Kyra sets out to complete her mission...but as you know, missions never go quite as planned.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review: Creamy Avocado Pasta


It has kind of been one of those days.

The kind where I just want to use every swear word in the book when I can't get a kitchen drawer to open because it sticks.

Sigh.

Just keeping it real over here.

Honestly, it has not been all that bad. Sure, the baby has been a little more clingy, but overall there have been some smiles, some giggles, some exercise and some book reading. Not too shabby.

What really sent me over the edge, however, was dinner. I found this recipe that sounded different but promising. Now, don't laugh, but the recipe was for creamy avocado pasta.

Did you laugh?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy Monday

An oldie but a goodie


How was your weekend?

Juniper and I had our first swim class on Saturday morning, and we had so much fun. Leading up to 9:15, however, I was feeling pretty nervous about the whole thing.

First of all, even though I am thirty-flirty-and thriving, I have never taken a swim class.

(gasp)

What's more, I shamefully admitted to Forrest that I have never blown bubbles before.

(sheepish face palm)

Second of all, part of the reason I wanted to take a swim class with Juni - besides the whole learning how to blow bubbles thing - is to make some friends, specifically some mom friends. I'll admit it, I'm pretty lonely these days and really missing the easy company of friends back home (you know who you are). So, I'm hoping that in the course of the next six weeks Juniper and I will make some buddies.

Well, I'm happy to report that swim class was absolutely terrific. Not only did I successfully blow some bubbles, but I interacted with some really sweet women and their equally sweet kids. I am hoping that I'll get up the guts to initiate a play date with a few of them. It has been so long since I have had to make friends that I'm not even sure how it is done anymore! Not to mention, I am used to making friends at school or at work, which I think is heck of a lot easier. When you are in class with someone or working with someone you automatically have a common ground and can build the friendship from there. I am hoping that having a child will give me that same kind of common ground.

Unfortunately, I did not document our fun swim time with pictures. However, do not despair! Forrest is going to go with us next week and take oodles of pictures that I can then share with you!

Oh, and how did Juniper fare with the swim class?

She was amazing.

I was so proud of her.

She never cried or freaked out. As is her typical way, she took everything in, staring intently at the other kids and the instructor and then embraced the water with splashing and screeching. It was fantastic. Even though she did not blow bubbles and anytime we did the front float her legs automatically went into the splits position, she had fun, and that is all that matters.

Love,
Elizabeth





Friday, September 20, 2013

Happy Weekend!

Huzzah for the weekend!

Forrest has a full weekend of class (boo), but Juni and I have some good stuff planned. We gotta keep busy or we'll miss that fella too much! On Saturday morning we have our first swim class at the community center, and on Sunday we are going to Target. I am embarrassingly excited for that last one because, here's the thing, Pocatello does not have a Target.

I repeat - No. Target.

Sigh.

So, I am driving 53 miles to pick up a box of the best disposable diapers we've found, some party decorations for Juniper's 1st birthday party, and who knows what else!

Anyway, I hope you have a good weekend. If you are in the browsing mood here are a few fun links around the web!

This is so fascinating and weird!

I really want these.

And these.

I love these toys for babies & toddlers.

I miss this place.

True confessions, I loved watching this.

Longlist announced!

Read a book this weekend! It is good for you!


Love,
Elizabeth

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Zucchini Stew

When we woke up this morning it was cold.

Wonderfully cold.

It felt like Fall, and my heart could not be happier.

The day only got better with clear skies and temperatures in the high 60's. This is my favorite kind of weather, and all of a sudden Pocatello is not looking so bad. :)

This change in weather made me want soup, and since we had just been given quite a bit of summer squash, I decided to make my momma's zucchini stew.


Far Far Away


Far Far Away
by: Tom McNeal
Knopf Books for Young Readers
2013
Audience: 14+


Jeremy Johnson Johnson can hear voices. One voice in particular, that of Jacob Grimm, is a constant companion. Jeremy usually heeds the advice of Jacob - study, study, study - but when Ginger Boultinghouse takes an interest in Jeremy and dares him to play a trick on the town baker, Jeremy ignores Jacob's warnings and does what Ginger asks. Who knew that a harmless prank would result in the whole village of Never Better shunning Jeremy?

This means bad things for Jeremy who was planning on doing yard work for people in town so he could raise money to save the Two-Book Bookstore where he and his dad live. Ever since Jeremy's mom abandoned them, his dad has never been the same - choosing to sit in his sweats and watch TV instead of keeping the bookstore open. Jeremy is desperate to raise money, which is why he agrees to try out for the nationally acclaimed TV quiz show as an aficionado on Grimm's Fairy Tales - all thanks to the knowledge of Jacob Grimm.

While Jeremy and Jacob are busy preparing for the quiz show neither of them pays much attention to all of the children and teens going missing. They also fail to recognize the true character of one townsperson who is just waiting to take Jeremy to a place far, far away.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Swedish Meatballs

I married a man of Swedish descent.

I wish that meant that I was somehow now Swedish too.

Anyway, since Forrest has a deep affection for all things Swedish, I thought I would make a little treat for dinner - Swedish meatballs!



I got the recipe from his Farmor, which is Swedish for paternal grandmother, and I'll admit that I was a little nervous. In fact, if you are at all squeamish with raw meat just turn away right now. I mean it. This is a recipe that requires getting your hands dirty.

Despite the raw meat handling, the process was easy and the result was delicious. 

Unfortunately, the nice camera pooped out and I had to take the following pictures with my iPod, which does not have the best resolution. Also, why is food SO HARD TO PHOTOGRAPH? It ends up looking really unappealing. Just trust me when I say that it was really good, okay? How do I know? Because when Forrest took his first bite he gave me his this-is-so-good smile.



Swedish Meatballs
by: Forrest's Farmor

I halved the recipe and it made 21 meatballs. Also, I might lessen the amount of salt next time, but Forrest said they are supposed to be salty. :) Oh, and in case you're curious, I paired the meatballs with mashed cauliflower and green beans.

2 lb ground beef (you could also use some ground pork or a mixture of the two)
1 grated onion
2 eggs
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp allspice
2 slices bread (I used whole wheat) soaked in 3/4 c milk
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Mix all ingredients together. Then, this is a special trick, wet your hands first and then roll the meat mixture into balls. (This prevents the meat from sticking to your hands. I had to keep wetting my hands, but it worked really well.) Brown under broiler, turning once, or you can brown in a frying pan on the stove (I went with the latter because I get nervous making the oven that hot with a little, grasping toddler around my feet at all times). Transfer to a casserole dish and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

These would have tasted even better with a sweet jelly like Lingonberry.  In fact, if I still lived near an Ikea I would have picked some up... along with a lamp, a bookshelf and all other kinds of things I don't need.

Enjoy!

Boogie Wipes: An Unlikely First Post


For the last five days, my one and only offspring has had a case of the sniffles. Well...sniffles might be putting it mildly.

Her nose continually needs to be wiped, so I turned to Boogie Wipes to help me out. They are awesome. The wipes are made with saline, which helps to break up the mucus that makes my child snort like a pig while she is breastfeeding. (I kid you not) What I love about Boogie Wipes is that they come in a bunch of different scents (unscented, fresh, grape, etc), and I don't worry about making Juniper's nose raw from using a bunch of them. 

image from http://www.boogiewipes.com



Despite how terrific this product is, Juniper still throws her head violently away from any incoming wipe. We'll be glad when this cold has passed us by.


Poor Sicky


Boogie Wipes did not ask me to praise their product. I just like it.