Sunday, February 28, 2010

17 months: Devon (February)

I forgot to mention in last months post that IT finally happened .... Devon fell out of his crib. I know, I know SO sad. I was cleaning the house during his nap and I heard a "thud" followed by crying and I KNEW what had happened. I went up to his room and he was carrying his blanket and walking towards me in tears. As sad as it was I thought it was cute that he escaped with blanket in hand. I promptly turned the crib over, lowered it to it's lowest setting and he went back to his nap without a fuss. Poor kid.

Devon's Movers and Shakers class is on a 2 week break before the 2nd half starts up again so we will have to find something else to do for a little while. I am starting to worry about how I will get him to classes (or at least one class a week) when the new baby arrives. He really enjoys them and I would hate to have to stop taking him. Hopefully I will be able to work out a babysitter or figure out how to get it to work with Joe's work schedule.

Devon loves to go up and down the stairs, push his shopping cart, play with (read that as terrorize) the cats, read books, put on grown up shoes and open doors. Lock the bathroom door when you are over here, folks! You've been warned ;)We set up an old laptop for him to pound on and he has figured out how to turn on the voice narration that says everything that you type .... we didn't even know it had that option! He loves it and is able to get important work done. It captivates him for minutes at a time ;)

He still takes one long nap in the afternoon which has been a huge help for his pregnant mama. I usually feel pretty good, but about 3 times a week I can't keep my eyes open so I indulge myself and nap when he naps. Some days I couldn't get through without one. I feel good otherwise and am just now starting to show a little. If you didn't know me you wouldn't really be able to tell I was pregnant and even some of my regular yoga students didn't know until they overheard someone ask me about it. I can still fit into all of my regular clothes though they are getting less and less comfortable. I am trying to stay in my jeans as long as possible since I won't ever wear them in the hot, hot summer. I think I look the same at this point in my pregnancy that I did with Devon even though I've gained less weight this time around.

Devon loves to eat strawberries, laughing cow cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and his long time standby .... ramen noodles. He is getting pretty good at using a fork to eat all this food, but don't EVEN try to make him do it with a kid utensil .... adult forks only please. He can say SO MANY words it's hard to remember them all, but some of the newest ones are no-no (which means nose and grabs his nose or puts his finger up it)cake, coke, boobaa (which is Buddha. We have a little statue in the house), cacacator (calculator), leche (milk in Spanish), bubble, baby and more! He talks all the time and I never get tired of hearing his little voice say,"Mama."

By the way he totally put these on himself and wandered around the house looking oh so cool and saying,"Cool."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Baby update

This may be boring for some of you, but I wanted to document little changes, milestones and progress for this 2nd baby. I am 16.5 weeks and doing great! I feel a little tired depending on the day, but I nap when I need to while Devon sleeps and it has worked out great. Going to the gym helps me feel like I am keeping my weight in check and keeping my energy up. Plus, Devon gets to play with other kids and new toys. I have only gained 6 pounds so far. I think by this time with Devon I had gained somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 or so. I think with this pregnancy I have figured out the difference between a "craving" and an "impulse to indulge". The only real craving I have had so far was a Subway sandwich. I thought I was going to kill someone if I didn't get one .... and soon! I even waited a while day just to make sure I really wanted it and I still did. I seriously had to contain myself from eating it while walking to the car. It. Was. Devine. I call it the "bad breath sandwich". Bacon, cheese, lettuce, salt, pepper, pepproncinis, black olives, bell peppers, and onions. Yum!

I have been having INSANE dreams lately thanks to all those pregnancy hormones which has made for some interesting breakfast conversations. I have been having some really intense cramps (that even woke me up last night), but they don't last so I'm guessing that is just my uterus making room.

I go in for my next sonogram on March 12th and we find out if it's a boy or a girl and I can't wait! I'm trying to not think about it so it doesn't feel like it's taking forever to get there. I think it may be a girl because I have a definite name pretty much selected and my appetite is so different this time around. With Devon I was RAVENOUS all the time and this time I have to force myself to eat at each meal so I don't skip. I try to eat healthy, but it's hard to eat when you're not hungry and not going to GET hungry. Boy or girl .... it doesn't matter to me which one it is I just want to know!

