Thursday, December 29, 2011

Growing Up So Fast

Where has the time flown? 

Toddler is now THREE!

Then: 7 months old, crawling
Now: My 3yo sporting a necklace she made herself
I still cannot believe it! Three whole years since we welcomed her into our lives. We were a young married couple, Hubby still in college, myself working at a pizza joint. We were both working 50 hours a week to get by and making huge plans for our future. Then BAM, an unexpected surprise. The best surprise I've ever gotten. 

Baby Girl is now SEVEN MONTHS!

Then: 1 month old
Now: 7 months and happily playing!
 Now here we are, 3 miscarriages and another pregnancy later. We've gone through 3 vehicles and are now on numbers 4 & 5. We've moved 6 times. We've been through relationship hell and back. We bought a home. And now we have Baby Girl. She's growing so fast, I completely understand parents who miss their kid's infancy. Every time I turn around, she's already doing something new. Christmas Eve, she said her first word: Mama. And she says it all the time. Now just a few days ago, she started waving bye bye. Soon it will be crawling.. I'm doomed!
And Puppy is almost 4 months old!

Then: 7 weeks old, first day home, barely bigger than a then 4 month old Baby Girl
Now: He's as heavy as both my kids combined and bigger in frame than Dakota, our 4 yo collie mutt
He's 42 pounds already. He's outgrown our 4yo Collie Mutt. He's a gigantic, monstrous baby. And he's fallen in love with Baby Girl. It worked out great. Toddler and Dakota are buddies, now Baby Girl and Apollo are cuddle bugs. 

Savor the moment, because all too quickly, it's completely gone.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

To All Nursing Moms (almost wordless wednesday)

As most of you know, I breastfeed Baby Girl. And when I say breastfeed, I mean on demand. Whenever and wherever she is hungry. I've nursed while walking up and down the grocery store aisles, at the park while pushing Toddler on the swing, at the poolside while Mr. Smitty and Toddler play in the water, while filling out paperwork to purchase our truck... everywhere. And no one has ever said anything negative to me. But it really frustrates me that there are moms out there who are harassed about something as healthy and natural about feeding their child. 

So when I heard about one mom's experience in a Texas Target, I wished there was a Target nearby so I could participate in this mornings Target Nurse In. Unfortunately, I was not anywhere near a Target this morning, but a girlfriend and I were running errands at our local Lowes and right around 10 am, Baby Girl decided she was hungry. So as usual, I gave her what she needed and fed her right there in the flooring aisle as my friend was discussing her flooring options with the associate. As always, I was discrete and the associate didn't even bat an eyelash. While I wasn't actually in a Target Store, I was there in spirit!

I'm really glad I've never been subjected to judgmental, rude people, but I still feel for those moms who have been. Today I have a shout out for all those moms: you're not alone, you're amazing and keep on doing what you do best.. be a mom!

At the Zoo

At the local park

Picnicking with friends at a public park

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sausage-Stuffed Chicken Breasts & Spaghetti Squash

It's been a few weeks, we've been busy busy with Holiday crafts, baking, gift making, wrapping and playdates!

My husband is a terrific cook. He loves to dabble. One problem with this is he's awful at remembering recipes. He'll whip up a fantastic meal and forget what he did a day later. This one was so good, I made him sit down and talk me through it right after dinner.

I'll post his recipe for Hollandaise at a future date, but we use it for quite a few meals! And when I'm finally able to snap a few pictures while he's cooking, I'll add them to this post!

Chicken breast stuffed with Sausage and Cheese, coated with a Parmesan Bread Crust and drizzled with Hollandaise atop garlic-baked Spaghetti Squash. Terrific served along with Crescent Rolls.

1 Spaghetti Squash
2 tbsp Butter
2 Cloves Garlic
2 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 tbsp Olive Oil
¼ Cup Chicken Stock
1½ tbsp Lemon Juice
1½ tbsp Soy Sauce
¼ lb. Ground Mild Pork Sausage
2 tsp Corn Starch
1 tbsp Water
1½ tbsp Molasses
1 Slice Sourdough Bread
1 Slice Whole Wheat Bread
1 tbsp Italian Herb Blend of choice
3 tbsp Grate Parmesan Cheese (for stuffing)
¼ Cup Grated Mozzarella Cheese  
¼ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (for crust)
1 Egg
1/3 Cup Milk
2 tbsp Ranch Dressing

Spaghetti Squash Portion: 

Preheat oven to 375F. Pierce squash with paring knife 10-12 times. Place on tinfoil covered baking sheet. Bake for 60 minutes.  Check to see if knife will pierce skin easily. If needed, add 5 minutes baking time until done.

Let cool 30 minutes.

Cut in half, length wise. Remove seeds and discard. Scrape spaghetti like meat and place in medium bowl.

Heat 2 tbsp butter in a large skillet. Add garlic and heat on medium for 2 minutes. Add squash and toss. Heat for 5 minutes.

Chicken Portion: 

Shake together corn starch and water. Heat Olive Oil in a Medium Skillet. Add chicken stock, lemon juice and soy sauce; bring to a crackle. Add sausage and cook. Add corn starch/water blend and molasses.

Toast wheat and sourdough bread in oven at 375F until dry (about 8 minutes).

Mix together Italian Herb Seasoning in a small bowl. Butterfly chicken breasts. Coat inside with herb seasoning blend. Layer parmesan and mozzarella cheeses on top of herbs. Stuff with sausage and close chicken breast. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Crumble bread slices and parmesan cheese in food processor. In a small bowl, wisk egg, milk and ranch dressing to make an egg wash. Unwrap chicken. Roll chicken in the egg wash. Roll chicken in bread crumb mix. Repeat both egg wash and bread crumbs.

Place on tinfoil covered baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Serve on top of Spaghetti Squash and topped with Hollandaise Sauce.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's been a few weeks... because we're keeping busy busy busy! Baby Girl is now approaching 7 months and Toddler turned THREE at the beginning of the month. She had a terrific rainbow party!