After a brief hiatus, I’m back to the blog. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I got my act together and worked ahead on as many papers as possible so that my boys and I could go visit our families. It was so worth it!
Two Things for this Tuesday after Thanksgiving:
#1-Matt and I went to Crossfit Effingham together on Saturday morning when we were visiting his parents. Jack played with his grandparents while Matt and I did a partner tabata workout. 10am sweaty date (with 24 other people)? Yes, please!
If you’re ever in Effingham, they offer a free Saturday morning class.
#2 –I love roasted vegetables! They take such little prep and are pretty hard to mess up. And now that Jack eats almost everything we eat, I have even more incentive to roast a nice variety for us. Last night was cauliflower, butternut squash and red onion.
Chop all veggies, drizzle with some olive oil, and sprinkle with a little pepper. Then bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Viola!
Jack can now sign for “more” so I was sure he was a fan of these veggies when he would ask for more, then give me a cheesy grin. What are your favorite vegetables to roast? Have a great week!
This week is all about fall. We got a light dusting of snow last night, and it was great reminder that winter really is coming and to enjoy all of the beautiful fall days left in the month. So my “Two Things” this Tuesday are very fall-ish.
1. OMGoat cheese salad
The salad of the week at our house is a combo of red peppers, caramelized onion, black beans, romaine lettuce and a side container of crumbled goat cheese, craisins, and sunflower seeds. Ah-maaazing! Roasting the onions and adding dried cranberries really made this salad fall for me. And the great flavor of goat cheese made salad dressing unnecessary. I liked it so much I think I am going to repeat next week.
2. Saturday was warm and sunny, but I was inside for an instructor training for a new ballet barre class at my gym. My mom came over to play with Jack while I was in training, and as soon as I got out of class we hit the park as a family. Matt and I have a saying we use when Jack gets grumpy. ”When in doubt, take him out!” Sometimes he just needs some fresh air and sunshine. Really – don’t we all need a little more fresh air and sunshine in our lives? Have a wonderful rest of the week!
Are you an “It’s already Tuesday?” kind of person or an “It’s only Tuesday!” kind of person? I think Tuesday is the most deceptive day of the week. I am usually in the camp of Its only Tuesday, but I’ll tell myself that is because so much gets accomplished on Monday. (wink, wink)
Without further ado, here is this week’s Two Things Tuesday:
1. Today I woke up wondering how I was still sore from a Sunday workout. I was sick at the start of the weekend and didn’t get a Friday or Saturday sweatfest as a result. So Sunday I made sure to get a great total body workout. AND I committed to ensuring good form, which really contributed to the burn. So when you do this workout, make sure you work on getting your chest low in your pushups and breaking parallel with your squats. I got a quick mile run in then modified a Crossfit benchmark WOD, Barbara.
2. I am loving that holidays are so much more fun with a little one. Check out my little monkey this Halloween. We went to my parents’ and visited with our trick-or-treater. Already planning next year’s costume….
2 (and a half). We got family time with Matt’s side on Sunday. Jack wants Auntie Tina to stay home from Italy longer. Such a cute family, if I do say so myself!
Quick question: what was the best Halloween costume you saw this year?
I’m looking for an excuse to drop in a little more regularly to say “hi” and thought I’d try out this week with Two Things Tuesday. I’ll plan for this to consist of things going on right now in life, food, or fitness and anything fun to share.
#1. My college BFF, her awesome hubby and adorable kiddos came to visit this weekend. It was the first time our boys have been together. I think Jack’s walking got better this weekend as he tried to follow the big boys around. And check out all boys sharing in Jack’s cabinet in our kitchen. Who would have figured Tupperware and spatulas would have been so interesting?
And who would have guessed that spending a weekend with three boys 4 yrs old or younger would have made me feel so young?
#2. Purdue’s Co-Rec is hosting a Thriller dance instruction tomorrow night. As much as I would love to go (seriously!!) it is right in the middle of bedtime and I try not to skip out of the bedtime routine much. BUT I found a relatively short video on YouTube.
I’ll be trying this out at home. Any takers in trying to learn it with me? Maybe it will justify a couple of pieces of candy corn…
Have a great week!
Even though he is only 10 months old, I think Jack is a lot like me. I went to a yoga class last weekend. It was my first one since maternity leave (wowza! How did that happen??) and was a wonderful class…but there were a couple of funny little incidents. About 20 minutes into class a lady with THE LOUDEST FLIP FLOPS EVER came trudging into class and threw down her mat. She wiped out during a fairly normal pose, got up and yelled “I’m ok!” At that point I was looking around the room for a camera because I figured her antics were a joke. Sometimes loud, disruptive people in the middle of a yoga practice annoy me but I found this experience especially amusing. I came home after class to have dinner with my guys and when I was telling Matt the story and laughing hard, Jack started laughing so hard he gave himself hiccups. This guy likes a good joke, and had me laughing even harder. This little funny guy is SO my kid.