I did feel that first "flutter" of movement on Saturday the 20th as I was laying down to go to sleep. I probably won't feel much for another week or so, but at least I felt something! The kicking is my favorite part about being pregnant and I am excited for that to begin.

Canyon Ranch Caesar salad dressing

I used to work at Canyon Ranch as a server in the dining room when I was a teenager. We got to taste all the food that was served and I was surprised at how healthy and yummy most of the food was. There are several recipes that I still prepare to this day that I got from the Ranch nearly 12 years ago.

I don't make my own salad dressings, but I love Caesar dressing and I LOVE this recipe. It is so easy, very flavorful and lasts a long time since you don't need to add a lot to the actual salad. If you are a Caesar fan you will like this healthier option.

1 T. mined garlic
1/4 C. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 C. lemon juice (*I used lime juice and it was good as well)
2 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
1/2 T. anchovy paste
1 t. black pepper
1/2 C. mayo
2 t. white miso

* Don't be intimidated with the anchovy paste and white miso. I was able to get both of these items at Basha's so you shouldn't have to go to a specialty store to find them. I would, however, go to a store that has a "healthy" section like Basha's, Trader Joe's or Sunflower Market. I also used light mayo.*

Just mix them all together and that's it. I added bell peppers and cucumbers to my salad and called it good. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chicken Pot pie

I LOVED chicken pot pies growing up and fell in love with this easy recipe. I also love using puff pastry since that means I don't have to make my own and I know it will turn out light, fluffy and make this "meat and potatoes" dish taste a little more fancy. I was out of marjoram (and I forgot to get some at the store, duh!), but I used rosemary and I think I liked it better that way anyway.

5 applewood-smoked bacon slices
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
12 ounces peeled whole baby carrots (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 8-ounce package trimmed haricots verts or other slender green beans, halved crosswise
4 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram
1 3/4 cups low-salt chicken broth
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon crème fraîche (*I used heavy cream and it's fine)
3 cups coarsely shredded chicken from 1 small purchased roasted chicken (skin removed)
*I also added potatoes. What kind of pot pie would this be without potatoes?!?! Sometimes I also add corn and peas.*

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed

Preheat oven to 450F. Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Chop bacon. Add onion to drippings in skillet; sauté until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Add next 3 ingredients; stir 1 minute. Add broth; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to mediumhigh and boil until vegetables are almost tender and some liquid is reduced, about 8 minutes. Stir in 2/3 cup crème fraîche, chicken, and bacon. Bring to simmer. Season with pepper. Divide among four 2-cup soufflé dishes.

Unfold puff pastry onto work surface; roll out to 12-inch square. Cut into 4 equal squares. Top filling in soufflé dishes with pastry; fold edges down onto rims of dish. Brush top of crusts (not edges) with remaining 1 tablespoon crème fraîche. Cut small X in center of crusts; pierce all over with fork. Bake until crusts are golden brown and filling is heated through, about 22 minutes.

*I used 1 big casserole dish and cut the puff pastry into as many pieces as it took to cover the surface before baking. That way each serving gets it's own crust and it doesn't turn the whole thing into a mess when it's cut. I baked it for 20 minutes and even then the pastry started to burn so keep an eye on it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Savers President's 50% off clothing sale

I was bored yesterday and was in desperate need of something to get us out of the house for about an hour. I settled on Savers since A) I haven't bought Devon ANY clothes since Savers had the 50% off sale on Veteran's Day and B) every other day I find he has outgrown another shirt or pair of pants. I didn't know about the sale until I got there so I was SUPER excited to save 50% on exactly what I was there to buy.

for $47.56 I got:
13 shirts

4 pairs of pants

4 BRAND NEW white newborn onesies
7 pairs of shorts

2 very strange baby night gowns

1 "big kid onesie"
1 pair of shoes

If I would have paid full price it would have cost me nearly $100 smackers .... so I wouldn't have been able to get as much. Now I won't have to get him new clothes for a long time. Yeah for Savers!

