As you may remember from this post, my friend Ryan is going to have a baby girl, Lucy Paige, sometime in July. Her baby shower is tomorrow, and I am so excited to help her celebrate her sweet girl!
The beginning of this month, I went with Ryan and her husband TJ to Morris Avenue in Downtown Birmingham to take some maternity pictures. These are some of my favorites:
I was also blessed to go with them to their 4D ultrasound to see Lucy's beautiful face!!!! Parker went with us, behaved very well, and got to "meet" her new friend =)
I am so excited for their new addition! Come on July!
Friday, May 17, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
At my house, if a recipe calls for ground beef, I almost always substitute ground turkey. When my local grocery store had ground chicken on sale, I stocked up and that instead.
I have a list of goals that I recently made for myself, one being to cook dinner (real dinner) at least 3 days a week. That doesn't mean take out a frozen pizza and pop it in the oven. That means try to make something fresh.
Using one of the pounds of ground chicken I had, I made mini chicken meatloaf parmesans. They were super simple to make and cooked quickly... about the same as a frozen pizza!
I mixed the ground chicken with about a 1/2 cup Italian style Panko breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Then, so the cooking time would be faster, I spooned the mixture into a 12 cup muffin tin. Top with a spoonful of marinara sauce. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with shredded cheese. Bake for 2 more minutes until the cheese is melted. Top with a sprinkling of Italian seasoning.
While the mini meatloafs were cooking, I boiled some spaghetti noodles to serve with the chicken and extra spaghetti sauce.
This was a super simple meal that made enough for me, my husband, and leftovers for lunch today. I'm glad to know that I can make delicious food, quickly and easily to serve my family.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Balancing working with taking care of the house and being a new mom has been extremely challenging. I love my job, I love keeping house, and I love my daughter, but sometimes I feel stretched pretty thin. One thing that always brings me back is cooking. At Aldi yesterday, there was a huge meat sale! I stocked up on chicken, beef, and pork.
I decided to actually cook a meal last night for dinner. Something I haven't been able to do for a while. We've had a lot of "easy freezer food" or take out. I missed cooking. I decided to try out the pork loin. I have never made one before, but it didn't seem too difficult.
I seasoned the meat with seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper.
Then I browned it on the stove to seal in the juices and give it some color.
I baked the loin at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. It came out perfect and juicy and delicious!
For a side dish, I made a very simple cheese risotto (adapted from an Emeril Lagasse recipe).
I brought 2 cups of chicken stock to a boil and added my rice. Let it simmer until it startes to look creamy and bubbly. I seasoned it with garlic and onion powder. Add 1 tbs butter, a splash of milk, and a big handful of shredded parmesan cheese.Cook until the liquid is absorbed, and the rice will be cheesy and creamy.
After I finished cooking it, I fixed a plate for my husband to eat while I played with Parker. It was getting close to her bed time, and she was starting to get a little fussy. After he ate, we gave her her bath, which we always do as part of her bedtime routine. I figured I'd just eat afterwards...
I filled her bathtub and put her in it. She splashed and played... and pooped.
I drained the water, washed out the tub, refilled the tub, and put her back in. She splashed and played... and pooped.
I drained the water, washed out the tub, and gave up. We cleaned her up with baby wipes and called it good enough.
I finally got to eat this for lunch today =)
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Hello, again! Parker, here. I'm a day late in getting my two-month post up, but I was in NO MOOD for blogging last night. I went to the doctor for my check up and I was happy and everyone was playing with me. UNTIL, I got THREE shots in my leg! They came with no warning. It was not a good birthday present. But I was brave and only cried for a minute. Mom said I did a good job and gave me a bottle. It was better than a lollipop =)
I've done a lot of growing since my last check up. I am 23.5 inches long and I weigh 11 lbs, 13 oz. I am in the 65-75% in everything. My doctor says I'll grow up to be tall like my mom, which is fine with me. Mom says it's good to be tall.
I have also learned of the joys of sleep. Why I was so resistant at first is beyond me! Mom and Dad give me my warm bath around 8:30, then I get my night time bottle, and then it's off to sleep. I sleep for about 8 hours every night. We are all very happy =)
|I'm so happy, I smile in my sleep!|
So since my last post, something amazing happened to me! I was baptized! My family attends the Lutheran Church, which baptizes infants. Some people question or disagree with infant baptism. Please allow me to get theological for a moment by quoting Pastor Michael Spencer:
"[The Lutheran view of baptism] understands baptism as God’s act, not a human act. It’s primarily about grace, not faith. It is done to us in God’s name (that is, as an act of God performed by his representative), we do not do it to ourselves. It is not the sign of my response to God, it is the sign and seal of what God has done for me... Since evangelicalism views baptism as a one-time initiatory act that communicates a singular message about conversion, those who practice believer’s baptism don’t bring up the subject again in the course of the Christian life. However, Lutherans (following Luther himself) see baptism as an ongoing object lesson of the Christian life that we must remember and reenact every day. We practice our baptism daily by repenting (dying to the old life) and rising to walk in new life."