In addition to appreciating my humor, he seems to appreciate my favorite foods too. I made two batches of this: one to have for lunches throughout the week and one to puree to freeze in pouches for Jack to enjoy later. I originally only made one batch but when he finished two baby bowls of this dinner I knew I had to make another for just him.
This is a great one to make over the weekend to enjoy leftovers all week. The flavors meld together nicely and this can be served warm or cold. I especially recommend crumbling a piece of manchego cheese over the top of it.
Roasted Veggie Quinoa
1 cup of quinoa
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 large bag of kale, roughly chopped
1 can of beets (sliced or chopped is fine. Just get regular, not pickled)
1 can of black beans, rinsed
Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400. Place sweet potatoes and red onion in a dutch oven of oven save dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir. Place in oven for 20 minutes.
- While veggies are roasting, cook quinoa according to directions. (I highly recommend using a rice cooker).
- After veggies have been roasting for about 20 minutes, remove from the oven and stir in as much kale as you can start to wilt.
- Place the veggies back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
- When the veggies are done roasting, add the quinoa the veggie mixture. Add the beets and the black beans. Stir to combine. (at this point I removed the amount I was going to puree for Jack)
- Add a healthy amount of balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. Feel free to add additional salt and pepper to taste and then serve…or portion out individual servings into Mason Jars for lunch throughout the week.
We’re in the double digits, folks! Jack celebrated his 10-month birthday with his first train ride, his first time in Chicago, and his first time marathon spectating.
He is such a funny little person. I seriously have a blast playing with him and watching him play. In the last month he has started loving big pictures books. When I ask him if he wants a book, he whips his head around to where his books are and gets excited. He has favorites and has his preferred reading style. The first look (of the day) through a book is a quick pass-through, the second time involves touching and the third time gets more attention with lots of touching and pointing and the occasional licking.
Jack’s stepping/walking is coming along, and he takes a max of about 14 steps on his own, but loves to cruise along the furniture. My favorite part of this month? He kisses! Big, wet, open mouth kisses to mommy, daddy and his favorite stuffed animal, Monster. He also wrestles with his stuffed animals and plays “basketball”…such a little bundle of energy. He is still a great little eater, although he has slowed down some in the last couple of weeks. What a little turkey! Bath time is hilarious! He understand “all done” and if he stands up in the tub we ask him if he’s all done and he sits down as quickly as he can. He loves the bath!
Matt’s parents are coming to visit this weekend. I’m looking forward to them seeing his dancing and clapping to music. Even if your weekend is not full of dancing, I hope its filled with fun. Have a great one!
Hello! Long time no see. Life seems to have gotten busy, but when doesn’t life seem busy? I made these enchiladas two weekends ago and was planning on sharing the recipe right away. I made them on a day when Jack was really asserting his independence and I went to bed wondering how time went by so quickly. The next day, when I planned to write up this recipe, he woke very early into his nap and seemed to want to be held. Instead of doing anything “productive” that I always scurry along to do during nap time, I held him, rocked and sang as he slipped back to sleep. When I looked at his beautiful sleeping face, and smelled in his sweet baby hair, I soaked in every minute of that hour…one of the best hours of my whole week.
Long intro to let you know that this recipe makes two batches. Enjoy the first right away and freeze the other to enjoy on a weekend that you are busy living life to do much cooking.
(Based on this recipe in the October 2013 Cooking Light)
2 chicken breast halves
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 jar salsa verde (16 oz), divided
6 oz cream cheese (I used 1/3-less-fat)
20 (6-inch) corn tortillas
¼- ½ cup shredded sharp cheese
salt and pepper
- Pre-heat over to 400.
- Sprinkle the chicken breasts (both sides) with a good does of black pepper and garlic powder and some freshly ground salt.
- Pan sear the chicken breasts over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Put the chicken in a baking dish and bake in the oven for another 20 minutes or until fully cooked.
- While chicken is cooking, saute the onions, carrots, and peppers.
- When chicken is done cooking, shred the chicken and combine with sauteed veggies and cream cheese.
- Pour a small amount of the salsa verde on a plate and place a corn tortilla over the salsa to coat one side.
- Fill each tortilla with a heaping ¼ cup of chicken mixture. Place the filled tortillas into two baking dishes (one to bake now and one to freeze for cooking later).
- Spoon the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and (optionally) sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, if you’re planning on serving today. Freeze remaining baking dish before baking if you plan to enjoy at a later date.