I was really excited to get the onesies since I will be needing some of those soon enough and I actually went looking for plain white ones. I want to customize a few with some ideas I got from another blog. I'll post them when they're done.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What's for dinner: Prosccuito wrapped Tilapia

I am always looking for yummy, nutritious and quickly prepared recipes. I don't eat seafood (I have a slight allergy to it that makes me throw up) so I don't usually cook fish. I did, however, start cooking it lately because Joe loves fish, I'm trying to get Devon to like it and from the time the fish hits the skillet to when it slides onto the plate is about 20 minutes or less and that has been extremely helpful to be able to cook an entire meal while Devon is eating and occupied.

OK, so I changed this recipe A LOT and it still turned out super yummy. I don't grill .... so I pan fried the fish in a little bit of butter and it was perfectly fine. They didn't have any "whole fish" with the skin on at the store I went to and I am not about to drive all over looking for it so I got Tilapia fillets. I'm sure any fish would work. The same LAME store(cough-cough Fry's) also didn't have prosciutto so I got pancetta instead. It did work out fine, but I think prosciutto would have stuck to the fish better during cooking, it has a more delicate flavor,but it wasn't a big deal. Since I ended up using filets and not whole fish, I put the herbs on top of the fish then wrapped them in pancetta instead of stuffing the herbs in the fish. The fillets are just too thin unless you get thick pieces. Anyway, those are the changes I made, but here is the recipe as written.

4 whole fish, about 1 pound each, cleaned, such as trout, snapper, whitefish, flounder, or bluefish
1 cup fresh herbs such as tarragon, thyme, marjoram, etc.
Olive oil (*I used Rosemary and Tarragon)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound thinly cut pancetta or center-cut bacon

Grilling Method: Indirect/Medium Heat

Rinse fish and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper inside and out. Place fresh herbs inside cavity of fish. Lightly oil both sides of fish. Wrap seasoned, oiled fish with pancetta or bacon that is thinly sliced and unrolled. Wrap fish loosely, mummy-style, with the pancetta, leaving head and tail exposed.

Place fish in center of cooking grate. Cook until opaque, but still moist in thickest part (10 to 15 minutes). Remove from grill.

Place fish onto platter and serve immediately.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Elizabeth

My little sister's name is Elizabeth. I call her Buff Puff.

She is 4 years younger than me.

When we were kids, I always wanted her to think that I was her cool-older-sister, but I always wanted to do what she was doing. She had quite the imagination.

We did almost everything together. We shared clothes, toys and a bedroom.

I remember writing "contracts" that she would sign and swear to clean my room and bring me snacks, but I wrote them in cursive so she couldn't really read them. I thought I was being so sneaky, but she did nice things for me anyway.

We used to take turns giving each other back rubs to pass the time in church .... 5 minutes at a time. I wish we still did that .... the back rub part not the church part ;)

I always thought she was so much cuter than me .... I mean look at that cute red head!

I am so proud of her and all that she has accomplished. She plays the harp beautifully.

She is happily married to a great guy.

She is absolutely hysterical.

She surrounds herself with amazing friends who adore her and despite being the youngest child, she has her own sense of style.

Buff Puff, you are amazing and I love you.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Baby gate

I hoped that I would be able to forgo the whole need for a baby gate, but the older and more mobile Devon got the more I realized that I couldn't get a baby gate fast enough. From the main level of the house there is one flight of stairs going up and one flight going down. This means that I needed 3 .... yes 3 baby gates. I had a really hard time finding a gate that would A) fit the extra wide openings between the banister and the wall and B) find a gate that wasn't insanely expensive C) find one that wasn't offensive to look at and D) could be "hidden" away as much as possible.

I had such a hard time finding something that would work that I used to turn the coffee table on it's side to block the stairs .... ghetto fabulous I assure you. I did TONS of research and I think I found the perfect baby gate. It's called Retract-a-gate. It mounts to the wall and railing .... ANY railing. They sell adaptor kits if you don't want to or can't drill into the banister for whatever reason. We have an iron banister so that was not an option for us. It comes in different lengths, it rolls away, can be operated with one hand, is reasonably priced .... and on and on and on. If you need a gate I recommend this one. This is how they looked rolled up.