My baptism was on April 21st. I wore my mom's baptism gown that her mom bought in Germany before my mom was even born.
TJ and Ryan Phelps became my godparents. That means that they will constantly be praying for me, and if anything was to happen to my parents, they will make sure that I am still brought up in church. It's a very big deal, not one to be taken lightly, and I am so thankful to have them. I know they'll do a great job.
It was so nice to be surrounded by my family on this special day.
The day after I turned 6 weeks, Mom had to go back to work. She was very sad and cried, but I told her that I was going to have so much fun with Mrs. Scott, my babysitter! I get Mrs. Scott to send her pictures of me during the day so she can watch me play. She's not so sad anymore, but we can't wait for summer so we can stay together all day!
|I have lots of fun at Mrs. Scott's house!|
If you can't tell, the bottom left picture is a picture of me blowing bubbles. I have recently discovered my tounge. Mom and Dad poke theirs out at me, and I poke mine out right back. I can use my tougne to make bubbles (like in the picture), and also to LICK things! If you get close enough to my mouth, I will lick you. You have been warned! I lick the blanket during tummy time; I lick Mom's shoulder when she's carrying me. It's a little strange, I know, but I just can't help myself.
Well, that's pretty much it for now. It was a very busy second month of life, and I have been enjoying every minute of it (except for those shots). Until next time,
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Last week, my mom came down to visit while my husband was out of town with his students on a field trip. I love having my mom stay with me. She is such a big help with Parker! She lives almost 3 hours away, which isn't way too far, but it's the farthest apart we've been. Any chance to have her come down is fine with me!
|Parker and "Paigey"|
When my mom comes, she will cook dinner. Everything I know, I learned from her! This time, she made chicken schnitzel. Growing up, this was a staple in my house. My grandmother is German, so we have a lot of German food. This chicken schnitzel is surprisingly easy to make, and tastes better than anything in a restaurant!
First, cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into smaller, thin pieces (two large chicken breasts will become 6 smaller pieces). Salt and pepper the chicken. Dredge the chicken in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. She used Panko breadcrumbs with Italian seasonings.
Brown the chicken in vegetable oil in a skillet heated to medium heat. If it's browning too fast, turn the heat down. If it's not browning fast enough, turn the heat up (we are very precise when it comes to our cooking techniques, can you tell?).
Once the chicken is golden brown, take it out of the oil and drain it on a paper towel. We ate ours with a spinach salad and mashed potatos. It was a wonderful dinner! I can't wait until she can come visit again =)
Monday, April 8, 2013
A friend of mine started something on her blog where she lets her baby boy "write" his own posts to update the world on how he's been and what he's been up to. Well, when Parker heard about that she demanded her own blog post as well! So here is Parker E. P0e's first P.E.P. Talk =)
Hello World! Parker E. P0e here (and I have been for a month now)! The time sure has flown by! It has been a month since mom ever so kindly evicted me from my nice, warm world and introduced me to this one. I was not so sure how I liked it at first. It's so big and bright! When mom and dad took me from the hospital, I was a little nervous. They didn't quite look like they knew what they were doing. They still look like that most days, but they're getting better.
So in my one month here, I have already had LOTS of experiences and met a TON of new people. It's been fun matching faces to the voices that I had been hearing before I got here. I even went on my first big car ride to visit mom's mom, my Paigey, for Easter. She lives a few hours away, but I slept the whole ride up. I try to fight it, but the car gets me every time.
I also got to stay with Mrs. Marjorie and Mrs. Sybil one evening while mom and dad ran some errands and got some dinner. I wasn't nervous at all because Mrs. Marjorie is a pediatric nurse! What a great baby sitter! Mrs. Marjorie and Mrs. sybil have a cute little etsy shop called From Bham with Love that you should definitely check out. Mrs. Sybil and her husband Mr. Adam (also a pediatric nurse) are in the process of adopting a little girl from Bulgaria. All the profits from the etsy shop go toward bringing her home. I hope they get to soon. I can't wait to meet my new friend!