9 months! Almost as long on the outside as on the inside. I know I sound like a broken record but each new phase just keeps getting better. Jack is so action-packed. He has to be on the go all the time, except for first thing in the morning. He really likes to cuddle and wake up slowly. And don’t try to rush him! He’ll let you know he isn’t ready to get moving yet.
He toddles around the house really well. He still has his half human half monkey crawl but it is fast. He also scales the walls and cruises along the furniture. He can hold his standing on his own for about half a minute and gets so excited that he claps.
He still loves baths and laughing. He recently is really into books, especially the touch and feel kind. He looks around for them at bedtime and loves to settle into one of our laps to follow along and help turn the pages. He loves light switches and smiles at the Dr. Suess cover in his bedroom (thanks Aunt Tina!) as he turns it off and on…and off and on…Speaking of smiling he smiles and talks to the baby on the water jug, his Pixar bath toys from Uncle Mark, and some of his stuffed animals. It just cracks me up.
The house is mostly baby-proofed. Anything that isn’t really a toy like dirty shoes and door stops are especially appealing.
He must be in the middle of a growth spurt. He fell asleep at dinner this week, which is not like our champion eater. He is quite the eater and hasn’t met a vegetable he doesn’t like. Fruit is still just so-so for him. And cheese is the first food he reaches for on his tray.
And just for fun- quick look at 1 month compared to his current 9 months:We went for a hike/walk near the Celery Bogs on Cattail Trail with Jack yesterday, and a couple asked us how old Jack is before telling us their “baby” is 28. Time is going fast, he is growing up, but this little guys will always be our baby.
I’m starting my third week of classes and finally feel like I have caught my breath. Nope, the house is still not completely unpacked. I haven’t had a run outside our neighborhood. I’m working through reading and writing more than I’ve done in any of my other engineering schooling. And I started to feel “homesick” last week when I started thinking about my friends in Kansas City.
I pulled up some pics that made me smile. On my last run with my runner girls, self dubbed Runch (we run, then we lunch), I found these signs all along our route. Wow, do I miss these girls! (And a certain couple of other friends who weren’t necessarily part of the runner gang but who made me smile all the time.)
So I let myself pout about missing people for a bit. And about having to leave a pub where we were going to order dinner because Jack is “underage.” (Indiana has some strange liquor laws). But my PhD program is surpassing my expectations. I am so excited about my classes and potential research. My cohort is amazing!
Plus we are now close enough to make easy trips to see family. We went to Rossville on Saturday to celebrate my mom’s birthday. Jack was a charmer the whole time.
We also bought a baby pool this weekend because Jack is such a water baby. The cuteness could just about kill me.
(Believe it or not, the “toy” Jack is holding is his favorite and was attached to his baby bath tub. He calls it Blah Blah)
And I took a much needed study break on Monday to go for a hike at Ampitheater Park in West Lafayette. It was beautiful weather and a pretty flat but shaded hike. I think we will be here a lot in the fall.
And tonight I taught my first cycle class at International Sports Club near Purdue Research Park. I have a 5:30pm Tuesday night class. SO excited to be jumping back in! Plus, I have the option of 3:30pm classes with college students. Flexibility is nice!
Plenty more adjusting to do, but so happy to have my two favorite side-kicks with me for the journey. Has anyone been to Lafayette? Any suggestions for places we need to check out?
Wow! What a crazy month. Since the 7 Month Update, we sold and moved out of our house in Kansas City (more on that later), I finished work, and we moved to West Lafayette, Indiana. Lots of changes for this little guy in terms of his routine, but lots of good things too. He has already gotten lots of grandparents time with both sets of grandparents. He is such a lucky little boy to be loved so much.
Since the last Jack update he has been pulling up on everything. He loves to practice his standing and is a little daredevil. He tries standing with one hand and then no hands. So far, I have counted about 10 seconds of solid standing on his own time. Unfortunately this has meant lots of tumbles, and his first black eye at day care. He walks a little on his own while holding on to things.
Crawling is fine. He has some strange methods…almost like a monkey with one knee down and the other leg in a half walk…I’m not describing it well but it is funny. He can get to anything he really wants quickly with crawling (dirty shoes, bolts, jewelry) but is mostly interested in standing.
Food is going really well. Jack is a TANK! He is doing mostly purees with some self feeding. He loves orange food (sweet potatoes, squash and carrots), avocados, peas, broccoli, oatmeal and cheerios. Still not a big fruit guy.
He still loves songs and singing, seeing people laughing and making silly faces, playing peek-a-boo, and bath time. He is not a fan of having his diaper changed, clothes changed, or the end of a meal before he is ready. He is funny and sweet, and a little crazy at times. How did I ever get so lucky??