They unroll from the base, hook around the brackets then you turn a dial from "unlocked" to "lock" and it stays in place. The good part is it keeps Devon in, but the cats can still climb underneath so they aren't trapped. I can also climb over it if I need to. Bonus to this gate is I only had to buy 2 gates. I need a third one, but I can just unsnap it and move it to the railing attachment at the top of the stairs when we are up there playing. Here is the info if you want to ch-ch-ch-check it out.

P.S. No .... I don't own stock in this company ;) I know what a hard time I had finding a good product so I am just passing along the info if you or someone you know needs it.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Flea market

I have been trying to find activities for Devon and I to do in the mornings and after his nap to keep him occupied and happy. Saturdays we usually chill at home, but there was a flea market going on so I thought that sounded fun. I don't know what the difference is between a flea market and "huge yard sale" or "rummage sale", but they called it a flea market and we went.

I put Devon in the Ergo carrier and I was happy to see that he still enjoyed it. One of my absolute FAVORITE things about being a Mom is babywearing. I think it's beacuse I loved being pregnant so much (and had such an easy pregnancy)and wearing them is as close as you can get to that feeling. The time for you to wear them is so short so I made sure to wear him as much as possible. However, I haven't been wearing him much lately since he is so big now and when I go to the store I just put him in the cart so he can play with all the food. I knew I couldn't carry him the whole time we were browsing and I have a HUGE disdain for strollers so the Ergo worked out great.

Here are my finds!
2 antique lighters $5 each. The guy had a whole box of them and it was hard for me to just get 2, but I love this kind of stuff. NO I don't have a collection, but I do have a bunch of antique serving ware that I love so I was adding to the set.

I also got this napkin holder for $2. It's REALLY heavy!

My Mom does this sort of thing at her house and of all her decorations (ie: creepy Anna Lees, etc) this one I would actually copy. So .... thanks for the idea Mom. This is my "toe dipping into the pool of reluctant holiday decorating" holder. I don't decorate for holidays. It just doesn't "go" with my house ;) I did put out Xmas stuff, but all my decorations can literally fit on one box. Anyway, I got this hanger and I thought it wouldn't be so terrible to put up a little something-or-other to mark the monthly holiday. Plus, it was only a quarter. Now I just need to find something to hang on it.

I also got a garage sale Xmas gift, but I'm not posting that one in case you are reading this and it goes to you in the near future!

$12.50 worth of fun, 45 minutes carrying Devon on my back .... worth it!

And so it begins

I tend to think that in general I keep a good watch over Devon. I can't have both eyes on him at ALL times, but I have baby proofed the house with the exception of a few cabinets, I have baby gates, socket covers, I shut doors where I don't want him going and I have moved things to higher ground.

I shut the bedroom door with both of us inside while I got ready this morning. All of a sudden I hear a pouring liquid sound .... NEVER a good thing when I'm not the one doing the pouring. Both my cats were sitting on my vanity and looked at me and said,"Dude .... that's not good."

I went over to my side of the bed and there was little Devon. Sweet, innocent, darling little Devon COVERED in green Nyquil. Also covered in Nyquil was my pillow and the floor. He didn't have any on his face so I was relieved to know he didn't drink any. Once I realized that he was OK (and scolded myself for not keeping Nyquil away from him in a locked cabinet) all I could do was laugh at his cute little face that was beaming with pride at his latest discovery. I honestly can't decide if I'm irritated or impressed that he was able to bypass the "childproof" push-down-and-turn cap. I'm leaning toward impressed.

This was AFTER I cleaned it.

Oh by the way, the empty glass used to be full of red Crystal Light .... he dumped that out before the Nyquil. I need to switch to water!

In the end he got a sink bath and the carpet cleaners are coming later today, but somehow he's still sticky. I needed to clean the carpets anyway, but what a pain! I texted Katy and she said it right,"And now it begins." The beginning of all the messes that little ones make. I think I need to invest in a carpet cleaner and speed up the process of switching from carpet to wood.