I may still be really young, but I already know what I like. Meet "Butterfly." Butterfly is my friend. Mom introduced me to him when I was two weeks old and looking incredibly bored. I used to barely be able to swat at him, but since I have longer arms, and more control over them, now we have epic battles! I can hit him and pull on him and swing him back and forth.
|Me and Butterfly|
|I was pretty intense during this play time!|
I also have had several baths. This picture is from my first one. I wasn't so sure how I felt about it, but now it's part of my bedtime routine, and I fall asleep so well afterwards. You can't tell, but my towel's hood looks like a duck.
|I partied pretty hard.|
|Mom and Dad. Pretty good looking parents, I must say!|
|AJ and Eli with their parents|
Probably the thing I liked the most was having my Paigey come and stay with mom and me for a week when Dad had to go back to work after Spring Break. She helped mom a LOT, and made her feel not so nervous. She really knows what she's doing!
|Based on this picture, I know EXACTLY what I'll look like when I get older =)|
My doctor says I am growing very well- 60-70th percentile all across the board! Mom keeps me well-fed, and I finally got my days and nights on track. Did you know that night time was for sleeping?? No one told me! (Sorry Mom and Dad!) But it's been better for everybody now that I've figured that out. I go back to the doctor when I'm two months old, just in time for my next post. Until then, have a great April! I'm sure I will =)
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Since I am still enjoying and getting used to life with my sweet baby girl, please enjoy this guest article written by Erin Alexandra of DIY Home and Floor
Hi everyone! My name is Erin and I am crazy about do-it-yourself projects when it comes to interior design. Working with Floor & Decor Outlets, I have developed a love for all things hands-on, and I know that beautiful interior design really can be accomplished without a huge cost to you. With that in mind, I maintain my own blog, diyhomeandfloor.com. I hope you find my post interesting and inspiring. If you'd like to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you at email@example.com.
Add a Splash of Color to Your Child’s Bathroom
Transforming your child's bathroom into a fun and interesting place to be helps them to establish good hygiene habits for the future. Every surface in a bathroom can serve as a canvas for creativity; from the plain tile flooring to the blank ceilings above, you can create colorful tile mosaics that will brighten up the room and stimulate your child's imagination.
What are Mosaic Tiles?
What are Mosaic Tiles?
A mosaic tile is any type of tile that measures smaller than or equal to 2 inches. Typically made of glass, ceramic, porcelain or stone, mosaic tiles are usually mounted in sheets to make them easier to transport, organize and install. These convenient sheets of mosaic tile come in a large variety of colors and can be cut and customized to fit nearly any design.
You don't have to be a trained artist to incorporate bursts of cheerful color into your child's bathroom décor. With a vast variety of colors available, your design possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Decorating with tile adds playful style elements and personality to your child's bathroom while still being functional and easy to clean.
Tile flooring is an ideal way to give any bathroom floor a neat and organized appearance, but that doesn't mean that the floor in your child's bathroom has to be boring or plain. Use colorful floor tiles to create useful paths, interesting patterns and playful borders that will excite your little ones.
Whether you prefer the look of mosaic sheets, have a cute custom pattern in mind or want to create an elaborate tile mural, covering an entire wall with colorful wall tiles instantly makes a bathroom much more inviting to children. For more wall tile ideas, you can always look through design magazines or websites.
Especially desirable in smaller bathrooms, accent walls are a fantastic way to add color to your child's space without overwhelming the room. Little recessed nooks, the wall space between the vanity surface and mirror and the wall behind the shower head are all great places to install vibrant glass mosaic tiles.
Perfect for bathrooms used by older kids or shared between multiple children with differing tastes, creating a series of playful borders around the room is a little way to make a big impact. It may seem simple, but bright glass tile placed against white walls creates a striking contrast that draws the eye and is aesthetically pleasing.
Cute tile flooring and fun wall tile designs are great ways to enhance a child's bathroom, but the ceiling offers potential that even professional decorators can overlook. The bathroom ceiling is a perfect place for a mural that will beckon to your child's imagination as they bathe or go about their daily routine. Draw out a pattern for a bright blue sky with white clouds or create a glass tile rainbow that stretches across the room!
Measure Twice, Cut Once
As with any other home improvement project, the key to achieving amazing results when working with glass mosaic tiles is to always double-check your designs and measurements before installation begins. Be sure to account for outlets, lights, permanent fixtures and all other objects while you're still in the designing stages. Whether you hired an experienced contractor or are doing the project yourself, it's essential to make sure that you've taken every element of the project into consideration.