I know what Joe is doing later today .... childproofing the rest of the cabinets ;)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

30th birthday re-cap

If I were to have a business card made it would read:
Annie Smith: Wife. Mother. Yoga teacher.

If my husband had a business card made it would read:
Joseph Smith: Husband. Father. Wish fulfilment expert.

I'll get to that in a second.

I decided that since my birthday fell on a Tuesday that we would celebrate on the Saturday before so Joe wouldn't have to take off work and Devon and I could essentially stick to our Tuesday routine. Saturday morning we went out for breakfast then Joe watched Devon and sent me on my favorite type of shopping spree .... shopping by myself. To me, it is the best way to go. No one rushing me, I'm not waiting for anyone else, I take my time and when I'm done I'm done. I went to the greatest place to shop in Tucson .... La Encantada. It is outdoors and beautiful and I love it there.

I haven't had new sun glasses in literally 4 years. I remember because I got my last pair 4 birthdays ago. I was due for a new pair. Say hello to Versace.

Then I went to Anthropologie and picked up a couple of tops and a super cute head band. I'm not one for head bands, but I really thought that I could pull this one off so I scooped it up.

I also got some grape seed body oil from L'loccitane.

After shopping I picked up a Greek salad from my favorite Greek restaurant and then on to my hair appointment for a cut and highlights. I love getting my hair done .... it's so relaxing.

I went home after that and we hung out together for a couple of hours before heading off to dinner. But before dinner Joe gave me my BIG 30th Birthday gift. He has been dropping hints all week and making me guess what the gift is .... a game I hate to play because I could either likely guess what it is and ruin everything or guess wildly above what he got and make him feel bad about it. It's a risky game that he insits we play every year.

He put my gift in the study and when I walked in I saw this ....

A cello.

SIDEBAR: When I was in elementary school I asked to play the cello. Since I rode the bus to and from school my parents were worried about me having to haul it on and off the bus so I selected the violin. (I confirmed this story with my Mom a few days ago so I'm not making this up for dramatics ;) It was a big joke in the house about how bad I was at playing the violin and before I hit high school I gave it up.

A few months before I had Devon I toyed with the idea of playing the cello. I think it was my way of panicking about all the changes that were about to happen so I was grasping at something to call my own. I researched renting one and taking lessons. I even got the name and number of a teacher and to this day I've kept her number in my wallet in hopes of someday starting up, but I never felt that it was something to start with Devon being so little and time being so scarce.

Joe understands me .... he really does. He gets it. He understands that I need to be creative and musical and do something that is fulfilling in a way that is different from being a good Mom, cooking a good meal and keeping the house clean. He really listens when I speak (even if I don't always think so ;)and he pays attention. He indulges me when I relay mindless stories about so-and-so's crazy kid, about the grocery bill or about the coolest insulated sippy cups that I found on Amazon. He listens to it all and files it away in his elephant memory. When he decided to get me a gift for a milestone birthday he decided to get me a gift that would impact the rest of my life. Not many people know how to do that, but when it happens it's... magical.

I just remember walking in to the study and saying,"Ohmygosh .... you got me a cello?" And then I started crying and blubbering,"I can't believe you got me a cello. I have wanted to play since I was a kid." It was a moment for me for sure. I start lessons in 2 weeks and Joe enthusiastically chimes in with,"And don't worry .... I'll watch Devon so you can go any time and practice." It is always salient to me that I am so lucky to have true love in my life.

Once the sitter arrived we went to Zin Burger. A fancy burger place that serves truffle french fries and creme brule milk shakes. It's not as expensive as it sounds and it is really good. I always get a turkey burger with avocado, Swiss cheese and bacon. We split the fries and the shake (which we never get) and it was amazing.

I honestly don't really mind turning 30. I have always said that I am exactly where I want to be in life so turning another year older doesn't bother me much. It does remind me that time is flying by and time on this Earth is scarce and THAT makes me sad, but I try not to dwell on it. I did have a dream that night that I some woman tried to sell me eye cream so I promptly went out and bought some to put on my 30 year old face ;)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I ....

I was born on 2.2 at 2:11 in the morning and I am the 2nd to last child. 2 is my lucky number.

I was still in the hospital when this picture was taken. Proof that there is such a thing as an ugly baby I'm sorry to say.

I was about to turn 1 in this picture.

I drink caffeine free herbal teas in all flavors.

I don't have any wrinkles .... yessssss.

I live in a home that was built by my husband.

I am really shy when I meet people for the first time. I unintentionally and awkwardly act like they're not there until they ask me a question.

I weigh myself every morning and sometimes right before I go to sleep.

I had my first and last Big Mac at McDonald's when I was 16.

I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 9 years this August and we've been a couple for 14 years this April.

I have a dead give away that I'm nervous (or really bored) when I slide the backing on my earring to the end until it clicks, then I slide it back up to my ear. Repeat.

(There are SO many things that I love about this picture. The pink onesie, the fanny pack and the fact that I am pretending to ski in the parking lot at a dead stop in front of the van is my personal favorite.)

I finally started parking in the garage. Luxurious.

I am smaller now (as a size 0-2) than I was in high school.

I hate having my picture taken.

I don't like chocolate, but if I do eat any it's only Ferrero Roche. In our house we call them "hugs".

I love it that my husband and I have our own brand of humor that only WE understand and that makes us laugh uncontrollably ... and makes no sense what so ever.

I could eat pomegranates every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of eating them.

I am a Yoga teacher and teach 2 classes back-to-back on Sunday.

I work out at least 3 days a week. Yes ... this was my 2nd marathon that year and yes ... I wore my Chanel's.

I love junk food like apple licorice, popcorn, Gobstoppers, triscuits with cheese, and Hagen Daze peanut butter ice cream on a sugar cone.

I don't drink soda, but I look forward to drinking it again soon. How I miss the sweet, sweet nectar!

I think doing your nails is a sign of good grooming. They don't have to be painted, but clean, even and filed. I used to bite my nails until I envisioned an engagement ring on my finger and promptly stopped. I know my nails are a little long, but I painted them myself, they are real and I rocked them on my wedding day. Take THAT nail biting!

I still think offering to babysit my kid is the ultimate expression of love and thoughtfulness. People who do that show that they care about my son, but also show that they care about me as well and understand that every Mom needs a break.

I read emails right away, but take forever to respond back.

I love to get Devon from his crib first thing in the morning. We miss each other!

I have a main goal in life and that is to avoid being stabbed.

I am obsessed with keeping my grocery bill as low as possible.

I don't use coupons. I buy mostly fresh produce and meat.

(Members Only jackets rule!)

I prefer to text than talk on the phone, but I hate having a "phone conversation" via text. I would rather just talk to you in person.

I have long eyelashes.

I would rather rent a movie than go to one.

I LOVE going out to dinner. What a treat it is to not have to cook or clean up.

I fall somewhere between an Agnostic and an Atheist, but not stronger on either side. OK I'm a little stronger to one side.

I am EXTREMELY bothered when people use "your" instead of "you're" and "to" instead of "too".

I am a list person. If it's on my list it will get done.

I eat 2 eggs and 2 slices of extra lean ham for breakfast every morning. 1 egg white only and 1 whole egg mashed in a baby food grinder and sprinkled over whole wheat buttered toast .... or low fat, gluten free, wheat free waffles with sugar free syrup.

I suck at getting people gifts.

I would never wear sweats out of the house (the gym is the only exception).

I don't own sweats.

Alright, I DO own an ARIZONA sweatshirt (OK 2 sweatshirts, but they are both Arizona), but that doesn't count because I graduated from the U of A so I get a pass.

I love to sew, but wish I was better at it.

I am genuinely afraid of scary movies, but this year I watched 2 of them and was
only really scared by one of them.

I am a mother of 1 and mother-to-be of another. I am 13 weeks pregnant. Our 2nd baby is due 8.9.10

(There is only 1 baby by the way. This was a very early sonogram, but the circle on the left is the baby and the circle on the right is the yolk sack.)

I remember when I was a teenager thinking that 30 was old.

I turn 30 years old today.